Lindeburg: The first athletes we had on the campus were walk-on students who wanted to play athletics and play on the teams. I have to admit we did not win the first year in basketball, we did not win the first year in football. The second year we won about three basketball games and from then on, we won more and more.
But I was told by other coaches in the area like Bob Stull over at Cal Poly Pomona, "Lindy, people won't know your school until UCR is ten years old." And this was true, because every once in a while, we would get mail for the University of Redlands or they would send mail over here. They were calling us the University of Riverside. But after they knew, it got a little easier to recruit.
In recruiting, we sent out cards, and we talked to students and told them if they want to be a doctor or lawyer or any of the professions, this was the best school in the world to go to.
Erickson: How far did you reach out in this recruiting? Within the state or elsewhere?
Lindeburg: I was basketball coach for twelve years, and I just stayed in Southern California. We didn't have a travel budget, so if I wanted to see a kid, I visited him on the way to Los Angeles when my wife and I were going to a show or something.
We didn't have any money to recruit. Example: In football, basketball and baseball, we would send out a card. We would send these cards to the coaches and ask if they had individuals who are good players who want to lawyers. We said if they did, please have the individual send the card back to us. The student would send back the card. Then we would send the kid a letter inviting him to campus. If, for example, he wanted to be a lawyer, we would take him over to see Frank Way. Frank Way would say what exactly the student had to do to be a lawyer-this course, this course, maintain this average. Then the student would make up his mind where he wanted to go to school. Other professors did similar things.
Erickson: Was it important for you to stress the academics along with the sports?
Lindeburg: Yes, that's the only way it got the kids in school. This was prior to hiring Wayne Howard in the late 60s as our football coach. He was the first one who took over with scholarships. When you take over with scholarships, you are recruiting on a different basis, and he had money and he traveled. He called individuals and hounded them an encouraged them to come to UCR. They were athletes first and scholars second. There was no doubt about it.
It was the same way with Freddie Goss. The only team that has probably not been that way is baseball. Baseball gets baseball players, and they all graduate. In fact, we checked several times to find out that the graduate rate for athletes on this campus was higher than the student body as a whole. Only about two thirds of the kids who start here graduate. There are a lot of dropouts. Now, I am talking about twenty years ago, not now. I don't know the statistics today.