"Brawling pro athletes are sending a distressing message to youngsters. Like it or not, these athletes are role models."
KEITH E. GILLES, FORT THOMAS. KY.
I couldn't agree more with your article on the high incidence of brawls in baseball and the NBA (Way Out of Control, May 23). Baseball is being reduced to ridiculous exercises in ego and machismo. There is no excuse for charging the mound, and anyone doing so should be given a 20-game suspension without pay. The manager and anyone leaving the dugout should get 10-game suspensions. Pitchers have the right to pitch inside, and they no longer are being allowed to do that. It's hurting the game.
CRAIG JOHNSON, Riverdale, N.Y.
Because penalties are minor, not only do many players consider themselves above the law, but they really are above the law. Away from the stadiums, their brawling and assaulting would mean jail terms.
DEBORAH FOHRINGER, Bellefonte, Pa.
It's about time that somebody realized that hockey is developing a cleaner image while baseball and basketball are getting out of control.
JAMES NEUBIG, Nutley, N.J.
The instigators of these incidents seem to think they are defending their manhood, but they are actually demonstrating their immaturity. In so doing, they ignore a time-honored truth: 'Tis better to stand at the plate, dust yourself off and be thought a fool than to charge the mound and remove all doubt.
JOHN B. ALDEN, Lawrence, Kans.
My nine-year-old son was pitching for his Little League team. He had the bases loaded and was struggling. On a full count, he hit the batter on the foot. It was the only run he allowed. The hit batter charged the mound! Can you believe it? My son ran toward the dugout and thereby averted a brawl. I wonder where this kid got the idea to rush the mound.
DANIEL MALCHOW, Chula Vista, Calif.
Your story about attorney Mike Glazier (Big Man on Campus, May 23) fails to mention the most important body in the NCAA enforcement process: the Committee on Infractions. This group of six representatives from member institutions, plus two outside legal experts, acts as the judge in major infractions cases.
The article left the impression that the NCAA enforcement staff alone controls the destiny of member institutions that violate NCAA rules. The enforcement staff investigates allegations and presents its findings to the Committee on Infractions, as does the involved institution. The committee, currently chaired by Oklahoma law professor David Swank, then rules on what infractions, if any, actually occurred and what the penalty will be. Any success Glazier has in representing his clients depends on his convincing the Committee on Infractions, not the NCAA staff, of his clients' innocence.
KATHRYN M. REITH
Director of Public Information, NCAA
Overland Park, Kans.
I take exception to the statement about Michael Glazier made by Laurel Wilkining, the provost at Washington when Glazier conducted his investigation on behalf of the university, who is quoted as saying, "I thought he was excellent." The investigation Glazier headed cost the university approximately $550,000. The university acknowledged most of the allegations made against the football program and asked for mercy from the Pac 10's nine other schools, most of which have been regularly beaten by Washington in recent years. Washington received sanctions that were unprecedentedly harsh for these kinds of alleged infractions.
Our long-successful and long-ethical football coach, Don James, resigned in disgust, and the players have hired their own lawyer to bring a suit in federal court to protect their rights.
MICHAEL G. THOMPSON. Spokane
I'm proud of the Chicago Bulls (Dèjà Vu, May 23). After losing the greatest player in the game, the Bulls went into the final week of the regular season with a chance to finish atop the Eastern Conference. It's unfortunate that the road to a fourth straight NBA championship went through an NFL team. The Bulls played a graceful yet physical and exciting style of basketball, while the New York Knicks put on the helmets and shoulder pads and thought it was first-and-10.
ELLIOT T. CHRISTENSEN, Austin, Minn.
In your SCORECARD item (May 30) on the 67 players who have hit home runs in their first time at bat in the major leagues, you say that most of them did little or nothing in their pro careers afterward. In addition to the exceptions that you name, there is also Bob Nieman of the 1951 St. Louis Browns. He homered in his first two times at bat, a major league first. And he lasted 12 years in the big leagues and hit 125 home runs.
PAT HARMON, Wyoming, Ohio
Letters to SPORTS ILLUSTRATED should include the name, address and home telephone number of the writer and should he addressed to The Editor, SPORTS ILLUSTRATED, Time & Life Building, Rockefeller Center, New York, N.Y. 10020-1393.