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Original Issue

The Dramatic Moment

The celebrated case of Wallace Butts vs. the Curtis Publishing Company that had aroused the South and college football people throughout the country reached its emotional climax last week with this scene, recorded by Artist Arthur Shilstone, in a third-floor courtroom of Atlanta's Old Post Office Building. Butts, former University of Georgia coach and athletic director, had sued Curtis' Saturday Evening Post for $10 million on the grounds that he was libeled in an article, "The Story of a College Football Fix," published last March. Butts was on the stand when one of his attorneys, William Schroder, read from the Post article (the exhibit standing next to the court stenographer) that said Butts had given away "all the significant secrets" of Georgia's football team to Alabama Coach Bear Bryant before their game last year. Schroder asked if this were true. "No," said Butts, "and I would like to explain that for a time I hid from people, but not any more. I am looking them in the eye because it is not true." Then he burst into tears. Still crying, he was helped from the stand by Schroder and led past the jury (right). Judge Lewis Morgan declared a five-minute recess. Last Monday, after nine days of testimony, the case went to the jury, which had to decide whether the Post article was "substantially true" or "foul," as Butts's lawyers had contended.