The Battalion. (College Station, Tex.) 1893-current, April 30, 1987, Image 15

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    Thursday, April 30, 1987/The Battalion/Page 15
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Draft passes over A&M’s Murray
Aggie QB could see NFL action as free agent
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By Homer Jacobs
Sports Editor
All in all, he’d rather be in Phila
delphia ... or Dallas ... or Los An
geles ... or anywhere with a Na
tional Football League f ranchise.
But Texas A&M quarterback Ke
vin Murray was passed over by the
NFL Draft '
meaning Mur- Analysis
ray is now a
free agent and
can be picked up by any NFL squad.
However, the question remains
whether anyone wants Murray.
It’s a baffling situation to think
that no team can use the skills of a
Kevin Murray.
Consider the fact that Murray was
one of the most prolific passers in
A&M and Southwest Conference
history. He led the Aggies to back-
to-back Cotton Bowl appearances
and still holds the Cotton Bowl re
cord for passing yards — more than
the likes of Roger Staubach, Joe
Theisman and Joe Montana.
Is this the same quarterback many
football afficionados foresaw as a
Heisman Trophy hopeful for 1987
if he had remained at A&M for his
final year of eligibility?
Murray, who was the SWC’s Of
fensive Player of the Year in 1985
and 1986, was not drafted, but quar
terback Cody Carlson of Baylor went
in the third round to the Houston
Something is rotten in the state of
Denmark — or in this case, the state
of the NFL draft.
Speculation has arisen that Mur
ray is too injury-prone, too slow in
the 40-yard dash and may have a
“bad attitude.”
If Murray has a bad attitude, then
what adjective can describe Brian
Bosworth’s attitude?
But even with these supposed
handicaps, Murray is a proven win
ner and competitor and can flat out
throw the football.
Sure, his long-ball touch is ques
tionable, and he may have forced a
few too many passes between a few
too many defenders. But for Murray
not to be drafted is a bad slap in the
A&M Coach Jackie Sherrill has
said many times that Murray has all
the tools of a professional quar
terback. He’s even compared Mur
ray to Miami quarterback Dan Mar
What makes this whole situation
unfortunate is that Murray opted to
leave A&M early in search of a pro
fessional career.
Murray took a gamble, and it ap
parently backfired on him. Now
(here’s going to be the “I told you so”
statements running rampant; unfor
tunately, some critics may revert to
remarks that a black quarterback
can’t play in the NFL.
Murray still has a chance to make
an NFL team if he can impress
coaches and scouts as a free agent. If
he makes a team, he’ll probably
make fairly good money and will
have more flexibility to find a team
he really wants to play for.
But the odds are stacked against
Murray because no quarterback has
ever made an NFL team as a free
Then again, Murray is no
stranger to uphill struggles.
Injuries and investigations haven’t
slowed Murray too much. I doubt
free agency will, either.
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Lady Aggies
sweep Bears
in softball
The Texas A&M softball team
swept a double-header from the
Baylor Bears Wednesday to up
A&M’s record to 48-7.
The Lady Aggies shut out the
Bears 8-0 in the first game as Ju
lie Carpenter racked up her 20th
win of the season.
Shawn Andaya was the win
ning pitcher in A&M’s 4-1 win in
the second game.
The two wins give the Lady
Aggies their best ever overall
spring record with a 48-7 mark.
A&M Coach Bob Brock said
the record was a deserving mile
stone for the team to reach.
“I’m glad the record indicates
that this is one of the best teams
ever at A&M,” Brock said.
Sonics hope to put Mavs out of misery
SEATTLE (AP) — The Dallas
Mavericks are in pain and the Seattle
SuperSonics hope to put them out of
their misery.
“There’s going to be a tomorrow,
but there may not be a tomorrow for
us,” Dallas Coach Dick Motta said
The underdog Sonics can finish
off the Mavericks Thursday night in
Game 4 of their NBA first-round
playoff series. The Sonics lead the
best-of-five series 2-1 after a 117-107
victory Tuesday night in Hec Ed-
mundson Pavilion at the University
of Washington.
If a fifth game is necessary, it will
be played Saturday at Dallas.
“I still say Dallas is a better basket
ball team,” Sonics Coach Bernie
Bickerstaff said. “There’s no doubt
in my mind about that.”
But former Mavericks’ reserve
Dale Ellis said he has convinced his
Sonics teammates otherwise. “I’ve
told them we’re just as good a team
as Dallas,” he said.
Ellis, voted the league’s most im
proved player this season, has been
the Sonics’ series star. He scored a
career-high 43 points Tuesday
night, and last Saturday hit a pair of
game-winning free throws with two
seconds left in a 112-110 triumph at
The Mavs are not 100 percent
healthy. Starting center James Don
aldson did not play in the second
half of Tuesday night’s game be
cause of an ailing right leg. Mark
Aguirre, Dallas’ All-Star forward,
was subpar Tuesday night because
of strep throat.
“It affects my strength and that’s a
big part of my game,” Aguirre said.
Donaldson underwent X-rays foi
a possible stress fracture of his leg
after Game 2. The X-rays were neg
ative, but the ailment was diagnosed
as a stress reaction, a condition that
sometimes precedes a stress frac
“We’re frustrated,” the 7-foot-2
Donaldson said.
Ellis is taking out his past frustra
tions on Motta, who kept him on the
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bench, behind Aguirre and Rolando
Blackman, for three seasons at Dal
“I don’t think Motta really knew
what he had in me,” said Ellis, who
led the Sonics in scoring this season.
“Ellis didn’t get the minutes he
wanted with us and he got discour
aged,” Motta said.
Motta felt he had to trade Ellis af
ter Ellis openly defied him by t efus-
ing to go onto the floor late in a
game last season. So he sent him to
Seattle for journeyman guard A1
Wood, a player who didn’t fit into
the Sonics’ future.
Still, the Sonics weren’t supposed
to come close to the Mavericks in
the playoffs. Dallas was 5-0 against
Seattle during the regular season
and the average margin of victory
was 18.6 points. The Mavericks set a
club record with 55 regular-season
victories, and Seattle wasn’t even a
.500 team.
“Our timing is off,” Motta said.
“Now, our backs are against the wall,
and that’s no cliche.”
NEW YORK (AP) — The poor
got richer in the NFL draft. Some of
the rich got richer, too.
While coaches and personnel ex
ecutives unanimously applauded
themselves, and sages pointed out
that it will take years to determine
the draft’s real value, a few winners
and losers jumped out of Tuesday’s
18-hour selection process.
Winners: the Tampa Bay Bucs,
Houston Oilers, Pittsburgh Steelers
and Buffalo Bills. And two of the last
three Super Bowl winners, the San
Francisco 49ers and New York Gi
Losers: The Chicago Bears and,
as usual, the St. Louis Cardinals.
The Bucs, a big loser last year
when top pick Bo Jackson opted for
baseball, won by default.
By some wheeling and dealing,
new coach and general manager Ray
Perkins had 20 picks, the most since
the 12-round draft was instituted in
1977. The assumption is that 20 new
guys can’t be any worse than 20 who
played on the 2-14 Bucs last year,
particularly when No. 1 is Vinny
Testaverde, the quarterback around
whom Perkins will rebuild.
“We got most of the players we
wanted. Now it’s just a matter of how
good a job we did evaluating,” said
Perkins, who may have snared a star
on the second round in Mississippi
State quarterback Don Smith, who
will be turned into a running back.
The Oilers, with an extra first-
round pick from the trade of Jim Ev
erett to the Los Angeles Rams last
year, added two potentially explo
sive elements in Miami fullback
Alonzo Highsmith and Haywood
Jeffires of North Carolina State,
considered the top wide receiver.
They also may have the pass rusher
they need in Walter Johnson of
Louisiana Tech, one of six straight
linebackers picked in the second
The Steelers benefited from sheer
luck and curious picking ahead of
them, notably by the always curious
Cardinals, who took Colorado State
quarterback Kelly Stouffer with the
draft’s sixth pick.
That set off a chain reaction that
dropped Purdue defensive back Rod
Woodson down to 10th and also al
lowed Philadelphia to take Miami
defensive lineman Jerome Brown
with the ninth, setting up a poten
tially awesome front featuring
Brown and Reggie White.
Pittsburgh had tried unsuccess
fully to trade to get Woodson, the
best defensive back available and
maybe the best pure athlete in the
“It’s like Christmas in April,” said
defensive coordinator Tony Dungy
and Coach Chuck Noll said: “We
spent lots of time looking at other
people because we thought he’d go
very, very high. People fall in love
with certain people. I’m in love with
Buffalo, which wanted Penn State
linebacker Shane Conlan, had the
third pick but figured it could get
Conlan lower.
So it exchanged places with Hous
ton, which held the eighth choice,
added a high second-round pick,
and still got Conlan. Then, the Bills
parlayed that second-round choice
into a deal with Tampa Bay that
gave them the first pick of the sec
ond round and another top de
fensive back, Nate Odomes of Wis
The 49ers, who stocked up on
picks with deals last year, got two re
placements for their aging offensive
line in Harris Barton of North Caro
lina and Jeff Bregel of Southern Cal
ifornia. They also got a running
back to replace Wendell Tyler and
Joe Cribbs in Terrence Flagler of
The Giants, whose only notable
weakness was wide receiver, were
amazed when Mark Ingram of Mich
igan State was available on the last
pick of the first round — the Bears’
choice of Michigan quarterback Jim
Harbaugh helped make that possi
ble. They were more amazed that
the man they might have taken first,
Florida safety Adrian White, was still
available on the second round.
New York got another break
when Dallas and Denver mis-timed a
trade that would have allowed the
Cowboys to pick wide receiver Ste
phen Baker of Fresno State.
In 1957, \
a Teenager Namfcd Ricardo Valenzuela
was a Wandering Farm Worker,
Struggling to Survive
and Keep his Family Together.
Two Years Later, he was a Star.
Ritchie Valens.
At the Age of 17
he had Three Hits on the Charts
in Nine Months.
One Tragic Night in 1959,
in the Skies Over Iowa, his Star Fell.
This Summer, it Rises Again.
Columbia Pictures Presents the Legend
of Ritchie Valens.
Brought to you courtesy of
TIME: 8 P.M.