Ernie Davis statue awaits redo Print
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Thursday, 25 September 2008 11:23
NCAAF Headline News

 SYRACUSE, N.Y. (AP) -Nearly two weeks after the unveiling of a statue of former Syracuse University running back Ernie Davis that mistakenly depicts him wearing Nike shoes, sculptor Bruno Lucchesi is still waiting to make the corrections.
He remains stunned at what has transpired since the statue was unveiled Sept. 13.
``I was shocked to learn that the material given to me for the helmet and the cleats were mistaken,'' Lucchesi said in a statement. ``I want to make it clear that I did exactly what I was asked to do and the mistake was not made by me. They told me that they were thrilled with it.''
The statue of the first black player to win the Heisman Trophy depicts him in modern-day football gear - including Nike cleats. Davis is wearing his famous No. 44 jersey, but ``NIKE'' is inscribed on the heel of each cleat and he's holding a helmet much different from the one he wore.
The problem is that Davis led Syracuse to a national championship in 1959 and won the Heisman two years later, nearly a decade before Nike was formed.
all of the materials - uniform, helmet, cleats and pads - were supplied by the university. He also said that upon completion of the clay model prior to its bronzing, the university approved the project.
``Bruno is a sculptor. He's not a football player,'' Lucchesi's wife, Ann, said Thursday. ``He welcomed anyone to his studio to view it and nobody came. It wasn't a mistake. He did what the school asked. They were given every opportunity to make any changes they wanted.''
Syracuse University picked up the bronze sculpture in June and photographed it. It was installed right before its unveiling.
Syracuse athletic director Daryl Gross said he never saw the finished statue until just before its unveiling and lamented that he had not been more involved in the project.
``We were trying to do something really terrific for the community and the Davis family,'' Gross said. ``Bruno is a wonderful sculptor. He's probably one of the best in the world.''
Nike, which has a contract with the Syracuse University athletic department, said the company had nothing to do with the mistakes.
``We didn't even know the statue was being erected,'' Nike spokesman Kejuan Wilkins said.
University spokesman Kevin Morrow said Thursday he expected the sculpture to be removed soon.
 

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