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

David Blewett
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Forget everything you think you know about SMU Football and the infamous Death Penalty. Previous accounts told the story from the perspective of the NCAA or of the news media and hyped the scandal for personal gain. The story as they told it, was one of corruption and of the under resourced NCAA struggling mightily to clean up rampant cheating within the college ranks.

In The Pony Trap, former SMU football player and member of the Death Penalty team Dave Blewett, backs into the motivation to find out what really happened. His daughter innocently asks, "Daddy, did you do anything wrong when you played football for SMU?" Blewett embarks on a journey of remembrance and discovery. Along the way he decides to get back in football playing shape and pushes the NCAA to reinstate his eligibility to play his last year of football at age 45. He reestablishes old friendships and engages with the current athletic department at SMU for the first time.

It's a story of football, it's a story of struggle, and it's a story of the numerous traps set for the team and for SMU.

What you thought you knew about the biggest scandal in NCAA history is not what happened. The truth is, it was much bigger than SMU, and it involved the corruption of the NCAA itself.

The Pony Trap shines a light on the beginnings of college football and the evolution of the NCAA. It examines the preferential treatment of the University of Texas vs. the biased treatment of SMU. It presents a balanced and accurate picture of what the SMU football team was really like.

As he tries to answer his daughter's question, Blewett struggles through a variety of ways to answer her. In the end, he answers her and sets the record straight.

SMU wasn't handed the Death Penalty, SMU was trapped and forced into the Death Penalty. There was no way out.

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)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B008O70W0Y
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #464,738 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
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
5.0 out of 5 stars Good for all College Football fans October 28, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Very good read! Would recommend to all college football fans, not just SMU alums.

The book bounces back and forth in time (from early 80s football playing days, to current day), and keeps both periods interesting. Good information about the history of college football, and puts the early 80's issues in perspective.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars NCAA put to shame October 3, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
As an SMU alumnus, I found this book quite interesting particularly the research done by the author concerning the NCAA. I have long been of the opinion that the NCAA treated SMU unfairly given the rampant "cheating" that took place throughout college football in the time frame SMU was given the Death Penalty. Although I was a student at SMU when the football program was shut down, I had very little knowledge of what led to the NCAA sanctions. The book provides a detailed history lesson of the SMU program and what led to the Death Penalty, much better than the Pony Excess movie on ESPN. I congratulate the author on a job well done and wish him the best in his pursuit of the truth should he decide to file suit against the NCAA.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars COULD NOT PUT IT DOWN! Incredible Perspective!! August 18, 2012
By E Welch
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
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Book - A Must Read August 6, 2012
By Bill
Format:Kindle Edition
Just when you thought you knew the story. This is a great book for those who have an interest in SMU's Death Penalty. I, like a lot of people, thought I knew a lot about SMU sports and the death penalty. The author did a masterful job of telling the story with a lot of detail - virtually a front row seat as it all unfolds. It includes many surprising conclusions. Well done.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thanks for uncovering the Truth July 30, 2012
By Mark M
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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Most Recent Customer Reviews
1.0 out of 5 stars Poorly contrived
While I certainly support Blewett's search for the answer for his daughter, and am glad he was able to clear his name in her eyes, his conspiratorial approach is shotty at best! Read more
Published 2 months ago by mitchell p. kanefsky
5.0 out of 5 stars A complete and accurate retelling of what happened in college football
David Blewett gives an in depth look at the inner workings of the NCAA, and its indisputable evidence of bias, not just towards SMU's "Death Penalty", but towards all... Read more
Published 11 months ago by *****
5.0 out of 5 stars A must for Mustangs and everybody that got away with skirting the...
David tells it how it was, how he tried to do it again and how he was inspired to write the story because of a question posed by one of his children. Read more
Published 11 months ago by David Cronk
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic
I'm an Aggie but I was too young when all of this happened to follow it. I don't have the bias of the old SWC fans so I was fairly objective when reading this. Read more
Published 16 months ago by Keith
5.0 out of 5 stars Very interesting perspective
An account of the SMU football death penalty saga from an entirely new perspective - the player's! Very interesting to learn how so many of SMU's student athletes (yes, SMU had a... Read more
Published 16 months ago by Kevin Woltjen
5.0 out of 5 stars An honest look back!
Great book from a perspective that has been overlooked by everyone who reported, discussed, or argued about SMU football. Read more
Published 17 months ago by howell
4.0 out of 5 stars Extremely informative and well written.
Another book I'm going to endorse to all who will listen. Mr. Blewett let us into his time at SMU and allowed us a look into his life. Read more
Published 18 months ago by FGJ
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent book!
My brother attends SMU. So bought him the pony trap for christmas and he loved it! I would recommend this book to anyone on the fence about buying it.
Published 23 months ago by Madison
4.0 out of 5 stars an interesting read
It is always interesting to see this scandal from the side of one of the football players who was there when it was happening. Read more
Published on December 21, 2012 by Seaweed
4.0 out of 5 stars Lots of truths
One of the best looks at the SMU scandal and what other behind the scenes corruption could have put a lot of other schools in the same or worse situations. Read more
Published on November 15, 2012 by Krazy Karl
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