NOTRE DAME: CLASS OF '28
SUGGEST NOTRE DAME MONOGRAM WINNERS CLASS 1928 BE COMPARED WITH CLASS 1928 AS A WHOLE.
JOHN M. CARROLL, M.D.
•Because of an exceptionally detailed class report by Louis F. Buckley, president of the Notre Dame Class of 1928, such a comparison is indeed possible. The 10 varsity football players of the Class of '28 who answered the Notre Dame questionnaire (What Happens to Football Players? SI, Sept. 24 and Oct. 1) have on the whole done somewhat better than their classmates. Among these former players are lawyers, an independent oil man, a landscape architect, a couple of plant managers and a public-relations consultant. Their incomes range from a high of $50,000 to a low of $4,200, with $13,000 as the median income of the group. The Class of '28 as a whole has a lower median income: $11,500. Individual incomes range from an individual high of $60,000 to no income at all for a member of a religious order. As family men, the football players have done better also. They average 3.3 children each, compared to 2.76 for their classmates. The football players have been much more willing to shoulder the burdens of community responsibilities and much more eager to relax with their fellow citizens. Only one out of every three members of the Class of '28 as a whole engages in any kind of civic activity, and one out of four does not belong to a club or organization of any kind. Almost everyone of the football players of the Class of '28, on the other hand, belongs to several social organizations and most of them are prime movers in civic and community organizations. These former players spend a good part of their time nowadays raising the money for charities, serving on labor mediation boards, on park commissions, hospital boards and good-government committees. In looking back to its undergraduate days the Class of '28 sometimes rather wistfully complains that Notre Dame failed to prepare them for the harsh realities of life. The football players, who enjoyed the stern discipline and constant practical advice of Knute Rockne who coached the '26, '27 and '28 varsity teams, make no such complaint. They are unanimous in crediting football in general and their coaches in particular with a great part of their subsequent success in life. The two groups, the players and the nonplayers of '28 agree, however, that Notre Dame does not overemphasize football or coddle its players. Only 4% of the whole class feels football played too great a role in undergraduate life. Both groups agree that athletes should receive no special inducements such as a car or monthly checks. On this point, the football players are however very much more emphatic than their nonathletic classmates. Charles (Chile) Walsh of the Class of '28 who made several All-America selections while playing for Notre Dame and afterward spent many years as a coach and part-owner in the National Football League has this to say: "After selection by the athletic department and approval of credits, each candidate should be investigated by a school committee other than the athletic department. Basic needs should be supplied when deserving. Never special inducements!" Thomas F. Byrne, a varsity football player of the same class and now a Cleveland public relations man with a son on this year's Notre Dame varsity squad, is equally outspoken: "Absolutely not! I've seen young men ruined by this practice, some losing their precious faith and others their sense of values." All in all, the careers and opinions of the football players of the Class of '28 when compared to those of their class as a whole support SPORTS ILLUSTRATED'S conclusion (SI, Oct. 1) that intercollegiate football does not impede the practical purposes of education.—ED.
THE SEARCH FOR CZYCNXWROVICHS
I have just finished reading Part One of Mr. Coughlan's What Happens to Football Players? I don't mean to infer that Notre Dame has more than its share of Czycnxwrovichs, nor do I feel that the average college football player is not as intelligent as any other person of equal educational background, but does Mr. Coughlan feel that Czycnxwrovich would sit down and fill out his questionnaire? I don't.
•A team of SPORTS ILLUSTRATED reporters and correspondents tracked down and interviewed over half of those monogram winners who did not return their Notre Dame questionnaires. The careers and opinions of these men match those of the monogram winners who returned their questionnaires.—ED.
October 14, 1956
NOTRE DAME: GUNG-HO!
I was attending Georgetown University School of Foreign Service at a time when there were no intercollegiate sports. Then, Vince McNally, now general manager of the Philadelphia Eagles and a Notre Dame graduate, suggested I go to Notre Dame on an athletic scholarship.
After parental opposition was overcome, I did that—on a football and baseball scholarship. A bad knee kept me from accomplishing anything in football, but I won my monogram as a baseball pitcher.
This is what I think of Notre Dame. It is a superb leveling agent. It is the great equalizer. If ever there might be a paragon of impartiality, its name would be Notre Dame. There is an endemic esprit de corps there. There is a healthy "gung-ho" about the place which stems from a spontaneity which is not an inculcated one.
My years at Notre Dame are the only ones in my life which have left an intellectual or emotional imprint upon me.
Sports and studies are not natural enemies. They complement each other.
JOHN K. STEWART
Notre Dame '46
NOTRE DAME: B-R-T FOR DEBATERS?
Tell me frankly, why does a college football player deserve a free ride through school any more than a member of the debating team of the history club? Has anyone ever ascertained whether the average student resents special privileges given to nonintellectual gridmen?
FREDERIC B. CLEAVES
FOOTBALL ISSUE: THE VALIANT THREE
In cross checking your entire football survey, I came up with what I believe is an interesting footnote.
Southern Methodist University, the University of Pittsburgh and the University of Indiana each play four of Herman Hickman's top 11 teams.
These Valiant Three are to be established this year as giant killers. (And so far they are doing nicely at it.)
A quick survey shows that the HH top 11 teams play others in this same group as follows:
Michigan—three top eleven opponents
Michigan State and Notre Dame—two top eleven opponents
Army, Duke, Georgia Tech, Ohio St. and Oklahoma—one top eleven opponent
Miami, Texas A&M and Yale meet none of the top elevens
An undefeated season on the part of any of the Valiant Three should surely mean the label National Champions at the close of the season.
Your survey is a great help to millions of second-guessers like myself who pat our own backs for months after predicting an upset like SMU over Notre Dame (I did—14-13).
EARLE F. PLYLER
FOOTBALL ISSUE: M FOR CROONING
I enjoyed Herman Hickman's predictions for this year but must take exception to his statement in his review of Maine "that talent as rich as it is on Rudy Vallee's old campus." Rudy Vallee graduated from Yale but was awarded a varsity letter at Maine for popularizing the Maine Stein Song.
C. F. REEVES
•Rudy Vallee learned the Stein Song as a loyal freshman at the University of Maine although he later transferred to Yale.—ED.
FOOTBALL ISSUE: MORE OF SAME?
How, as a weekly publication, you outdid the so-called football annuals in concise information concerning the football teams of the country (SI, Sept. 24) is beyond me!
Being a basketball fanatic, I am wondering whether you will have any such preview-of the nation's cage teams.
•Basketball will be previewed.—ED.
OLYMPIC OATH (CONT.)
I have a suggestion for Mr. Avery Brundage, to wit, if we are going to enforce amateurism, let's do it right! No half-way measures! Let's put our shoulders into it and drive! Fight! Fight! Fight!
I see no reason why any spectator who has at any time in his career witnessed, or who has had at any time any intention of witnessing or at any time associated with anyone who has witnessed, a professional sport should be allowed to foul the virgin air of our amateur arenas!
Why, just the other day, while watching some of our unsubsidized young men prancing around the cinders at a furious pace, I discovered to my utmost horror and disgust that seated! next to me was Harry Bloop, who is a rabid follower of the (ugh!) pro football Philadelphia eagles (capitalization would be unthinkable!). Naturally, I immediately scurried to the other side of the stadium.
I also think that we should build clean new stadiums all over the country, so that our true amateurs may perform with a complete feeling of respectability at all times. And how about the people who watch baseball on television—and pro basketball, and boxing. The very idea! And people who work for a living in the manufacture of sporting goods...selling hot dogs, tickets...collect pro autographs...we'll show them, keep 'em out!
WHERE TO GO?
Judging from the 19TH HOLE (SI, Sept. 17 and 24) there are many who agree that Avery Brundage, well meaning as he may be, is not the man for the position he holds. The problem is what can we do about it? The elected government official who incurs the public wrath finds himself out of office in the next election. Do we have any similar recourse as far as Mr. Brundage is concerned? It is time the wishes of the sports-minded American people were served rather than those of Mr. Brundage.
Where do we go from here?
Ballston Lake, N.Y.
•See EVENTS & DISCOVERIES.—ED.