Go to the USF Bookstore.
While full of textbooks, there’s a certain genre missing from the shelves: anything that has to do with the history of USF.
Even though a hardcover edition of USF’s first 50 years will be sitting there, eventually there will be a different type of book available to read – possibly the first of its kind.
The memoir, called A Raging Bull, written by former USF basketball player Tony Grier, will be released sometime later this fall. But it won’t just be about his days playing in a Bulls’ uniform.
“The central part of the book is the beginnings of the Sun Dome,” said Grier, who played for USF from 1980-82. “The 35 years of USF basketball I don’t think anyone can catch in one book, but what I’ve tried to do is look at some of the creative areas of the program, some of the key moves (in getting) the program to the next level.”
Though labeled a memoir, Grier was adamant about keeping biographical information out of the text. While the former guard (who was drafted in the fourth round of the 1982 NBA Draft by San Antonio) said he wrote the book “with a lot of help,” he also said there needed to be someone inside the program to tell the story.
“There’s not much about me,” said Grier, who is sixth on USF’s all-time scoring list with 1,475 points. “I didn’t start this book to talk about myself. There’s not much of my accomplishments or stats in the book. I’m really just a catalyst – the narrator that’s there to tell of the significant things that happened within the program.
“It’s a memoir because it needs flavor. If I just wrote a book about the 35 years of USF basketball, I don’t know how many people would read it.”
Grier also said more should be written on USF history, whether it be about athletics or the University in general. While he’ll cover many issues and characters in the book, there are plenty of things that have not been written about.
“(The University of) Florida has 12 books on basketball,” Grier said. “USF has none. Of course, the Sun Dome story told by the University is told one way. The story told by someone on one of the first teams – who was there when it was built and about the issues surrounding the delays – is told another.
“Even the Titanic just sunk once, but there are 50 stories about it sinking.”
The Sun Dome opened in 1980, but was first labeled the USF Multipurpose Center and “Whatchamacallit.” But in April 1979, WFLA’s Jack Harris held a radio contest asking students to submit names for the Sun Dome. Of the 17 “Sun Dome” entries that were submitted, Gini David, a senior majoring in theater, was picked as the winner. According to Oracle archives, David won a 10-year pass for two to all athletic events at the Sun Dome.
While Grier enjoyed writing the book, he claims it’s not meant to rock the boat.
“I didn’t write it to get on Oprah or anything,” Grier said. “It’s a simple project that’s taken a couple of years and I hope that I’ve made a book worth reading.”