Go Tech Go: The Inside Story Behind the Rise of VT Football, Part 16

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Bill Dooley, photo courtesy Virginia Tech Sports photography
Bill Dooley, photo courtesy Virginia Tech Sports photography

Click here for all previous parts of the series

The Injunction Bowl

On December 11, 1984 – just five days before the Independence Bowl – Outland Trophy winner Bruce Smith filed suit in Montgomery County Circuit Court on his own behalf against Virginia Tech and the NCAA to play in the bowl game. He had no choice, after Dr. William Lavery’s recent appeals to the NCAA failed.

Jack Bogaczyk of the Roanoke Times & World-News broke the story after he received a phone tip from a Roanoke attorney. “I immediately called the bowl director, Dr. Cecil Lloyd,” Bogaczyk said. “Needless to say, he didn’t know anything about it – and he wasn’t happy.”

“My gosh, that’s horrible,” Lloyd told Bogaczyk. “If (Smith) doesn’t play, I think we might file suit against the NCAA for damages. We weren’t informed of this at all. We should have been informed by somebody.”

The NCAA, backpedaling like a Michael Jackson moonwalk, maintained it was Virginia Tech’s responsibility to make the announcement. But Tech Athletic Director/head coach Bill Dooley knew if he had done that, there would have been