The good-humored similarity between the magazine covers shown here and any other covers you may have seen is no coincidence. These are special parody issues of SI published by five different college magazines.
This is an article from the June 18, 1956 issue
Correspondence from campuses all over the country has from the first told us what a well-worn and dog-eared part of college life SPORTS ILLUSTRATED plays. Sometimes, in fact, a plaintive note enters a letter from an undergraduate subscriber hard put to gain clear possession of his copy until it has passed, like a ball in a game of "keep-away," up and down the dormitory hall or through the fraternity house.
In magazine parlance this is "pass-along readership," and SI enjoys hearing about it as much as it enjoys inspiring parodies. And perhaps in them what we enjoy most is the recognition they give, behind their covers, to many of SI's innovations, such as PAT ON THE BACK, CONVERSATION PIECE, SPECTACLE, E & D and WONDERFUL WORLD OF SPORT.
A majority of the parody editors—those of Dartmouth's SPOTS ILLUSTRATED, Valparaiso's SPORTS ILLUMINATED and Maryland's SPORTS ILL-RATED—seem to have followed a variation of an old theory: it doesn't matter what you say as long as you spell the name wrong. No matter how they spell it, SI is proud of this evidence of its affectionate acceptance as a full-fledged citizen on the U.S. college campus.