Not Rosy: Walters to Miss Game


With his voice trembling and tears welling in his eyes, All-American receiver Troy Walters of Stanford tried to come to terms Wednesday with the realization that he will not play Saturday in the Rose Bowl game against Wisconsin.

Walters, the Biletnikoff Award winner as the nation’s top receiver, dislocated his right wrist during practice Tuesday, ending his college career.

“It hurts not being able to go to war with [my teammates], but I know they’re going to play hard and give everything they have,” he said.


The absence of Walters and the uncertain status of injured defensive tackle Willie Howard have left the Cardinal with a gloomy feeling.

“I felt sick to the stomach,” quarterback Todd Husak said. “Just the look on the guy’s face when he told me--I’d trade places with that guy in a heartbeat. If there’s one guy that deserves to play in this game, it’s him.”

Added receiver Dave Davis, “There’s no way you can replace the best receiver in the country in two days.”

Walters injured his wrist during a closed practice Tuesday morning. For almost 24 hours, Stanford officials and coaches decided to keep secret from the public Walters’ injury, even though there were immediate signs it was not minor.

“If you saw him at practice, seeing his face, it wasn’t too good,” linebacker Marc Stockbauer said. “He had his pads off and [trainers] were elevating his wrist.”

When rumors of the injury began to circulate and when asked directly about it Tuesday night, Stanford officials refused to acknowledge the injury had occurred.


School spokesman Gary Migdol said he had spoken with Coach Tyrone Willingham and was told Walters had no injury “to the best of my knowledge.”

Later, Migdol, an assistant athletic director in charge of sports information, said he learned after 9 p.m. the extent of Walters’ injury, but decided to wait until Wednesday morning to release the information.

Athletic Director Ted Leland offered an apology Wednesday for Stanford’s delay, saying, “We didn’t want to make an official pronouncement until we knew the extent of the injury.” Leland admitted Wednesday that “mistakes had been made” in the handling of the news of the situation.

Walters was Stanford’s big-play threat, the Pacific 10 Conference offensive player of the year, who scored nine touchdowns this season on plays 35 yards or longer.

“There’s always a guy on your team that at the right time and right moment can lift your whole football team,” Willingham said. “Defensively, that’s been Willie Howard. Offensively, it’s been Troy Walters. You could count on those guys. Now what we have to find out is if we can have someone step up and fill that void for us.”

Davis, third in receiving yardage, figures to start.

“There’s no way to take up the slack that Troy provides, but if there’s any group that can do it, we are,” he said.


One of Stanford’s deepest positions is receiver, with Davis, DeRonnie Pitts and Tafiti Uso.

Walters said the injury occurred during a routine drill.

“I was going up for a pass,” he said. “I was off balance and the defensive back kind of hit me and I put my arm down to brace myself and just fell on it wrong. I didn’t know how serious it was. I was hurting and in pain.”

Walters said he had X-rays taken Tuesday and plans to consult a hand specialist when he returns to Stanford. He said surgery is a possibility and that there could be a rehabilitation period of up to eight weeks.



Wisconsin is a veteran team, but is led by redshirt freshman quarterback Brooks Bollinger. Page 9


Chris McIntosh is the biggest and oldest player on the Wisconsin offensive line--and its leader. Page 9


Willie Howard, Stanford’s injured defensive star, may be able to play in the Rose Bowl. Page 9