Did you know, said Don Wainwright, that the football players can’t join fraternities any longer?
More than anything else Wainwright told me—which was about weight rooms and equipment and the sheer size and speed of today’s players—this brought home how much Division One football has changed since Wainwright played it at the University of Missouri in the early 60s. He’d described returning to the campus for the 50th reunion of the 1960 team—the most successful in Mizzou history—and beholding the $80 million weight room. It was unimaginable in his day, the central reason being that football players then didn’t lift weights. “We did push-ups and stretching exercises,” he said, and the coaches worked them hard in practice. “After January 1 we stayed in shape playing handball, things like that. I was a big tight end in the Big Eight and couldn’t even be the water boy now.”