MUSICAL CHAIRS (CONT.)
Your article entitled Character Builders which appeared in your December 23 issue was grossly unjust to two fine men, Mr. Frank Broyles and Mr. Jack Mitchell. Mr. Mitchell's appointment to the University of Arkansas staff expressly and explicitly did not bind him to stay with the University of Arkansas for any prescribed length of time. He had no contractual obligation to stay with us. The University of Arkansas was informed that Frank Broyles would not be in violation of any contract in coming to Arkansas.
In my opinion there is a great deal of misunderstanding on this subject and a great deal of looseness in thinking caused by the improper use of the term "contract" which in most cases was not intended to bind the second party. Be that as it may, your article in my opinion was careless with respect to facts and unjust with respect to Mr. Broyles and Mr. Mitchell.
I am sure the efforts of SPORTS ILLUSTRATED to promote a high standard of ethics in the conduct of intercollegiate and professional sports are to be appreciated, and I am sure you regret the inaccuracy which I have cited.
JOHN T. CALDWELL
University of Arkansas
•Indeed there is considerable "misunderstanding" by the public which, perhaps naively, holds a contract to be a contract, i.e., a binding obligation between two parties. But the public has not had President Caldwell's unique opportunities of observing the coaching wars from the front-line trenches. In 1955, after a fabulous season at Arkansas, Football Coach Bowden Wyatt pocketed part of a $20,000 appreciation fund (he divvied up with his assistants), revved up his spanking-new gift Cadillac and lit out for the University of Tennessee, leaving behind him a brand-new "contract" and the highly verbal chagrin of Arkansas' citizens and legislature. His replacement was Jack Mitchell, brilliant young coach at the University of Wichita, who abandoned his still-damp 10-year contract in such a manner that Wichita's president remarked wistfully: "I am thoroughly disappointed. I feel a little naive." All this caused John Tyler Caldwell, then as now Arkansas' very able president and a thoughtful observer of football's Real-politik, to pronounce (SI, Jan. 31, 1955) what succeeding seasons have made a highly stimulating reflection. "It is unfortunate," said President Caldwell at the time of the Wyatt-Mitchell defections, "that any contract can be treated as a one-way application. It is true, however, that the making of contracts with football coaches developed as protection of the coach against the oftentimes extreme demands of fans and supporters. Realistically, such contracts did not come into being as a protection to the institutions and have never been so respected." Since Wyatt's departure in 1955 Arkansas aides have been careful to talk of "appointments" rather than contracts. Thus on January 14, 1955 Mitchell's hiring was reported as follows: "An Arkansas official said Mitchell would receive a five-year appointment." But such semantic subtleties are almost totally lost upon the unrealistic public which still clings (albeit precariously of late) to the belief that, having been invited to yield their loyalty to the current character-builder-in-residence, it has a right to expect a like return investment.
For further evidence of confusion on coaches in motion see page 21.—ED.
Tony Anthony, Aristotle's tragic hero, confused us (Punch, Skill and the Heart, SI, Jan. 20).
I'll wager your writer referred to Aristotle's student and tragic conqueror, Alexander the Great, rather than to Shakespeare's hero Antony.
St. Mary's College, Calif.
•Classicist Robbeloth is wrong. Aristotle's ideal tragic hero, as he writes in his Poetics, is "A man not preeminently virtuous and just, whose misfortune, however, is brought upon him...by some error of judgment." This last phrase has also been translated to read "some error or frailty" and is the genesis of the celebrated doctrine known as the "tragic flaw." A deep-seated faintness of heart (which some observers feel Tony Anthony has) could well be interpreted as such frailty and albeit facetiously, so could a china chin. There was no attempt on the writer's part to make a play between Anthony and Antony, although Mark Antony's domesticity occasionally has been termed a tragic flaw contributing to his, and indeed Cleopatra's, ultimate undoing. The classics class will now reassemble on page 58 for an advanced seminar.—ED.
GOLF: THAT RULING
F. A. Eastman's request (19TH HOLE, Jan. 20) for a ruling on his ball resting on the lip of cup and eventually dropping as an overhead jet plane crashed through the sound barrier is unnecessary. Rule 35 (pp. 41-42 USGA rules), When Ball at Rest, states: "Whether a ball has come to rest is a question of fact. If there be reasonable doubt, the owner of the ball is not allowed more than a momentary delay to settle the doubt."
R. OTTO PROBST
South Bend, Ind.
The confusing part of all this is that in the recent Bing Crosby Tournament at Pebble Beach, California, 15 million televiewers on Sunday saw Lloyd Mangrum's hanging putt—and then heard announcer—ex-Footballer Tommy ("we'll try to give you a 'punch-by-punch' report of this golf tournament") Harmon describe it thusly. "Of course, Mangrum can wait five minutes. Yesterday Ken Venturi had a similar putt which fell in after he waited two minutes."