Louisville’s Barefoot Hippie Punter of the 70′s: Beaded & Bearded Scott Marcus
Posted by frankpos on September 8, 2010
Amazingly, there was a time when Lee Corso was actually a fun, imaginative guy who loved and coached the Cards–and who we adored as fans.
To a moribund program, he introduced winning football, with youthful pizazz, enthusiasm, and a willingness to try anything….even a barefoot hippie kicker.
Scott Marcus was a true, flower-child free spirit from New York–and a hell of an all-around athlete.
He was beaded, bearded…and barefoot- most of the time really, and definitely when he was punting the ball for the Cards or booting extra points.
He also was Jewish and had a thick brownish mop of a ‘Jewfro” that he was barely able to stuff in his helmet.
If he got enthused about something, he’d go for it. After his first football season, he decided he wanted to…be a cheerleader. It was becoming gymnastic at that time, you see. So Corso let him do that.
He ambled out on the track field to see what was going on, picked up the shot, and threw it 51′ !! The track coach offered him a scholarship on the spot–but track, naw, he was just messing around.
Actually, he had come to Louisville expecting to play his favorite sport: soccer. One problem: U of L had no soccer team back then.
So that’s how all this got started…
Some of the guys at ITV helped me find the following great Sports Illustrated article and link on Scott. Here is an excerpt of how Corso “recruited” what would become an All-American kicker for the Cards:
“….I was walking out of the student union,” says Corso . “I’d just made a speech to the freshman class, calling on them to rally behind our program, to dedicate themselves to the university. ‘Follow football,’ I said. ‘Participate. If you can’t participate, support!” And I’m walking out and I hear, Psssst. Hey, coach.’”
“I turn around and I don’t see anybody except this hairy guy in the phone booth, looking like maybe he was living in there. He says, ‘Hey, pssst, over here.’ I am captured by a vision of bare feet and beads and hair and I say to myself, ‘No way. No way I’m going over there.’ I don’t have anything against long hair. I’ve known some crew-cut bums. But this guy is too much. I motioned him to meet me halfway. Maybe he just doesn’t want to embarrass me.
“He says, ‘Coach, I want to help the team. I heard what you said and I was impressed. I want to help the team.’ Yeah. Right. Terrific. I said, “What exactly did you have in mind?’
“He says, ‘Like I averaged 35 yards a kick in prep school. If I show you I can average 40, can I keep my hair?’
“Well, hell. I called for help and here’s a guy wants to help me. I am willing to try anything. Especially when I’ve only got a 40-man varsity and a handful of freshmen and am desperate for bodies. I said, ‘If you can average 40 yards a kick, you can have hair all over your body for all I care.’
“I told him to meet me at the office at 12:30 the next afternoon. I figured everybody would be out to lunch then. I didn’t expect to see anything exceptional, but I wanted to see him kick barefoot. It would liven up the lunch hour. He comes out and, sure enough, he flubs the first punt. Wobble, wobble, wobble, plunk. Then—pow, whooossssh. He kicks one about 90 yards. All the way to the Ralston Purina sign behind the field.
“Well, I want to tell you something. Hair grows on you. I’m beginning to think Scott Marcus wouldn’t look as good if he cut his hair short.”
Marcus was indeed more than just a pretty head. He averaged 41.6
yards punting for the freshman team. He also kicked extra points. He
resisted playing a position. “The coaches look at my size and say,
‘Hey, I have a linebacker position for you. Hey. I’ve got a guard
position.’ I tell them, ‘Save it, man.’ ” The curls cascaded out of his
helmet. Corso asked only that he keep himself neat around the football office and that he wear shoes to the training table…
BTW, Scott made second team All-American in 1972 (note Tom Jackson too!)