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1964-1965 Buffalo Basketball

Posted on: | by Scott Hollander | No Comments

1964-1965 Buffalo BasketballThe 1964-1965 Buffalo basketball season was Len Serfustini’s 9th year as head coach of the basketball Bulls. The team had a wonderful record going 19-3, the best during Serfustini’s tenure.

The Bulls opened the season with five straight wins snapped at Knoxville, Tennessee against at powerful University of Tennessee Volunteers team.

Season highlights included coach Serfustini’s 200th coaching triumph in the form of a 71-46 shellacking of American University and a 14 game winning streak with a season sweep of crosstown rival Buffalo State.

Dan Bazzani co-captained the 1964-65 squad, which also included Harvey Poe (791 career points) and Norb Baschnagel (member of the UB Athletic Hall of Fame). Dan Bazzani would later become Buffalo’s head coach for ten years (1983-1993).

The U.B. team was awarded a berth in the 1965 NCAA College Division Tournament and played in the Mid-East Regional in Akron, Ohio. The NCAA invitation was Buffalo’s 6th in Len Serfustini’s nine-year tenure as coach of the basketball Bulls. (see “Bulls Accept Tourney Bid” Buffalo Courier-Express, 24 February 1965)

Although Buffalo lost in the regional final to the host team University of Akron (playing essentially a home game), the season was still considered a huge success. The 1964-1965 team did so well that coach Serfustini and Athletic Director Jim Peelle initiated steps to beef up the 1965-1966 schedule. Syracuse, Penn State, and Kent State, schools with “major” basketball classification, were added to the schedule.

For more information on basketball at the University at Buffalo, visit the UB Sports History Collection website.


Buffalo's Bill Barth and Dick Smith defend against Red Robbins of Tennessee. Buffalo's Bill Barto scores against Ithaca College. Buffalo's Norb Basehnagel puts up a shot against Niagara. Buffalo's Bill Barth grabs a rebound against Buffalo State. Buffalo's John Karaszewski dribbles past an Akron defender.


1964-1965 Buffalo Basketball Season

Date Home Team Score Visiting Team W-L-T Location
12/1/19641 Brockport State  61 – 84 Buffalo W Brockport, NY
12/3/19642 Buffalo  71 – 46 American University W Buffalo, NY
12/9/19643 Buffalo  115 – 71 University of Windsor W Buffalo, NY
12/12/19644 Buffalo  89 – 65 Albany State W Buffalo, NY
12/16/19645 Buffalo  132 – 67 Western Ontario W Buffalo, NY
12/19/19646 University of Tennessee  79 – 54 Buffalo L Knoxville, TN
12/29/19647 St. Michael’s College (Vermont)  93 – 86 Buffalo L Syracuse, NY*
12/30/19648 Oswego State  59 – 88 Buffalo W Syracuse, NY*
1/16/19659 Buffalo  92 – 66 Buffalo State W Buffalo, NY
1/23/196510 Buffalo  87 – 64 Ithaca College W Buffalo, NY
1/27/196511 Buffalo  105 – 63 University of Toronto W Buffalo, NY
1/30/196512 Buffalo  79 – 53 College of Steubenville (Ohio) W Buffalo, NY#
2/6/196513 Buffalo  106 – 71 Wayne State W Buffalo, NY
2/9/196514 Buffalo  74 – 63 Niagara University W Buffalo, NY#
2/13/196515 Colgate University  59 – 75 Buffalo W Hamilton, NY
2/20/196516 Albany State  58 – 69 Buffalo W Albany, NY
2/24/196517 Buffalo  88 – 69 University of Rochester W Buffalo, NY
2/27/196518 Buffalo  62 – 59 LeMoyne College W Buffalo, NY#
3/1/196519 Buffalo State  47 – 62 Buffalo W Buffalo, NY
3/3/196520 Buffalo  108 – 73 Alfred University W Buffalo, NY

NCAA College Division Tournament –
Mid-East Regional at Akron, Ohio
3/5/196521 Randolph-Macon College (Virginia)  69 – 81 Buffalo W Akron, OH
3/6/196522 University of Akron  69 – 58 Buffalo L Akron, OH

FINAL RECORD: 19-3
Home Court: Clark Memorial Gymnasium
Coach: Len Serfustini
 *LeMoyne College Christmas Tournament in Syracuse, NY
#Game played at Buffalo Memorial Auditorium

  • 1 – “UB Whips Brockport In OpenerBuffalo Courier-Express Buffalo, NY, 2 December 1964.
  • 2 – “UB Whips American, 71-46, For Serfustini’s 200th WinBuffalo Courier-Express Buffalo, NY, 4 December 1964.
  • 3 – “Records Fall as UB Rips Windsor, 115-71Buffalo Courier-Express Buffalo, NY, 10 December 1964.
  • 4 – “Unbeaten UB Defeats Albany State, 89-65Buffalo Courier-Express Buffalo, NY, 13 December 1964.
  • 5 – “Bulls Set Records In 132-67 VictoryBuffalo Courier-Express Buffalo, NY, 17 December 1964.
  • 6 – “Unbeaten Tennessee Hands UB Quint First Loss, 79-54Buffalo Courier-Express Buffalo, NY, 20 December 1964.
  • 7 – “St. Michael’s Jolts UB, 93-86Buffalo Courier-Express Buffalo, NY, 30 December 1964.
  • 8 – “UB Tips Oswego, 88-59, Takes 3rdBuffalo Courier-Express Buffalo, NY, 31 December 1964.
  • 9 – “Bulls Halt Buffalo State’s Streak with 92-66 TriumphBuffalo Courier-Express Buffalo, NY, 17 January 1965.
  • 10 – “UB Blasts Ithaca For 87-64 WinBuffalo Courier-Express Buffalo, NY, 24 January 1965.
  • 11 – “Bulls Complete Maple Leaf Sweep; Toronto Bows, 105-63Buffalo Courier-Express Buffalo, NY, 28 January 1965.
  • 12 – “Bulls Romp Past Barons, 79 to 53Buffalo Courier-Express Buffalo, NY, 31 January 1965.
  • 13 – “Bulls Wallop Wayne StateBuffalo Courier-Express Buffalo, NY, 7 February 1965.
  • 14 – “Bulls’ Late Splurge Sinks Niagara, 74-63Buffalo Courier-Express Buffalo, NY, 10 February 1965.
  • 15 - “Bulls Spurt Clips Red Raiders For 13th Win, 75 to 59Buffalo Courier-Express Buffalo, NY, 14 February 1965.
  • 16 – “Bulls Clip Albany For Ninth Straight As Poe Sets PaceBuffalo Courier-Express Buffalo, NY, 21 February 1965.
  • 17 – “Bulls Belt Jackets, 88-69Buffalo Courier-Express Buffalo, NY, 25 February 1965.
  • 18 – “Bulls Turn Back LeMoyne, Extend Skein to 11 GamesBuffalo Courier-Express Buffalo, NY, 28 February 1965.
  • 19 – “Bulls Whip State for 12th Straight, 62-47Buffalo Courier-Express Buffalo, NY, 2 March 1965.
  • 20 – “UB Trounces Alfred, 108-73Buffalo Courier-Express Buffalo, NY, 4 March 1965.
  • 21 – “UB Cagers Defeat Randolph-Macon, 81-69Buffalo Courier-Express Buffalo, NY, 6 March 1965.
  • 22 – “Akron Outscores Scrappy Bulls In Title Duel, 69-58Buffalo Courier-Express Buffalo, NY, 7 March 1965.

Bulls Accept Tourney BidNCAA Event in Akron

Bulls Accept Tourney Bid

The University of Buffalo basketball team gained its objective Thursday morning — a berth in the 1965 NCAA College Division Tournament. The NCAA invitation is UB’s sixth in Len Serfustini’s nine-year tenure as coach of the basketball Bulls.

The Bulls will compete in the Mid-East Regional, set for Akron, Ohio, March 5-6. The Mid-East winner, and seven other regional champions, will qualify for the tournament proper at Evansville, Ind.

Ed Steitz, Springfield College athletic director and chairman of a regional selection committee, tendered the invitation by telephone. The telephone in UB athletic director Jim Peelle’s office rang only once. Peelle, who had been anticipating the call, picked it up and accepted the invitation with alacrity.

The only other team already in the four-team Mid-East Regional field is Steubenville, which the Bulls rubbed out by an authoritative 79-53 three weeks ago in Memorial Auditorium. One of the other Mid-East spots will be filled by the Ohio Conference champion — either Akron or Wittenberg. Those teams meet for the Conference crown, and the Mid-East berth, Tuesday night.

Youngstown a Possibility

Youngstown is considered a possibility for the fourth Mid-East position. The Bulls have won one regional title in five tries—in 1957, when they defeated Capital and Evansville in the Eastern Regional in Clark Gym. This advanced the Bulls to the tournament proper in Evansville where they dropped a 72-68 decision to Kentucky Western in the quarter finals.

Serfustini sent his jubilant  athletes through a light drill Thursday afternoon, in preparation for their engagement with streaking LeMoyne Saturday night in the opener of  the Memorial double bill. UB will beat full strength for LeMoyne. Dick Smith, the 6-5center who missed the last two games with a sprained ankle, will be ready for action.

Buffalo Courier-Express, February 24, 1965

1940 Buffalo Football

Posted on: | by Scott Hollander | No Comments

1940 Buffalo FootballAfter going win-less in 1939, University officials and head football coach Jim Peelle dedicated themselves to an improved football team in 1940. Peelle led a small squad of 24 Buffalo players.

In an era long before fancy indoor practice facilities, improvisation was needed to practice in the cold, wet early spring weather.  Using what was available to him, head coach Jim Peelle held spring training in an excavation, known as the ‘pit’, dug out for the future swimming pool in the Clark gym.

In early September, a two-week preseason training session was held near Crystal Beach in Canada. It was made possible by the generosity of William C. Baird, an enthusiastic U.B. booster.

Although Buffalo lost their first game, U.B. fans finally had something to cheer about for the first time in almost two years when the final whistle blew in the Drexel game as Buffalo won 20-13 at Rotary Field. Drexel was coached by Walter Halas, brother of George Halas, the owner-coach of the Chicago Bears. It was the first time the University at Buffalo had ever paired off against a Drexel team in any sport.

The signature win of the year came against the University of Connecticut in a game played at Storrs, CT. UConn was undefeated going into the 1940 game. Experts gave U.B. no chance of victory. But Buffalo upset the heavily favored Huskies as Vince Bonerb came off the bench to lead Buffalo to victory. (see “U.B. Wins From Connecticut” Buffalo Courier-Express, 27 October 1940)

The 3 win, 5 lost season was a huge improvement over the previous year.  And with Buffalo’s best players, Dom Grossi, Gene Nuwer, and Al Trybuszewski, only a sophomores, the future looked bright.

For more information on football at the University at Buffalo, visit the UB Sports History Collection website.


Head coach Jim Peelle at spring training in the 'pit', an excavation in the Clark gym for the future swimming pool. U.B. players off to training camp at Crystal Beach in Canada in 1940.

U.B. end Dominic Grossi scores on a 50-yard pass against Drexel. U.B. back Vince Bonerb (#30) breaks free on 28-yard run against C.C.N.Y. U.B. repels Wayne State on a frozen Rotary Field.


1940 Buffalo Football Season

Date Home Team Score Visiting Team W-L-T Location
Sat, 9/28/19401 Susquehanna University 20 – 6 Buffalo L Selinsgrove, PA
Sat, 10/5/19402 Buffalo 20 – 13 Drexel Institute of Technology W Buffalo, NY
Sat, 10/12/19403 Williams College 27 – 0 Buffalo L Williamstown, MA
Sat, 10/19/19404 Alfred University 19 – 0 Buffalo L Alfred, NY
Sat, 10/25/19405 University of Connecticut 6 – 7 Buffalo W Storrs, CT
Sat, 11/2/19406 Buffalo 7 – 6 City College of New York W Buffalo, NY
Sat, 11/9/19407 Buffalo 7 - 19 Hobart College L Buffalo, NY
Sat, 11/16/19408 Buffalo 0 - 6 Wayne State L Buffalo, NY

FINAL RECORD: 6-3

Home: Rotary Field, Bailey and Winspear Avenues
Coach: James Peelle


  • 1 – “Susquehanna in 20-6 Triumph Over BuffaloBuffalo Courier-Express Buffalo, NY, 29 September 1940.
  • 2 – “Trybuszewski, Grossi Star in Bulls VictoryBuffalo Courier-Express Buffalo, NY, 6 October 1940.
  • 3 – “Buffalo Bows Before Rivals by 27-0 ScoreBuffalo Courier-Express Buffalo, NY, 13 October 1940.
  • 4 – “Saxons Defeat Buffalo, 19-0 in 4th Period Buffalo Courier-Express Buffalo, NY, 20 October 1940.
  • 5 – “Vince Bonerb Sparks Bulls to 7-6 VictoryBuffalo Courier-Express Buffalo, NY, 27 October 1940.
  • 6 – “Bowers, Grossi Lead Buffalo to Narrow WinBuffalo Courier-Express Buffalo, NY, 3 November 1940.
  • 7 – “Popalisky Has Field Day as Hobart ScoresBuffalo Courier-Express Buffalo, NY, 10 November 1940.
  • 8 – “Wayne Downs U.B., 6-0, On Frozen FieldBuffalo Courier-Express Buffalo, NY, 17 November 1940.

VINCE BONERB SPARKS BULLS TO 7-6 VICTORYU. B. WINS FROM CONNECTICUT

VINCE BONERB SPARKS BULLS TO 7-6 VICTORY

Substitute halfback runs, passes Buffalo eleven to winning score late in contest

Storrs, Conn., Oct. 26—It was a battle of individual stars as Buffalo and Connecticut universities met on Gardner Dow Field this afternoon, with the Bison warriors finding their champion in Vince Bonerb who didn’t even start, but paced the Blue and White striped visitors to an upset 7-6 win over the hitherto unbeaten Conn gridmen.

Nutmegger Bob Donnelly and Buffalo’s Gene Nuwer had a virtual monopoly of the ball handling during the first half as they passed, kicked, and did some spectacular running for their respective outfits, while Bonerb did not make his presence known until late in the game. Until the final drive that meant victory, he was just one of the five substitutes, all the visitors used.

First Loss for Nutmeggers

Cocky as a result of their unblemished record, the Connecticut gridmen found the going rather easy in the first two periods, as the Bisons were only able to tread on the Nutmeg side of the 50 yard line for one play—and that play resulted in a two yard loss. Meanwhile, Fred Mitchell climaxed a two period drive of 70 yards by plunging over from center.

Nuwer’s Pass Starts Drive

Third period started the same way. Buffalo being forced backward relentlessly until Donnelly booted a punt outside on their coffin corner. Then Nuwer completed a pass to Trybuszewski to start the first Buffalo drive that carried to the Connecticut 35.

Buffalo got to the bell in the fourth period and continued it attack. Bonerb made himself evident by throwing two passes in rapid succession to Rambath and Small, then skirted Connecticut’s end to score from the sixteen yard line. Grossi then proceeded to place-kick the conversion. A Nutmeg drive of 80 yards after that was halted and an attempted field goal blocked.

Connecticut’s place-kick artist, Ed Waltman, out with a stomach ailment, watched from the bench as Moe Paine missed the conversion that meant the difference between tie and loss.

 

Buffalo Courier-Express, October 27, 1940

1948-1949 Buffalo Basketball

Posted on: | by Scott Hollander |

1948-1949 Buffalo BasketballMal Eiken was in his third year as head coach of the University at Buffalo basketball team during the 1948-1949 season.

Coach Elkin was cautiously optimistic at the start of the season saying, “We’ll have a better team this year but we also have a rugged schedule.

The 20 game schedule included four games at the Buffalo Memorial Auditorium with a marque match against the University of Georgia Bulldogs the week before Christmas of 1948.

The Bulls also met the University of Connecticut Huskies in the Clark Memorial Gymnasium before a capacity crowd. (see “Huskies Post 52-39 Win Over Bulls” Buffalo Courier-Express, 30 December 1948)

The U.B. squad took a huge blow when Paul Brady, the tallest Buffalo man, and one of the teams leading scorers, withdrew from school after the fall semester. Bob Eldridge finished the season as the teams top scorer and won the 1949 Dom Grassi award as UB’s Athlete of the Year. The 1948-1949 Buffalo team included two future U.B. head basketball coaches in Len Serfistini (1956-1970) and Ed Muto (1970-1973).

For more information on basketball at the University at Buffalo, visit the UB Sports History Collection website.


Buffalo vs. Georgia - December 18, 1948. Buffalo vs. Grove City College - February 24, 1949. Buffalo vs. Case Institute - December 10, 1948. Buffalo vs. Toronto - December 17, 1948.


1948-1949 Buffalo Basketball Season

Date Home Team Score Visiting Team W-L-T Location
12/4/19481 Buffalo  54 – 36 Hobart College W Buffalo, NY
12/8/19482 Cornell University  67 – 44 Buffalo L Ithaca, NY
12/10/19483 Buffalo  63 – 57 Case School App. Science W Buffalo, NY
12/17/19484 Buffalo  69 – 45 University of Toronto W Buffalo, NY
12/18/19485 Buffalo#  51 – 56 University of Georgia L Buffalo, NY
12/27/19486 Buffalo#  65 – 59 Lafayette College W Buffalo, NY
12/29/19487 Buffalo  39 – 52 University of Connecticut L Buffalo, NY
12/31/19488 Buffalo  62 – 56 Mississippi College W Buffalo, NY
1/8/19499 Buffalo  45 – 54 Alfred University L Buffalo, NY
1/31/194910 Buffalo  59 – 31 Fredonia Teachers College W Buffalo, NY
2/3/194911 Buffalo#  59 – 53 Niagara University W Buffalo, NY
2/5/194912 Oberlin College  53 – 52 Buffalo L Oberlin, OH
2/9/194913 University of Toronto  55 – 46 Buffalo L Toronto. ON
2/11/194914 Buffalo  50 – 47 Union College W Buffalo, NY
2/17/194915 Alfred University  45 – 65 Buffalo W Alfred, NY
2/19/194916 Buffalo#  58 – 50 Bucknell University W Buffalo, NY
2/23/194917 Hobart College  55 – 67 Buffalo W Geneva, NY
2/25/194918 Buffalo  42 – 56 Grove City College L Buffalo, NY
3/4/194919 Hartwick College  56 – 68 Buffalo L Oneonta, NY
3/5/194920 Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute  58 – 40 Buffalo L Troy, NY

FINAL RECORD: 11-9
Home Courts: Clark Memorial Gymnasium
Coach: Malcolm Eiken

#Game played at Buffalo Memorial Auditorium


  • 1 – “UB Five Tops Hobart, 54-36, In First StartBuffalo Courier-Express Buffalo, NY, 5 December 1948.
  • 2 – “Cornell Racks Up 67-44 Win Over BullsNiagara Falls Gazette Niagara Falls, NY, 9 December 1948.
  • 3 – “UB Cagers WinTonawanda Evening News Tonawanda, NY, 11 December 1948.
  • 4 – “Bulls Romp Over Toronto Quint, 69-45Buffalo Courier-Express Buffalo, NY, 18 December 1948.
  • 5 – “Buffalo Rally Fails In 56-51 Cage LossBuffalo Courier-Express Buffalo, NY, 19 December 1948.
  • 6 – “UB Wins in UpsetBuffalo Courier-Express Buffalo, NY, 28 December 1948.
  • 7 – “Huskies Post 52-39 Win Over BullsBuffalo Courier-Express Buffalo, NY, 30 December 1948.
  • 8 – “Bulls Defeat Mississippi for 5th WinBuffalo Courier-Express Buffalo, NY, 1 January 1949.
  • 9 – “Alfred Cagers Hand UB 54-45 LossBuffalo Courier-Express Buffalo, NY, 9 January 1949.
  • 10 – “UB Five Pummels Fredonia, 59 to 31Buffalo Courier-Express Buffalo, NY, 1 February 1949.
  • 11 – “UB Stuns Niagara, 59-53Buffalo Courier-Express Buffalo, NY, 4 February 1949.
  • 12 – “UB Falls to Oberlin, 53-52Buffalo Courier-Express Buffalo, NY, 6 February 1949.
  • 13 – “Toronto Cagers Register Upset Over Buffalo, 55-46Buffalo Courier-Express Buffalo, NY, 10 February 1949.
  • 14 – “UB Quintet Scores Over Union, 50-47Buffalo Courier-Express Buffalo, NY, 12 February 1949.
  • 15 – “U. of B. Downs Alfred, 65-45 Union-Sun & Journal Lockport, NY, 18 February 1949.
  • 16 – “Bulls Tip BucknellBuffalo Courier-Express Buffalo, NY, 20 February 1949.
  • 17 – “Buffalo Five Beats Hobart By 67 to 55Buffalo Courier-Express Buffalo, NY, 24 February 1949.
  • 18 – “Grove City Quint Trips Bulls, 56-42Buffalo Courier-Express Buffalo, NY, 26 February 1949.
  • 19 – “Hartwick Tips UB Cagers By 68-56 MarginBuffalo Courier-Express Buffalo, NY, 5 March 1949.
  • 20 – “RPI Spoils Buffalo Finale, 58-40Buffalo Courier-Express Buffalo, NY, 6 March 1949.

 


 Huskies Post 52-39 Win Over BullsHuskies Post 52-39 Win Over Bulls

A fast-breaking University of Connecticut quintet posted a 52-39 victory over the University of Buffalo last night in Clark Memorial Gymnasium before a capacity crowd.

The invaders built up a 6-1 lead midway through the first quarter and maintained that margin throughout the game. Jack Chalmers was the first UB player to find the range from the floor after seven minutes and 45 seconds had lapsed.

It was the Bulls third setback in seven games and the Huskies’ seventh triumph in nine outings.

Connecticut piled up a comfortable 15-6 edge at the end of the opening quarter and led 24-16 at the intermission. Although holding a slight advantage in height, UB failed to show its form as it did in downing Lafayette last Monday night.

Bartnicki Shines

Hank Bartnicki and Pete Lind tossed in four and three points, respectively as the second half began to give Connecticut a 13 point margin. Chalmers cut the deficit to nine points with two spectacular hook shots.

The schools traded points with Lind sinking one from the pivot before the third quarter ended to give Connecticut an eight point lead, 38-30. Chalmers tapped in a rebound and Bill Needham netted a free throw and UB looked as though they were back in the game.

Joe Maloney flipped in a free throw and Charlie Muzikevik and Bartnicki tossed in two-pointers each as the Huskies pulled away again to a ten point edge.

Bartnicki wound up high scorer for the game with 16 counters. Maloney and Lind split 22. Chalmers led the Bulls attack, whipping in 11 points. Needham and Eldridge added six apiece while Paul Brady and “Jumping Jack” Gushue divided ten.

The Neumann CYC registered a thrilling 43 – 42 overtime victory over the Baby Bulls in the opening game.

Buffalo Courier-Express, December 30, 1948

1939 Buffalo Football

Posted on: | by Scott Hollander |
Vince Bonerb

Vince Bonerb

Although Head Coach Jim Peelle warned University of Buffalo alumni that 1939 might be a tough year for U.B. football (see Peelle Singing BluesUniversity of Buffalo Alumni Publication, October 1, 1939), he was more optimistic in the local Buffalo newspapers. “We went to C.C.N.Y. for the opener last year with just six plays. We’ll have an improved team, but our schedule is tougher, too, with Lehigh and Connecticut as new opponents” Peelle said in the Buffalo Courier-Express.

Thirty-five players gathered on the North Main Street campus for the first workout of the season in September of 1939. Peelle regarded Vince Bonerb, a Canisius High School graduate, as a real find. The 185-pound athlete spent one year at the University of Alabama, but didn’t go out for football there. He transferred to Buffalo in the fall of 1938. Blessed with a sense of timing and a strong arm, Coach Peelle felt Bonerb would be a real offensive threat in 1939.

Buffalo lost their first game of the year, 6-0, to Susquehanna University in an unrelenting downpour at Rotary Field that shackled their passing attack and made the turf treacherous for ball-carriers. The “vaunted” Buffalo passing attack was stopped cold the following week against City College of New York as U.B. completed only four passes with four interceptions losing 19-0. In a third straight home loss to Alfred University, 14-0, Buffalo’s offensive made just three first downs and completed only two passes the entire game.

The season was quickly becoming a disaster as the rest of the schedule was against opponents highly rated in the East as strong small college teams. As injuries mounted and with few experienced backups, offensive power and second half stamina became woefully lacking.  Buffalo lost the rest of its games finishing the season win less at 0-7.  The lone touchdown of the season was scored in Buffalo’s fifth game by Gene Nuwer on a 25 yard dash against the University of Connecticut’s second-string defense.

The season became even more embarrassing after the article “Bitter Dregs Bowl Suggested” in the November 20, 1939 issue of the New York Sun proposed that the University of Buffalo play Centenary College of Louisiana in a mythical bowl game for chronic losers. Buffalo was called the worst offensive team in the nation.

Shortly after the Sun article, the Buffalo Bee newspaper at the University of Buffalo demanded that school officials either subsidize or abolish football charging that the 1939 team, which scored just one touchdown in losing eight games, did not “justify its existence in intercollegiate competition.” (see “U. B. Student Paper Demands Football Or Abandonment” Buffalo Courier-Express, 9 December 1939) Walter Behrens, President of the University of Buffalo Alumni Club, responded in a December 9, 1939 letter to the sports editor of the Buffalo Courier-Express. Football at the University of Buffalo was in serious turmoil yet again.

For more information on football at the University at Buffalo, visit the UB Sports History Collection website.


University of Buffalo's Gene Small returns a punt against City College of New York. University of Buffalo linemen, Nick Kish (left) and Ray Garlapow (right) practice recovering a fumble. University of Buffalo's Gene Small dives for a yard against Connecticut Huskies linemen. Bud Henry, 188 pound junior quarterback for the University of Buffalo.


1939 Buffalo Football Season

Date Home Team Score Visiting Team W-L-T Location
Sat, 9/30/19391 Buffalo 0 – 6 Susquehanna University L Buffalo, NY
Sat, 10/7/19392 Buffalo 0 – 19 City College of New York L Buffalo, NY
Sat, 10/14/19393 Buffalo 0 – 14 Alfred University L Buffalo, NY
Sat, 10/21/19394 Lehigh University 0 – 22 Buffalo L Bethlehem, PA
Sat, 10/28/19395 Buffalo 7 – 25 University of Connecticut L Buffalo, NY
Sat, 11/11/19396 Hobart 20 – 0 Buffalo L Geneva, NY
Sat, 11/18/19397 Wayne State 20 – 0 Buffalo L Detroit, MI

FINAL RECORD: 0-7

Home: Rotary Field, Bailey and Winspear Avenues
Coach: James Peelle


  • 1 – “U.B. Beaten in Opener, 6 to 0Buffalo Courier-Express Buffalo, NY, 1 October 1939.
  • 2 – “Romero, Stein Pace Beavers to 19-0 MarginBuffalo Courier-Express Buffalo, NY, 8 October 1939.
  • 3 – “Alfred Defeats U.B. By 14-0Buffalo Courier-Express Buffalo, NY, 15 October 1939.
  • 4 – “Lehigh Scores First Victory Beating BullsBuffalo Courier-Express Buffalo, NY, 22 October 1939.
  • 5 – “Bulls Suffer Fifth Defeat, Finally ScoreBuffalo Courier-Express Buffalo, NY, 29 October 1939.
  • 6 – “Hobart Whips Buffalo, 20-0; Ferris StarsBuffalo Courier-Express Buffalo, NY, 12 November 1939.
  • 7 – “Wayne Subdues Buffalo Foes By 20-0 CountBuffalo Courier-Express Buffalo, NY, 19 November 1939.

U.B. STUDENT PAPER DEMANDS FOOTBALL OR ABANDONMENT

A plea to remove the University of Buffalo from the football doldrums was voiced yesterday by the Bee, campus newspaper, in a front page editorial which said, “The time has again come to review last year’s plea — ‘subsidize or abolish football.’”

Charging that the 1939 team, which scored one touchdown, “did not justify its existence in intercollegiate competition,” that students who pay an athletic fee to see football and basketball games ”receive no compensation,” the editorial concluded “Popular opinion demands an answer. Least of all, let’s not continue in the same hopeless rut.”

Richard Lipsitz and Gene Hiller, who collaborated on the editorial, suggested that ten scholarships be granted to athletes in order to build up a representative team. It was explained that no expense would be involved, inasmuch as the recipients merely would “sit in free on classes.”

The story met a warm response on the campus, inasmuch as there is a general demand for better teams on the part of the student body. The undergraduates feel that an institution the size of U. B. should be represented by more powerful squads.

Last spring an official edict pointed out that alumni were free to assist worthy students, even if they were football players. The editorial states that alumni efforts to raise funds to aid worthy athletes had failed, and that it is now up to university authorities to act.

Buffalo Courier-Express, December 9, 1939


Sports Editor, Courier Express:

—Since the University of Buffalo concluded its football season there have been many articles written concerning its poor showing. I have listened to a lot of criticism, also have received a great many suggestions as to how the University of Buffalo should put a better football team on the field. The Alumni Club of the University of Buffalo reorganized in 1939 solely for the purpose of raising funds to give Rhodes Type Scholarships and conducted a campaign in Buffalo last May and June. At this point I might add that the Alumni Club has been doing this for some years, helping boys who could not obtain a scholarship elsewhere but needed financial assistance to acquire an education. If the Alumni and the people of Buffalo would like to have a team that would do honor to this city, then let them contribute financially instead of talking and writing about the situation. Ten thousand dollars a year would enable us to take in ten worthy boys each year, giving each a full scholarship and making a squad of 30 after three years.

The University of Buffalo can’t provide scholarships for athletics, so let’s not criticize the chancellor, faculty and the university council. A letter will go to all Alumni in 1940 in an effort to single out all those who are interested in better athletics at the University of Buffalo.

WALTER S. BEHRENS,
President of the Alumni Club of the University of Buffalo.

Buffalo Courier-Express, December 23, 1939