Thank you for calling attention to the plight of Gary Freeman, Oregon State University basketball player (SCORECARD, Sept. 15). Freeman hoped to play professional basketball and then to coach high school teams. He represents that segment of college students who do not take disruptive action, are studious and plan to take their responsible places in society. His future is jeopardized by the NCAA action. The irony is that he was aware of the strict NCAA rules and thought that he had complied with them. Who would blame him if he feels that the "system" has not treated him fairly?
As your editorial indicates, the thrust of the NCAA rule might be valid: protecting college basketball players from gamblers and long off-season schedules. But who can assert that a lettermen-club-benefit high school game, such as the one in question, should be within the purview of such a rule?
I am concerned about the Freeman issue, and I hope that the NCAA will see the true perspective: a college athlete and his future, as well as the faith in the NCAA by all athletes, must be paramount.
The NCAA council meets in October. It will have an opportunity to rectify this injustice. The old adage, "to err is human...," deserves a new ending: "To rectify is fair."
MARK O. HATFIELD
ON THE LINE (CONT.)
My letter concerns some remarks made by Dee Andros in Part 1 of your article The Desperate Coach (Aug. 25 el seq.). I am that "son of an Air Force colonel" he was so appalled by. I feel that quite a bit of the story related to you by Mr. Andros needs to be put in proper perspective.
I had talked with Rich Brooks, one of Mr. Andros' assistants, the week before spring break and told him that I was not going to return in the fall and therefore could see no reason to go out for spring practice. I didn't feel I could play football for Oregon State because of conflicting beliefs between myself and the coaching staff concerning the importance of individuality and self-identity.
I did not see or talk with any of the coaching staff again until registration day for spring term. At OSU an athlete's fees are paid with a credit card that is enclosed in his registration packet. My credit card was not enclosed and neither was that of another athlete who quit at the same time. We decided to go see what had happened.
We talked to Mr. Brooks, who said he had thought we both "weren't coming back spring term" and had taken our names off the scholarship list. I didn't believe this because I had made a point of telling him and Mr. Andros that I was finishing the year at OSU. At that point Mr. Brooks became angry and said that "we couldn't really expect to keep our scholarships if we weren't going to play football in the spring."
Mr. Andros was even less professional than Mr. Brooks. He told us that we couldn't "expect something for nothing" and that he reviewed each athlete's scholarship every quarter and could "cut any scholarship at random." Jim Barratt, the athletic director, was no more helpful than the coaches, although he did promise to "see what the situation was" and told us to come back the next day.
I spent the rest of the day trying to enlist the help of several deans and a legal advisor. The school legal advisor was "out of town" and a phone call to the athletic department office by a trembling dean got no results. A person just doesn't get in the way of the athletic department at OSU if he can help it.
The next day I called an English professor who supported the boycott to see if he could get me any legal assistance. He called a lawyer who in turn called the athletic department and discussed the legality of its actions. At 1 o'clock we went to see Jim Barratt, and he had our scholarships back for us with apologies for the "mistake that had been made and it was too bad that we weren't satisfied with OSU, good luck, and it was too bad that we didn't live up to our part of the deal the way the athletic department did."
It is my belief that Dee Andros expected us to leave OSU before the end of the week, not being able to pay the out-of-state tuition and fees on such short notice. If we had left, he would have saved the athletic department about $1,000 and remained a solid pillar in the college community.
I did have a beard and my hair hadn't been cut recently when I talked to Mr. Andros about my scholarship. It was, however, barely hanging over my ears and a three-week beard could hardly be considered "long." Actually, it looked more like dirt than hair. I wasn't wearing sandals but desert boots (with socks), blue jeans, a button-down-collar shirt and a golf jacket. Hardly hippie attire.
Give Mr. Andros 80 Jack Armstrongs and he would be in heaven. Give him an individual who looks like Jack Armstrong but who is secretly Greg Stanley, and he is "appalled and sick to his stomach." I do not believe that four years of college and a chance to be part of "big-time football" is worth giving up my personal identity and self-respect. Mr. Andros demands this.
I learned in one year as an OSU football player what most people who watch and love college football never know: that each player is a piece of property. When that property is considered no longer desirable it is dumped as quickly and at the lowest cost to the owner as possible. Football is big business, operating on a profit-loss basis. Human feelings cannot be allowed to gum up the works of that beautifully efficient machine. If they were, how could a coach ever make a name for himself?
Ex Football Player
Andros is tough but fair. He dictates on the field, but his players have free rein off the field. As responsible young men, very few abuse this freedom. And Andros' repeated winning seasons reflect this. Andros bends with the changes in society but does not yield. The word which coincides with success is moderation.
MICHAEL L. McDONALD
Success is the offspring of discipline. There is not a successful man anywhere, be he a doctor, lawyer, businessman or professional athlete, who is not well disciplined.
It would be a grave mistake to take away any coach's power to discipline, be it at the junior high, high school or college level. Our nation needs disciplined people now more than ever. It is obvious that most of our young people are growing up without it. At least our athletes can learn to develop discipline. Let's continue to give them the opportunity. We can't afford not to.
J. BARRY HART
The following observations concern articles in your Sept. 1 issue. In an article about Owen Williams (Living Dangerously at Forest Hills), Kim Chapin says that Williams decided he was never going to be a winner because Jack Kramer told him his size-12 feet, among other things, would prohibit that. Then, in the article on Stan Smith (Davis Cup? Get Stan Smith to Take Care of that Chore), Budd Collins quotes Smith as saying: "It took me a while to learn how to manage my size-13 feet." Since author Collins feels that Smith is our No. 1 player, I can only conclude that Kramer, who is one of the greatest players of all time, is no judge of feet.
FREDERIC M. HADLEY
U.S. Open Tournament Director Owen Williams was perhaps too hasty in heeding Jack Kramer's warning that his size-12 feet would keep him from being a winner. Look where Stan Smith's size 13s got him!
THOMAS HOOKER JR.
I liked your article on the Weyerhaeusers (Shy Owner of 1/640th of the U.S., Aug. 18). This truly is a story of a great American family.
I believe you owe an apology to the South, however. In discussing campsites, you refer to the South as a place "where ticks, snakes, red bugs and other discouragements prevent such developments and camping is rare." Please send your reporter down here, I'll show him plenty of camps. The truth of the matter is that we have so much free, beautiful campground no one has to give us any.
ANOTHER VOTE FOR CATHERINE
My letter is in defense of Catherine Lacoste (A Super Keen-o Show by La Grande Catherine, Aug. 25). This young lady has proved to the world what she can do on a golf course. The attitude of the lady golfers in this country toward her is incredible to say the least!
You mention the incident during the 1967 Open when mouths of certain U.S. lady pros fell open after Catherine asked if anyone was interested in playing a practice round. How in the world was she supposed to know they expected to be looked upon as something a little superior?
Now that Catherine has won the U.S. Amateur, let's hope the U.S. feeling of superiority disappears. If not, our lady golfers are only fooling themselves—no one else. We have many fine lady golfers in this country, but if Miss Lacoste were on the ladies' pro tour, it is a pretty safe bet she would be one of the top players.
Out this way we were all pulling for Shelley Hamlin, whom we knew to be a top-notch golfer. But anyway, hats off to Miss Lacoste!
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