NO. 1 (CONT.)
Your article There's a Red Alert (Nov. 12) contained some statistics that I am sure have aroused more than a minimum of curiosity. Specifically I'm referring to the rankings of the then six big unbeatens according to Division I-A opponents played. While it is apparent that the degree of difficulty of Alabama's schedule—then ranked 106th by the NCAA—doesn't earn the Tide many points, the question remains: Which major-college team plays the toughest schedule?
•When SI's Nov. 12 article went to press, NCAA ratings based on the records of Division I-A opponents already played listed North Carolina State as the team with the toughest schedule. The Wolfpack was followed by Notre Dame, UCLA, Kansas and North Carolina. However, according to the NCAA's latest cumulative ratings, which are based on the records of all of the Division I-A opponents on each team's schedule, UCLA had the No. 1 spot, with North Carolina State, Penn State, South Carolina and Notre Dame rounding out the top five.—ED.
Regarding your SCORECARD item "Attention, Please" (Nov. 19), I saw the Woody Hayes incident on TV and was appalled. As I read about coaches' treatment of young men today, I think back to the time I played for the Germantown (Tenn.) Red Devils and to the coach I was lucky enough to have through my high school years, Bill Osteen. He was a gentleman in every sense of the word. He taught us to play hard and fair, but he never drove us in any way. I hope that the majority of the young men today will be able to look back on their playing days and respect their coaches as I do mine.
J. RUSS WEAVER
I've covered Ed Thomas and his Chenoa High School football teams for the past 10 years. I feel he was unfairly portrayed in your SCORECARD item. It is incredible to me that one incident can completely overshadow all that this man has accomplished in terms of helping his players in the past 13 years.
Unfortunately, no one seems to mention that various ministers and team members were among the coach's strongest supporters after the mishap. The team has rallied solidly behind him, winning nine straight games to reach the state class I-A championship final, which it lost 34-8 to Hampshire, a perennial power. Not bad for a team with a preseason goal of .500.
If I had a son I would be happy to have him coached by Thomas. You have only added to the public humiliation of a decent man and a fine coach.
The Fairbury Blade
Earlier this year I participated in a small debate concerning fan support for college basketball (SCORECARD, April 2). I contended then—and still contend—that the state of Utah has the best fans. Senator Richard G. Lugar (R., Indiana) countered with information indicating that last season Indiana was the leader in major-college basketball attendance. Your magazine then pointed out that, in fact, Kentucky was tops.
Information recently published in Brigham Young University's campus newspaper, The Daily Universe, shows that, on a per capita basis, Utah does lead the nation, with a total attendance of 728,805 last season, drawn from a population of 1,268,000 (1977 estimate), or a ratio of 1 game attended per 1.74 citizens. The ratios for Indiana (1 to 4.66) and Kentucky (1 to 3.31) were not as good. With the news that BYU has sold out the Marriott Center, its 22,700-seat arena, for the 1979-80 season and that the University of Utah, Utah State and Weber State are well on their way to similarly high attendance, I look forward to Utah continuing to lead the nation.
ORRIN G. HATCH
United States Senator (R., Utah)
I take great exception to Naval Academy Track Coach Al Cantello's statement, "Every topflight track man in the U.S. takes steroids" (SCORECARD, NOV. 12). The statement is, at best, overreaching. As a member of the 1976 U.S. Olympic team, in which I competed in the 1,500, I categorically deny that I have ever resorted to the use of steroids, and I can further state that I have never come into contact with a middle-distance or distance runner from the U.S. who has used such drugs.
Such an all-encompassing statement presented in a national publication casts a considerable pall over the achievements of many athletes who have never used steroids. I believe the penultimate paragraph of your editorial more adequately reflects most runners' attitudes. A successful competitor is more the product of a rigorous training regimen that exploits his physiological predispositions than the beneficiary of any boost that might be gained from any drug or hormone.
MICHAEL K. DURKIN
Des Plaines, Ill.
THE THREE KINGS
Even though I am a true Canadiens fan, I would like to suggest a name for the Los Angeles Kings' line of Marcel Dionne, Charlie Simmer and Dave Taylor (These Three Kings Are Unbeatable, Nov. 12). How about the Coast Line?
My daughter thinks that the Do Line is the name for Dionne, Simmer and Taylor, but to me it is obvious that considering all the points and dollars they earn for the Kings, they should be the Bread Line.
In view of your SCORECARD items (April 16 and June 25) on my efforts to keep down the costs to fans of food at San Francisco's Candlestick Park, your readers might be interested to know that hot dog prices at Candlestick were again an issue in October, but the Recreation and Park Commission voted 5-2 to deny increases in concession prices. Citing inflationary pressures, Stevens California Enterprises, Inc. requested a boost of 25¬¨¬®¬¨¢ on vended beer, 10¬¨¬®¬¨¢ on vended hot dogs, 15¬¨¬®¬¨¢ on vended Polish sausages, 15¬¨¬®¬¨¢ on concession-stand beer and 5¬¨¬®¬¨¢ on concession-stand hot dogs and Polish sausages—all of which, by my calculations, would have increased Stevens' gross concessions revenue by more than $500,000.
The generous space your magazine devoted to the story of the 1978 nickel surcharge on vended hot dogs was an important factor in causing Rec and Park to rescind that charge, and it was instrumental in preventing the October boost.
I won't attend Rec and Park meetings again—I'm retiring. However, I offer my notes to anyone who wishes to pursue such matters in the future. Surely the opportunity to purchase food—especially hot dogs—at a fair price is as much a part of the game as is rooting for the home team.
Redwood City, Calif.
Address editorial mail to SPORTS ILLUSTRATED, Time & Life Building, Rockefeller Center, New York, New York, 10020.