NOTRE DAME VS. MIAMI
In NOTES (Sept. 4) William F. Reed says one of the reasons Notre Dame is dropping Miami from its football schedule after the 1990 season is that the Hurricanes do not have the Irish's educational standards. I wonder if the real reason is that the Hurricanes are no longer the patsies they used to be.
I agree with William F. Reed's views on the end of the Notre Dame-Miami series. But I think the two teams will inevitably meet again if the bowl system survives and both programs thrive. The best independents, as we have seen in recent years, are adept at arranging national title matchups and big paydays. A discontinued rivalry? It's probably only Tempe-rary.
One thing Kansas State could do to help its football program (Futility U, Sept. 4) is to reinstate wrestling. K-State was a power in that sport in the 1930s and early '40s, winning three Big Six championships (in 1931, '39 and '40). Several members of the wrestling team were also excellent football players, including Elmer (One Man Gang) Hackney, who was the Big Six heavyweight champion in 1938 (he also won the NCAA title in the shot put in '38 and '39). As a fullback, Hackney was good for five yards every time he carried the ball.
Sandy Hook, Conn.
I feel it was unfair of Douglas S. Looney to determine that one play, on Oct. 29, 1966, was the worst moment in Kansas State football history. It was even more unfair to point the finger at one player, quarterback Bill Nossek. As a football coach I realize that any play, including one that results in a fumble, is the product of the efforts of 11 people.
October 1, 1989
Today, Nossek is one of the finest quarterback coaches in northern Ohio, an area known for its high level of high school football. In the past three years here at Marion L. Steele High, he has produced two quarterbacks who have passed for more than 1,000 yards in a season. This year he has taken a senior who had never played quarterback and turned him into a starter.
Nossek teaches seventh- and eighth-grade social studies at St. Joseph's, another Amherst school. A hapless product of a "hapless program"? Hardly.
Football Coach, Steele High
As a former walk-on at Kansas State, I am glad Looney wrote his article on Futility U. I believe the story said to every high school football player in the country, "You have a chance to play at Kansas State."
I get a little bent out of shape reading about how the best Kansas high school athletes leave the state for greener pastures. I hope every one of them gets a cold shoulder from his friends and neighbors. I also hope that Looney returns to Manhattan in a few years to write about K-State football's turnaround from futility to prosperity.
While I found your article on Kansas State's sorry football program quite funny, even more amusing is the possibility that the Wildcats could be one of the tougher teams on Nebraska's cream puff-laden 1989 schedule.
Notre Dame, Ind.
JOHN FRANK'S DECISION
I admire 49er tight end John Frank for giving up football and a $357,500 salary to study medicine full-time (No Bones About It, Aug. 28). It takes a strong man to see through all the macho pronouncements and admit that football is a barbaric sport. It infuriates me when sports-casters praise an athlete for playing despite an injury. That isn't impressive; that's dumb.
A player can be dedicated to his sport and his team without having to jeopardize his health. It takes more guts to stand up and say, "That's enough," than it does to be Mr. Toughguy and play with an injury that could cause permanent damage.
The story of John Frank was sad. He appears to be self-centered and to have a lot of false pride. He doesn't understand pro football. It's a business: When you get hurt, no one is going to cry for you.
GARY P. KREKORIAN
DAVIS & DAVIS
William Nack's article on Ernie Davis (A Life Cut Short, Sept. 4) was a marvelous tribute to an outstanding individual. In your Nov. 2, 1959, issue you featured the Syracuse football team in an article entitled Orange Hell on Piety Hill. The opening picture had Syracuse All-America guard Roger Davis leading Ernie Davis on a sweep. May we see it again?
•Here it is.—ED.
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