SIME TALKS BACK
Bravo Dave Sime!
I am sure he echoes the sentiment of the majority of our amateur athletes (The Heart of the Problem, SI, Feb. 16). The desire for competition on equal grounds is an American heritage.
Any deterioration of American amateur sports can be blamed on the indifference of the AAU. They are charged with our conformance to existing standards, not those of 25 years ago.
GEORGE E. ROE
Hats off to the editors and to Dave Sime. Both of you have faced a problem that needed to be faced with clear, logical thinking. I and many others are hoping that you will help to straighten out the AAU so that it will benefit, not hinder, American track and field athletics. Congratulations!
J. A. ANSSOWN
Hurray for Dave Sime! Unreasonable AAU rules not only discourage national champions but also hinder dedicated young athletes from competing at the age-group level. I am happy to see that a well-known athlete has expressed the feelings of many of us.
Oak Park, Ill.
THE ALMOST ALL-STARS
I would like to know exactly what Jeremiah Tax meant when he stated, "This same Russian team will be coming to the United States in the fall for a series of games with American all-stars" (First Sputnik, Now This! SI, Feb. 9). Will the so-called U.S. all-stars be picked from the bottom of the barrel or from our first-class college teams?
Our loss to the Soviet team by 25 points in Santiago was another victory for the U.S.S.R. and I don't mean basketball. I realize that our team played hard and tried their best but it wasn't good enough. If we don't want any more "Russia ate the U.S. and washed them down with Coca-Cola" banners we must, and I'm sure will, put forth a little more effort.
DAVID J. SVEC
•The Russians were invited in Santiago to send a team to the U.S. at the end of this year. Although it will in all probability be impossible to enlist top college players for the U.S. squad, the outstanding AAU and NIBL players will be available and will form the nucleus of the team that will also represent the U.S. in the 1960 Olympics. It will not be the best possible aggregation of U.S. players, but still a great deal better than the U.S. team that played in Santiago. Present plans call for several games to be played in Madison Square Garden, followed, hopefully, by a tour by the U.S. and Russian teams.—ED.
AS A CHARTER READER OF SPORTS ILLUSTRATED AND AS A MISSISSIPPI STATE FAN I ENJOYED THE ARTICLE ON STATE AND BASKETBALL (Bouquets for Babe and His Bailey, SI, FEB. 23) MORE THAN WORDS CAN EXPRESS. MR. DOUST DID A FINE JOB. THANKS.
JIM LACEY JR.
•But that unwritten law (which prohibits white athletes from competing with Negroes) is still writ. Although since Dudley Doust's story the student body voted 86% in favor of accepting a bid to the NCAA championships if proffered, Governor J. P. Coleman wants a poll of the legislature, the outcome of which is likely to leave the team in Starkville.—ED.
SPORTS ILLUSTRATED did a fine job in reporting the dissolution of our swimming team at the University of Houston (EVENTS & DISCOVERIES, Jan. 26).
The boys, with the exception of five or six, are all making plans to enroll in other universities. The five girls, however, Carin Cone included, have chosen to stay here with me, and we are planning on going to the nationals in April.
I certainly think SPORTS ILLUSTRATED is doing a wonderful job in covering all sports. I, personally, am getting a bit fed up with the terminology "major sports" and "minor." Certainly the terms should more correctly be "income-producing" and "non-income-producing" sports. At least this is where most of the educational institutions are drawing the line. Frankly, I feel that interest can be developed in the way of financial support for many exciting sports like swimming, tennis, track and amateur wrestling. This requires a long-term educational process. Even with our swimming program being dropped here, I still feel strongly that with the help of SPORTS ILLUSTRATED we are making progress towards this end.
THE BEAVER: PASS IT ON
I read Beaver Trouble in Gatineau Park (SI, Feb. 9) and believe that I can help solve the problem.
I am a lumberman myself, and I ran into the same trouble of having beaver flood out my roads.
One day an oldtimer came to me after hearing of my trouble and said, "I'll tell you what to do to stop that. Take four-inch planks and make a culvert about 14 feet long and whatever size discharge you want for water. Set it down into the beaver dam with the suction end beyond the dam about eight feet or so. The beaver will pile stuff tight around it, but he cannot figure out how that water gets through his dam."
The Scott Paper Company up in our section do that now where beaver flood them out. Pass the information on and let me hear from someone on results.
HOW TO FEEL AMERICAN
May I add my opinion to that of Avery Brundage (Is America a Second-class Track Power? SI, Feb. 2)? I am an Air Force wife and the mother of three young boys. We completed an overseas tour last year in Germany, and I am using myself and my family as a criterion when I say that our attitude toward sporting events has changed completely since our return to the States.
While we were in Germany, we attended every sporting event at base level and supported the teams enthusiastically. The local boxers and basketball players were heroes in the eyes of every boy on the base, and they were followed by a crowd of kids wherever they went. It wasn't the least bit unusual, during the Christmas party season, to attend a basketball game in cocktail or evening clothes. My boys worked out in the gym every day. At 7, one-of my sons easily did 60 pushups.
We have been back in the States for a year. We have lost interest in boxing, basketball and football. We don't know one player on any team. I have to force my boys to keep themselves in their former physical condition. Why? Are we to blame? Should I feel guilty because I prefer to watch the pros on TV? I am unhappy and frustrated by this change in our attitude, yet it seems to me inevitable. I don't know the answer, but I do know that I never felt so American as I did while we were in Europe.
Great Falls, Mont.
FOOTNOTE TO HISTORY
I feel constrained to call your attention to an error in Carleton Mitchell's article (Whither the Cup? SI, Feb. 9). The caption under the picture of the sloop with the sign "Go Sceptre Go!" says "American fans" etc. Actually the sloop, the Branwen, home port Port Washington, is owned and skippered by an Englishman, David Featherstone, now naturalized but still full of the old Empire spirit. Members of his crew are, reading from left to right: English, Irish, English, English, English, American, American. This picture has been used long enough to show American sympathy for Sceptre; if we are not careful it will end up by distorting the history of the America's Cup.
S. W. BRYANT JR.
New York City
•Let's see: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6—somebody's fallen overboard!—ED.