|XU Prof Bill "Smitty" Smith|
"After I had been out of school for several years, Bill and I were officiating together, out in Timbuktu somewhere, and in January 1971 we were having dinner after the game at the Kenwood Tavern. Bill Smith leaned over to me and said, 'John you ought to think about getting yourself back to school.' He said, 'You need to come to Xavier.'"
Boehner said he couldn't afford it. Smith paved the way with the admission office. Boehner took three classes and finished the semester with A and Bs. He commuted, dropped out, then spent five years in night school. He graduated in 1977 -- six years after Smitty told him to get a college education. Now he's about to become Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, one of the highest offices in the land. And it all started with a barroom conversation. Bill Smith didn't make the Republican speaker, but he surely helped set him on course for the job.