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Woody Hayes shoves L.A. Times' Art Rogers

Woody Hayes shoves L.A. Times’ Art Rogers

Jan. 1, 1973: Ohio State head coach Woody Hayes leaves a pregame huddle before the Rose Bowl game between USC and Ohio State. Right after this photo was taken, Hayes shoved Times photographer Art Rogers’ camera into his face.

Staff writer Mal Florence reported in the Jan. 2, 1973, Los Angeles Times:

As Times photographer Art Rogers was taking a picture at the Rose Bowl Monday, Ohio State football coach Woody Hayes shoved Rogers’ camera into his face. He later required medical treatment.

Rogers said he was one of a half dozen persons photographing the coach huddling with his team during warmup drills five minutes before the Rose Bowl game.

Rogers was crouched low, using a long lens, when the huddle broke up and Hayes charged out and jammed the camera into his forehead, Rogers said.

“That ought to take care of you, you son of a bitch,” Rogers quoted Hayes as saying.

Rogers said there was no provocation. He is 55 and has been a Times photographer 33 years.

Rogers received medical aid before the game then remained at the Rose Bowl and photographed the first half.

The photographer left the Rose Bowl in the second half and checked into The Times medical department. He complained of double vision, inability to focus and extreme brightness in his sight.

He was sent to a specialist who said there was swelling in both eyes and damage to the right eye. But the specialist did not think the damage would be permanent.

Rogers was not hospitalized.

Hayes kept reporters waiting for 20 minutes–as he said he would–before submitting to a post-game interview in a special meeting room near the Ohio State dressing room.

For almost five minutes he was genial and courteous while he discussed his team’s 42-17 loss to the Trojans.

However, when Hayes was asked to give his version of the Rogers incident, he exploded.

“Oh, for Jesus Christ’s sake, forget it,” he snapped and threw the microphone he was holding onto the floor. “That’s the end of this interview. Those are really big stories.”

Hayes stormed brusquely past writers to the Ohio State dressing room.

Before parting, Woody snapped: “He (Rogers) wasn’t hurt.”

When informed that Rogers received medical aid, Hayes muttered something inaudible, then secluded himself behind the Buckeye dressing room doors.

Jan. 2, 1973: Times photographer Art Rogers shows Pasadena police officer Jay D’Angelo how he was holding his camera when shoved by Ohio State football coach Woody Hayes before Rose Bowl football game.  Rogers filed a complaint with the Pasadena Police Dept. (Credit: Steve Fontanini/Los Angeles Times)

In a Jan. 2, 1973, evening edition followup story, Los Angeles Times staff writer Dorothy Townsend reported:

Times photographer Art Rogers filed a complaint with police today charging Ohio State football coach Woody Hayes with assaulting him at the Rose Bowl on New Year’s Day.

Two Pasadena detectives went to the Huntington Sheraton Hotel talked to Hayes today and got his version of the incident.

Rogers, 55, alleged that Hayes rammed his camera back into his face as he was photographing the Buckeye coach huddling with team members five minutes before the start of the Rose Bowl game with USC.

“It’s a good thing I had that thing (camera) tight against my face,” Rogers said today at Pasadena Police headquarters after swearing out the complaint.

“If it had been out here (holding the camera away from his face) it could really have done a lot of damage.”…

David M. King, a staff photographer for the Los Angeles Herald-Examiner, accompanied Rogers to the police station today as a witness.

King said he had photographed Hayes moments before the incident with Rogers and that “Woody wasn’t too happy about it.”

“I said to Art, ‘Watch it, Woody’s on the warpath,’ ” King said. “He (Rogers) got on his knee and he took a picture of Woody through two of the assistants. Woody said, ‘Get the hell out of here.’ “

King said Hayes then reached out, grabbed Rogers’ camera and shoved it into his face…

The Times was unable to reach Hayes at his Pasadena hotel today for a comment. The Associated Press reported that Hayes was finishing breakfast at the hotel when he was told of Rogers’ action.

“I never pushed him or hit him,” Hayes said, according to the Associated Press. “I have five or six coaches who were with me at the time who can give an account of everything that happened.”

Hayes was quoted by the Associated Press as saying, “This photographer kept pushing in and trying to get a picture of me at close range…I turned my back on him and he went around on the other side and stuck the camera in my face again.

“This time I pushed the camera away and made some remark, but I did not hit him. I just made a shoving motion to get the camera out of my face.”

A brief article in the April 7, 1973, reported that the misdemeanor battery charge against Hayes was dropped by Rogers because he “had received an ‘appropriate communication’ from Hayes.”

In the Los Angeles Times archives are several photos of Woody Hayes taken by Art Rogers both before this 1973 incident and after. The above two photos were published in different editions of the Jan. 2, 1973, Los Angeles Times.

In December 1978 Hayes was fired by Ohio State after punching a Clemson player at the Gator Bowl. Hayes died in 1987.

Art Rogers died in 2011.

For more check out:

Woody Hayes 1987 Los Angeles Times obituary: Woody Hayes, Buckeye Coach 28 Years, Dies.

Art Rogers Los Angeles Times obituary: Art Rogers dies at 93; L.A. Times photographer.

Art Rogers From the Archive photo gallery: Remembering Art Rogers.

scott.harrison@latimes.com

Follow Scott Harrison on Twitter and Google+

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