With football hardly under way, University of Texas fans have already received one of the season's biggest shocks: their unofficial but compulsory 16-year course in football has come to an end. Dr. C. J. Alderson, football's most durable, most pedagogically inclined public address announcer has just retired at 70.
"Shorty" Alderson joined the university's staff in 1924, has had a strong hand in the coaching of foot-ball, basketball, track and swimming. But he has always been most drawn to officiating, the scholarly announcing of football and the acquisition of knowledge. Over the years Alderson earned degrees in law, economics, sociology and physical education (his favorite course was John Dewey's famous Philosophy of the Times). In 1942, at the insistence of Texas' Dana X. Bible, who felt that most Austin fans did not have the slightest idea what was happening on the field, Alderson began to apply his academic training and 20 years of officiating experience to explaining the facts of football life over the P.A. system. "I like people and I like classrooms," explains Alderson. "I love to create and share an atmosphere of learning." Right now Alderson is heading back to the classroom for some advanced work in statistics and expects to write manuals about officiating and diving.