Nobody likes the fact that the big drivers are not in
Indianapolis on Memorial Day weekend, but the race is bigger
than the drivers.
TODD G. SMITH, Wausau, Wis.

INDY 500

The 1997 Indianapolis 500 was one of the most competitive in a
long time (What Ever Happened to Indy? June 2) and far exceeded
the expectations of the Indy Racing League's detractors, even if
"only" 100,000 lucky fans and more than five million TV viewers
were able to duck out of work on a Tuesday to watch it.
GREGORY J. PEARSON, Lawrence, Ind.

Names like Unser, Andretti and Foyt were made by the Brickyard
just as new names like Lazier, Luyendyk and Stewart are now
being made. Wars, bankruptcy, overgrown weeds, fire and the gas
shortage couldn't kill Indy, and neither will this.
GARY W. WATKINS, Edgewater Park, N.J.

Indy today is a bunch of drivers all driving the same type of
car. The innovation and new designs of the Dan Gurney era in the
late 1950s and '60s made following Indy much more interesting. I
recall when Jim Clark almost won the 500 in 1963 driving a
rear-engine Ford that burned pump gasoline instead of alcohol, a
fascinating turn of events that cannot be matched today.
FRED MATOS, Annapolis, Md.

NASCAR continues to trumpet its cause by claiming parity and
close competition, yet two drivers, Richard Petty and Dale
Earnhardt, have won 14 of the 48 championships.
BRUCE T. JOHNSON, Reedley, Calif.

COMING OUT EARLY

Alexander Wolff says that guys like Cincinnati forward Danny
Fortson and Kentucky swingman Ron Mercer have "good reasons" for
coming out of school early (Impossible Dream, June 2). Is the
potential to be a lottery pick a good reason to forsake a
college education?
BRIAN GURTMAN, Woodmere, N.Y.

So SI mourns the mercenary decisions of several underclassmen to
forgo their academic eligibility to be available for the NBA
draft. Your story showed that in the 1996 draft, nine of the top
10 picks were underclassmen and almost 60% of the underclassmen
who entered the draft were selected. Would their job prospects,
with the NBA or elsewhere, have improved had they stayed in
school and finished their degrees?

I have three degrees. I spent 11 years in university and then
had to compete with several hundred similarly trained people for
the job I now hold. If someone had told me that I had a 60%
chance of joining the NBA after one or two years of university,
my sneakers would have been laced instantly.
JULIAN S. YEOMANS, Toronto

ROLE MODEL

Pete Sampras's story is one of tremendous success by an
unassuming man (The Passion of Pete, May 26). My question is,
How could he or Michael Chang be chided for not contributing
enough to their sport? To me, enjoying fast-paced tennis of the
caliber that Sampras plays is, as he says, "what it's all about."
KENNY MCCANLESS, Ferndale, Calif.

CHARITY EVENT

The Mystic Rock pro-am was a charity event held for the Leukemia
Society of America, yet Tiger Woods was paid $1.3 million to
play in it for three years (SCORECARD, June 2). A man worth more
than $80 million cannot donate his time to a worthy charity? He
was not the only one; 34 other pros were also paid for their
time. No wonder the event donated only $100,000 to the Leukemia
Society.
DEBBY DOWLING, Pittsburgh

The Leukemia Society would have fared better had Joe Hardy, the
pro-am's organizer, given the society the $1.3 million he paid
Tiger Woods.
KIRK J. DODSON, Duncansville, Pa.

COLOR PHOTO: DOUGLAS BENEDICT/NCAA PHOTOS [Woman playing lacrosse]

LAX COVERAGE

In your June 2 issue, you had a nice two-page article about
Princeton winning the NCAA men's lacrosse championship (Outta
Sight). My complaint is that you omitted coverage of another
lacrosse dynasty, the Maryland women's team. On May 18 this
powerhouse won its third consecutive NCAA title and its fourth
in six years. I suggest SI obligate itself to follow Title IX
rules just as today's colleges do and give equal representation
to both sexes.
FRANK EHRLICH, Paterson, N.J.

HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
OUT
HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
IN
Eagle (-2)
Birdie (-1)
Bogey (+1)
Double Bogey (+2)