I have coached at the high school level for 20 years. Unfortunately, our profession has received a black eye the last few years because of the actions of some of our colleagues, at all levels.
It is certainly rewarding to see a great coach like Rollie Massimino stay at Villanova (A Net Loss Is 'Nova's Gain, July 1) because of his love for his players and trainer Jake Nevin.
Most people would have taken the money and run.
There are a lot of class people like Coach Massimino in our profession. We just don't read about them very often.
July 14, 1985
Summerfield High School
Your July 1 article, A Great Role Player, on Kurt Bevacqua was excellent. Not only does Bevacqua help the San Diego Padres win games with his bat—for example, his two grand-slam home runs this year—he also helps the Padres remain atop the NL West by keeping them loose. The Padres are known for their team chemistry and the fun they have while they're playing. It is evident from John Underwood's article that Bevacqua is a key to the good time the Padres are having this year.
Thank you for a feel-good story in this time of bad news.
Baseball is lucky to have Kurt Bevacqua, and I believe Padres owner Joan Kroc realizes this, too.
Your act is fine, Kurt, but hang in there; maybe in another 20 years the rest of us will get our acts together, too.
Little Rock, Ark.
Everyone has his favorite sport and can usually come up with more than one reason why his is "the best." But I don't think anyone would deny that baseball produces more lovable characters than any other sport. Mark Fidrych, Casey Stengel, Yogi Berra, Dennis Boyd—all men with an inner joy for the game that they have shared with others in their own special way. Kurt Bevacqua is another one. Without guys like him, baseball would be just another game. But it isn't; it's the American national pastime, and I, for one, am proud of it!
Your story on Earl Weaver (A Weaver Of Dreams Returns To Baltimore, June 24) by Craig Neff gave great insight into Weaver the man as well as Weaver the manager. They say Earl has calmed down, but I say for $500,000 he could give us a few screams.
Staten Island, N.Y.
I was disappointed with your article about Earl Weaver's return to the sagging Baltimore Orioles. Who really cares about a man who would rather scuffle with umpires than whip his players into shape?
I had a feeling of déj√† vu reading this article, because it reminded me of your story about Billy Martin's return to the Yankees (Oh No, Not Again, May 6). When writing about managers in the future, please emphasize the ones who are getting the job done now, not returnees who got the job done once and are trying to do it again.
STEVEN M. WHITE
As the 1985 USFL season, and, perhaps, the USFL itself, comes to a close, I would like to make a few observations.
Many critics claim the USFL is a bad influence on the game. But I believe it has given the NFL competition and thereby improved the game. It has also given players a choice of where they want to play.
Some say that the USFL is boring. However, I can't recall seeing very many running backs throwing the ball or teams using flea-flickers in the NFL.
Furthermore, the new league has given many players an alternative to the NFL. Bobby Hebert, Richard Johnson and Derrick Crawford are just a few of those who have improved their football stock. The league has also prolonged the careers of Brian Sipe, Toni Fritsch, John Reaves, Don Reese, Jim Le-Clair, Dave Lapham and James Harrell and many others.
Long live the "USFL...where football is still a game!"
The allegations presented by Doug Looney in his article Troubled Times At Memphis State (June 24) are well known by people in the sports world and deserve the attention and investigation of the proper authorities.
However, as a graduate of Memphis State I take great offense at the statement that the university has "relatively modest academic aspirations." In an otherwise objective article, this statement insults all MSU graduates, students and faculty.
The aim of all universities is to educate and enlighten their students, and Memphis State is no exception. The university offers excellent educational opportunities in a wide range of disciplines. It is up to the individual, whether he or she is an athlete, band member or simply a regular student, to work for and earn a degree.
If any of the allegations surrounding the athletic department proves to be true, the university will accept the penalties meted out and will work to rectify the situation. In the meantime, the university will continue to fulfill its purpose—graduating men and women who can benefit society.
CHRIS J. LIBERTO
In your interview with Steve Courson concerning his use of anabolic steroids (Getting Physical—And Chemical, May 13), he told Jill Lieber, "I had Tampa Bay test my liver." Could you please tell us the results?
•Courson says he hasn't heard from the Buccaneers' doctors. He takes that as a good sign—that there isn't anything adverse to report.—ED.
Regarding Fast To The Very Last Gasp in the June 24 issue, that is Cornell's own Big Red, not the Princeton Tigers, pictured with the winning Harvard crew on page 64.
THOMAS R. DYCKMAN
Ithaca, New York
I was absolutely captivated by Philip Singerman's article (Nostalgia, June 24) on the red Morgan. His romance with the car parallels mine in every respect but one—mine was stored, his was sold.
Now, 20 years after the purchase of my "new" Morgan, I have a spotlessly refurbished red model that, unfortunately, my teenage sons drive as much as I do.
These cars should be passed from generation to generation!
COLIN D. WATSON
Thank you for the amusing and informative article/quiz (How Did Heavyweight Boxing Become The Muddle It Is? Time For A Quiz, July 1). So many "fighters" have plodded in and out of the spotlight that it is enough to send even the sharpest experts looking for a three-credit course to reeducate themselves.
However, you listed an incorrect answer to multiple-choice question No. 7. You said that A, the WBC, had seven champions in the last seven years when, in fact, it was D—the WBA. I guess all those A's, B's and C's can confuse even the best of us. Here's a helpful hint for remembering everything you need to know about heavyweight boxing today. Simply memorize these 11 letters: L-A-R-R-Y H-O-L-M-E-S.
STEPHEN J. LAURIA
•The question was worded incorrectly, making all of the answers wrong. The WBC had six champions and the WBA had eight in the last seven years.—ED.
In Section II, Question 8 of your boxing quiz you ask: "What boxer lost the WBC title, then in the same year won the WBA title?" Greg Page is not the right answer. Page never held the WBC title, so he could never actually "lose" it. He did fight Tim Witherspoon for the vacant WBC title on March 9, 1984 and lost a 12-round decision. He beat Gerrie Coetzee with an eighth-round knockout on Dec. 1 for the WBA title.
VINCENT A. MANCINO
•The question should have been: "What boxer fought unsuccessfully for the WBC title, then in the same year won the WBA title?"—ED.
I am shocked and somewhat amused that your magazine trumpets Larry Holmes as the "real champ" on your July 1 cover.
If a washed-up 35-year-old man who hasn't fought anyone but tomato cans and canvas-backs since 1982 and now amuses himself by fighting "contenders" with the credentials of my Aunt Millie for huge purses is your idea of a "real champ," then boxing has really slipped since the glory years of Muhammad Ali, Joe Frazier and Sugar Ray Leonard.
I suggest that "Take-the-Money-and-Run" Larry drag himself into the ring and take on someone who will hit back, namely Pinklon Thomas. But I know that won't happen. Holmes may be old, but he's no fool.
Granted, Angelo Spagnolo is a terrible golfer (Take My Golf Game, Please!!!, July 1), but is that any reason for him to hide his face from the cameras? In four photos of this wonderfully inept hacker, we get the top, back and side of his head but never his face. Then again, if I were that bad a golfer, I don't think I'd want people to know what I look like, either.
•Here's another view of Spagnolo, the un-champion.—ED.
Isn't it a bit ludicrous to assume that four men vying to attain the dubious distinction of worst avid golfer are really going to try to attain the lowest score, knowing that the highest score takes home the purse? What a joke. Take those four bad players, offer them cash for the lowest score and then we'll see just how good they really are.
Concerning your article about the worst avid golfer, I would just like to ask you one question: Don't you think one April Fools' joke per year is enough?
Garden City, New York
Letters should include the name, address and home telephone number of the writer and be addressed to The Editor, SPORTS ILLUSTRATED, Time & Life Building, Rockefeller Center, New York, N.Y. 10020.