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Satisfying a Hungry Meal Ticket

Remember Ernie Ladd, the 315-pound defensive end with the Chargers? Ladd attended Grambling after what may have been the first recruiting war ever won at the training table.

In 1957, Coach Eddie Robinson dispatched recruiter Charles D. Henry to Orange, Tex., to bring the then 6-foot-9, 210-pound Ladd to Grambling for a visit. According to Michael Hurd in his book, “Black College Football,” published by the Donning Co., Henry stopped on the way back and telephoned Robinson.

“Hold the dining hall open, I don’t know if I have enough money to feed him,” Henry said.

Once in Louisiana, Ladd took one look at the training table and told Robinson he was committing to Grambling. Robinson asked why.

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Ladd said: “I like the way you feed here.”

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Trivia time: What active college basketball coach has the most years at one school?

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Baby boom: Agent Alan Meersand, who represented Travis Fryman and Lenny Dykstra in their negotiations for $25-million contracts this winter, said the signings came at good time since Meersand’s wife recently had twin boys.

Said Meersand: “I was worried how we were going to cover the diaper and formula bills. . . . This should keep us going until the next century.”

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Lights out: Since losing the NFC games to Fox, the morale at CBS Sports isn’t so great. Listen to what Sandy Grossman, the network’s top NFL director for 20 years, told the Washington Post:

“The decision to give up the NBA was a terrible one. . . . The baseball deal was a debacle for us, then we lose that. Now it’s the NFL. I guess I feel a little betrayed. We thought the people (at CBS headquarters) would make it work. But it turned out horribly.”

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Ifs: For you Notre Dame fans, in case you didn’t already know, the No. 4-ranked Irish still might have a chance at No. 1: If they beat Texas A&M; in the Cotton Bowl, Florida State and Nebraska tie in the Orange Bowl and West Virginia loses to Florida in the Sugar Bowl.

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FYI: Len Pasquarelli of the Atlanta Journal/Constitution said the Bengals are expected to draft San Diego State running back Marshall Faulk with their first choice, provided they don’t trade the pick.

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Read it and weep: The St. Paul Pioneer Press ran a story last week about Minnesota Viking Coach Dennis Green saying he could easily see the team returning to camp next summer with all four of the quarterbacks from this season’s 8-7 team.

The story ran under the headline: “Uh-oh.”

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Trivia answer: James Phelan, 39 years at Mount St. Mary’s in Emmitsburg, Md.

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Quotebook: Minnesota Timberwolves Coach Sidney Lowe, on his NBA team: “I looked into their eyes in the huddle and I didn’t see anything.”

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