End Zone Reactions
Apparently Curry Kirkpatrick thinks that the ideals of good sportsmanship and class are outdated (The No Fun League, Sept. 2). If he wants to watch moonwalking, funky chickens, shimmies, etc., he should turn on MTV. Such antics do not belong on the football field.
I wholeheartedly agree with Kirkpatrick. Let NFL players dance! Let them celebrate! Let them put on a show for us! The fans love it. Who cares if the game takes 3½ hours? Pro football should throw the flag on instant replays instead. I would rather watch a team do some excessive celebrating than watch everyone stand around while replay officials rerun a play over and over before making a call.
Thank you for the refreshing article on Robert Smith, the Ohio State tailback who quit the football team rather than compromise his academic career (Goodbye, Columbus. Sept. 9). In these dreary days of Division I colleges that boast about their so-called student-athlete programs, it is splendid to find a young man genuinely committed to his studies. Coach John Cooper should have foreseen an inevitable conflict of interest. When a visiting recruit wants to tour the medical school and library, you know he's serious about academics.
Yes, Gordon Gee is a great recruiter. In his first year as president of Ohio State, his phone calls have helped us more than quadruple, to 106, the number of National Merit Scholars enrolled in the freshman class. Yes, these calls have helped attract football players, faculty and administrators, including a few coaches. Gee is also proud of the fact that of the 34 National Football Foundation Hall of Fame Scholars named to date from the Big Ten, 13 have been Buckeyes.
Gee has stood behind Smith's decision from the beginning, although your story didn't mention this fact. The day Smith heals his first patient is Gee's dream as well as Smith's.
MALCOLM S. BAROWAY
Ohio State University
Your story will undoubtedly generate an avalanche of criticism of coaches John Cooper and Elliot Uzelac. While the treatment of Smith was reprehensible. Cooper and Uzelac should not shoulder the brunt of the blame. Coaches are hired to win games, not to graduate potential doctors. Cooper indicated that if the Buckeyes fail to have a big season, he is in danger of losing his job. Understandably, his primary concern is winning.
The fault lies with the university administration, which has acceded to the demands of alumni and fans for a winning team, whatever the cost. Sadly, Ohio State is simply a microcosm of big-time college athletics.
New Milford, Conn.
I don't think you had a full understanding of the situation when you gave a thumbs up (SCORECARD, Sept. 2) to the University of Connecticut for dropping its 125-pound weight limit for female cheerleaders after a complaint was filed with the state commission. I am a male cheerleader at Cornell, and I am glad that our school has a recommended weight limit of 115 pounds for the females on the squad. The problem is not that a woman who weighs too much looks fat, but that a woman who weighs too much is a serious danger to her male partner. Some of the partner stunts place a lot of strain on the shoulders and back of the male. It takes a much stronger male to perform stunts with a 130-pound woman than with a 105-pound woman.
It is unfortunate that the woman at Connecticut was kicked off the squad for being only five pounds over the limit, but the limit must be set somewhere.
I am a high school American-history teacher. Nine years ago David Klingler, now the quarterback at the University of Houston, entered my classroom as a skinny, tall freshman. Since then I have gotten to know David very well. He is nothing like the Klingler portrayed in your article The Kid (Aug. 26). The David Klingler I know has given hundreds of hours of volunteer time to Young Life, a Christian youth program. He takes time from his busy schedule to talk to schoolchildren about avoiding drugs and achieving success. He spoke at our school recently, and the junior high down the street expects him to speak there later this semester. We have few heroes today, in part because the media seem to prefer to turn their subjects into flamboyant caricatures. Perhaps in the future you might consider being more humane.
GORDON PRICE UTZ JR.
Some fans don't think the NFL's rule makers are a real fun bunch.
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