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The Pony Trap: Escaping the 1987 SMU Football Death Penalty Kindle Edition

24 customer reviews

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Length: 250 pages

Editorial Reviews

From the Author

From the Back Cover

"If you ever wanted to know more about the SMU Death Penalty, this bombshell of a book is more than a great place to start. Blewett gives you a no-holds-barred insider's look at the scandal and his explosive claims will give you pause for thought. Read this book!"

- Thaddeus D. Matula, Peabody Award winning Director of ESPN's '30 for 30' film "Pony Excess" about the SMU Football scandal.

Product Details

  • File Size: 329 KB
  • Print Length: 250 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0985988304
  • Publisher: Tower One Books (November 22, 2013)
  • Publication Date: November 22, 2013
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B008O70W0Y
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #746,117 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Mike Wylie on July 24, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
First, I need to disclose that I know the author and he is a good friend. I knew he played during this time and didn't like talking about it so I didn't ask questions. I am glad I have the full story now, but its made me very angry.

I attended SMU in the fall of 1987. A few short months after the football team got the death penalty. As an 18 year old fresh out of high school, I just didn't realize how big a deal this was. I had already been accepted and decided to go to SMU before the death penalty happened. I remember some friends of my Dad asking me how I could go to a school without football. I was actually a huge football fan having played from age 7 to my senior year of high school, but I thought it was an odd question since I was going for an education. In any event, I didn't fully realize what the death penalty meant. I thought we would miss a year of football then start right back being good. Man, I was wrong. First SMU cuts another year and then we made it as tough on ourselves as possible by making it harder to get a scholarship to play football than any other Division I school.

Even 25 years later I still didn't fully understand everything. I thought the ESPN 30 for 30 did a good job of explaining it, but now after reading this book, that show barely scratched the service. I am just blown away by what the NCAA did to us but even more so about HOW they did it. And the fact that the University of Texas and the local ABC station WFAA also had a part in it by being extremely unethical.

The really sad part is how so many innocent players, students, alumni and fans suffered and the ones who were really responsible got away with no penalty at all. The Penn State players, students, alumni and fans must feel the same way now. They did absolutely nothing but now pay for the sins of others.

Read this book. Its going to open your eyes. And you will be mad.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By E Welch on August 18, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I purchased The Pony Trap on the recommendation of a friend and found it to be a "back-stage pass" into the locker room of the 1987 SMU team. As a college football fan, I followed the SMU case closely and developed my opinions based upon the information that was presented through popular media at the time. The author, who actually played on the team, invites the reader to re-think conventional wisdom and raises issues that eventually will have to be addressed. The Pony Trap allows the reader to review history from a player's perspective; unfiltered, it is refreshing. As soon as I cracked the spine, I was hooked with the opening chapter. I also found the book to be very sad. The decisions made by those who have been charged with the responsibility to guide these "kids" have clearly had a lasting impact, and not for the better. From my view, these kids were nothing more than cattle to be traded or slaughtered as necessary. The Pony Trap is an expose. The Author should be commended. If it weren't for the comic relief sprinkled throughout the book, this would be a tough read. It should be stressed that this book is written from the player's perspective. To my knowledge this may be a first on the topic. It will be interesting to see what books come out of the Penn State locker room in 20 years, but this will certainly give you a preview.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Mark M on July 30, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
As a member of what would have been the 1987 SMU football team I thank you for taking the time to write this book. Somehow, the player's story and the REAL STORY had never been told. It is shameful that the NCAA pretends to protect the student athlete but what they are really protecting is their right to control the money made in college athletics. We see that today with the Penn State football team. A coach commits major crimes against players and children...disgusting crimes. Not one player did anything wrong, but now they pay the price. I feel for those guys. SMU was no angel, but the system itself was corrupt and probably still is. For 25 years I have driven by SMU, there has never been a time where my gut did not hurt when I see the football field. My dream was crushed there and it still hurt to think of what might have been. This book has helped me sort through those emotions and helps me understand what REALLY happened. I recommend this book to anyone who wants to know the TRUTH about the SMU DEATH PENALTY, and wants to discover why the NCAA should quit pretending to protect the student athlete and quit punishing players who are innocent. In the end, this book reminds me that bitterness and regret can only be overcome through love and forgiveness. Well done Dave. JMM
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By chbradshaw on July 30, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This was an interesting read in that it provided the author's perspective of what was a historical event in which he was directly involved.

As someone who lived in Dallas for 15 years beginning in 1991 in close proximity to SMU, I was unaware of the prominence and success SMU football once enjoyed.

The book falls short in proving the basic hypothesis that the NCAA decision was unfair and prejudiced and that David Berst acted unethically. The author makes a lot of assumptions to fill in his narrative without proving them.

The author also takes the moral leap that since everyone else was paying players it was not really wrong at SMU.

Having said that, I agree with the basic premise that the events that led to the death penalty at SMU would not have led to such harsh punishment at Texas, Oklahoma, USC or Alabama. In fact, the most compelling part of the book was the documented list of similar transgressions at Texas which led to much less severe penalties.

I also believe it is credible that the NCAA and Mr. Berst behaved dishonorably and with prejudice.

It would be very interested to see a more scholarly, documented work on this premise.
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