HOT FOOT (CONT.)
At long last a victory for the amateur athlete (No Goody Two-Shoes, March 10). The so-called shoe scandal is a small step in the right direction in assisting our amateur athletes, who, thanks to antiquated regulations imposed by the AAU and other such organizations, risk their amateur status almost every time they turn around. It is high time that these outdated eligibility rules be revamped and updated and the amateur athlete be compensated for the dedicated hard work that brings him the jubilation of victory or the agony of defeat. A medal or gold cup doesn't pay for the travel expense or the equipment required.
The next pair of shoes given away should be a pair of walking shoes to Avery Brundage and his crowd. I have several old pairs I would gladly send along—collect, of course, as I would not want to contribute to Mr. Brundage's losing his amateur standing.
I imagine the next step in this "scandal" (your word not mine) is to have the likes of Mr. Brundage repeat the Jim Thorpe fiasco and take back all the medals en masse. Let's all get behind our amateur athletes and see to it that they get a just reward for their sacrifices and not concern ourselves with such trivialities as how or from whom they get their shoes, travel money, meals, other expenses or college education. What is wrong with a little help, cash or otherwise?
BERNARD D. DUNN
Lieut. Commander, USN
Fifty-seven years ago the "greatest athlete in the world" was deprived of his Olympic medals and trophies because he played baseball for a measly $50 or so a month prior to the 1912 Olympics. In 1969 two of the world's leading sports shoemakers admit paying as much as $100,000 to Olympic athletes, and these athletes still have their medals. All this is obviously a sign of our inflationary times. Now we go big.
I have always thought Jim Thorpe was born 50 years too soon. Now I am sure.
Concerning your recent article, No Goody-Two-Shoes, would you please contact the representatives of either Puma or Adidas, I have no preference, to inform them that I am ready to sell out to the highest bidder. I am starting out at $200 but I'm willing to go as low as $5.95.
As for my qualifications: my fastest time in the 100-yard dash is a scant 12.8 seconds, and with some training I will be able to break the six-minute barrier in the mile. But my specialty is the high jump. With my modified Fosbury Flop I have cleared 5'2". This jump was good enough for fourth place in the 1968 annual third-period track meet at Athens High School (Coach Malinowski's team beat Coach Sellers' team). Speaking of high jumpers, that brings up an interesting point. Since they usually wear two different types of shoes, I could wear a Puma on my left foot and an Adidas on my right.
Keep up the good work!
My opinion of your organization has been somewhat lowered. The epitome of the put-down was achieved by SPORTS ILLUSTRATED (SCORECARD, March 10) at the expense of Mickey Mantle. Calling him a "limping, sporadic shadow" and a "superhero of small boys" certainly degraded the man whose achievements in his field were phenomenal for a person with his physical history. Mr. Mantle was a man who lifted baseball out of the depths of mediocrity, and fans across the nation realize this fact. To suggest that the Mick will be overshadowed in the limelight of a Bill Robinson borders on the insane.
My congratulations to Mickey Mantle. No one need make excuses for him; he need not make any apologies. He was a fantastic superstar, a fantastic human being and all of baseball is forever indebted to him.
CRUEL TO CRUGUET?
Referring to your Flamingo story (Man (Plus Horse) Beats Boy, March 17), I am happy to report to Jockey Jean Cruguet's fans (there are still quite a few besides me) that the "boy" took it as a man. Trainer Elliott Burch's latest comments about Cruguet were fair enough.
Since Arts and Letters did not fare too well in the Fountain of Youth with the experienced "sons of Ribot" jockey, Willie Shoemaker, I would suggest that perhaps you should recommend former Italian champion Enrico Camici for the colt's next start. After all, not only is he, too, an experienced "sons of Ribot" rider, but the Ribot rider himself.
Hollis Hills, N.Y.
About three years ago, as I was walking along a Long Island beach on a cold, windy winter night, the phrase "violent serenity" jumped into my mind. My definition of that seemingly contradictory term was that, when a man is faced with danger, yet controls the situation, he experiences a real happiness. I feel Graham Hill's article, Serenity on the Edge of Disaster (March 10), points out the same violent serenity.
Although Hill can experience this serenity at work, most of us are caught behind a desk by the hold of economic necessity. Enjoying happiness from violence is usually a rare occurrence. Yet we try. We sail in rough weather, we climb mountains, we explore caves, we jump from airplanes.
In a world where violence and danger no longer enter into survival—where we sit to ride to work, sit at work and sit at home to watch television and read the paper—we find a void. A void that cannot be filled (as I once thought it could) on weekends and vacations. And as we discover this emptiness and ask why, the explanation is almost too simple to believe: men cannot live happily without a kind of danger, a kind of violence—a violent serenity.
PAUL M. CRAMER
Mt. Rainier, Md.
I trust that you will allow a paraphrase of Graham Hill's otherwise excellent article: "Fighter pilots, whatever might be said, are not switched in to that sort of thing, like, say, a race driver at Le Mans." After 18 years of flying fighters in two wars, I must say that the sight of my 200th friend going down was no easier than the first.
JAMES M. HOWERTON
SERENE IN CINCINNATI
I don't know where Curry Kirkpatrick got the information on Cincinnati basketball that you printed in the March 3 issue (Skeletons and Snakes and a Scramble for First). It was wrong. No, not entirely; John Fraley is very much indeed the good freshman ballplayer he was claimed to be. But there the accuracy of the article drifted somewhat.
Kirkpatrick says Coach Ray Dieringer had to step in to assist Coach John Bryant on the bench. This is completely false. Dieringer was the freshman coach for the entire season with the exception of three consecutive games, in which Bryant stepped in to coach while Dieringer was fulfilling his duties as varsity assistant coach on road games. During these three games John Fraley and the entire freshman team played with equal dedication to Coach Bryant as they had to Coach Dieringer. There was trouble only when, during the Miami game, the entire freshman squad was not blocking out to John Bryant's specifications. Bryant's criticism was merited by the team's subsequent loss to Miami.
In a program already partially injured throughout the season by poor communication of feelings by both coaches and players, there is no need for outside additions to the pressures of racial problems in athletics. In fairness to the athletes and coaches at schools involved, the reports should be accurate, especially in cases whore personality conflicts are named. I know that no hostility exists between John Fraley and Coach Bryant. I know both rather well. I am Fraley's roommate and have played basketball with him and under Coaches Dieringer and Bryant for an entire season.
SPLINTERED SKI BOBS
There is a letter in your 19TH HOLE column of March 17 by Mr. Lee MacDonald, executive vice-president of the American Skibob Association, which I feel must not go unanswered. Your staff writer, Gwilym S. Brown, in his article, Tall in the Saddle Out East (Feb. 17), is correct in referring to me as president of the U.S. Skibob Association. The USSBA holds membership in the International Skibob Federation (FISB), which does not recognize the ASBA. Mr. MacDonald omits the fact that I am also a member of the FISB Council as well as its U.S. representative. The FISB and the USSBA are co-sponsors of the third world championship skibob races which are scheduled for February 1971 at the Snow Bowl in Missoula, Mont. A host committee under the direction of the Missoula Chamber of Commerce will be in charge of this event.
The FISB and I have been in repeated contact with the ASBA regarding the subject of their affiliating with the ski bob organization that has official jurisdiction over the sport in the U.S. (formerly the AAU, now the USSBA) but to no avail. It is hoped that some of the wiser heads on the ASBA directorship will back an affiliation movement so that some of their interested ski bobbers, who are not now eligible for places on the official U.S. team, may be able to qualify and participate in the 1971 world championships.
WILLIAM EDWARD CARTWRIGHT
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