30 for 30

Season 1 Episode 30

Pony Excess (SMU)

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Aired Tuesday 8:00 PM Dec 11, 2010 on ESPN
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From 1981-1984, a small private school in Dallas owned the best record in college football. The Mustangs of Southern Methodist University were riding high on the backs of the vaunted "Pony Express" backfield. But as the middle of the decade approached, the program was coming apart at the seams. Wins became the only thing that mattered as the University increasingly ceded power of the football program t o the city's oil barons and real estate tycoons and flagrant and frequent NCAA violations became the norm. On February 25th, 1987, the school and the sport were rocked, as the NCAA meted out "the death penalty" on a college football program for the first and only time in its history. SMU would be without football for two years, and the fan base would be without an identity for twenty more until the Mustangs' win in the 2009 Hawaii Bowl. This is the story of Dallas in the 1980's and the greed, power, and corruption that spilled from the oil fields onto the football field and all the way to the Governor's Mansion. Director Thaddeus D. Matula, a product of the SMU film school, chronicles the rise, fall, and rebirth of this once mighty team.moreless
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