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19TH HOLE: The readers take over
December 01, 1958
SPORTSMAN OF THE YEAR (CONT.)Sirs:I too agree with Mr. G. W. Fleming's philosophy in regard to the selection of the Sportsman of the Year (19TH HOLE, Nov. 10).
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December 01, 1958

19th Hole: The Readers Take Over

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But soon a gleam of light appeared
That pierced the darkened gloom:
Statistics raised a saving front
To thwart the threatened doom.

Inspired scribes came on the scene
With clip board and with sheet;
They noted punts and downs and yards
And passes incomplete.

Who won the game? Who cares?
Our quarterback astute
Just passed for 12 completed ones
To national repute.

Our halfbacks ran for yards and yards
Although we lost the game;
The figures show a total rush
That gives us lasting fame.

And so in Granny's words again
Against our college name:
It counts not if we won or lost
But how we scored the game.
Dept. of Phys. Ed.
Arizona State College
Tempe, Ariz.

Down here in Arkansas we are just the outcasts of the Southwest Conference, looked upon as pore little pigs, but we do have our day occasionally—like when not just one Razorback, but two went into the history book with kickoff returns of 103 yards each (they only got credit for 100), namely, Jim Mooty and Billy Kyser, which didn't rate even a line in your fine magazine. A search of the record books revealed that this had never before happened in major college football. We sure are proud.
Crossett, Ark.

In his letter concerning Dick Bass and the College of the Pacific (19TH HOLE, Nov. 10), Mr. James R. Ryan seems to be suffering from a few misapprehensions. In describing the situation as " 'red shirting' at its finest," he has missed the real purpose of "red shirting." This practice is normally aimed at either protecting the athletic eligibility of one who is scholastically ineligible or one whose athletic talents cannot presently be utilized or which will become more valuable at a future date. It is not generally applied to the practice of sustaining the eligibility of one who is physically incapable of playing during a particular season.

Perhaps Mr. Ryan is not cognizant of the strenuous demands upon time and energy which intercollegiate football entails. But it is far from unusual for football players to require something more than four years to graduate. It is likewise not unusual for a sizable proportion of college athletes to "finish" their programs in four years with something substantially less than a degree. I am not suggesting that it is impossible for a football player to graduate in the normal four years. But it is not to his discredit that he often finds it very difficult.

The fact that Dick Bass chooses, or requires, five years to complete his college education is nobody's business but his own. The wish of COP to allow him another year to complete his eligibility is also a prerogative which they should be free to exercise without criticism, since it is well within NCAA rules.

If it is to be admitted that college football has any values at all, then I see no reason why Dick Bass should be denied a portion of those values simply because he has had the misfortune to break his leg.
Pullman, Wash.

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