On December 30, 1978, Ohio State University fired head football coach Woody Hayes after he assaulted an opposing Clemson player who intercepted a pass late in the fourth quarter of the Gator Bowl the previous night.

Hayes also verbally abused a referee and punched Ohio State offensive lineman Ken Fritz, who tried to intervene. The game was televised in front a national audience.

During his 28 seasons at Ohio State, Hayes compiled a coaching record of 205 wins, 61 losses and 10 ties. He had the longest tenure of any head football coach in Ohio State history, and several of his teams were bestowed national champion titles by sportswriters and coaches in the days before the Bowl Championship Series and College Football Playoffs — among those titles was an undisputed national championship in 1968.