TIMID AND TERRIFIED
William Johnson's article (The Timid Generation. March 11) certainly speaks to the college generation of today. Externally we are timid and reserved. Yet underneath this facade we are thinking, examining and questioning—not just quietly assimilating.
Congratulations for printing an article that combines both brawn and brains—the combination demanded more and more at the collegiate sports level.
William Johnson seemed on the brink of discovering—but didn't quite make it—that a huge majority of American college students are keeping their cool despite the world's woes.
President Knight is doubtless right that Duke students abhor violence, as do all civilized people, but there are those who might wish that Mike Lewis and his muscular basketball mates would get the word. They come down on you hard.
V. F. LYON
March 25, 1968
The Timid Generation is indeed more typical of American youth than the New Left. The fact is that the American pursuit of worldly success has encroached more and more upon the school years. The rat race now begins in first grade, and it certainly dominates the ''golden college years."
The pressure probably is worst in schools like Duke, those just below the Ivy pinnacle. The Ivy students have at least made it, in some sense, but the second echelon knows no rest and must, with less ability, strive to meet the rising expectations of college administrators who are themselves scrambling after the Ivys.
You are to be commended for putting sport in a social perspective. Its decline as a matter of serious concern on campus is one barometer of the excessive demands being placed on a growing proportion of American students in other regards.
LAWRENCE M. MEAD III
Frankly, I find it not in the realm of a sport magazine to comment on the comparative social, academic and creative merits of any university. Author Johnson has presented to your readers an outsider's view of the situation that only can be experienced from the inside.
In my opinion, SI has taken advantage of its prestige in the journalism field. In presuming to judge Duke's relation to the atmosphere of college campuses from Berkeley to Cambridge, you are as out of line as an educational journal would be in selecting the best rookies of 1968.
Hopefully, in June 1970, I will receive a degree from Duke as my father did 30 years ago. I am sure, however, that Duke University will continue to have, as it has since then, a student body whose degree of "detachment" is such that the university will grow in both achievement and acclaim, "self-conscious beauty" and "rush-order origins" notwithstanding. And Mr. Bubas and the basketball team will continue to be impressive, whether your magazine chooses to publicize it or not.
It seems to one who knows something of both sides of the situation at Duke that The Timid Generation is a conglomerate of contorted facts and rash generalizations.
If, indeed, Duke's athletic standards have declined in recent years, an idea which the article failed to support honestly or substantially, it is only a result of Duke's striving to achieve a higher academic standard, a goal which, incidentally, Duke appears to be reasonably successful in attaining.
As for Duke's students' seeming docility, it truly would seem strange that any group of young people could be satisfied with their surroundings. Apparently Dr. Preiss cannot survive intellectually in the absence of constant turmoil on campus. When and where, then, is the work to be done? The university is to be neither an athletic box office, nor a seething cauldron of protest, but a creative user of parts of each in conjunction with a firm program of scholastic development. Perhaps Dr. Preiss is not altogether aware of what students are doing to integrate these aspects of education at Duke, let alone the efforts of the rest of the faculty and the administration. "Marches alone won't win this battle," baby.
THOMAS R. KNIGHT
And what is Editor Johnson's Timid Generation? Is it generation anticipating a greeting from Lieut. General Hershey's Selective Service? Is it a generation waiting to wage an undefined war in Southeast Asia? Is it a generation that can visualize the possible annihilation of the entire human race?
No, Mr. Johnson, this generation isn't timid. It's terrified
GERALD A. RUBINFELD
New York City
As sports fans, we can agree with your stand ("A Matter of Definition," SCORE-CARD, March 11) that a scientific definition of sex may not be the only criterion for determining whether an individual may compete as a female in the Olympics. But, as medical students, we cannot accept the explanation of the sex test.
Since the number of Barr bodies is equal to the number of X chromosomes minus one, a buccal smear would only show one Barr body in a normal female. Secondly, a normal female has only 46 chromosomes, 23 pair including the X chromosomes, not 48 as reported.
If, indeed, the finding of two Barr bodies were used as the criterion for femaleness, the ones who passed this test most probably would be, genetically speaking, "superfemales" (XXX), a term which, we are sure, Avery Brundage would say "smacks of professionalism."
If the scientific accuracy of your magazine is any reflection of that of the International Olympic Committee's medical commission, we feel that Miss Klobukowska deserves another chance.
DAVID A. ROSENFIELD
JOHN J. FREY
The Medical School
Thank you for a fine article (A Winner Where the Tall Corn Grows, March 11) about our exciting Hawkeyes at the University of Iowa.
With quick, hustling men like Sam Williams, Huston Breedlove, Dick Jensen, Ron Norman and the sophs from Pennsylvania, and with Coach Ralph Miller, Hawkeye fans kept the faith this season, even when your so-called experts picked them to have the "miseries." If this season is a taste of the miseries you so ruefully predicted, here's hoping the Hawkeyes will have the miseries for a good long time to come.
GARY C. GRONERT
Iowa City, Iowa.
So Iowa Coach Ralph Miller says there isn't more than one Iowa high school player over 6'6"? If we at Storm Lake High School started our five tallest boys, we would average a little over 6'6"!
Storm Lake, Iowa
MARCHING ON PRETORIA
Your story on the terribly important issues confronting the 1968 Olympics (A Bad Week for Mr. B, March 11) mentions the fact that the International Olympic Committee voted by a majority for the entrance of South Africa into the 1968 Games.
As an American, I would like to know how my country voted in the balloting. Thousands of my countrymen and myself donate funds for the support of the U.S. Olympic team, and I think it only right that we know where our money is going and how it is being spent, especially when issues like discrimination and apartheid are involved.
DONALD F. BATES
Mr. Brundage evidently holds the view that the Olympics can and should exist outside the realm of today's social and political conditions. It should be obvious to all that in these troubled times no aspect of human endeavor—not sports, not art, not entertainment, not science—can take priority over the situation that threatens all of civilization, namely, man's treatment of his fellow man.
While the nonwhite South African might be permitted to compete in the Olympics as an equal, the day he returns to his homeland he again would be victimized by the horrid system of apartheid, classified as a subhuman and be relegated, perhaps until the next Olympiad, to a modified form or slavery.
The IOC and the sports world in general should recognize that athletes do not exist in a vacuum. In 1936 Avery Brundage failed to speak out. He has been given a second chance in 1968. I would hope that this time he recognizes that there is more at stake than who can run the fastest.
Whether we like Mr. Brundage or not, or agree with the domineering positions he has taken as head of the International Olympic Committee, we should recognize that he is a man whose high principles cannot be shaken. If it were not for his "unswervingly obstinate years" probably the Olympics would have degenerated long before this.
ROBERT C. BOWEN