THE COLLEGE ATHLETE
In the May 23 issue, Jimmy Jemail has me saying, "All big-time college sports are subsidized. Players go to the highest bidder." While the statement is a fair but abbreviated paraphrase as far as it goes, it does not reflect my entire position as I presented it at a meeting of educators in Chicago and subsequently; I do not believe many colleges and universities violate the existing NCAA rules. However, I think the rules themselves should be revised so that an amateur is rightly defined. Anyone who accepts any kind of compensation for becoming a player should be declared to be what he is—a professional.
The implication that I am in any way opposed to college sports is unfounded. I feel intercollegiate athletics of the amateur variety have a high degree of educational value for young people. Nor am I opposed to "big time" college sports for institutions which wish to pursue such programs.
What I do oppose, however, is the practice of maintaining commercialized sports under the guise of "amateur" athletics. My position is a very simple one. Let those colleges sincerely interested in amateurism select athletes after matriculation, without advance effort of any kind to induce athletes to go to their institutions instead of to some other. Such institutions could form an amateur league and play each other.
The rest, those which recruit players with various inducements such as athletic scholarships, should eliminate the hypocrisy from their position and call themselves the National Collegiate Professional Athletic Association or some similar name, and restrict their schedules to members of this league.
June 5, 1955
To those college authorities and alumni who argue that athletic scholarships get a lot of boys a college education who wouldn't otherwise get to college at all, let me ask this:
If a student is worth a scholarship and is just as worthy academically as any other aspiring applicant, why demand athletic skill as a prerequisite for helping him? And if he isn't equally worthy on academic merit, why do him the injustice of exploiting his athletic ability for the financial profit of a college from which the student cannot profit educationally? The scholarship available "for athletes only" is nothing but play for pay and should be clearly labeled as such.
The only legitimate reason for enrolling a man at a college or university is that there is some foundation for believing he can benefit from the educational opportunity offered. Out of those who ought to be in college on that basis, many will have athletic skill and interest and will form fine amateur teams. As for those colleges which want to continue hiring players with scholarships and other devices and thereby fielding professional teams, let them do so openly and without guile.
BUELL G. GALLAGHER
City College of New York
THAT LITTLE FLY AND I
What I like about SI is that it doesn't care much for me. This sometimes produces wonderful results. I am a "major sports" man: what's good for the season is good for me. Baseball when the days are long, football when the sky is gray, and hockey for the long winter nights. My weekly meeting with SI is therefore a somewhat breathless occasion, full of wondrous suspicions and dark mutterings. Bullfighting. Bear hunting. Badminton, anyone? No, sir, no one here but us oafs. But on occasion I musingly dive into my freshly minted copy and find myself floating in a world of such pure, unsuspected pleasure that I come up knowing myself for the lumpish square I am. Such a story was Sparse Grey Hackle's piece on the trout fishermen of the Beaverkill (SI, May 23). Trout flies, as far as I am concerned, belong in dentists' waiting rooms encased in lucite cigaret boxes. Fly fishermen I detest as unclean hermits who have parlayed their parlor game skills into pure gamesmanship. But the world of Sparse Grey Hackle, as seen by him and so very obviously lived by him and the 19 members of that most delightful of all clubs, I must admit is a world far removed from the clumsy, noisy clamor that I call living. To read him is to know for a short while the pure, wholesome, noncompetitive communion with oneself, a little fly, a lot of water and the dim, pleasant, unimportant possibility that one of these hours something nice might happen—a totally satisfying experience to the reader, even if nothing in the world could drag me in the flesh to that riverbank.
SI, I love you. Not with the craving of the hashish devotee for the pipe, but with the puzzled passion of a father toward a wayward child, who only seldom, but then so gloriously, fulfills his parents' dreams of a better, richer, finer life than his old man's.
J. S. ADAMS
WHAT'S THE SCORE?
At last you run a story on hunting the largest carnivorous beast on earth, the Alaska brown bear, display fine pictures and state this was the biggest kill of the season (SI, May 23). But not a mention, not a hint of the bear's dimensions—its weight, its height, size of its paws, breadth of its skull or any of a dozen other vital statistics, which are the central interest of such an article to many of your readers. I knew Jim Nash was going on this hunt for a long while and am eager to learn the lowdown.
How about it—did your reporter think to get the size details, and if he did what were they?
•One of the details brought back by our reporter was that the Alaskan (Kodiak) bear is not carnivorous, but omnivorous. Mr. Nash, who shot one of the bears shown in SI, found one rear pad to be 14 inches in diameter and estimated the bear's weight at 1,000 pounds (it had recently come out of hibernation). However, a bear's trophy standing is determined entirely by measuring the length and width of the skull after the lower jaw has been removed. The two figures are added to produce the score. The measurements of Nash's bear were 17 9/16 inches by 12 2/16 inches, thus giving a score of 29 11/16. The Boone and Crockett Club founded by Theodore Roosevelt is the keeper of North American big-game records. World's record Kodiak bear was shot by Roy Lindsley for the Los Angeles County Museum in 1952. It had a score of 30 12/16, only 1 1/16 more than Mr. Nash's.—ED.
THE MODEST SHERPA
Mr. Ullman certainly captured Tenzing's fine personality (SI, May 2, 9, 16). I was the 28th person to sign Mr. Tenzing's register, the third from the United States, when I saw him in his Darjeeling home in 1953. He was a gracious host, allowing me to take several photographs (see cut). He served the same kind of coffee that was used at an altitude of 25,000 feet, while describing the conquest of Mt. Everest. He donned his mountain climbing clothing and showed me that the spikes on the crampons had a length of two inches. Tributes and memorials from all over the world were hanging in the drawing room. He revealed a great deal of pride in these recognitions, but impressed me as being a very sincere and modest individual.
Some of the natives seemed to take Mr. Tenzing's success for granted. They apparently did not take too much interest in it at that time, even though Tenzing was the very center of international news. This confirms the old saying that a prophet or a hero is not without honor except in his own country.
I subscribed to a fund started at that time for the purpose of training Sherpas. Paying him in American dollars, I told him the story of Abraham Lincoln, whose picture is engraved on the five-dollar bill and of George Washington, whose picture is on the one-dollar bill.
COME UP AND SEE ME SOMETIME
As pictured on your May 23 cover, Zale Parry is the most beautiful thing in underwater sports.
I'm a part-time skin diver myself, and I've often done my diving off Santa Catalina Island where Miss Parry got her start. It was pleasant to think that I might someday see the lovely Zale swim past me, 10 fathoms down, idly hunting for lobster and looking very much as she does in your cover photograph.
Unfortunately, that dream lasted only as long as it took me to read the paragraph of your PAT ON THE BACK for Parry. Then I discovered that she goes in for breaking depth records, completely equipped with "swimsuit, three woollen sweaters, long Navy underwear, rubber diving suit, swim fins, weight belt, face plate and lung." If I met her dressed in that outfit I would eject my shark repellent and streak for the surface.
May I urge Miss Parry to abandon her woollen sweaters and Navy underwear and return to the scenic 10-fathom level?
THAT CONSCIENTIOUS CHARACTER
After reading the first part of The Nine Lives of Leo Durocher, it is fascinating to realize the man he really is. Not only has he risen from heartache to fame and fortune but has kept his mind to himself and his head upon his shoulders. Most of his life he was not only a man of character but also conscientious and hardworking.
With the New York Giants, Leo has found himself. He is sure to stick with them for many years to come.
I am now waiting anxiously for the next issues to come out so I can read the remainder of his fabulous story. SI has really put out a bang-up story this time. Keep up the good work.
SYDNEY A. ABEL
THOUGHT FOR FOOD
Robert Shaplen's story on Leo Durocher is keen reading. The first and second installments were enough to keep one leaning over to wait for the next one. Being a baseball fan of many years' standing, I really go for those stories.
Paul Richards' articles are also for fellows like me. I coached youngsters for 16 years and still love to read about strategy, especially from someone like Richards.
Our monthly Hot Stove dinner night is coming up and I guess the Durocher story will be discussed when the crew assembles.
Staten Island Hot Stove League
Staten Island, N.Y.
LOOK, MOM, I'M FAMOUS
The U.S. Naval Academy lacrosse team is well pleased with the publicity they received in SI, May 2, but one of our first classmen wasn't quite as overjoyed as he should have been.
While your photographer recorded the Navy-Harvard lacrosse game, the second platoon of the 12th company paraded across Farragut Field past the game in progress.
A few days later a 12th Company 1/c was summoned to the "Muleskinner's" office. Upon sounding off in the prescribed manner the quaking midshipman noticed a familiar magazine stretched across the big desk with a Form "2" (disciplinary form) beside it. After a brief, one-sided discussion he was shown where he and his platoon were clearly shown in the picture featuring the lacrosse players. Since he was the only one out of step, had his head turned toward the players (and unfortunately and unknowingly toward the camera), and showed other violations of military bearing, a debit on the Form "2" was considered applicable.
Try as you may...you can't beat the system!
YOU SHOULD LIVE SO LONG
I am sure wives will agree with Mrs. Herbert James regarding the traditional alcoholic treat when one's husband is fortunate (?) enough to achieve the great feat of a hole in one (19TH HOLE, May 16). We at the Phoenix Country Club have the perfect solution.
In 1949 the Insurance Agency of Cash, Sullivan, and Cross presented the club with a policy which entitles any member making a hole in one to treat his fellow members or guests to a drink (or drinks) up to the amount of $50. During the years the policy has been in effect, 10 players have had the distinction of making a hole in one and the added pleasure of treating and being treated at the expense of the insurance agents. Unfortunately, Messrs. Cash, Sullivan and Cross have not been among those 10.
Your excellent magazine was a gift to my son but is read from cover to cover by every member of the family.
HELEN B. CASH
THE BIGGEST? THE LOUDEST?
The demise of Harvard's famous outsize drum was mourned in Si's March 14 issue. Later a brash Texan appeared in the 19TH HOLE, claiming the honor for the world's largest drum, naturally, for Texas University. Meanwhile a group of loyal New England sentimentalists quietly banded together and commissioned the Slingerland Drum Company to come up with this drum for Harvard (see cut). Is it the world's largest? Is it the world's loudest? Performance data will be shrouded in secrecy until the big drum makes its debut this fall on Soldier Field. Floreat Harvardiana!
ANDREW DE HIRSCH
THE ART OF YACHTING
May I say that Si's May 16 color pictures of boat hulls were splendid. Ocean racing itself is increasing, together with all boating. The 78 entrants in last year's Bermuda race made it the largest in history, and there are two transatlantic races scheduled this year. At least 15 yachts are being shipped to Sweden to take part in the Around Gottland Island race this summer and the Fastnet race in England. It is true that the total maintenance for boats like these runs high. That is not to say, however, that there is a close correlation between the amount spent on an ocean racer and the number of races she wins. A yacht can be a modest or a very expensive proposition. The real art is to have a topflight racer with a minimum of expenditure. What wins a race is not the money spent, but rather a capable crew, a capable skipper and luck.
As for building costs, it is true that some owners believe they have saved by having their ships built abroad, but, due to no fault of the foreign builders, the saving is considerably diminished by the time the boat is ready to sail in American waters. Changes have very often to be made on this side of the Atlantic to bring the ship up to racing trim. Furthermore, some discrepancies often arise when architect and builder are separated by an ocean. There seems to be a definite trend among boat owners to return to American yards for the construction of their boats. Nevins Yacht Yard is able to compete in the building market with the lower-paying European yards because of their extensive use of elaborate jigs and patterns, their well-equipped machine shop and their long standing reputation for doing the best possible job on every square inch of the ships they build.
It is very distasteful for me to be overly critical of any articles in SI, since the average report in your publication has been factual, and, as far as I can determine, accurate. However, I believe your May 16 article, Bad Time for Big Racers to be inaccurate to the point of being ridiculous.
In the first place, I don't believe that any 57-foot yacht costs $25,000 a year to maintain. I recently owned a 73-foot cutter myself, and outside of rehabilitating and replacing old and worn-out rigging, mechanical parts, etc., I would estimate that the maintenance costs were around $4,000 or $5,000 a year to keep in perfect condition.
The most inaccurate statement in the article, however, is, and I quote, "By contrast, Seattle harbors only 25 ocean racers in the 45-foot-plus category; and were it not for the existence of the large Boeing Aircraft plant with its complement of highly paid executives, there might not be more than five." That statement is about as far off the truth as anything could possibly be, because in the 45-foot-plus category there is, to my knowledge, only one yacht owned by a Boeing executive and he is Clair Egtvedt, chairman of the board at Boeing. True, many Boeing employees own boats, however, they are mostly smaller ones from Lightnings and Flatties up to a couple of 35- and 40-footers.
Examples of large boat owners in this area are: a portrait photographer, an insurance executive, an architect, a banker, four or five doctors, two or three lawyers, a university professor, a university coach, a paper-box manufacturer and an optician.
For accuracy Mr. Bowen might count again the number of sailboats in the Newport Beach-Ensenada race of three weeks ago...not 77, but 178 at the last count.
H. E. RICHMOND
•SI attributed the $25,000 maintenance tag to the 57-foot racing yawl Circe, owned by Carl Hovgard (see above). This sum would keep a boat like the Circe in perfect racing trim and also provide the captain's and steward's annual salary, yard charges, changes and alterations in rigging and hull, a year's seagoing provisioning and a new sail or two. Reader Richmond, owner of the 48-foot yawl Polho III, is right in nominating Chairman Egtvedt as Boeing's only large boat owner although Seattle boat brokers and yard managers agree that Boeing sailing enthusiasts provide a great stimulus to all classes of boats. The recent Newport Beach-Ensenada race saw only 77 Ocean Racing Class boats entered, as SI stated. Mr. Richmond's 101 additional craft raced in other classes.—ED.
MY BASELINE ROMANCE
Like a tightwad who corners the doc at a cocktail party for free advice on his aches and pains instead of making an appointment at the office, I scour SI weekly for the articles on muscles and exercising.
I hope the day will come soon when you publish an article on the cramping of leg and foot muscles. I am an energetic tennis player who tries to make up in doggedness what she lacks in skill, with the result that after a couple of sets on a hot day, I just naturally expect to end up being carried off the court with my legs and feet twisted in grotesque knots. Muscle cramping is a very painful and frustrating condition which seems to affect a lot of people, particularly in the legs and feet. I was in Cleveland at the national pro championships the year Kovacs, playing magnificently, had to yield to Segura in the finals after pulling up with severe leg cramps. I thought then that if such a thing could happen to a great and experienced player like Kovacs, then nobody must know very much about the cause and possible prevention, not to mention the cure, for the affliction.
Of course, I have been told that if I would quit romancing the baselines all the way through a long match and come up to the net more frequently to try to polish the whole thing off quickly, I would not get so tired and would not succumb to muscle spasms. Be that as it may, there are times when no one can avoid long rallies from the baseline, and in anticipation of such times, I implore you to get someone to come forth with the whys and wherefores of leaping, protesting muscles.
•Bill White, our KEEP IN THE PINK man, says he has developed several cramped fingers himself, leafing through medical books in search of cramp causes and cures. So far, he says, massage seems to be the best treatment available. On page 56 you'll find an article on back massage, the first of a series of three. Next week: neck and shoulders. June 20: feet and legs.—ED.