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Congratulations to John Underwood for his fine article on Notre Dame (Casting a Special Light, Jan. 10). I was very impressed by his unbiased and honest approach to the story. As a former varsity hockey player at Notre Dame who never really saw any action—I was a walk-on—I can attest to the fact that athletes there do not receive any special privileges and are not treated any differently from the rest of the student body. As Underwood said, being able to schedule our classes so that they didn't conflict with practice was the only so-called benefit. We were allowed to sign up for courses before the rest of the student body and before the courses in high demand became full.

With the type of student-athlete that Notre Dame attracts, it was no surprise to see football players in my organic chemistry lecture class and lab. As I have now moved on to graduate school at the University of Oklahoma, I've seen a different side of college football. For instance, going through an Oklahoma football program, I couldn't help but notice that of the 60 or so Sooners pictured, about 25 had listed either recreation or communications as their major. I'm not trying to single out Oklahoma as the only school where football players seem more concerned about becoming professionals than earning a college degree, but when I was there, Notre Dame didn't even offer a course called recreation!
Oklahoma City

"If you cheat, you'll be out of here before midnight." If every college president had the guts to give his coaches the same two-minute speech Father Hesburgh delivers to Notre Dame coaches, intercollegiate athletics would not be in the mess they are today.

Congratulations to Notre Dame and SI for showing that athletes can live with regular students, take non-jock courses and earn degrees while excelling in a first-rate college sports program. Long live the student-athlete!
Jeffersonville, Ind.

Many thanks to John Underwood for his insightful article on Notre Dame. It was refreshing to read about an emphasis on academics and strong leadership from the top in a major-college athletic program. Coincidently, your cover story in this same issue highlighted the first national football championship for Penn State's Joe Paterno, or as John Papanek appropriately described him, the most deserving coach in America. Paterno has developed another football program that has succeeded while remaining beyond NCAA reproach. In his 33 years of coaching at Penn State, including 17 as head coach, he has stressed academics, and he remains prouder of his team's graduation percentage—according to the Penn State football guide, more than 90% of his scholarship players have graduated—than his own remarkable winning percentage of .824. Paterno's commitment to academics was evidenced this season by Penn State's having three student-athletes on the Academic All-America first team. Penn State was the only university to have as many as three.
Cicero, Ind.

It hurt me to read that an intelligent and sensitive individual like Alan Page has "no nostalgia" for our common alma mater. However, it comes as no surprise. A review of the roster of Notre Dame's 1966 national championship team reveals that he was the only black on the team. This reflects a fact not touched upon in your article on Irish athletics, i.e., Notre Dame's Utopia doesn't have much room for those who make up the cream of the athletic crop, the disadvantaged black poor.

I only hope that the subsequent generations of black Golden Domers have been made to feel more a part of the tradition. If they have, then Father Hesburgh's Utopian dreams might really be true.
Ann Arbor, Mich.

•When Notre Dame announced in the fall of 1969 that it had decided to accept an invitation to play in a postseason bowl game for the first time since 1925, Father Edmund P. Joyce said, "The crucial consideration was the urgent need of the university for funds to finance minority student academic programs and scholarships. Notre Dame's share of [1970] bowl-game proceeds will be dedicated to this pressing university need." The fact that 25 of the 95 scholarship players on the 1982 Notre Dame football team were black—the figures are eight of 13 for the basketball team—would indicate that the school has had some success in its quest. However, Notre Dame officials readily concede that the recruiting of minority students—who constitute 8.8% of the overall enrollment—is a matter of continuing concern.—ED.

The article made me feel very proud to be the unofficial president of the Notre Dame Subway Alumni—especially because it was written by the fault-finding king, John Underwood, who found the Irish faults to be few and far between. Yes. academics are important, but I sure wish the football team would win a few more games.
Fresno, Calif.

You've proved to me that SPORTS ILLUSTRATED is soft on Notre Dame. In the prime time of college football recruiting, the sometimes fighting Irish spent another New Year's Day watching the bowl games from the sidelines of their living rooms. No record. No exposure. No free publicity.

Also, no problems. Enter the obligatory piece on how Notre Dame is the next best thing to paradise in college athletics, presented on no fewer than 11 pages, background courtesy of the university's top two administrators. That's like asking Don King if anything is amiss in pro boxing.

Why is Notre Dame unique? Examine your own publication. When it comes to media coverage that borders on propaganda, the Irish are a majority of one.
Butler, Pa.

As a die-hard Penn State football fan, I offer my hearty congratulations to John Papanek on his superbly written account of the Sugar Bowl game (But How 'Bout Them Lions?, Jan. 10). Coach Joe Paterno is truly deserving of this elusive national championship. His loyalty and the dignity he has brought to Penn State are indicative of his class, and Todd Blackledge and Curt Warner are products of his emphasis on character and fundamentals. Seventeen years is a long time to wait, but that makes the championship all the more sweet.
Poughkeepsie, N.Y.

It's a terrible shame that once-beaten Penn State was ranked No. 1 and undefeated SMU No. 2. Shouldn't it be the other way around? Let's hear it for the SMU Mustangs!
Mason, Ohio

Your article on "expert deer hunter" Joe DeFalco ("Hey, You Wanna Deer?", Jan. 10) is offensive to the experienced deer hunter. At a time when there are more than enough antihunting nuts on the loose, this story only serves to give them ammunition—no pun intended—for their misguided cause.
Rome, Pa.

"...a truck air horn blasts so that people and deceased deer can be picked up...." "Deceased?" How about "killed" or "slain." Please don't forget that while Joe DeFalco may consider hunting deer with a party of 35, rifles and side-band radios a sport, there are others who consider it an atrocity.
Mountain Lakes, N.J.

Robert H. Boyle's article was simply beautiful, and it seems he couldn't have written it about a better sportsman than Joe DeFalco. The article depicted what I have been trying to stress to non-hunters about the sport—that hunters come from all walks of life and are not as bad as they are made out to be.
University Park, Pa.

Dr. Z has done it again (The Cream of a Sour Season, Jan. 10)! Few have recognized Tampa Bay's Hugh Green as the finest outside linebacker in football. The good doctor is an astute observer of football excellence.

It's refreshing that a notable media representative selected an All-Pro team based on actual talent and current performance. Too often all-star selections are a product of media popularity and past accomplishments.
Gainesville, Fla.

Dr. Z should be hit with a malpractice suit for overlooking Ken Anderson in favor of Dan Fouts as All-Pro quarterback. And choosing Dwight Clark over Marcus Allen as Player of the Year is incomprehensible. Come on. Dr. Z. Before you reach a diagnosis, do a thorough examination.
East Liverpool, Ohio

In his article To the Limit and Beyond (Dec. 27-Jan. 3), Kenny Moore masterfully weaves his philosophy of road racing with exercise science. Moore experienced several exercise-related medical problems during the Great Hawaiian Footrace that are not uncommon in competitive runners. For the record, "heart-blood red" accurately describes the color of Moore's urine specimen, which was bright red and grossly bloody, not dark red or the burgundy color of myoglobinuria as suggested by Gary Newman, M.D. (19TH HOLE, Jan. 10) in his armchair diagnosis of this problem. Numerous free and clotted red blood cells were visible on microscopic inspection.

Such cases of transient bloody urine in runners are typically not associated with impaired kidney function. Of the 25 male runners we studied during the Great Hawaiian Footrace, none showed any evidence of acute kidney failure.

Also it should be noted that Moore's blood tests were positive for elevation of both skeletal muscle and heart enzymes. The significance of these findings will be discussed in a medical journal article, where the data will be available for standard peer review.
Director, Exercise Laboratories
William Beaumont Hospital
Royal Oak, Mich.

Letters should include the name, address and home telephone number of the writer and be addressed to The Editor, SPORTS ILLUSTRATED, Time & Life Building, Rockefeller Center, New York, N.Y. 10020.