Congratulations on the article Next Year's Stars Are Here (Feb. 6). It shows all of us college basketball fans what to expect next year and in the years to come. As for Calvin Murphy he is, as some say, King of the Earth.
We have no arguments with Curry Kirkpatrick's lavish praise of Niagara freshman Calvin Murphy. His credentials are unquestionable. But it was nevertheless disheartening to find no mention of Syracuse's Ernie Austin. A nephew of Boston College All-America John Austin, Ernie is merely shattering the great Dave Bing's freshman scoring records while leading the Orange frosh through the first three quarters of their schedule undefeated.
Finally, if the Syracuse varsity is not No. 1 in the East right now, they can't miss next year with four returning starters and Austin.
BOB SCHACHTER III
We at Columbia are both bewildered and dismayed at your failure to include any discussion of Jim McMillan, the best basketball player to enter the Ivies since Bill Bradley. McMillan's brand of play and his expertise at all facets of the game are especially reminiscent of Cazzie Russell.
In response to your claim that John Hummer and Jeff Petrie will continue Princeton's leadership in the Ivy League, we merely suggest that it is highly debatable.
New York City
You failed to mention Mike Maloy of Davidson. Although only 17 years old, Mike is leading the Davidson freshman team to an undefeated season. If this does not convince you, perhaps the fact that Mr. Maloy can dunk two basketballs at the same time will!
Rock Hill, S.C.
George Plimpton's story, Zero On the Tour (Jan. 30 et seq.), is very entertaining reading, as was his earlier series describing his play with the Detroit Lions. I suggest that his next venture be concerned with becoming the starting goalie for the New York Rangers in one of their preseason games.
George's description of the golfing expressions used by the pros was the highlight of this series.
On behalf of The Friends of Jim Grelle, whose number includes nearly two million in Oregon and countless others elsewhere, I must protest Gwilym Brown's flippant reference to "30-year-old Jim Grelle, who hopes to become a winner at two miles after a decade of losing at one" (A Few High Flyers, Jan. 30).
Surely one as knowledgeable in track affairs as Brown should not resort to such fast, sophisticated verbiage. Jim Grelle's career is already chronicled as among the finest in track history, and SI has recognized this. While there are particular races he has not won, he has established a record for consistency unparalleled in American distance running, and no one who has observed him can ever say he hasn't been a winner.
JOHN D. BURNS
Your story on girl ski racers on the European racing circuit (A Sudden Streak for-Nancy, Jan. 30) is unjustifiably unkind to the U.S. girls. It may be amusing for a writer to build a story around the phrase "teeny boppers," but these girls are very close to the top in a tough and competitive sport traditionally dominated by the French and the Austrians.
Collectively they won four out of the first eight places in the FIS (world Alpine championships) slalom last summer in Chile. And, lest anyone think this a fluke, still another, in her first big international race, was fifth in the very fast and demanding downhill, only .43 second from winning a bronze medal. Wendy Allen, whom you treat so lightly, was seeded No. 2 in the world last season, and these ratings are based on overall performance in many international races.
That they are pleasant, fun-loving, well-rounded human beings rather than just racing machines is all to their credit, and not to be made fun of.
EDWARD L. SCOTT
Sun Valley, Idaho
I enjoyed Dan Jenkins' article on the women's European ski races, but I have one bone to pick with him. From the sound of his article, Canada's Nancy Greene has come from nowhere to suddenly become one of the world's premier women skiers. This was no fluke or flash in the pan. Nancy Greene won not because some other skiers were unable to participate but because she is the greatest! It's high time some of you Americans, Mr. Jenkins in particular, woke up to that fact.
IAN W. SCOTT
All we ever hear from your magazine is what a great coach Bob Beattie is. But what has he really accomplished in his years as coach? Despite glowing words of optimism from Beattie, the U.S. men's team still has not produced one skier of championship caliber. The women's team continues to be a joke. Beattie must know by now that our skiing team is going nowhere. So why does he keep up the pretense?
To have a winning girl racer from North America is far from the oddity your article suggests. Jean Saubert must still be ranked with the best, and Andrea Mead Lawrence is probably the greatest all-round woman skier the world has seen.
Dan Jenkins' representation of the American girls' team as a group of juvenile teeny boppers one high kick off a Vegas chorus line is a dangerous distortion of the facts. The morale on the girls' team is high, and they all have spent years of grueling work getting where they are. Only a small amount of their time is spent skiing in such romantic places as Grindelwald. Much of it is spent slogging up the pumice-covered ice slopes at Mammoth in the summertime, perfecting their technique as well as shaping their legs.
Captain Roger A. Godin's letter (19TH HOLE, Jan. 23) about Cornell Hockey Coach Ned Harkness and his use of Canadian players showed only half-baked reasoning. Harkness does not disregard American players; he can't get them. There is a limited supply of good American hockey players, and only those coaches, like Boston College's Snooks Kelley and former Minnesota Coach John Mariucci, who have been situated where these players are, can afford the luxury of being America Firsters. They have the inside track. But to relegate Cornell or any other team outside the Boston or Minnesota area to Americans only is tantamount to relegating them to losing.
By the time American players reach college it is often too late to train them to be topnotch players. The hope of American hockey lies with its youth. To this end Cornell and Ned Harkness have expended time and facilities to encourage hockey in the Ithaca, N.Y. area, and a booming program is now in operation. Only a year ago an Ithaca peewee team went to the national championships.
Ned Harkness does have confidence in America's "limitless hockey potential," and he is doing much to foster it.
JOEL H. KAPLAN
PROF AND PROPHET
In "Far from the Ivory Tower" (SCORECARD, Jan. 23) you quote me as saying, "I'm a bird dog for the Minnesota Twins, but they don't pay me." I would like to clarify this statement. I am a talent scout (a type of bird dog) who receives a commission when a recommended player stays in the Twins organization at least 60 days.
The Minnesota club is a fine organization, one with whom this professor is happy to be associated.
JOSEPH J. GRAHAM
Professor of Geology
Palo Alto, Calif.
To say, as some of your readers do (19TH HOLE, Jan. 30), that SI has corrupted the minds and morals of youth by illustrating an attractive young lady in a swimsuit (Jan. 16) or that "nudity is more destructive than an atom bomb" is rather farcical. A magazine that has honored such youths as Jerry Lucas, Lew Alcindor, Peggy Fleming and Jim Ryun, to name a few, cannot be too "destructive" to the youth of our time. To see Marilyn Tindall (in a swimsuit) dropped into the center of our city instead of an atomic bomb would be a pleasure. Granted, it may be disruptive, to say the least, but certainly not intolerable and absolutely not destructive.
WENDELL DIEHL JR.
I suggest Sister Mary Ephren burn a few volumes of the Encyclopaedia Britannica, many of which carry pictures of works of art that display more nudity than Miss Tindall. Art is art, be it a sculpture by Michelangelo or a photograph by Jay Maisel.
Baton Rouge, La.