1972 Ohio State Game Anniversary

WoodburyTim

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I was listening to Barreiro on the way home...I know, I know, but he was talking about the legacy of that game. Now I know I have read some threads, either on here or other boards about the brawl. Barreiro seemed like the narrative he wanted to go with was that this was almost 100% on the Gopher players and that anything to the contrary is simply trying to justify it.

Sorry if this has been discussed on here before, but I want to hear recollections or eyewitness information about this. Was it all on the Gophers? Did Witte do anything to precipitate or any other Buckeyes?
 

GoodasGold

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Like WWII and Harry S Truman, this was b/4 my time. However, from what I’ve read Luke Witte was guilty of scoring while white.
 

Tully55

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Winner of the game would most probably be BIG champion. Williams Arena SRO and rockin'(especially with the Goph's pre-game shtick). VERY physical game from the start. While leaving the floor at halftime, Witte elbows Gopher guard Bob Nix.
 

UpAndUnder43

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KFAN posted a video. Gophers player is helping a guy up and knees him in the junk. 36 seconds left when this happened.
 

WoodburyTim

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But what? Dan is a great listen.
The I know part was that Barreiro is not appreciated by some on here. I like him, but I know some have commented that he isn't significantly pro Gopher.

I have seen the video, but I have also heard from others that there was fighting going on all over and there is really the only one video. You can kind of see in quick shots what appears to be Gophers also picking themselves off the ground. Not that anything really justifies the cheap shot nature of Witte getting head stomped and knee'din the groin, but the story seems to be slightly more complex than an unprovoked beating.
 

WoodburyTim

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Like WWII and Harry S Truman, this was b/4 my time. However, from what I’ve read Luke Witte was guilty of scoring while white.
There was an implication of this too on Barriero and I suppose whenever there is fight between two races we want to go there, but it seems to ignore the hundreds of other white guys Taylor, Behagen,and Winfield played against that they never punched?
 

Gopherlife

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Winner of the game would most probably be BIG champion. Williams Arena SRO and rockin'(especially with the Goph's pre-game shtick). VERY physical game from the start. While leaving the floor at halftime, Witte elbows Gopher guard Bob Nix.
I've also heard that standing room only was a few thousand more people back then, due to more leniency with (or lack of?) fire codes, as well as seating differences.
 

HOOP DREAMS

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That video make it look like he missed the knee to the junk by a foot... Did he really connect?
 

GopherVotary

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Witte was throwing elbows, like has happened thousands of times in basketball. Not sure I can name another time a player got intentionally kneed in the man area then had his head stomped on.
 

Gopherlife

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Witte was throwing elbows, like has happened thousands of times in basketball. Not sure I can name another time a player got intentionally kneed in the man area then had his head stomped on.
That's the only time that I am aware of. Not that there should have been that retaliation, but Witte elbowed Nix as the teams were headed to the locker room. While elbowing/dirty play was more commonplace at that time, it mostly occurred during the game action. The timing of the elbow from Witte makes a difference.
 

Mulligan

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My most "memorable" game at The Barn. We were very good and so was Ohio State.Williams was always packed then and Musselman always made sure fans were into it from the start with the pre-game "Sweet Georgia Brown" routine. It wasn't needed that night as everyone sensed the importance of the game. If we beat Ohio State, it was like we had a chance to win the Big Ten, finally get to the NCAA tournament, and who knew what might happen. We were pretty damn good.

The game was physical and tight, but I don't remember it as dirty. I read about the elbow thrown by Witte at halftime but didn't see anything. The second half was tight and physical again and gradually you sensed that the Gophers were going to lose. Lots of booing whenever the call went against us.

Late in the game, everyone knew we were beat. I know the fans were frustrated and I imagine the players were also. Witte had an easy open basket and was clobbered by a pretty blatant cheap shot by a couple of players. Remember a ref immediately signaling the technical and ejection. Taylor and Clyde Turner, who always seemed like one of the most laid-back players on the team, had knocked down Witte. Witte was down and starting to get up. Taylor pulled him up and then did knee him Witte went back down. Everyone was stunned and, all of a sudden, Behagen is stomping Witte and all hell broke lose. I don't recall any Ohio State players actually fighting. I do remember several running from people. Fans did come onto the floor. Most vivid memory in the moments after the foul was Dave Winfield literally chasing some Ohio State player. It's lucky he didn't catch him, otherwise Winfield would have had a whole different image. Most Ohio State players looked shocked and terrified. The crowd was just howling. An Ohio State guard, I think like Alan Hornacek, was the only OS player who looked like he wanted to fight.

I know I was howling watching it all. Damn it! They beat us! It was those refs! It was frick'n arrogant Ohio State! That f'n Luke Witte especially was easy to hate. There was a feeling of rich and privileged beating our beloved junk yard dogs. It was on the way home that I started to really realize what had happened. First, was the realization that this was most likely the season gone. Then Ray came on and he was totally ashamed and beside himself over what he had seen. I had to admit to myself there was no way to rationalize what I had seen.

Pretty hard to avoid the racial implications, especially given the times. I'm not saying if any of that played into what the Gophers did. But it certainly played into the perceptions of the country. I think, more than anything, Musselman was just so damn intense that his players fed off that and wanted that game so badly that the frustration took over when it became apparent the Gophers had lost.
 

WoodburyTim

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My most "memorable" game at The Barn. We were very good and so was Ohio State.Williams was always packed then and Musselman always made sure fans were into it from the start with the pre-game "Sweet Georgia Brown" routine. It wasn't needed that night as everyone sensed the importance of the game. If we beat Ohio State, it was like we had a chance to win the Big Ten, finally get to the NCAA tournament, and who knew what might happen. We were pretty damn good.

The game was physical and tight, but I don't remember it as dirty. I read about the elbow thrown by Witte at halftime but didn't see anything. The second half was tight and physical again and gradually you sensed that the Gophers were going to lose. Lots of booing whenever the call went against us.

Late in the game, everyone knew we were beat. I know the fans were frustrated and I imagine the players were also. Witte had an easy open basket and was clobbered by a pretty blatant cheap shot by a couple of players. Remember a ref immediately signaling the technical and ejection. Taylor and Clyde Turner, who always seemed like one of the most laid-back players on the team, had knocked down Witte. Witte was down and starting to get up. Taylor pulled him up and then did knee him Witte went back down. Everyone was stunned and, all of a sudden, Behagen is stomping Witte and all hell broke lose. I don't recall any Ohio State players actually fighting. I do remember several running from people. Fans did come onto the floor. Most vivid memory in the moments after the foul was Dave Winfield literally chasing some Ohio State player. It's lucky he didn't catch him, otherwise Winfield would have had a whole different image. Most Ohio State players looked shocked and terrified. The crowd was just howling. An Ohio State guard, I think like Alan Hornacek, was the only OS player who looked like he wanted to fight.

I know I was howling watching it all. Damn it! They beat us! It was those refs! It was frick'n arrogant Ohio State! That f'n Luke Witte especially was easy to hate. There was a feeling of rich and privileged beating our beloved junk yard dogs. It was on the way home that I started to really realize what had happened. First, was the realization that this was most likely the season gone. Then Ray came on and he was totally ashamed and beside himself over what he had seen. I had to admit to myself there was no way to rationalize what I had seen.

Pretty hard to avoid the racial implications, especially given the times. I'm not saying if any of that played into what the Gophers did. But it certainly played into the perceptions of the country. I think, more than anything, Musselman was just so damn intense that his players fed off that and wanted that game so badly that the frustration took over when it became apparent the Gophers had lost.
Thanks Mulligan. Good stuff.
 
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Later Corky Taylor and Luke Witte would become great friends. Taylor sought forgiveness and Witte who I believe was a minister. forgave him. He also showed up at Taylors funeral.
I met Corky in 1972 and he was very nice to us as we walked into the barn with him the day of the Gophers "midnight madness" intrasquad extravaganza. We also spoke courtside with Bill Musselman about his match-up zone he was going to employ that season. It was fun listening to him. He enjoyed the playful and good natured banter from Wisconsin fans as he obviously owned us on the court. Access like that could never happen again.
 

go4rob

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My most "memorable" game at The Barn. We were very good and so was Ohio State.Williams was always packed then and Musselman always made sure fans were into it from the start with the pre-game "Sweet Georgia Brown" routine. It wasn't needed that night as everyone sensed the importance of the game. If we beat Ohio State, it was like we had a chance to win the Big Ten, finally get to the NCAA tournament, and who knew what might happen. We were pretty damn good.

The game was physical and tight, but I don't remember it as dirty. I read about the elbow thrown by Witte at halftime but didn't see anything. The second half was tight and physical again and gradually you sensed that the Gophers were going to lose. Lots of booing whenever the call went against us.

Late in the game, everyone knew we were beat. I know the fans were frustrated and I imagine the players were also. Witte had an easy open basket and was clobbered by a pretty blatant cheap shot by a couple of players. Remember a ref immediately signaling the technical and ejection. Taylor and Clyde Turner, who always seemed like one of the most laid-back players on the team, had knocked down Witte. Witte was down and starting to get up. Taylor pulled him up and then did knee him Witte went back down. Everyone was stunned and, all of a sudden, Behagen is stomping Witte and all hell broke lose. I don't recall any Ohio State players actually fighting. I do remember several running from people. Fans did come onto the floor. Most vivid memory in the moments after the foul was Dave Winfield literally chasing some Ohio State player. It's lucky he didn't catch him, otherwise Winfield would have had a whole different image. Most Ohio State players looked shocked and terrified. The crowd was just howling. An Ohio State guard, I think like Alan Hornacek, was the only OS player who looked like he wanted to fight.

I know I was howling watching it all. Damn it! They beat us! It was those refs! It was frick'n arrogant Ohio State! That f'n Luke Witte especially was easy to hate. There was a feeling of rich and privileged beating our beloved junk yard dogs. It was on the way home that I started to really realize what had happened. First, was the realization that this was most likely the season gone. Then Ray came on and he was totally ashamed and beside himself over what he had seen. I had to admit to myself there was no way to rationalize what I had seen.

Pretty hard to avoid the racial implications, especially given the times. I'm not saying if any of that played into what the Gophers did. But it certainly played into the perceptions of the country. I think, more than anything, Musselman was just so damn intense that his players fed off that and wanted that game so badly that the frustration took over when it became apparent the Gophers had lost.
I was in the band that night, less than 30 feet from where it all happened. Truly ugly! One thing that is often overlooked was the fact that at the end of the first half, Gopher guard, Bobby Nix, hit a long jumper at the buzzer. When the teams were walking off the court, Luke Witte elbowed Nix right in the chin, the only 2 on the court that saw the incident were Clyde Turner and Bill Musselman. Clyde turner rushed toward Witte and Mussleman actually jumped on Turner's back to stop him from going after Witte. I guess a lot of words were exchanged down the stairs in the corridor between the 2 locker rooms. Had the fight broken out then and there, Ohio State would have taken the blame for starting the whole thing because of Witte's elbowing of Nix. Mussleman stopped the potential fight and we all know what happened after that.
 

Winnipegopher

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In 1987, Canada juniors lost a gold medal because of a wild benching clearing brawl with Russia. Google-it was nuts. Canadians don't talk about it anymore, why does a brawl that happened 47 years ago keep coming up?

Will Dan talk Watergate next segment? Maybe that is too recent.
 
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