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Ex-Football Player Ellis Jones Dies

February 26, 2002

TULSA, Okla. (AP) _ Ellis Jones, a standout offensive lineman at Tulsa despite having just one arm, has died. He was 80.

Jones died Sunday night in Sterling, Colo., from complications from a broken back suffered in an accident at his home Feb. 12, his daughter, Marsha Burnham, said.

Jones’ right arm was amputated 8 inches below the shoulder after an accident when he was 11.

``It never occurred to me that I could not keep playing football,″ he later told the Tulsa World. ``I guess I was too dumb to think I could not do it.″

Jones was Tulsa’s starting left guard from 1942-44, playing on teams that went 24-4-1. The Golden Hurricane played twice in the Sugar Bowl and once in the Orange Bowl.

``He was one of the best football players that I ever saw, in that he absolutely worked at full speed all the time,″ former Tulsa teammate and All-America quarterback Glenn Dobbs said Monday.

``He was intelligent, tough, strong, fast, and nobody ever thought about him just having one arm after they saw him do something one time,″ Dobbs said. ``They knew he was a winner.″

Jones was drafted in 1945 by the NFL’s Boston Yanks, which later became the Baltimore Colts. He played one year with the team.

After receiving his degree in physical education from Tulsa in 1945, he joined Skelly Oil Company’s land developing division and went to Sterling, Colo., where he spent most of his later years.

Jones had his number retired by the university and was inducted into the school’s athletic hall of fame in 1983.

He is survived by his wife, Barbara, a son and two daughters.

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