Pin on Pinterest

After Dave Blewett's young daughter asked him whether he had done anything wrong while on the Southern Methodist University football team that received the Death Penalty in 1987, Blewett decided it was time for him to tell his version of the story — through the eyes of a former player.

In his new book Pony Trap: Escaping the 1987 SMU Football Death Penalty, Blewett offers an "inside scoop" about the situation, addressing what he saw as a member of the team and revealing insights into the NCAA and how he determined the punishments given to SMU were "unfair" and based on "corruption."

"Previous versions about what happened have all been told from the media and NCAA's perspective," Blewett said. "As a player, this is about what I saw from my eyes."

The book, which is a 250-page historical narrative, recounts the situation, touching on what happened, what Blewett thought as a 21-year-old student during the situation and how the punishment impacted the football program and university.

According to the description on, the book is about how, "SMU wasn't handed the Death Penalty, SMU was trapped and forced into the Death Penalty."

Blewett, who left home in Denver, Colorado, to attend college and play as a defensive end on SMU's football team, was halfway through his third year at the university when the football team received the Death Penalty, so he said he had first-hand experience about how the punishment impacted the school and how it "hasn't been the same" since.

Before writing the book, Blewett explored the events that led to the death penalty. In the story, he reveals how SMU players felt during the ordeal, including the atmosphere of the locker room during the press conference where it was announced that the university would be receiving the Death Penalty.

In addition, Blewett's book compares SMU's punishment to other universities by listing the infractions of other college football programs during the time period and the punishments they received from the NCAA, which Blewett said were inconsistent from school to school.

Overall, Blewett said the book shows that punishment was not fair, especially to the student athletes.

"The takeaway is that the Death Penalty itself was not a fair penalty for the players," Blewett said.

Dallas-resident Dave Blewett's book Pony Trap is available on, which you can purchase in hard-copy and electronic forms by clicking here.