ENLIGHTENED FOOTBALL (CONT.)
Finally, a positive commentary on college athletics (Casting a Special Light, Jan. 10)! As a high school coach and college admissions counselor, I had been waiting in vain for some positive public statement about collegiate sport. How appropriate that Notre Dame was chosen by John Underwood as an example of an institution that comes close to reaching the ideal that many of us in the coaching and education fields still believe in.
Fathers Theodore M. Hesburgh and Edmund P. Joyce are to be admired for what they've achieved, and John Goldrick's admissions staff must be commended for being unbending in upholding Notre Dame's standards. Those of us who have worked with Notre Dame over the years know that what you have published is true. In fact, I'm convinced that Notre Dame is an even better academic institution than Underwood's story indicated. Thanks for an optimistic, yet balanced and objective view of a great school and its athletic program.
Director of Counseling Services
Fenwick High School
Oak Park, Ill.
Another superb article by John Underwood. Educated athletes and integrity in sport should be the norm not the exception. Congratulations to Fathers Hesburgh and Joyce for their leadership in this regard. Now is the time for the other "good, strong, enduring, effective" leaders at other institutions to come to the fore.
MONTE J. KLOBERDANZ, PH.D.
I'm sure many students and alumni from various schools across the country took exception to the comments of John Underwood's "coaching friend" when he said that "for overall prestige in academics and athletics, [Notre Dame] is in a class by itself." Underwood was quick to dissociate himself from his friend's comment, but in the rest of the article Underwood implied that Notre Dame was the closest thing that exists today to that ideal balance of academics and athletics. While we at Stanford respect Notre Dame's academic and athletic integrity as we do our own, we also feel that excellence in only two sports—and men's sports at that—doesn't make for a model athletic program.
Stanford's faculty rates as one of the top five in the nation, and its students rank among the top 5% of all college students upon entering. Like Notre Dame, Stanford has no "jock major" or athletic dorms. It is as common to see an Olympic swimmer in one's dining room or thermodynamics class as it is to see John Elway on the football field. In fact, about 90% of all athletes graduate within five years, and of those who graduate, some 85% go on to graduate school.
Yet, unlike Notre Dame, Stanford has successful, competitive teams in almost every men's and women's varsity sport. In my VA years at Stanford, Cardinal athletic teams have finished in the top five in the nation in baseball, water polo, men's and women's swimming, men's and women's tennis, women's track and cross-country, and women's volleyball and have won six national titles along the way. Of course, the ability of Stanford's football team to beat the best—or lose to the worst—team in the nation is well known. With names like Hank Luisetti, Bob Mathias, Pop Warner, Frankie Albert, John Brodie, Jim Plunkett, John Elway, Tom Watson, John McEnroe, Marybeth Linzmeier, et al., in its past, Stanford's heritage as a premier athletic institution is assured for many years to come.
Like Notre Dame, Stanford has never had problems with the NCAA. Therefore, if Underwood is looking for the school that best combines academics, athletics and integrity he should hold Stanford up as his example.
ANOTHER LOOK AT '82
Photographer Brian Lanker's Pieces of '82 (Dec. 27-Jan. 3) was a magnificent pictorial essay capturing a splendid array of sports images: the hands, the eyes, the smiles, the medals and the legs of some very special and outstanding athletes. You forgot one piece, however, and I'm disappointed.
Jimmy Connors had a tremendously successful year, winning the two most prestigious tournaments in tennis against many odds, age being one of them. He's a gutsy, determined champion.
Admittedly, photographing "the guts of Jimmy Connors" might have been difficult, but eliminating him altogether was disconcerting at best.
•Lanker wanted to photograph Connors' hair flying out as it does when he hits a particularly hard return, but, alas, when Lanker arrived for his photo session with Connors, he discovered that Connors had just had his hair cut. Although Lanker tried shooting Connors in another familiar pose (above right, in a black-and-white conversion), the picture didn't turn out to be quite as striking as some of Lanker's other shots. Connors graciously acceded to Lanker's returning for a second session, but we ran out of time. Connors thus became one of several outstanding athletes of '82 we reluctantly chose to omit.—ED.
The photo essay in your year-end issue by Brian Lanker was superb. We Eugeneans are proud to call him one of us.
In the interest of accuracy, however, I'd like to point out that the medals in the picture of Alberto Salazar's awards weren't all won by him. He couldn't have gotten any of the three Heptagonal Games medals displayed in the photo. Those games are staged among the Ivy League schools and Army and Navy. Alberto attended the University of Oregon. My guess is that his brother Richard, a graduate of the Naval Academy and also a runner, is the likely owner of the Heps medals.
Nevertheless, the photograph was a fine work of art.
•Reader Anderson, a Cornell track man (1968-71) who was a 1972 Olympian in the 10,000 meters and who won the 1973 Boston Marathon, is correct. The Heptagonal Games medals—and a ribbon from a Virginia race—shown in Lanker's photographs belong to Richard. The awards hang on a bulletin board mounted on a closet door in the bedroom Alberto and Richard shared while growing up in Wayland, Mass.—ED.
JOE DEFALCO (CONT.)
As an avid deer hunter, I was saddened to see an article such as Robert Boyle's on "famous" deer hunter Joe DeFalco ("Hey, You Wanna Deer?" Jan. 10). Boyle has portrayed deer hunting as a team sport and deer hunters as insensitive, ignorant human beings whose only real chance of success as hunters lies in a mass attack on the animals they pursue. Unfortunately, I have to admit that there are many "hunters" like these. I fear that many non-hunters, to the delight of anti-hunters, will now perceive all of us in that light.
There are those of us who take to the woods each fall with a much different attitude—one characterized by respect and love for nature and the animal being hunted. Hunting becomes a personal challenge. Success is measured by the quality of time spent in the woods, the lessons learned, the observation of nature in an undisturbed state, the solitude and quietness of a cool autumn morning. When the "moment of truth" arrives, the time to decide whether to take a life or not, the sportsman's respect for his quarry becomes paramount. If a quick humane kill isn't possible, a shot is bypassed. What respect is there if you feel that "sometimes you gotta shoot at the rump on a movin' target"? The chance of a slow lingering death of an animal shot in this manner is greatly enhanced and the chance of recovery lessened.
WILLIAM S. CARLSEN
In response to "Hey, You Wanna Deer?" No! Not the Joe DeFalco way!
RONALD E. ROMANOWSKI
Joe DeFalco is a buck hunter all right—he's hunting the green buck.
New York Jets Defensive End Mark Gastineau's comment concerning a late hit he dealt to Cincinnati Bengal Quarterback Ken Anderson, "Quarterbacks don't wear skirts" (Sweet 16? It'll Never Be Missed, Jan. 17), typifies an attitude that is damaging pro football. Regardless of a player's position or protective attire, there is no excuse for late hits. One intent of pro football is to entertain, and most fans don't find late hits entertaining.
Today's players should take a lesson from a piece of NFL history that was presented on television during the Rose Bowl Parade. In honoring Merlin Olsen as the first former pro football player to be named the parade's grand marshal, NBC showed films of the sort of play that earned him induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Known for his sacking of quarterbacks, Olsen was seen in these clips performing his handiwork without delivering devastating blows. Olsen played with intensity and enthusiasm and yet was a fine example of a sportsman. In his role as a TV commentator, he often speaks out against the unnecessary violence seen too often today.
Before it's too late, Gastineau and his like should reexamine their purpose and style of play. Pro football doesn't need another Darryl Stingley incident. The league and field officials should adopt a tougher stance against those who think late hits are part of the game.
Why did you elevate 12th-ranked tennis player Johan Kriek to star status by featuring him (I'm an Animal Out There, Jan. 17)? To make light of his reprehensible court conduct and present him as a model of a successful superathlete is unworthy of your magazine. As for the classic Kriek Tank—in any other sport, tanking is called throwing the match or fight or game. In my dictionary that's defined as cheating.
It's time to stop glamorizing those whose deportment in athletic contests is deplorable; such publicity only contributes to the delinquency of younger players. With regard to Kriek, the best thing that could be done for him would be to delete him from SI in particular and professional tennis in general.
THE REV. STEPHEN P. APTHORP
Spare us from additional articles on other overpaid, spoiled and otherwise immature athletes. I don't care how many cars and boats Kriek owns; his views on tennis and life in general are shallow, boring and all too familiar. The fact that SI devoted so much space to this overage adolescent is bothersome.
In response to Barry McDermott's enlightening article, I say that although Johan Kriek may not take his tennis quite as seriously as many top players do, anyone with a trio of Porsches is just fine with me.
KEITH AND ELVIS AND FRANK
In his article (He Ain't a Hound Dog, Jan. 17), Rick Telander intimates that Keith Lee has replaced Elvis Presley as Memphis' favorite son. While I'm sure Lee is an excellent basketball player, I find it difficult to believe that the people of Memphis are ready to "put a statue of Lee down on Beale Street, next to the one of Elvis." Presley was at the top of his game for more than 20 years. Lee should be so lucky. And Telander should be ashamed.
I find it ironic that SPORTS ILLUSTRATED, a publication that always seems to be beating its breast about recruiting ethics, academic standards, NCAA rules enforcement, etc., would print an article that contains several paragraphs implying that there is something wrong about turning cheaters in. In an otherwise excellent story about Keith Lee, Rick Telander portrays Frank Broyles of the University of Arkansas as some sort of "heavy" for informing the NCAA of rule violations by Arkansas State concerning the recruitment of Lee and other athletes.
So what's wrong with that? Since Broyles came to Arkansas in the late '50s, the Razor-backs have never been placed on probation, and that includes the programs of Lou Holtz, who succeeded Broyles as football coach, and Basketball Coach Eddie Sutton, whom Broyles now supervises as athletic director. Compare that record with those of some neighboring schools (Wichita State, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, SMU) with whom Arkansas frequently competes for recruits. If you're trying to run a clean program and your competition cheats, it's only logical that you either have to try to curb their abuses or resort to cheating yourself if you want to stay competitive.
Also, Telander conveniently leaves out a few things that perhaps readers should be reminded of: 1) It was the NCAA, not Broyles, that put Arkansas State on probation; 2) after an investigation of its own, the Southland Conference also hit Arkansas State with sanctions; and 3) in 1978, the year of Arkansas' only trip to basketball's Final Four, Broyles temporarily suspended Razorback standout Marvin Delph and asked for an NCAA investigation of the Arkansas program concerning, not an action of Delph or Sutton, but a fund-raising drive sponsored by civic leaders in Delph's hometown for the purpose of sending his parents to the site of the Western Regionals. A quick inquiry cleared the matter up and Delph proved to be instrumental in helping the Hogs achieve a third-place finish. To be so near to every program's goal and then risk it all by inviting the NCAA into your front door rather than looking the other way seems to me to be a mark of a man with integrity.
In my opinion, until the NCAA is willing or able to put the necessary number of investigators into the field to check the growing tide of violations, the most effective way to control cheating is for those who don't to report those who do, even if writers like Telander make them out to be crybabies.
GUY MURPHY JR.
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.