The Wichita Beacon
January 2, 1950
Wilkinson Accuses Pro Gridder in Sugar Bowl Spying Case
Eagles’ Piggy Barnes Names as ‘Scout’
NEW ORLEANS, Jan 2 (UP) – Coach Charles (Bud) Wilkinson charged today that a spy had “very materially” hurt Oklahoma’s chances in the Sugar Bowland asked Walter (Piggy) Barnes to let witnesses look at him as they can determine whether he is the spy.
Barnes, who formerly played for Louisiana State university, the team that will meet Oklahoma in in the Sugar Bowl game today, is now a tackle for the professional Philadelphia Eagles. Wilkinson said Barnes is still in New Orleans though Barnes could not immediately located.
“The interloper saw every card in our hand,” Wilkinson said. “When your entire offense and defense is known by persons who scout your practice, then your chance of winning any game is damaged very materially.”
Wilkinson asked Barnes to come out on the field at the Sugar Bowl today and let witnesses look at him. But Wilkinson said, “several persons who knew Barnes had looked at pictures of the “spy” and said he definitely was Barnes.
Louisiana State university athletic officials vehemently denied that they had sent any spy to scout Oklahoma’s secret football practice. The argument over the spy swelled to such proportions, however, that it threatened to become a factor in the Sugar Bowl game between Oklahoma and LSU today.
“In fairness to both LSU and Oklahoma, and in order to clarify the picture, I suggest that Mr. Barnes come down on the field at the Sugar Bowl game this afternoon so three neutral witnesses who grappled with the interloper at Biloxi may have the opportunity to identify him.” Wilkinson said.
“These witnesses were John Askin Jr., a Biloxi policeman; Bill Dennis, a Biloxi photographer, and John Scafidi, a former Tulane football player now in professional football. All three were present. I am not asking Mr. Barnes to be identified by Ned Hickman, our Oklahoma movie man, nor Dr. C.B. McDonald and Oklahoma fan, both of whom were also there.
“If the three neutral witnesses cannot identify Mr. Barnes as the man they saw scouting our drills, then I am willing to declare that L.S.U. is not implicated in the incident in an way. And I say in all sincerity that I hope the man was not Mr. Barnes and that I am wrong.”