Derek Dooley really is Vince’s son

It comes in all forms. “Yes, I played a little college ball.” Or, “I spent a part of a season in the minors.” Men continue to tell little white lies to inflate their aura, whether to gain a measure of respect from bosses and/or subordinants or mere aquaintances, or perhaps to gain access into a woman’s bed. Anymore, I never believe a word of that type of stuff I’m told until I get home and look it up. That is if I still care by the time I get back home.

Yale football coach Tom Williams, who really did play football for Bill Walsh at Stanford University, really did not apply for a Rhodes Scholarship like he said he did, apparently telling various listeners several times over the past several years. The New York Times looked it up. They found Williams had not declined a Rhodes Scholarship interview for a chance to earn a spot on an NFL roster. The Times found that Williams does not appear in the Rhodes Scholarship Trust databases. Thus, Williams wasn’t once a Rhodes finalist like he always said he was.

Williams’ quarterback this year, Patrick Witt, decided to not take part in his scheduled Rhodes scholarship finalist interview because that would make him miss his last chance to play against Harvard. Witt played. Yale got clobbered. Witt sought advice from his head coach before his decision to opt out of the interview. Williams told his quarterback something to the effect of he’d been through that kind of decision when he declined his Rhodes interview to participate at a 49ers tryout. Witt included that pearl of news in his press conference before the Harvard game. The Times looked into it, and here we are.

Where we are is that on Wednesday, Williams resigned as head coach after his employer did their own look-see after the Times’ story was published in mid-November.

Several years ago, I sat next to a big burly guy who after finding out I went to Tennessee in the 1970s, told me he played for Bear Bryant’s teams who beat the Vols in Neyland twice during that time. He played in two games that I attended. He lettered for the Tide three years. He told me stories about Coach Bryant. He gave me his name and business card. When I got home, I remained very interested. I looked him up in multiple listings of Alabama lettermen. It had been a great
conversation.

Maybe he really did play for the Bear, and maybe he really played on Shields-Watkins Field. But he didn’t letter for Bama. Not even one single year. Or maybe he made the whole thing up as a prankish lark. I don’t know.

What I do know is that these kind of white lies, these little bendings of the truth, are not worth losing a job over. Or one’s self-respect.

Derek Dooley is the son of legendary football coach Vince Dooley. Or so I’ve heard. So I looked it up…

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One response to “Derek Dooley really is Vince’s son”

  1. tk says :

    fred…..im sure ive told you the story about being a walk-on at tennessee but getting beat out by condrege holloway…..if i havent, lets get together soon and ill tell you what happened.

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