Perhaps SI missed the point concerning Gene Stallings and the emerging Negro athlete in the SWC (SCORECARD, July 5, 1965). One has to be cognizant of the situation at Texas A&M before one should criticize. A&M, like many other dynamic (as opposed to static) colleges and universities, has been in the midst of many changes, both academic and athletic, and Gene Stallings has found himself in the middle. Athletics in general have been fairly representative at A&M in the past years, but the so-called major sport of football has seldom been so and has often left something to be desired as far as the scoreboard is concerned.
Gene Stallings was called back to his alma mater much as Paul Bryant was to Alabama—to shore up the often misaligned defenses and nonexistent offenses; Stallings is supposed to put A&M back into the level of competition in which they belong and to do so he first has to prepare his charges mentally and secondly to unify his team's thinking. While I do not agree with what he was supposed to have said, i feel that SI should think twice.
RONALD L. SPERBERG
I am getting a little fed up with articles like your SCORECARD on Texas A&M. If Coach Stallings docs not choose to integrate his athletic teams and the directors of the college go along with him, why should it be your concern? Sports should not be turned into a racial issue every time a coach wants to have a winning team, not a divided team. What if a Negro athlete made the A&M squad but was not in condition to play a full game? Would you have Coach Stallings put this man into the game, not because of his ability, but on his race? No coach in the country will risk a losing season and his job for one man, either white or black.
Coach Stallings has not missed the point. He has merely expressed himself, which is supposed to be every person's right in this country, or at least it was everyone's right the last time I checked.
HOLDING THE BAG
In your article on the British Open (A Man from Down Under Laughs It Up, July 19) you mention that Australian Professional Norman Von Nida caddied in the championship for his protégé Bruce Devlin. Von Nida has been criticized severely for this by Australian golf officials who say his caddying for Devlin lowers the standard and prestige of professional golf. Von Nida retorts, "If I believe in a thing, no matter whose corns it will hurt, I do it."
•For photograph of Caddy Von Nida with Golfer Devlin, see below—ED.
While we appreciate your concern for our Columbia River salmon resources (SCORECARD, June 28), we feel you are overly pessimistic.
True, this summer's Chinook run will barely meet the minimum escapement level established by our fishery agencies, but it is only one of several salmon runs up the Columbia each year. The recent trend of spring Chinook runs has been generally upward. Last year's fall Chinook returns were the best in several years and the run of coho (silver) salmon set an alltime record, with twice as many fish counted over Bonneville Dam as in the previous peak year.
This is not to deny that our salmon runs have been generally on the wane during the past 30 years. You are also correct in attributing most of this decline to the more than 300 dams built in the Columbia watershed. But other factors—loss of spawning beds, water pollution, unregulated Indian fisheries and the tremendous growth in sport-fishing—have also taken their toll.
However, don't count us out yet. Biological research, hatchery production and the cooperation of all concerned to save this priceless resource can still turn the tide.
Secretary, Columbia River Salmon & Tuna Packers Assn.
WHAT'S BUZZIN', COUSIN?
Let me reveal my innate mistiness and tell you how much it pleases me to find a small error in the pages of the usually impeccable-as-to-fact SPORTS ILLUSTRATED. I refer to the piece on the Cowes regatta (The Big Week at Cowes, July 12). The German Kaiser was not the cousin of King Edward VII, but his nephew. The Kaiser's mother, the former empress, was the daughter of Queen Victoria and elder sister of King Edward.
D. M. MARSHMAN JR.
New York City
•Correct, alas, but kings have a way of addressing each other as "Cousin," and we merely fell into the habit—ED.
FROM THE TOP
Many thanks for your complimentary article on the Navy crew in the IRA (Championships Minns the Champs, June 2).
The results were eminently satisfactory, to put it mildly. Much more interesting to me, however, was the extraordinary rapport between 27 outstanding young men with a superb captain, Doyle Borchers, on the one hand, and Coach Paul Quinn and his new assistant, Lou Gellerman, on the other. I have been away from crew too long to be a knowledgeable critic of good oarsmanship or the techniques of coaching crews. However, my profession does require that I have some ability to recognize leadership, and I have seldom seen finer personal leadership in peace or war than that shown by Coaches Quinn and Gellerman. I watched several practices before and after the Wisconsin races and had the opportunity to talk to most of our men separately and in groups. That single characteristic of strong coaching leadership shone through like a searchlight on a dark night. As a matter of fact, it was even more conspicuous before the Wisconsin race gave us our first varsity win of the year.
This, I believe, is intercollegiate athletics at its very best, with a group of fine young men being strongly influenced by outstanding older men. I must confess I like to win in any sport but, win or lose, the Naval Academy and the Navy are bound to come out way ahead with coaches like Quinn and Gellerman working with future officers like Doyle Borchers and his squad.
DRAPER L. KAUFFMAN
Superintendent, U.S. Naval Academy
How do you pronounce the name of Minnesota Twin Manager Sam Mele?
•As in freely.—ED.
Your magnificent article on Mr. Rockefeller's exotic hotel at Mauna Kea on the Big Island of Hawaii (A Shocking Approach to Tranquillity, June 28) has an inaccuracy that I cannot let go uncontested. You mention that the Mauna Kea Beach Hotel is the first major resort on the "relatively inaccessible island of Hawaii." I would like to point out that Hawaiian Airlines, which has been serving all the islands of the 50th state nearly 36 years, offers two flights a day to Kamuela, a brief 57-minute hop from Honolulu and only a short 15-minute drive from the airport to the new hotel. The Big Island of Hawaii is also serviced by six flights daily to Kona on the western side of the island—a 52-minute flight from Honolulu and only a one-hour drive to the Mauna Kea Beach Hotel; by nine trips daily from Honolulu to Hilo on the eastern side, a one-hour flight and a one-hour-30-minute drive to the Mauna Kea Beach Hotel.
WILLIAM J. BACHRAN
•The envious author of the offending phrase summers at New York's readily accessible Fire Island (three hours by taxi, train, taxi, ferry and beach buggy).—ED.
THE LONG WALK
I have just learned of the death in action in Vietnam of a fine friend, Lieut. Ron Zinn. I am sure those who were with the U.S. Olympic team in Tokyo, where Ron finished sixth in the 20-kilo walk, must be saddened by this news.
In its way, Ron's performance in this race was as important to American race walking as was Billy Mills's brilliant 10,000-meter victory to distance running.
I roomed with Ron both in Tokyo and on a trip to Moscow in 1961. He was a fine athlete and sportsman, a gentleman and as fierce a competitor as I have ever met.
•Mortland was the second American to finish in the 20-kilometer walk at Tokyo. He placed 17th.—ED.