April 18, 2013

IT MUST BE TRUE, IT'S IN A PRESS RELEASE:

Hoops Legend Leo G. Hershberger Was Really a Mythic Figure (RACHEL BACHMAN, 4/05/13, WSJ)

In the winter of 1972, Steven Noll and three sports-junkie friends at the College of William & Mary in Williamsburg, Va., were nursing two gripes.

One was the proliferation of All-America teams in college basketball--the annual awards given to standout players by sports magazines and journalist groups.

The other was the belief they shared that none of those teams would ever recognize the star player in their midst--William & Mary's own Mike Arizin, 6-foot-5 shooting guard and small forward.

So the college buddies hatched a plan. They made up a fictitious professional organization and called it the National Association of Collegiate Basketball Writers. They then created an All-America team of their very own, naming the top 15 rookie players in the nation.

In March 1973, they mailed official-looking certificates to the universities where the winners played. Finally, the four men, long-haired juniors who had never published a word about college basketball, told the Associated Press about the award. Just like that, the news went out on the wire and appeared in newspapers all over the country.

For 40 years, the men told almost nobody about the fake award, which they gave out just once. Now, as this year's NCAA Final Four starts Saturday, the men are telling their story with heads held high.

Posted by at April 18, 2013 5:24 AM
  

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