E.M. Swift is to be commended for his honest article on violence in the NHL (Blood and Ice, Dec. 5). Hockey is my favorite sport because of its speed and finesse, but I've become more and more upset over the increasing violence in the NHL and the lame excuses its gutless president continues to offer. How many more players must be severely injured before the league will act? Swift presented some excellent suggestions, such as ejecting anyone who fights and having fewer players in the lineup. It's high time the NHL listened, before somebody gets killed. What was once a magnificent game has degenerated into a bloodbath.
A discussion of the hypocrisy of the NFL's policy on anabolic steroids is especially powerful when it comes from a former player. Steve Courson's arguments (POINT AFTER, NOV. 14) were well taken, but perhaps they are narrow in focus. One of the most prevalent illusions of modern society is that the consequences of seemingly private decisions and actions dissipate into a vacuum. If steroid use is accepted among the pros, it is naive to think that steroids won't be perceived as training tools by young amateurs. While there may be some justification for a pro football player to weigh the risks of steroid use, the same does not hold true for young athletes, practically all of whom will fail to reach the NFL no matter how much they alter the natural chemistry of their bodies.
While Steve Courson does not object to the use of anabolic steroids today, he may think differently 20 years from now if he develops heart or liver problems.
I'm sure your story on USC boosters endowing positions on the Trojan football team (That Old School Spirit, Nov. 28) was applauded by all university athletic-development officers and fund-raisers. We are very appreciative of alumni and friends who provide academic opportunities for student-athletes through annual contributions. It is even more rewarding when former student-athletes establish endowments to cover scholarships for future student-athletes at their alma maters.
At Ohio State, former Buckeye Jim Lachey, class of '85, who is now with the San Diego Chargers, has established a $100,000 endowment to cover the scholarship costs of a student playing his former position, offensive tackle. Former Buckeye quarterback Mike Tomczak, another member of the class of '85, who is now with the Chicago Bears, is in the process of endowing his position for the same amount.
Also, the 1968 national champion Ohio State football team, which was coached by the late Woody Hayes, celebrated its 20th anniversary this past fall by establishing a $1.3 million academic endowment fund in honor of Hayes and his wife Anne. The purpose of this fund is to provide opportunities for former Buckeye football players and coaches to continue their academic pursuits at Ohio State.
DAVID S. NICOLLS
Director, Athletic Development
Ohio State University
We were very pleased to see Transylvania University alumnus Billy Reed featured in FROM THE PUBLISHER (NOV. 28). We are proud of Billy's accomplishments and, in fact, last year gave him a Distinguished Service award. However, we take issue with his suggestion that the university "stop fighting it and change the nickname [from the Pioneers] to the Vampires." Founded in 1780, Transylvania has historical ties with Daniel Boone and other pioneers, but none with Dracula. Changing the nickname is not something we can sink our teeth into.
Director of Public Relations
In a story in your Summer Olympic preview issue (On the Trail of the O-Word, Sept. 14), you mention Olympic Luggage Corporation as being one of a number of companies that use the name Olympic unlawfully. That is inaccurate. Olympic Luggage has been in business since 1919. The federal law that limits the use of the word Olympic grandfathers companies that began using the name before 1950.
DAVID L. BLACKMORE
Olympic Luggage Corporation
I was interested to see the perfect mathematical progression in the Big Eight's final conference standings in football this season.
What is the probability of such a progression happening?
•If you could assume that all teams had a 50-50 chance of winning each game they played and that every game produced a winner, the probability of this progression occurring in an eight-team conference would be 1 in 6,667. However, because in real life skill comes into play and some teams are always stronger than others, such perfect progressions actually occur far more frequently than that. In fact, the Big Eight's final standings were also in perfect progression in 1986.—ED.
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