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White House Honors Hoosier 41 Years After Super Bowl Win

In 1968 Doug Crusan played on one of Indiana University’s most legendary teams in any sport.

  • Doug Crusan at the White House

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    Photo: Doug Crusan

    Doug Crusan and the 1972 Dolphins at the White House.

  • Doug Crusan played on the IU Hoosiers 1968 Rose Bowl team.

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    Photo: Doug Crusan

    Doug Crusan when he played on the IU Hoosiers 1968 Rose Bowl team.

  • Doug Crusan also played on the undefeated 1972 Dolphin's team.

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    Photo: Doug Crusan

    Doug Crusan while playing on the undefeated 1972 Dolphin's team.

Doug Crusan played on one of Indiana University’s most legendary teams in any sport. The 1968 IU football team defeated rival Purdue on a late touchdown to send the Hoosiers to their first ever bowl game and only Rose Bowl appearance in school history.

Unfortunately the magic season ended in Pasadena with O.J. Simpson’s USC Trojans beating the Hoosiers 14 to 3. Luckily for senior Crusan, the 1968 Hoosiers would become the second most famous team he would play for.

Crusan played for Don Shula’s 1972 Dolphins, the only undefeated team in NFL history. When the Dolphins won Super Bowl VII and capped off the perfect season, they should have been invited to the White House. The visit has been an honor bestowed on every other Super Bowl Champion since Joe Namath’s 1969 Jets. But with the Watergate scandal reaching a boiling point, the 1972 Dolphins did not get an invite from President Nixon to celebrate their achievement.

This August, 41 years after the 1972 Dolphins completed the season that would launch them into football immortality, President Obama extended a long overdue invitation to the White House.

Former Hoosier and Miami Dolphin Doug Crusan also attended a ceremony honoring the 1968 Rose Bowl team outside of Memorial Stadium before the Indiana vs. Navy game Saturday.

“[The White House visit] was surreal, emotional and just an unbelievable experience,” he says.

Until this past August, attempts to bring the 1972 Dolphins their long deserved ceremonial visit to the White House were futile. When George W. Bush was elected President, Coach Don Shula contacted his Governor, Jeb Bush, in attempt to get his team to the White House but even the President’s brother couldn’t reverse the White House snub.

“You know what, 41 years later I think it meant more. It really did. At our age and where we are, I think it meant more than it would have if we went in February of ’73,” Crusan says.

He is still very involved at IU and remembers his football playing days in Bloomington, especially during the 9 and 1 season that ended with a Rose Bowl berth.

The university honored Crusan and his teammates Saturday by planting a commemorative Rose Bowl Tree outside of the north entrance to Memorial Stadium.

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