In the SCORECARD item titled "Presumption" (Feb. 14) your magazine has many stern things to say about the NCAA legislation setting a minimum academic level for national championship competition. What it most significantly fails to say is that this legislation was democratically adopted by the nearly 600 members of the NCAA at their 1965 annual convention and was reaffirmed by them at the 1966 convention.
The legislation simply states that if a college intends to compete with its sister institutions for national championship honors it should require a minimum 1.6 average of students who are receiving financial assistance based in any part on athletic ability before they may engage in intercollegiate activity.
It is untrue that this objective tampers with the admissions policies or the academic standards of any member institution. Since the Ivy League grants no scholarships based in any degree on athletic ability, it has no concern with the limitation on grants for athletic ability to academically qualified students.
If an Ivy League member—or any other college—wishes to permit a student maintaining less than a 1.6 academic average to compete in intercollegiate athletics, it may do so. Under the new legislation that same institution may not compete for a national collegiate championship, but in no other way is there any restriction on its institutional autonomy or its membership in the NCAA, nor is there any censure or penalty whatever.
The NCAA does not forget (as SI suggests) "that a college athlete should be a student." That is the primary reason for the legislation. Neither can I agree that it is "reprehensible" or "presumptuous" to influence faculty decisions. Indeed, athletic administrators and faculty members charged with the responsibility of conducting athletic programs should be a constant influence for these vital educational programs within their own colleges and universities, at the conference level and within the whole NCAA spectrum.
EVERETT D. BARNES
Congratulations to Jack Mann for his penetrating view of Bill Bradley (Just a Guy at Oxford). It was without question the most interesting and thought-provoking article I have ever read in your magazine.
Just one complaint. Why did you delay the Sportsman of the Year issue of your magazine until February 7 and then relegate the subject to page 52?
The influence Bradley has had on the youth of America—and the world, for that matter—knows no boundaries. Wherever basketball is played he is known and respected. I deem it a privilege just to have seen him play. There is electricity in the air when he takes a long jump shot, or hooks from the corner, or fights his way through taller men for a rebound. As no other college player before him he has won the admiration of every player, coach and school he has opposed.
But more important, Bill Bradley knows the value of an education and holds this more important than the money that the Knicks offered him. Nevertheless, as a Knick fan, I am hoping for the day that he joins the Knicks and carries them right into the playoffs.
IRA H. SILVERMAN
Valley Stream, N.Y.
It was delightful to read that the Cincinnati Royals are enjoying the luxury of a good sixth man this year (Royal Reversal in the East, Feb. 7). Happy Hairston may provide lots of laughs and a helpful number of points, but he is only one man. One good sixth man can't compare with three excellent sixth men riding the bench in Boston. John Havlicek, Larry Siegfried and Mel Counts will keep the Celts at the top.
MARK R. NOBLE
East Greenwich, R.I.
The Royals have had their glory. Now open your eyes and look at the standings. The Celtics are back in first place, and they will still be in first place when the season ends.
West Newton, Mass.
Thank you, thank you, thank you! Tom Brody's tremendous article paid tribute long overdue to our Royals and to Coach McMahon for their fine showing this year. Although the Royals' domination of first place was short-lived, don't count them out in favor of the Boston snobs, who can and will be trounced in the playoffs. Down with the Celtics!
PYTHAGORAS ON TOAST
Your article on the pre-and post-diet Billy Casper (Happiness Is a Hippo Steak, Feb. 7) shows clearly how athletic prowess can depend on a strict dietary regimen. But this is, of course, not news. It has been stressed since John L. Sullivan imbibed considerable amounts of alcoholic beverages. What is new is that "ordinary" food and the so-called "balanced diet" can conceal dangerous hidden allergens. Fortunately, Mr. Casper found the right doctor at the right time.
ROGER O. MOORE
Bill and Shirley Casper have been pretty fine representatives of our community for several years. If eating hippo steaks makes Bill a better golfer we're all for hippo steaks.
DR. AND MRS. GEORGE BURKHART
Chula Vista, Calif.
I know that golf is largely a matter of geometry. Could it be that Billy is trying to prove that the sum of the square meals is equal to the square of the hippopotamus?
O. R. AINSLIE
Congratulations to both Caspers for sticking to that menu. Believe me, I do not feel their diet will become a national fad.
DOROTHY G. NEUMEYER
Nuts to Jimmie (The Greek) Snyder and his winter-book baseball odds (SCORECARD, Feb. 7). Baltimore, "the club to beat" in the AL, gave away too much to gain Frank Robinson and, if pitching is still 75% of the game, the Birds have already lost at least 15 games by their winter trades.
That "spotty infield" of the Twins was good enough in 1965 to win the American League pennant by seven games, and it will be good enough again in 1966.
Thank you for the article on Don Massengale, the "unknown" golfer who bested Palmer and Company in the Crosby (A Stranger Stars in a Cliffhanger, Jan. 31).
In the only tourney that I have ever caddied, last year's Buick Open, I had the opportunity to tote Mr. Massengale's bag. I caddied mainly because I was interested in finding ways to improve my game and in seeing for myself what a touring pro was really like. I found that many were like Massengale—earnestly devoted to the attainment of skill and consistency and far more concerned with making the cut than beating the field. Yet these same men seldom seemed unable to offer a warm smile or kind word. Massengale's victory was a win for the touring pro and an incentive to the men who give the tournament game depth and variety. It's good to see a new face in the winner's circle.
Ann Arbor, Mich.
I am only 14 years old, a girl, and I don't usually enjoy sports. But jeeping is a sport, and I enjoy it very much. I think Bil Gilbert presented a very distorted view of jeeping as a whole (They Call It a Sport Now, Sarge, Jan. 10). Sure there are guys who spend a lot of money just to run their bugs and jeeps in competition, but for every one of them there are 10 of the kind who really enjoy jeeping as a pastime.
I have two brothers who are 11 and 12. Together the three of us own an EMPI. It was given to us by our father. Before the EMPI, Father had built us a bug to drive around in on jeep trips.
Jeeping, to me, means going out to the sand dunes with my family and the rest of the jeep club and having a good time. It's hard to describe the enjoyment I get out of it. I think Mr. Gilbert should go out on a jeep trip with us Jeeping Jeepers to see how much fun jeeping can really be. I dare him!
Long Beach, Calif.
While Bil Gilbert's article may be interesting, some of the material he presents is downright provoking to fellow jeepers following the pastime either in competition or trail driving.
I particularly question his statement that "sport jeeping flourishes in California as it does nowhere else." The Mile High Jeep Club of the Denver metropolitan area is so large that there are patrols within the club based on postal zones. On any comparative population basis there are more jeeps in Durango, Colo., Laramie, Wyo. and many more communities than in any one spot in California. From a terrain standpoint there are more jeep trails in a three-county area in Colorado than in the entire state of California. The same type of comparison might be made in favor of Montana, Wyoming, Utah and Idaho.