UCLA? No. 1 jock school? Please! The Bruins wear baby blue!
SUE THISDELL, Glendale, Calif.
Your article on America's top 50 jock schools should be required
reading for all high school students planning to get a college
education (Jock Schools USA, April 28). The article is proof
that many of the top-rated jock schools are also some of the
best academic schools.
PETE GORELICK, Irvine, Calif.
As an associate of a university planning firm that has assisted
more than 50 colleges in developing quality-of-life facilities
such as recreation centers and stadiums, I have concluded that
these structures play a pivotal role for all students, not just
jocks. These facilities are among the keys to the new three R's
of education--recruitment (of students), retention (of current
students) and renewal (of alumni support).
JEFFREY TURNER, Washington, D.C.
In your evaluation of Michigan as a jock school, you assert that
Gerald Ford, after having played center for the Wolverines'
football squad, "went on to even bigger things." The true spirit
of the jock school obviously eludes you: Ford was the MVP of the
Michigan football team. The presidency pales in comparison.
BRENT MCINTOSH, Williamston, Mich.
I am curious why you did not mention that No. 9 Nebraska has
more Academic All-Americas among its jocks, by a large margin,
than any other school. Would that make you raise or lower its
MARILYN H. MERCIER, Lincoln, Neb.
A school that has a mission statement of "developing Midshipmen
morally, mentally and physically" not included among your top 50
jock schools? A school with 152 years of athletic excellence,
the best rivalry in the history of sports (versus Army), two
Heisman winners (Roger Staubach and Joe Bellino), a college
basketball player of the year (David Robinson) and national
championships in a variety of sports, including boxing, men's
crew, men's soccer, sailing and lightweight football? The Naval
Academy has a million-dollar weight room on a par with
Nebraska's, a new baseball stadium, two aquatic complexes, 11
full-sized fields for a student body of 4,000. And the entire
student body attends every home football game.
CHRIS FUQUA, Gulf Breeze, Fla.
Football All-Americas Leroy Keyes and Bob Griese, men's and
women's basketball powerhouses, and even on-campus flying
classes. No matter what your criteria, there is no way that
Northwestern (No. 40) is a bigger jock school than Purdue.
BRENDA BRANCH, LaPorte, Ind.
How could you fail to list Arkansas? The Hogs' basketball team
entered the 1996-97 season as the winningest of the '90s,
including a national championship in '94. The men's track team
is arguably the most dominant program in the history of the
NCAA, winning 24 championships in the last 14 years. The
football team has been to 28 bowl games, and Arkansas is the
only school other than Alabama and Florida to play in the SEC
DAVID W. REYNOLDS, Dallas
I was disappointed that Illinois, the school that invented
homecoming and tailgating, was excluded. Red Grange, Dick
Butkus, Red Kerr and Ray Nitschke, to name a few, are all former
Fighting Illini. As avid Illini fans, we have learned to live
with some disappointment, but listing Northwestern, Minnesota,
Wisconsin and not Illinois?
JON PHILLIPS and KEVIN GLEN, Chicago
The last time I checked, Maryland had finished eighth in the
fall Sears Director's Cup competition and had the most dominant
college team anywhere in its women's lacrosse squad, which at
one point strung up 50 consecutive wins. Oh, yeah, Boomer
Esiason, Joe Smith, Len Elmore, Kelly Amonte and John Lucas are
a few of the athletes who have gone to school in College Park.
KEVIN FOLEY, Hingham, Mass.
It is unfair of you to put Georgia's UGA V on your cover without
including his relatives at Yale and Mississippi State and the
many other colleges that have bulldog mascots. The only thing
is, Georgia discriminates, allowing only white bulldogs to serve
as its mascot. As a graduate of an Ivy League school represented
by a dork in a crimson Puritan's costume, I have had the
privilege of observing Handsome Dan doing his thing during
halftime of Harvard-Yale football games, and he is obviously the
beneficiary of a quality education.
VIRGINIA ROWLAND Templeton, Mass.
I beg to differ on your golf course ratings. Seven Oaks, a
Robert Trent Jones Jr. course at Colgate, has consistently been
rated among the Top 5 collegiate courses by Golf Digest since
Colgate hosted the NCAA championships in 1977.
MARC FERTIK, East Brunswick, N.J.
You left out one sport--sailing. More than 200 colleges
participate in the fall and spring racing seasons. Like other
sports, top programs recruit the best sailors coming out of high
JOSH ADAMS, Boston
You are probably right when you say Notre Dame has the most
famous fight song, but which school has the best fight song was
settled a long time ago when John Philip Sousa, the March King,
bestowed that title on Michigan's The Victors.
CHERYL A. PULA, New York Mills, N.Y.
Texas-Arlington the best place to watch basketball? You've got
to be kidding. The fans are seated lower than the stage (an
awful view). Playing Division I basketball in a place like that
should be an embarrassment for the school and the Southland
DANNY LITTLETON, Eros, La.
As captain of the Stanford women's ski team I would like to
correct the impression that we are part of "the embarrassment of
riches" that is apparently such a problem at Stanford. In
reality every other ski team in the area also has a cabin at
Tahoe, including Cal, UC Davis, Chico State and Sierra College.
These places are far from chalets, to say the least. Out of our
$13,000 budget, $7,000 is raised by members of the team who
participate in fund-raising projects throughout the year. We,
along with the rest of the club sports, get to do such glamorous
jobs as cleaning the stadium after football games to amass money
for our sports.
PAGE PERRY, Stanford, Calif.
How can you list Syracuse as one of your top jock schools when
it drops varsity wrestling and men's gymnastics in the same year?
JOHN BOVET, Marion, N.Y.
Your mention of the Ohio State band's famous script Ohio
formation recalled many memories. The script Ohio was the idea
of band director Eugene J. Weigel and was first performed on
Oct. 24, 1936, with a trumpet player dotting the i. At a
Tuesday-evening practice in the fall of '37, Weigel directed the
sousaphone player at the top of the h to trade places with the
trumpet player. I was that sousaphone player, and I dotted the i
in '37, '38, '39 and '40.
GLEN R. JOHNSON, Battle Creek, Mich.
Although I haven't seen the syllabus, UNLV's course on the
mathematics of casino games could be a terrific class, for it
may well include topics in probability, statistics, decision
analysis, optimization theory and plain old finance. Sports and
mathematics coexist nicely. We need not belittle either in
celebrating the other.
DAVID L. ABRAHAMSON Professor, Mathematics and Computer Science
Rhode Island College
I enjoyed the Jock School feature, particularly the section in
which even smaller schools were celebrated for having a unique
or interesting fight song, intramural sport or sports pub.
Here's a category that was overlooked: the most unusual team
nicknames, like Banana Slugs (UC Santa Cruz), Rattlers (Florida
A&M), Spiders (Richmond) and my favorite, the Zips (Akron). The
Zips also have a mascot that's not quite as well known as the
Georgia Bulldog: Zippy the Kangaroo.
KEITH LAWRENCE, Cincinnati
My congratulations to every university and college that did not
make your list. Keep up the good work.
LARRY WANGER, London, Ont.
COLOR PHOTO: LANE STEWART Is Yale's Handsome Dan the better-educated bulldog? [Bulldog Handsome Dan]