Oh, Really! Bill O’Reilly Did Win National Punting Title

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By: Brian Orloff

Fox News host and newspaper columnist Bill O’Reilly earned wide press attention this week after boasting of his football achievements in an essay in the official Super Bowl program while also admitting he once kicked a ball that didn’t clear the line of scrimmage. O’Reilly said he had played football at Marist College, in upstate New York, and claimed he had “won the national punting title for [his] division.”

This raised eyebrows, and fact checkers soon found that in the early 1970s Marist College did not have an NCAA or small college “division” team; there was only club football. And what were the chances that “national punting” statistics were kept for that?

It turns out, according to a Marist spokesperson, that O’Reilly had it right.

According to Jason Corriher, sports information director at Marist, O’Reilly won the national club football punting title in1970. O’Reilly’s record? He punted 23 times for a total of 957 yards, an impressive average of 41.4 yards per punt.

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