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Marvelous Marvin Hagler should be saluted for resisting the lure of boxing's ridiculous senior circuit (With Friends Like These, Who Needs Sugar Ray?, July 2). In doing so he has retained the dignity that has been lost by Roberto Duran, Tommy Hearns and Sugar Ray Leonard as they pursue the almighty dollar. In my opinion, Hagler was the greatest fighter of the past decade, having beaten or drawn with all three of these champions. Now, as he is expanding his world as an actor in Italy, he faces the challenges of a new country, a new language and a new career.

In choosing to remain in boxing retirement, Hagler allows his fans to remember him as the finest fighting machine of the 1980s. I wish him the best of luck.
Durham, N.H.

If Hagler's trainers, Goody and Pat Petronelli, don't know what to make of Hagler these days, neither docs Rick Telander. That's unfortunate. His article should have underscored that Hagler is doing something rare for a boxing champion. He is getting on with a life tied to only the best of his past, namely self-discipline. He is giving vent to curiosity about things he doesn't know, a mark of real courage. He is developing as a human being. In all this, he stands in sharp contrast to George Foreman, Ray Leonard and Larry Holmes.

Hagler is more marvelous than ever and deserves the same postboxing respect as the other great champion from Brockton, Mass., who retired and never looked back: Rocky Marciano.
New York City

Thanks for the story about Wisconsin's national championship in men's heavyweight crew (Rude Red Crushes Crimson, June 25). But there was one aspect of this year's team that you overlooked: The nine members of the crew earned a grade point average of 3.13 on a 4.0 scale. Nearly all have a better than 3.0 average in their college careers, and they have not taken the easy route, with four majoring in engineering and the others in zoology, pharmacology, history, philosophy and psychology. In an era when the academic side of collegiate sports is rightfully coming under scrutiny, we take pride in the fact that the term student-athlete truly applies to those in our intercollegiate sports program.
Director of Athletics
University of Wisconsin-Madison

I'm a coxswain for the University of Minnesota men's crew, and I thought Michael Jaffe's article described exactly what intercollegiate rowing is all about: the early mornings—especially the cold early mornings—and the dedication to get out there every day. The sense of camaraderie that the members of a crew feel is unlike that of any other sport I have participated in. Even though Wisconsin is our chief rival, it was great to see it beat Harvard, as it had all the midwestern schools this year.
Winnipeg, Manitoba

I was disappointed that Hank Hersch, in his article about Pittsburgh Pirates' outfielder Barry Bonds (30/30 Vision, June 25), did not mention how close Barry's father, Bobby Bonds, came to being the first 40-40 man. In 1973 he hit 39 home runs and stole 43 bases for the San Francisco Giants. On the last day of the season he hit three balls against the wall. One missed going over by only eight inches.

The picture of Bucky Dent in INSIDE BASEBALL (June 11) shows something on his cap above the Yankee emblem. It appears to be a yellow cross or dagger. Could you please tell me what it is?
Lake Forest, Ill.

•Dent has on his cap a small pin in the shape of a cross that was given to him by a friend who is a Catholic priest. Dent wore it throughout his baseball career until this May, when, in response to a major league rule banning the wearing of polished metal on uniforms, he switched to a less visible blue cross. Fans may remember that Billy Martin, Dent's Yankee manager for three years, also wore a gold cross on his cap, although, surprisingly, Dent says he was unaware of this.—ED.



Dent (left) and his former manager Martin had real crosses to bear.



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