THE NCAA IS INNOCENT
Your red-tape award (SCORECARD, March 14) was given to the wrong association. What's more, I don't think it was deserved.
I issued that memorandum, not on behalf of the NCAA, of which I am director of public relations, but on behalf of the College Sports Information Directors of America, of which I am a member. The NCAA does not run the affairs of CoSIDA.
The purpose of the memorandum was to gain feedback from CoSIDA's NCAA and NAIA members concerning committees on which they would like to serve, with the hope of involving more of them in the workings of the organization. I am happy to report that the response has been good.
DAVID E. CAWOOD
CoSIDA Committee on Committees
Shawnee Mission, Kans.
•SI regrets the mix-up.—ED.
RAY OF SUNSHINE
Thank you for the wonderful article on the Orangemen (The Color for the Orange Is Cray, March 7). Now maybe the city of Syracuse will be famous for more than snow and air conditioners.
Laguna Hills, Calif.
What is Barry McDermott, a sportswriter or an amateur weatherman? He doesn't have to tell the nation that Syracuse is a dismal place in the winter. This is the Northeast, baby! It snows up here.
As for the fans, show me a basketball arena where the fans don't get a little rowdy and obnoxious, and I'll show you a team that is destined for mediocrity.
BARONS IN THE RED
Peter Gammons' article on the Cleveland Barons (Cleveland's Not Barren, March 7) is definitely offsides. To say that the Coliseum "is somewhere between Akron and Nome, and inaccessible by public transportation" is to take a cheap shot at one of the best sports edifices in the world. It is time the NHL realized that it can no longer sell itself on the basis of the prestige of the league. What it must sell is what every city wants: a contending team. The Barons are a young, exciting and improving club, but they are also in last place. Mel Swig should be happy that attendance has averaged a little over 5,000 per game. He came to Cleveland with little capital and did not promote the club. He must have thought that the Cleveland fans would come running to the Coliseum to pay inflated prices just for the honor of seeing NHL hockey. The fans in northeast Ohio proved to Swig that they are not so dumb. All the NHL proved to Cleveland is that it is just as bush league as the WHA.
Thanks for the article on the plight of the Cleveland Barons. Throughout this troubled season they have played with a professional pride that is rare in sports these days.
AHEAD OF THE PACK
That was the greatest cover ever for SPORTS ILLUSTRATED (March 7). Jockey Steve Cauthen has youthfulness, vitality, dedication. He is a winner in many ways.
CALVIN R. RUSHTON
Mount Vernon, Ga.
Well, your cover has done it again. On March 4 I saw this headline in The New York Times: CAUTHEN GOES 0 FOR 7.
New London, Conn.
AT THE HEAD OF THE LANES
I often wondered if there was more to Earl Anthony than his Ebonite bowling ball and five-step delivery. Now I know (The $100,000 Bowling Machine, March 7).
JAMES R. KELLEY
Lane Stewart's photograph of Earl Anthony taken from behind the pins has got to be the most fascinating and explicit picture I've seen in quite some time. The look on Anthony's face alone offers a perfect illustration of the intense concentration of bowling's toughest competitor.
One statement in the article is in error. To adjust the weighted balance of a bowling ball by "drilling holes and filling them with weights," as your story suggests, is forbidden under the long-established rules of bowling. I have already posted a notice in my shop that I cannot, and will not, do this for any bowler and have also clipped out and posted the American Bowling Congress rule concerning balls for use in ABC competition.
DUDLEY (DUD) SMITH
•Bowlers may adjust the balance of a ball by drilling holes to reduce its weight, but they may not add weight.—ED.
Seven years ago my father introduced me to the merits of natural foods, vitamin C and sprouts. In those days he was called a health-food nut. Now he is in tune with the times. J. D. Reed's article on athletes and their diets (They Hunger for Success, Feb. 28) may make the cynics take note. Those who are quick to mock may eventually climb on the bandwagon.
JUDY SOLED BORTMAN
In 1918 the late Dr. Irving Fisher, a professor at Yale University, persuaded the Yale football coach to try an experiment. The Yale rookies were placed on a strict vegetarian diet for several weeks and then were pitted against the varsity, who kept to their regular "balanced" diet. The rookies were found to have substantially greater endurance than the meateaters. Perhaps the conventional training-table diet should be reexamined.
MARILYN K. BIGELOW
I read the article with great enjoyment, because it dealt with a number of individuals, not just one man's theory. But let me say a word for all of us steak lovers out here. All I ever read about are vegetarians knocking beef for its hormone content, but I have to wonder about a diet containing large quantities of commercially grown fruit sprayed with pesticides, fish that can have toxic levels of mercury and pesticides, and so on. I really got into the organic thing a couple of years ago, but sooner or later one arrives at the conclusion that everything has something in it that isn't good for you and, more to the point, something that is good for you. A balanced diet and exercise are still No. 1 and always will be.
Oak View, Calif.
Los Angeles Ram Defensive End Fred Dryer said it best: "Nearly everything we're told about food and nutrition is nonsense." Various "experts" claim different breakthroughs in a variety of areas, so the general public is confounded. When will we come to the realization that there is no cure-all?
BRIAN C. BENEDICT
Regarding Jockey Johnny Sellers' method for keeping his weight down, I am surprised that any physician would endorse "flipping it." I shudder to think what constant induced vomiting must do to the nervous system. Sellers says jockeys are the most nervous athletes he has seen. Small wonder!
J. D. Reed's article was one I could really relate to. But I was disappointed when he said, "Nowhere in sports is weight more critical than on the scale before a horse race." Weight is at least as critical in wrestling. Before each match, a wrestler has to "make weight." If he does not make it, he has one hour in which to lose his excess pounds. He does it by running laps with layers of sweat suits on, chewing gum and spitting, or putting his fingers down his throat and throwing up, all of which I have been a part of or have witnessed. After the wrestler makes weight he can then "chow down," for he has another hour before he has to wrestle.
Wrestlers will do almost anything, regardless of the danger or deprivation involved, to cut those pounds.
J. D. Reed's article called to mind a remark by Mark Twain: "If you can't make 70 by a comfortable road, don't go." Steamed broccoli and broiled halibut are okay, but give me a Pepsi and steak any day!
LARRY D. FOX
South Pittsburg, Tenn.
I was impressed with Ron Reid's coverage of the banquet circuit ("In the Spirit of Joy and Some Joy of the Spirit," Feb. 28). I missed the 41st Annual Dapper Dan Man of the Year Banquet, but when reading about it in SI, I felt as though I was there.
WILLIAM P. BALLOT
We were gratified that you recognized our awards dinner as the "granddaddy" of all sports banquets. I would like to mention that 25% of the proceeds from this annual affair is given to the Touchdown Club of Washington charities, which provides thousands of dollars for scholarship funds, the fight against dread diseases and the support of underprivileged children.
One clarification is in order, however. The article said: "For the athletes, the banquet beat can also be very lucrative. The esteemed Washington Touchdown Club...pays up to $2,500 to ensure the appearance of its Timmie Award winners." This statement has been interpreted to mean that we pay fees for our winners to appear. This is not true. The club reimburses winners for all of their out-of-pocket expenses, i.e., air fares, hotel accommodations and meals. But I can assure you that we have never reimbursed an awardee for anything approaching $2,500.
Your readers might also be interested to know that the person appearing in the photo with Billy Carter is the Honorable Ray Blanton, governor of Tennessee.
ROBERT M. JOHNSON
Touchdown Club of Washington
Hooray! The Clan has been recognized. Thanks for the article on Simon Fraser's swim team (But Is It Simon-Pure?. Feb. 28). The people of Vancouver and B.C. are very proud of the job the team has done in a short time.
More than 500 American colleges belong to the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics, an American organization, and I feel strongly that they are the ones who should be competing for NAIA titles. If Simon Fraser is being boycotted in Canada, let it clean up its act and participate in the Canadian playoffs. I have no objections to Simon Fraser meeting American teams during the season, but when it comes to national championships, it should compete for the Canadian title and we should be competing for the American title. As far as I am concerned, Rockhurst College of Kansas City, Mo. is the American NAIA soccer champion.
Missouri Southern State College
The "Society Against Foolish Preservation of Species," of which I am a member, has put the El Segundo Blue on its list (Its Fate Is Up in the Air. Feb. 28). When a handful of "scientists" who enjoy studying the differences in the genitalia of blue butterflies can stop a project that will create many jobs and assure adequate air travel for the future, then it is time that the rest of us be heard.
Surely there are other very similar little blue butterflies scattered in numbers over the earth. What really is the justification for protecting this species? Thanks for bringing this ridiculous situation to our attention.
GORDON G. BLACK
Menlo Park, Calif.
THE RED HORDE
My brother Bob and I, plus brother Ted, and Frank McGinn were on the plane returning from another trip to Club Pacifico when the issue of SI containing Clive Gammon's article on our July trip (A Fish Story That Was All Too True, Feb. 14) was handed to us by the stewardess. Most of us had just spent a few days off Jicarón and Hannibal Bank experiencing the very thrills we were reading about. The sharks are still there, as well as the Red Horde, except the Horde was on the surface. Never before had I said a prayer for a brand-new plug not to be taken, but this time I did because of the "bird's nest" in my reel. My prayer was not answered, however, because five seconds later that plug was gulped, the rod bent double, the line stretched and broken—and goodby $5.
We had seven rods rigged for action, but the guide couldn't keep up. Soon all seven were out of action with broken lines. On the last day other fishermen in eight new Mako 25-footers were circling the same area and having the identical problem of broken tackle. Still, we filled up the fish box.
Thanks for the fish story. Clive Gammon shows imagination and creativity. Plus, he is good.
I read the article What's That Coming Out of Your Shirt? Oh, It's Just Jo-Jo (Feb. 14) by Dan Levin with great interest. In 1971 I spent more than five months in the Florida Keys, observing and investigating hermit-crab behavior as part of a National Geographic grant project. I fully agree with Glen Spence that these crabs should receive some protection from man's ever-increasing encroachment on their environment.
The world has at long last found a hermit-crab lover. Just reading about Glen Spence, one forgets, for a moment, the atrocities that have been committed against wildlife. Albert Schweitzer would no doubt be proud of the comparison.
Newport Beach, Calif.
TENNIS ON ICE (CONT.)
It is clear from the letters you have published (Feb. 21) that the game of tennis on ice is not a Russian invention, but it goes back much further than your readers attest. Since no one else apparently has done so, let me point out that the idea goes back at least to the invention of lawn tennis in its modern form by Major Walter Clopton Wingfield in 1873. In their book The Game of Doubles in Tennis, William F. Talbert and Bruce S. Old quote from Wingfield's original booklet:
"All these difficulties have been surmounted by the inventor of 'Lawn Tennis,' which has all the interest of 'tennis,' and has the advantage that it may be played in the open air in any weather by people of any age and both sexes. In a hard frost the nets may be erected on the ice, and the players being equipped with skates, the Game assumes a new feature, and gives an opening for the exhibition of much grace and science."
LESLIE H. AULT
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