School Days

Up here in the Great White North we know a stacked deck when we see one. You chose USC as No. 1 in your COLLEGE FOOTBALL PREVIEW (Aug. 15)? Why not? Their schedule is a joke. They don't play one of your other Top 10 teams. Tell the Trojans to get a schedule worthy of their ranking, or we'll sic the NHL on them.

Ed McAuley, Ormstown, Que.

Your preseason football rankings for Divisions I-AA, II and III were a welcome complement to the coverage of Division I-A. I'm a great fan of big-time college sports, but I have unending admiration for the tens of thousands who compete outside the limelight.

Mark Murray, Allendale, Mich. President, Grand Valley State University

Congratulations on recognizing Ivy League football for what it is and ignoring it in your preview issue. Obviously schools with athletes who intend to be students have no place among those who don't let education get in the way of really important football programs.

Steve Jacobson, Lido Beach, N.Y.

I was miffed that the only two references made to the Marshall football program each had a mistake. You say that West Virginia and Marshall last played each other in football in 1915, but I was there in 1997, when West Virginia beat the Thundering Herd 42--31 despite Chad Pennington's throwing deep bombs to Randy Moss. Later, you list Larry Keuck (actually spelled Kueck) as the coach who took over for Bob Pruett. Kueck only filled in for a short time as the interim coach until Mark Snyder was hired in April. Kueck stayed on as an assistant under Snyder.

Bernard J. Ulincy, Painted Post, N.Y.

EDITOR'S NOTE: SI regrets the errors.

Wrong Move

While NHL commissioner Gary Bettman has helped implement new rules to reduce violence in hockey, he contradicts himself by reinstating a gutless, classless player like Todd Bertuzzi (SCORECARD, Aug. 15), who should have stayed suspended until Steve Moore, the man he injured, is ready to return to the ice. With all the obstacles the NHL faces this year, it doesn't need Bertuzzi providing another one.

Kelli Arnason, Denver

Solving the Sox

Daniel Habib's Stealing the Show (Aug. 15) on Scott Podsednik was an enjoyable article about an interesting person, but I disagree with Habib's assessment that the Chicago White Sox' emphasis on speed and small ball are responsible for the best record in the American League. Last year the Sox scored 5.34 runs per game, ranking third in the AL. This year, as of Aug. 25, they are scoring 4.65 per game, 10th best in the league. On the other hand their ERA has gone from 4.91, tied for 11th in the AL last year, to a league-leading 3.60, which seems more likely to be the reason they will be back in the playoffs this fall.

Ben Hall, Providence

Muscling In

I enjoyed Rick Reilly's column on steroid apologists (LIFE OF REILLY, Aug. 15), but how's this for irony? Pete Rose is denied entry into the Hall because of off-field violations. The steroid cheats may get in, however, despite on-field violations that make their numbers misleading.

Dennis Shepherd, Savannah, Mo.

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