As Kenny Moore says in his excellent article The Three-Sport Man: Hail and Farewell (May 11), one is saddened that the American collegiate sports system as it exists today makes Dan Jones an exception. Fortunately, there are still colleges like Lewis and Clark where the love of athletics is recognized for what it is: a joyful contribution to the development of well-rounded, healthy adults. Jones is obviously having a ball in an environment that accepts him for what he is: an intelligent young man who loves sports.
A copy of the article should be sent to every college athletic director in the country.
WILLIAM C. COLE
San Clemente, Calif.
As I read Kenny Moore's fine article on three-sport college men, I remembered something I gleaned from Goethe as an undergraduate. He said of modern culture: "Specialists without spirit, sensualists without heart; this nullity imagines that it has attained a level of civilization never before achieved."
Hats off to Moore for recognizing the alarming gravitation of higher education in this country toward such a state of affairs.
PAUL A. COLBURN
May 24, 1981
I'm a ninth-grader getting ready to attend high school this fall. Having played football, basketball and baseball in junior high, I had been wondering which one or two of those sports I could pursue in high school and still be able to maintain my grades. Your article has helped me make up my mind: I'm going to continue playing all three. Dan Jones is an outstanding example for kids in my position.
Your survey failed to turn up Carleton College sophomore Bobby Taylor, who has lettered in four sports in the span of two years. Taylor has lettered twice in football and once each in basketball, track and baseball. He's a pro prospect in football and, at 6'3" and 175 pounds, he sounds very much like Dan Jones. Keep an eye on him in 1982-83. If the three-sport man is a rarity, the four-sport star like Taylor is a dinosaur. To play even two sports here, with our rigorous academic schedule, is quite an accomplishment.
Head Baseball and Football Coach
Paul R. Belanger of Colby College, who graduates this spring, has participated in football, basketball and baseball during each of his four years at Colby and has excelled to such a degree that pro baseball and football scouts have looked at him. Belanger was a quarterback and punter and, at times, a wide receiver; a basketball guard; and a baseball infielder-outfielder with remarkable power and speed, not to mention a batting average of .401 this season and .356 for his career.
PAUL J. MICHAUD
Wheaton College has its own-master of the "hallowed trinity." Steve Thonn, a sophomore, decided to play football this year after sitting out his freshman season. He led the team in receptions and in yards receiving. He also played point guard as a reserve on the basketball team, and he starts in the outfield on the baseball team. As a freshman, Steve was tied for the team lead in home runs and led in stolen bases while batting .311 and making no errors in the outfield.
Henry Milligan of Princeton has combined football, wrestling and baseball. Milligan is a three-year starter in football (defensive back) and baseball (third base and shortstop), and is also an All-America wrestler in the 190-pound division. As a junior, Milligan placed in the top 12 in the NCAA Division I heavyweight wrestling championships. Not bad for a guy of 188 pounds. Henry has earned a total of 10 letters.
Bobby Howe, a freshman at Hamilton College, is also a three-sport man. He played varsity soccer this past fall. Then, partly because of an overlap of seasons and a late start on the ice, he played junior-varsity hockey until the second half of the season, when he began playing regularly on the varsity team, participating in the ECAC hockey tournament in March. Bobby traded hockey stick for lacrosse stick this spring and was a starting attack-man and the team's second-leading scorer. These are rugged contact sports and must put a heavy toll on an athlete who is all of 5'5" and 142 pounds after a heavy meal!
Kenny Moore emphasizes the "hallowed trinity" of football, basketball and baseball. However, many knowledgeable observers will argue that the trio of football, wrestling and lacrosse is a much more formidable combination. Johns Hopkins University sophomore Haswell Franklin is a starting defenseman on the defending national-champion lacrosse team, a football linebacker and a heavyweight wrestler.
You interviewed three-sport man Terry Baker, a failure in professional sports, when you might have talked to another three-sport man who is a success in the pros. Dave Logan, wide receiver for the Cleveland Browns, who appeared on the cover of your 1980 Pro Football Issue (Sept. 8), was instrumental in helping Cleveland win the AFC Central Division title last season. But consider this: After lettering in football, basketball and track at the University of Colorado, he was drafted by the Browns, the Kansas City Kings and the Cincinnati Reds—because of his high school baseball prowess; he played no baseball at Colorado.
The article reminded me of one of my fraternity brothers at Wittenberg University, Robert Cherry, class of '64. He not only earned 12 varsity letters in three sports, but also achieved marked success in each.
An All-America in football, he played in only two losing games in four years. In basketball, he led the Tigers to No. 1 NCAA College Division rankings in the AP and UPI polls and an NCAA College Division championship. While he earned numerous individual All-Conference and All-Tournament honors in both of these sports, his best was probably track, in which his talent and versatility were once recognized in SI (FACES IN THE CROWD, June 1, 1964). In 1964 he was the NCAA regional winner in the 120-yard high hurdles but was kept out of the finals and the Olympic Trials by a muscle injury.
As SI noted, in one dual track meet with Ohio Northern, Cherry personally accounted for 33 points, winning the broad jump, triple jump, 100-yard dash, the 120-yard high hurdles, the 220-yard dash and the 330-yard intermediate hurdles. What SI didn't say is that he would have won the high jump that day, too, but declined to take his final jumps because a teammate had already jumped higher than any of the competition.
He was a master of all trades.
ROBERT E. RIDDLE, D.D.S.
I can't believe you failed to mention Pat Richter of Wisconsin. In the early 1960s he was an All-America in football, and he also lettered in basketball and baseball.
I thoroughly enjoyed your article on the Miami Hurricanes, their entrepreneur-coach, Ron Fraser, and Pitcher Neal Heaton (The Heat Is On With Heaton, May 4). But now that you have analyzed the pitching-rich Miami team, how about taking a look at the hitting wonders of the Southern Division of the Pac-10? As a member of the University of Arizona baseball team, I have the dubious distinction of pitching in this league, which is nationally recognized as the toughest. For instance, a couple of weeks ago in Tucson in a three-game series between Stanford and Arizona, the Cardinals got 48 runs on 59 hits, while our Wildcats got 37 runs on 39 hits. If you don't have a calculator handy, that adds up to an average of 28.3 runs and 32.7 hits per game.
The funny thing is, there are scores like this every weekend. USC Coach Rod Deaux says it's the aluminum bats; Arizona State's Jim Brock says it's the talent of the hitters; and Arizona's Jerry Kindall says it's "awesome." We "Six Pac" pitchers say it's murder.
DANIEL B. POWERS
I feel compelled to respond to Todd Fredrickson, Princeton, class of '83 (19TH HOLE, April 13), and his inaccurate and typically sophomoric conclusion regarding the too often assumed academic superiority of Ivy League schools. To even suggest bracketing Michigan with USC as a "mere sports center" is a gross misrepresentation of Michigan's image.
Fredrickson may be surprised to learn not only that Michigan fielded the winningest major college football team of the 1970s (not counting bowl games), but also that in 1979 The Chronicle of Higher Education carried the results of a 1977 Ladd-Lipset survey that had Michigan tied for fourth among U.S. universities in distinguished faculty and academic excellence. Michigan placed 15 academic departments, of 19 fields surveyed, among the nation's very best. No other institution appears in the top 10 on both of these academic and football lists. Reader Fredrickson owes the University of Michigan an apology.
VIRGINIA S. NICKLAS
NOTRE DAME'S RECORD
In his recent letter (19TH HOLE, April 27), reader Jack Dyniec observes, "Notre Dame annually attracts top high school [football] talent from all over the country, but you can't tell that by its record. In my opinion, no other team, amateur or professional, does so little with so much."
Perhaps Mr. Dyniec should take a closer look at Notre Dame's record: an overall won-lost percentage of .774 (1887-1980), the best in all of college football. And no one can match the 10 national championships won by the Irish.
Let Mr. Dyniec ponder the records of Coach Knute Rockne (.897 winning percentage), Frank Leahy (.888) and Ara Parseghian (.848). One could hardly conclude from these numbers that Notre Dame's talent is going to waste.
•Right. Notre Dame is the winningest Division I-A team of all time. However, according to the latest available NCAA statistics, Notre Dame ranks as only the 13th winningest I-A team of the past five seasons, including bowl games, and 14th (tied with McNeese State) excluding bowl games. The Irish are No. 8 over the past 10 regular seasons and No. 12 on the list of the winningest teams of the past 25 regular seasons. For the years 1930-79, also excluding bowl games, the NCAA ranked Notre Dame third, behind Alabama and Oklahoma.—ED.
Surely reader Dyniec wasn't referring to the 1980 Notre Dame football team. "Over-publicized"? SPORTS ILLUSTRATED didn't even rate the Irish in its top 25 preseason picks, yet the team achieved top ranking in the polls during the season and played the eventual national champion in the Sugar Bowl. Ask the Bear if he thinks Notre Dame plays up to its ability.
FRANK D. CARPIN
Notre Dame '62
I guess the Irish have built such a powerful reputation over the years that if they don't go 12-0-0 and win the national championship every season, they're viewed as underachievers.
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