The Broad Street Bullies
Your blanket characterizations of Fred Shero's Stanley Cup teams as goons and embarrassments are shortsighted and unfair (SCORECARD, Jan. 27). Yes, the Flyers did have their share of goons in Dave Schultz, Bob Kelly. Moose Dupont and others, but hockey history will also remember the gritty determination of team captain Bobby Clarke, the power of Reggie Leach, the grace of Rick MacLeish and the mesmerizing goaltending of Bernie Parent.
It never ceases to amaze us how lighting in hockey always begins and ends with the Philadelphia Flyers of the 1970s. Flyer-bashers conveniently look past the Big Bad Bruins of the late '60s and early '70s, the antics of the Plager brothers with the old St. Louis Blues, the fierceness of the Detroit Red Wings when they were led by Gordie Howe (he of the educated elbows) and Terrible Ted Lindsay. The Flyers were certainly not angels, but the Stanley Cup isn't won by the team that leads the NHL in knockouts. The Flyers were wildly successful both in the standings and at the gate. They were the single greatest gate attraction in every enemy building they entered—not bad for a club that joined the league in 1967-68, only six years before it won its first Stanley Cup.
King of Prussia, Pa.
As a member of Vermont's House Education Committee, a trustee of the University of Vermont and a 20-year veteran of public school teaching, I was disappointed, yet admittedly not surprised, as I read William F. Reed's Jan. 20 SCORECARD item. In describing the NCAA's attempt to increase eligibility standards for student-athletes, Reed writes, "The new legislation is intended to put pressure on parents, teachers and coaches to take care of business earlier in an athlete's career." Where are the students? At what point do they become responsible for their futures? Whether accidental, incidental or intentional, Reed's omission of students in this NCAA formula for success simply reaffirms what observers and the American public have known all along: Unless we stop managing college athletes as professionals-in-training, the efforts of the NCAA at true reform are without substance.
Vermont House of Representatives
Are our high schools keeping pace with the new NCAA academic reforms for incoming college freshmen? Will high school athletes be able to compete academically as well as athletically in college? I'm pessimistic. Too often, rather than promoting academic excellence, high schools give mixed messages: Study hard and make your grades, but play the game tonight even if you have finals tomorrow. Participate in school clinics, camps and tournaments, but go elsewhere for tutoring programs. Affluent parents can hire tutors, but what support systems arc available to kids with limited finances who founder or fail?
As an avid sports fan, a father of student-athletes and a college professor, I have observed the amazing growth of high-quality athletic programs. But while today's youngsters have grown dramatically in their athletic performance, they have stagnated academically. Fundamental change is needed to reverse the perception that scholarly growth takes a back seat to winning.
A Death in the Family
After reading about Earnest Killum's courageous decision to play basketball at Oregon State following his recovery from a mild stroke (INSIDE COLLEGE BASKETBALL, Jan. 13) and then learning of his tragic death from another stroke (INSIDE COLLEGE BASKETBALL, Jan. 27), I wondered if he was related to the Earnest Killum who was a Little All-America guard for Stetson during the 1969-70 season. My fellow Stetson alumnus was a super player and a terrific clutch shooter whose 25.6 point average that year is still a school record. If the Oregon State player was related to him, there can be no doubt as to where he got much of his aptitude for the game.
Falls Church, Va.
•The Killums were father and son.—ED.
The elder Killum (51) was a standout at Stetson; his son might have become one at Oregon State.
WILLIAM KENT STARR
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