These quotations from sports figures, some of them at universities, came to us from a mysterious e-mail source:

George Rogers, then of the New Orleans Saints: "I want to rush for 1,000 or 1,500 yards, whichever comes first."

Joe Theismann, the former football player, now a sports commentator: "Nobody in football should be called a genius. A genius is a guy like Norman Einstein."

Bill Peterson, a football coach at Florida State: "You guys line up alphabetically by height."

Bill Peterson, again: "You guys pair up in groups of three, then line up in a circle."

Dan Duva, a boxing promoter, on Mike Tyson's resuming his association with the promoter Don King: "Why would anyone expect him to come out smarter? He went to prison for three years, not Princeton."

Shaquille O'Neal, on whether he visited the Parthenon during a trip to Greece: "I can't really remember the names of the clubs we went to."

Chuck Nevitt, a basketball player in 1982 at North Carolina State, explaining to Coach Jim Valvano why he appeared nervous at practice: "My sister's expecting a baby, and I don't know if I'm going to be an uncle or an aunt."

Steve Spurrier, football coach at Florida, telling Gator fans that a fire in 1991 at Auburn's football dormitory had destroyed 20 books: "The real tragedy was that 15 of them hadn't been colored yet."

Torrin Polk, University of Houston receiver, on his coach, John Jenkins, in 1991: "He treats us like men. He lets us wear earrings."

Shelby Metcalf, basketball coach at Texas A&M, recounting in 1987 what he told a player who had received four F's and one D: "Son, looks to me like you're spending too much time on one subject."

Frank Layden, president of the Utah Jazz, speaking in 1991 of a former player: "I told him, 'Son, what is it with you? Is it ignorance or apathy?' He said, 'Coach, I don't know and I don't care.'"

Copyright© 1999 by The Chronicle of Higher Education

December 2, 1999
Section: Short Subjects
Page: A12