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Nice Read: GoPack Piece On Gardner-Webb Named For Former Pack Football Player

September 16, 2009
GoPack.com

As Tim Peeler points out, this is likely the first time in college football history that a team has played a school named, in part, by a former football alum. O. Max Gardner played for State back when the college football program was in its infancy.

It may well be the first time in the history of college football that a team has faced an opponent that is named after one of its former players. More than 60 of the 246 Division I football schools (121 Football Bowl Series and 125 Football Championship Series) are named for individuals, but Gardner is believed to be the only one who played college football.

There’s no evidence that Austin Peay, the Rev. Alfred Cookman, P.G. Grambling, William Hofstra or Frank Park Samford – all of whom have institutions of higher learning named after them – ever donned helmet and pads during their college days. All the other schools were named after people born and raised well before college football began or most definitely not football players.

So this first meeting between in-state schools might also make a little college football history.

O. Max Gardner was also quite a womanizer the ladies man, as well:

He also may have been a bit of a bounder while in Raleigh. In the 1903 inaugural edition of the Agromeck, the NC State yearbook, it was written about Gardner that “like the gorilla, he is especially fond of caressing women.” But that was part of a tongue-in-cheek club called “The Goats,” of which Gardner was a charter member and Chief Ram. His classmates also voted him the dubious honor of “most conceited.”

It naturally follows, then, that Gardner would go on to a long and successful career in North Carolina politics.

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