Harold "Red" Grange - Turns Heads By Turning Pro
Turns Heads by Turning Pro
Grange shocked many supporters and fans, including Zuppke, when, following the conclusion of the Ohio State game, he announced he would be leaving the University of Illinois and turning pro. The next day he signed a contract with the National Football League's Chicago Bears. While such announcements are commonplace in sports today, in Grange's day they were anything but and his decision generated widespread controversy. The following year, in response to the negative publicity accompanying Grange's move, NFL officials passed a rule prohibiting the signing of a college player until after he had graduated. "In 1925 Grange's decision touched off a national debate," wrote Benjamin Rader in American Sports. "By abandoning his studies for a blatantly commercial career, he openly flaunted the myth of the college athlete as a gentleman-amateur who played merely for the fun of the game and the glory of his school." Grange himself put it more succinctly. "I'd have been more popular with the colleges if I had joined Capone's mob in Chicago rather than the Bears," he said.
Grange was one of the first professional athletes playing a team sport to have an agent. Charles C. "Cash
and Carry" Pyle, a Champaign, Illinois, theater owner and promoter, negotiated Grange's deal with the Bears, which landed him $100,000 and a percentage of the revenue from the gate.
- Harold "Red" Grange - Awards And Accomplishments
- Harold "Red" Grange - Goes Out In Style
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