Merle Hapes

Merle Hapes,played college fall at Mississippi and then two seasons n the NFL for the New York Giants in 1942 and 1946, with service in the U.S. Army inbetween.  Hapes along with Frank Filchock was part of a football scandal in 1946 while both were playing with the New York Giants.  Allegations were made that the two players had been approached by gamblers to throw the championship game wit hthe Bears. Hapes admitted to having been approached and failing to report it, while Filchock denied being approached at all.  Because of this, Hapes was suspended from the championship game, while Filchock was allowed to play, and played well in a losing cause.  At the end of the season, however, both players were handed an indefinite suspension by the NFL and banned from playing in the states.  Eventully, both players would be cleared of having accepted any money, but in the meantime they had no place to play except Canada.  Filchock joined the Hamilton Tigers of the Big Four / IRFU in 1947, while Hapes remained in his home town of Jackson , Mississippi coaching high school footballl. In 1949, Hapes also signed with the Hamilton Tigers, ironically enough to try and replace the talent of Filchock who had signed with the Montreal Alouettes.  The Tigers were also in the middle of a dispute with the IRFU, and had in fact switched to the ORFU (Ontario Rugby Football Union) in 1948 with the Hamilton Wildcats moving from the ORFU to the IRFU to take their place.  The dispute had centered around Filchock's salary which was quite large for the time, and the Tigers had wanted other IRFU teams to help pay for it since Filchock was such a draw in the other IRFU cities.  In one of those story lines that normally only come from Hollywood, Filchock would go on to lead the Alouettes to a Grey Cup in 1949, and the team they would beat in the East final to make it to the Grey cup would be the Hamilton Tigers.  Hapes had a very good season in 1949 with the Tigers, leading the league in scoring for most of the season until he was injured.  Hapes had also taken over as the coach of the Tigers just before the season started when the Tiger executive fired Murray Griffin.  Hapes did not play in the East final against Filchock and the Alouettes due to his injury and that didn't help the Tigers cause much as they were beaten 40-0 with Vic Spencer filling in for Hapes at fullback.  In 1950, the Tigers and the Wildcats merged to form the Hamilton Tiger-Cats and play in the IRFU.  Hapes played for the Tiger-Cats during the exhibition season, but was injured and released as a player before the season started. Hapes remained with the Tiger-Cats for the entire 1950 season as an assistant coach.  Hapes was almost called back into action when import runing back Bill Gregus was called up by the U.S. Army and was due to report the morning of the second game of a two game total point playoff with the Argos.  At the last moment, however, Gregus got a deferment and Hapes didn' t play.  In 1951, Hapes was back coaching, but this time as the head och of the Hamilton Panther, an intermediate football team that went to the national finals that season.   After a two year absence as a player, Hapes returned to play two seasons for the Tiger-Cats in 1953 and 1954. Following the end of his football areer, Hapes returned to the States and worked in the Civil Service and the Department of Defence until his retirment in 1982.  In 1993, Hapes was inducted into the Athletic Hall of Fame at Mississippi. Merl Hapes passed away on July 18, 1994. 

Merl Hapes in Wikipedia 

Merle Hapes on

NFL Stats for Merle Hapes

Hapes Case Still Undecided - December 17, 1946

Door Barring Merle Hapes and Frank Filchock Swings Shut With An Indefinite Suspension - April 4, 1947

Tigers Line Up Merle Hapes to Replace Frank Filchock - April 2, 1949

Hapes is New Hamilton Tigers Coach - August 30, 1949

Hapes Leading ORFU in Scoring - October 4, 1949

Hapes Coaching Hamilton Panthers - November 22, 1951

Hapes Rejoins Tiger-Cats - March 6, 1953

Hapes Reinstated - December 14, 1954

Merl Hapes on


GP and Points
Year Team GP TotTD Good ConvG TotS PTS
1949 HTG 8
0 0
1953 HAM 14 0 0 0 5 5
1954 HAM 14 4 0 0 0 20


Rushing and Receiving
Year Team TC Yds Avg TD Long Rec Yds Avg TD Long
1949 HTG

1953 HAM

1954 HAM 130 572 4.4 4 44 12 122 10.2 0 21

Before 1954 in the East, the only stats available are scoring stats.


Year Team P Yds Avg Long S
1949 HTG

1953 HAM

1954 HAM 1 32 32 0 32


Merle Hapes