Wednesday, May 20, 2009

I Have the List!!! (from 1975)

Times Square 1975, not the place to take recruits

Sorry for the tease, but super life-long Lions fan Walter Day was kind enough to send me more of his Columbia memorabilia this weekend and that package included a decent writeup of the incoming football recruits from the fall of 1975.

In the days of freshmen football, Columbia and the other Ivies would often bring in more than 45 to 50 players per year just to round out the squad.

With numbers like that, the report could only list and discuss a handful of freshmen recruits, and here were some of the names they highlighted:

Bob Burgman, described as the "prized" recruit of 1978, he ended up only lettering with the varsity in '78.

Vic Kaminski, a 240-pound offensive lineman, (that was big back then), from Ohio. He lettered as a junior and a senior.

The two players who did turn out to be big impact players down the road were singled out too and they were running back Pat Britt from Warren, Ohio and wide receiver Art Pulsinelli from Massapequa High School on Long Island.

Britt was an important part of that promising 1978 team that went 3-1-1 to start the season with wins over Harvard, Princeton, and a tie at Yale. He ended up rushing for 545 yards on just 135 carries and scored three touchdowns.

But it was Pulsinelli who was clearly the top prize of '75. He led the varsity in receiving in each of his three seasons with the big boys, puting up his best numbers as a junior in 1977 with 320 yards and four TD's.

Of course, any discussion of the recruiting class of 1975 is really missing a lot if it doesn't focus on that year's BASKETBALL recruits. Two of them, Ricky Free and Alton Byrd became Columbia all-time greats on the court... all thanks to then head coach Tom Penders. Yes, THAT Tom Penders.

Another highlight of this latest package from Walter was a 1972 article in the Daily News offering an in-depth preview of the Ivy football season. That was the year the Lions were favored by just about everyone to win the title.

The piece by Dave Hirshey began with this memorable line:

"It used to be the only things an Ivy League football player needed were 700 college boards, a Brooks Brothers wardrobe, and a name like Rodney Farnsworth Pennington III. No more. Now an Ivy League football player also needs talent."

Hmm... I wonder what Brown's All Ivy wide receiver Buddy Farnsworth would think of all that?


At Wed May 20, 07:48:00 PM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks Jake....but there were really many great players from that incoming class ('75).....I will say that Victor Kaminski was one of the best!! I know..I went against him many times in practice. I believe He was first team "All Ivy" his senior year and a really smart Kid (a Biology and science geek).... he passed away a few years ago..the real tribute to Victor was the number of donations that came in from his fellow offensive lineman for the scholarship fund in his name.....O lineman always stick together!!

At Wed May 20, 08:45:00 PM GMT+7, Blogger Jake said...

Good point about Kaminski. Sorry to hear he passed away. Too young.

At Thu May 21, 01:59:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...


Indeed, research shows that Kaminski was First Team All Ivy and possibly HM All American.

From timeline of Columbia Football


The Lions ended the season 3-5-1.

Mike McGraw and Artie Pulsinelli captained the team.

Erick Blattman, '80, and Victor Kaminski, '80 named All-Ivy League and
honorable mention All-America.


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