HOLY RULE BOOK
On March 6 we read of two examples of official firmness in sports: Penn was ruled out of the NCAA Basketball Tournament, and Doug Sanders was expelled from the Pensacola Open Golf Tournament. The many objections to such actions are unfounded. Although the players may suffer and the public may be disappointed, how many of us could really enjoy a sports event if we did not know someone was in charge?
DONALD C. HAMILTON
Bryn Mawr, Pa.
I was truly surprised and chagrined at your departure from your usual good-humored and incisive piercing of the foibles of some of sports' officialdom in l'affaire Doug Sanders (SCORECARD, March 14).
True, a rule is a rule. However, with all of the officials roaming around sporting badges at PGA tournaments, isn't it high time that a new rule was adopted assigning to one of them the specific task of checking the score-card of each player as he leaves the 18th green? They could then make sure that everything is in order, including the signature, before the card is turned in.
The PGA, as you pointed out in a previous article, is supposed to be the pros' own organization, not their adversary.
HAROLD R. GORDON
For the past year and a half I was a student at the University of Pennsylvania, an Ivy League institution. Now, voluntarily, I have transferred to UCLA. Holy inferiority! We do have the 1.6 rule here for athletes and, even with the "horrible" pressure, we do seem to field some "fairly" good teams. Holy Rose Bowl! Now the Ivy League refuses to comply with the NCAA rule. Holy mutiny!
Why then, old Halls of Ivy, did you abolish athletic scholarships? Holy tuition! Wasn't it to protect dear old alma mater from those nasty little athletes? Holy sweat sock! Now they say they won't hinder their athletes with this terrible rule.
Holy Boola, Boola! Who do they think they're kidding? They're just trying to substitute controversy for the terrible lack of spirit that permeates Ivy League athletics. Holy pompon girls! We have great spirit at UCLA and, although I realize it's bordering on blasphemy, I find UCLA more stimulating intellectually, too.
STEPHEN S. DEUTSCH
Gwilym Brown's superb coverage of the National AAU championships in Albuquerque (Soaring Above Snafus, March 14) clearly illustrated the need of the AAU to transfer this important meet to other cities of the U.S. When you see eight world and nine championship records tied or broken you wonder about the quality of the competition in New York. Incidentally, Brown may not know that following the meet Bert Nelson, publisher of Track & Field News, stated that in his opinion this was the finest indoor meet in history! Quite a tribute from a Californian!
BENJAMIN K. HORTON
If organization means anything the AAU has already lost its battle with the NCAA!
The best way to restore the sport of boxing to its former position of eminence is through articles like Tex Maule's A Quarry Who Likes to Hunt (March 14). It is fine boxers such as Jerry Quarry, Tony Doyle and Joe Frazier who will return national respect to the sport.
RAYMOND F. MORGAN
I'm from Kansas City, Mo., and I saw Quarry fight in the Golden Gloves there and in two of his first few professional fights in Kansas City, Kans. He's fine, but I want to protest the big puff you gave to Ron Marsh from K.C., Mo. (Sudden Rush of New Heavies, Feb. 21). Ron's no fighter compared to a good friend of mine back in K.C., Mo. named Ed Maxwell. I suggest you learn more about this buddy of mine, who is an all-city basketball player, a modest fighter and a great football player whom the Detroit Lions and the Baltimore Colts have been after for the last year or so.
None of your young heavyweights are as talented as Boone Kirkman of Seattle. This 21-year-old, 6-foot-1 195-pounder won the national amateur heavyweight boxing championship last year.
LISTEN, THE WIND
Your article on the farce that took place in Chicago (The Wind that Blew in Chicago, March 7) was excellent. I'm glad somebody is finally showing what fools some people are making of themselves as they try to kill boxing. Making the fight leave New York because Terrell knew somebody who knew somebody was bad enough, but what happened in Chicago was ridiculous.
So Clay isn't perfect. Does that give every self-proclaimed savior of the world the right to try to stop all of his fights? Why don't they pick on somebody else for a while and let Clay fight where he wants like they do most other good fighters?
What has the world got against Cassius Clay? He's a U.S. citizen and should be allowed to speak his mind like anyone else. Surely he wasn't the first person to express a desire to stay at home instead of going off to war. His reasons are his own, and it is his right to stand up for what he believes.
DOUGLAS A. EVERETT
Congratulations to William Furlong and SI for a fine article on the Cassius Clay fight controversy. The conduct of the Illinois politicians involved in this fiasco can, in my opinion, be most euphemistically described as disgusting. They, and everyone else who supported the cancellation of the bout, are so blinded by their "patriotism" that they lose sight of the real reason we are fighting that war in Vietnam—to safeguard the right of men to uphold their political and religious convictions without fear of reprisal against their lives, their freedom or their livelihood.
Clay's livelihood is professional boxing, and therefore the action of the public officials of the State of Illinois in depriving him of the right to earn that livelihood because of his political attitudes, however unpopular they may be, is profoundly anti-American.
I hope that Cassius Clay will be granted the opportunity to represent his country on the battlefield, as well as in the prize ring; for maybe there he will find the comradeship with his fellow soldiers, both Negro and white, that will enable him to see the light regarding the proper relationship of the races to one another—as man to man, regardless of skin color or ancestry.
The only bad thing about Mr. Furlong's article is the fact that the chest-thumpers probably won't even read it, because they just don't care anymore. The fact that a man, regardless of his religious and/or political beliefs, can't continue to earn his living in the United States of America because some "patriots" climb on the bandwagon to stop him makes our right of freedom of speech a complete mockery.
Your report on the title fight mess exposed the "good guys" for the opportunists they really are.
The author of your piece about Cassius Clay and the Illinois commission is from the Buckshot School of American Critics, to which many college sophomores also belong. He obscures his point about the Illinois attorney general, William G. Clark, with self-indulgent criticism of Clark's family portraits and shirt color. This is tasteless and unconvincing journalism, unexpected in what I consider the best-edited magazine in the country. I'm delighted that SI will fight with anger in a good cause, but being true sportsmen, I assume you are in favor of the clean kill.
If Mr. Furlong's views accurately reflect those of SI, I hope you will never become a political journal, because I would truly hate to drop your otherwise excellent and enjoyable magazine from my reading list.
EUGENE McELVANEY JR.
Roswell, N. Mex.
As a Stanford University graduate, I remember our school motto. Written in German, it translates to "Let the Winds of Freedom Blow." William Furlong's article The Wind That Blew is a very refreshing breeze indeed, and I congratulate you on its publication.
Your story had a more unbiased attitude than any other I have found. The heavyweight championship fight is a sporting event and your writers treat it as such. I'm grateful.