University of Miami

1971 Hurricanes
(Authentic Reproduction)




One of Miami's 1970 losses was to Tampa, a supposed "smaller program" that was coached by former Miami QB Fran Curci. Being assured that the school would make a commitment to improving football and continuing the basketball program, Curci signed on as the head coach of his alma mater. Two weeks later basketball was eliminated and Curci's recruiting budget minimized. He went into 1971 with an all forest green helmet for the first few games before adding three-inch white "LSU-style" numerals to the sides of the helmet for the remainder of the season. Chuck Foreman put up Heisman-type numbers with this 4-7 team behind a small, average offensive line. There was nothing average about 6'7", 240 pound DE Mike Barnes who later anchored the Colts defensive line for nine years. The "low-light" of the season came when Miami played the famous "lay down" or Florida Flop game against the Gators. As Florida QB John Reaves was closing in on the NCAA career passing record late in the game, Miami was controlling and running the ball to specifically and purposely prevent this even though they were behind. The bad blood between the schools blew up when Miami ran a sweep from the Florida eight-yard line and all of the Gator defenders, untouched, fell to the turf and allowed the score so that they could then get the ball back. One Reaves pass later and the record was his. The angry Curci refused to meet with Florida coach Doug Dickey for a post-game handshake and later was publicly critical of the tactic. Rubbing salt in the wounds of Miami, many Florida players ran to the east end zone and jumped into the tank that held the Miami Dolphin mascot, Flipper for a perfectly strange ending to the 45-16 game!

If interested in any of these Miami helmets please click on the photos below.