Barry Sanders ran away with the Heisman Trophy Saturday night - literally.
Oklahoma State's record-breaking tailback was an easy winner of the Heisman and then rushed off to try to smash another record, leaving scores of media representatives and members of the sponsoring Downtown Athletic Club of New York and their guests cooling their heels.Sanders' initial low-key reaction to the award was televised by CBS-TV near the end of the network's Heisman special.
He thanked God, his offensive line, fullback Garrett Limbrick - his lead blocker - and his parents, William and Shirley Sanders of Wichita, Kan., "for being so inspirational in my life and bringing me up the way they knew I should be brought up."
But minutes after he was announced as the runaway winner over quarterbacks Rodney Peete of Southern California and Troy Aikman of UCLA, Sanders yanked off his clip-on microphone and bolted from a CBS studio in Tokyo, where Oklahoma State concluded its regular season against Texas Tech in the Coca-Cola Bowl some four hours later.
A CBS spokesman said that as of Thursday, Sanders had refused to be on the Heisman show at all because he "didn't want anything to interfere with my preparation for the game."
He apparently was talked into appearing by Coach Pat Jones.
If Sanders had his game face on, the Sanders family had their Heisman faces on. His older brother, Byron, a standout running back at Northwestern University, pumped a fist in the air when the announcement was made.
"He was excited," Shirley Sanders said of Barry. "He was keeping it in. He's that way. He takes it out on the teams that he plays."