Anyway, Coach Puny told me -- he was kind about it but he was also forceful about it --that not only was I not getting a scholarship but he made it pretty clear that I wasn't likely to have one in the future. If I was a project, I was too big of a project for Coach Puny. And I left his office and it was raining, and I walked in the rain, and I cried about it, which I'm not proud of. I shouldn't have, because I was already grown, but it meant a lot to me. But in I guess kind of a perverse way, I had some pride that I really had stuck it out. And you know, you never know when you're a teacher, you may say something to a child or even a young man who is a student, that you have no idea it's going to stick with him for a long time. But Puny, who was a kind of idol, partly because he was a coach, also because he'd been All-American -- you know, big, raw-boned country guy. The only thing he gave me -- he didn't give me a scholarship, he didn't give me any hope, he didn't give me any phony expectations, but he shook my hand. He says, "You didn't quit." And so in my disappointment, in my --I think it's not too strong a statement -- my crushed state, I had that. Now my journalism teacher, Hugh Cunningham, when I went to him, he said, "Well thank God! Thank heaven. That foolishness is over. You know, you're not a football player. You're weren't going to be a football player. It's not compatible with my making a journalist of you. So let's suck it up here and let's have some supper and let's talk about how you're going to be a great journalist."
View Interview with Dan Rather
View Biography of Dan Rather
View Profile of Dan Rather
View Photo Gallery of Dan Rather