Woody Hayes: The King Of Outrageous TV Moments
During Hayes' 1951-1978 tenure, an NCAA ruling prohibited any school from nationally televising more than two games per year. For this reason, many of his outbursts were not broadcast live. But even off-camera, the Hayes temper was something of legend. Whenever the Buckeyes were losing, almost like clockwork, the coach would fly into a rage and destroy headphones, wooden chairs, and yard markers. Late in his career, he began to attack people.
Three of these tantrums were captured on live television. Here, then, are Woody Hayes' greatest "hits."
3. Punching The Cameraman
One of the more intense rivalries in college football is between the Ohio State Buckeyes and the Michigan Wolverines. Each year, both teams end their seasons with a climatic matchup. During the 1976 game, Michigan was ahead in the fourth quarter and Hayes did not like it one little bit. Noticing a cameraman capturing his cursing and sputtering, the coach strutted 30 feet to the photographer and punched him in the belly. The incident was captured by two cameras, and instant replays showed the punch both from a distance and from the vantage point of the stricken.
2. Threatening The Reporter
At the start of the 1978 season, Woody Hayes had just turned 65. There was much speculation about his future. As a live press conference unfolded on the six-o'clock news, Columbus-area TV reporter Marty Reid made the mistake of asking Hayes about his plans for retirement. The matchup was pure David and Goliath. Reid was a small and mousy twenty-something while Hayes was a rather burly and feisty senior. Rather than resorting to fisticuffs, the coach blasted away with words; "If you were a real man, I'd take you outside and show you a thing or two, but since you're such a little pipsqueak, I won't waste my time."
1. Punching The Player
Thanks to a rather mediocre 1978 season, The Buckeyes' Rose Bowl hopes were dashed, so they accepted a Gator Bowl invitation as consolation. During the December 29 game, Ohio State trailed Clemson 15-17 in the fourth quarter. Ohio State had the ball, and was on Clemson's 24 yard line when linebacker Charlie Bauman on defense intercepted a pass from Buckeye Art Schlichter. As Bauman stepped out of bounds into Woody Hayes' personal space, the coach lost it and punched the player in the throat. Two days after the game, The Ohio State University asked Hayes to resign, and he did so, thus ending a 28-year-career and an era of outrageous moments on live TV.