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Chriss Doss: It must have been in the early 1950s and they’re having this basketball game and the whole season had been, the two schools were really getting heated up toward each other and, well I remember, this was basketball, that, I don’t know who did the first whatever, but I know about mid-week, a couple of carloads of Howard students went over to Southern’s campus and rolled or put tissue all over the trees on the campus and that was kind of a putdown thing. Some of us thought it was kind of a joke that was fun to laugh about, but certainly nothing beyond that. Well anyway, the Southern students didn’t take kindly to that and they started trying to do something in retaliation, which, a bunch of college students, it’s probably natural to behave like that, but the night came of the game, and there had been little incidents. One I remember, one boy, from Howard, they got after, a couple of Southern students, got after him and he got ahead of them enough, that he got under a car and stayed hid under a car until they gave up looking for him, but all that foolishness that is exciting to talk about, but nothing big, but then it came the night of the ball game and there was...well the game, everything was already heated up and they had a fellow named Doss, who worked full time running a steam shovel in a strip mine or something, but he was also going to school and playing basketball. He’s now deceased, but he was quite a fellow and he was one of the leading players, but he was sitting on the bench. The coach had taken him out and put somebody else in and we had a forward, a tall spindly fella. He didn’t look like he could stand too much. He needed to be fed more, but anyway he was playing forward, I think, and Southern had the basketball and they were going toward their goal when a Howard player intercepted the ball and the player named Rudy, we’ll call him. That wasn’t his name, that was his nickname. Rudy was way down toward Howard’s goal and this fella drew back and threw the ball to Rudy and Rudy caught it, bounced it a time or two and went up to shoot, to make the goal and this Southern student hit him, I mean plowed into him, and of course it was an interesting issue for debate. Did he intend to do it or was it an accident? Anyway, it knocked Rudy into the bleachers at the end of the course in the old gym at the old Howard campus and Doss is up because Doss is this terribly muscular fellow and he has, during the season, been the caretaker for Rudy, and he saw this fellow hit Rudy and he was down there in a split second and drew back and hit the Southern player and just, I mean laid him up in the bleachers with his fist and blood started squirting and the place went wild. Well, here again, we didn’t have any security. I think the coaches and—this is the only time that I ever saw Major Davis just disheveled. He had wavy hair and it was all just, you know, he was usually very dapper and just so so. They finally got things quieted down and he goes out to the center of the court and says, “Those of you who live on campus, go to your dormitories and stay there. Those of you who don’t live on campus, as soon as possible, make your way off of the campus and don’t come back!” And you wouldn’t expect it in a situation like that, they vacated the building, but there’s a lot of milling around on campus and there were, I don’t know, three or four students down toward the north end of the campus and they saw somebody do something and then all of a sudden a blaze shot up on old Sherman and so Howard students came from every direction, taking off their jackets or getting anything they could to beat it out. Well, then it was you know, everybody knew Southern’s boys had done it, they didn’t see them, but you don’t have to see everything to know it occurred, and so, they caught these three Southern boys up in Old Main and I don’t remember, I’m not sure if I even remember that, but anyway, one of them decided, one of them was the chief offender, so they’re already in Old Main and they go into one of the lecture rooms on the first floor and they hold court and a boy named Wilson was going to be the judge and the boy from Southern was a ministerial student and it didn’t take them long but he was convicted of being guilty and part of his penalty was to have an H cut in his hair and he had a handsome shock of hair. He began to plead and tell them, “Please don’t do that, because my congregation will want to know what in the world happened” and Judge Wilson said, “Well look, move that H further back so if he prays looking up, they won’t see the H” and anyway I think they did a raggedy H and told them they could go if they went then and they tried to have an investigation. It never went anywhere, but after that, during that season, the two teams didn’t play again, but you know, that was a quite exciting thing.

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