Merle Hapes
refer to caption
Hapes seen in an early college photograph
No. 44, 30
Personal information
Born:(1919-05-19)May 19, 1919
Garden Grove, California
Died:July 18, 1994(1994-07-18) (aged 75)
Biloxi, Mississippi
Career information
College:Ole Miss
NFL Draft:1942 / Round: 1 / Pick: 8
Career history
Career highlights and awards
  • Grey Cup champion - 1953
Career NFL statistics
Rushing attempts-yards:151–524
Player stats at · PFR

Merle Alison Hapes (May 19, 1919 – July 18, 1994) was a professional American football fullback in the National Football League (NFL). He played two seasons for the New York Giants (1942, 1946).

He and quarterback Frank Filchock were involved in a gambling scandal in 1946 in which they allegedly took bribes to fix the 1946 NFL Championship Game.

Since the betting scandal meant he was indefinitely suspended from playing professional football in the United States, he went to Canada to play in the Canadian Football League. He played one season for the Hamilton Tigers in 1949. The Tigers became the Hamilton Tiger-Cats in 1950, but Hapes was injured for the entire season. For the next two seasons he was an assistant coach with the Tiger-Cats, but returned to play as a backup for two final seasons, winning the Grey Cup with Hamilton in 1953.[1]

Hapes returned to the States and worked in the Civil Service and the Department of Defence until 1982. In 1993 Hapes was inducted into the Athletic Hall of Fame of Mississippi.

Hapes died on July 18, 1994. He was survived by his wife, Evelyn Pevey Hapes, two daughters, a son, and seven grandchildren.[2]


  1. ^ CFLAPEDIA entey: Merle Hapes
  2. ^ "Merle Hapes, 75, Ex-Giant Fullback". The New York Times. July 21, 1994. Retrieved June 5, 2009.