Letters

December 24, 1990

A WORLD SERIES P.S.
I am writing to you from atop the turret of my tank, somewhere in Saudi Arabia. I just put down your Oct. 29 issue, received today from my wife, and feel compelled to write regarding the American flags worn in honor of the troops of Operation Desert Shield on the uniforms of the Cincinnati Reds and the Oakland A's during the World Series (The Big Sweep).

It was gratifying to me and my soldiers, Sgt. Dean Hesse (gunner), SPC Fred Dunaway (driver) and PFC John Barson (loader), to know that under the pressures of the biggest games in baseball, the owners, managers and players had us in mind. Some of us had no idea that the flag was worn until we saw your article this morning. I would like to express my heartfelt thanks to major league baseball and say that they will never know the feeling of pride they bestowed on the crew of a B31 and the rest of the platoon.
LIEUT. DAVID OSTE
Tank Commander
Saudi Arabia

JERRY TARKANIAN
Curry Kirkpatrick's POINT AFTER calling for coach Jerry Tarkanian to step aside as "UNLV basketball continues to spin out of control" (Nov. 19) was timely and incisive. We live, it would seem, in a blameless society. Mistakes are always someone else's fault. Tarkanian blames the NCAA, other coaches blame Tarkanian, and the fans blame both for the ills of college athletics. The comic, if not tragic, circle continues endlessly. We may realize, too late, that we are all to blame.
CHARLES G. McGUIRE
Dallas

The public should be proud that someone in college basketball had the guts to point out that the NCAA was acting as investigator, judge and jury. Tarkanian did what anyone else would have done if faced with an accusation and the loss of his livelihood.
G.R. FITZGERALD
Las Vegas

THE REBELS' NEW CLOTHES
Nice cover ("Dressed for Success," Nov. 19). Stacey Augmon in an Armani coat. Larry Johnson with a Gucci watch. I had no idea such lucrative summer job opportunities existed for college basketball players. I should have worked harder on my jumper.
PAUL BESTON
Noroton, Conn.

I enjoy watching Augmon and Johnson of UNLV play basketball and agree that they represent sartorial splendor, but when I saw their full-length picture in those suits on page 53, I was reminded of the words of an old song: Sam, You Made the Pants Too Long]
JACK REINHART
La Mesa, Calif.

These two young men should not be portrayed as millionaires. Yet.
JOHN J. LEONARD
Neptune, N.J.

UNLV's Augmon and Johnson may look sharp in those suits, but they would look even sharper in Celtics green.
EUGENE McDONOUGH
Dedham, Mass.

Shame on you, getting Stacey Augmon and Larry Johnson in trouble with the NCAA by wearing those expensive clothes.
DAVID MOELLER
Hardwick, Minn.

•Augmon and Johnson didn't buy the clothes, and they aren't in trouble with the NCAA. The suits and all accoutrements were lent to SI as props by the manufacturers. They have been returned. The NCAA, concerned that Augmon and Johnson were promoting products because the clothes makers were credited in our captions, looked into the matter. It closed its case after determining that the players had no knowledge of what would be in the captions. As to whether Augmon and Johnson are fashion casualties because of the length of their trousers...well, that's a matter of opinion.—ED.

NORM SLOAN
I appreciate Alexander Wolff mentioning my upcoming book, but I don't appreciate him calling it an "embittered screed" (The Haves Still Have It, Nov. 19). It is a book dealing with the changes that integration, drugs, big money, the NCAA, etc., brought to college basketball during my career [as coach at North Carolina State and Florida]. By the way, I am not "holed up...in the hills of North Carolina [as rumored]." I have been in Greece coaching since August.
NORM SLOAN
Athens

CALLING WILLARD SCOTT
Today I gave my godmother, Zeta Coughlin, a subscription to SI as a gift for her 90th birthday. Speaks well of you both, I'd say.
MIKE MOONEY
Indianapolis

PHOTOCRAIG MOLENHOUSEJohnson (in cap) and Augmon wear casual duds to anthropology class.

Letters to SPORTS ILLUSTRATED should include the name, address and home telephone number of the writer and should be addressed to The Editor, SPORTS ILLUSTRATED, Time & Life Building, Rockefeller Center, New York, N.Y. 10020-1393.

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