I enjoyed your article about the best ingredients for a football program (Nothing but the Best, Aug. 31), but I was surprised that you passed over the Florida Gators as the top running-back-producing school. Throughout the 1980s and into the '90s, the Gators have supplied the pros with the likes of James Jones, Lorenzo Hampton, John L. Williams, Neal Anderson, Emmitt Smith and, in this year's draft, Dexter McNabb. Errict Rhett, last year's leading rusher in the SEC, will likely follow their path to the pros.
Anderson had the honor of being selected to succeed the great Walter Payton for the Chicago Bears, while Smith is recalling the days of Tony Dorsett for the Dallas Cowboys. The former Gators not only have filled the shoes of those two elite runners but also have earned All-Pro status in the NFL.
LARRY H. BROWN
Daytona Beach, Fla.
You said that Oklahoma State has the best running backs. Not to take anything away from Gerald Hudson, Barry Sanders or Thurman Thomas, but what about Southern Cal's running backs? USC has produced Heisman Trophy winners Mike Garrett, O.J. Simpson, Charles White and Marcus Allen, not to mention Anthony Davis and Ricky Ervins.
BRETT VAN HOUGHTON
You failed to mention that Hayden Fry, football coach at the University of Iowa, has had the visitors' locker room at Kinnick Stadium painted pink in an effort to make opponents psychologically "soft," thus making it the best locker room in college football.
Fort Dodge, Iowa
?In 1979 Coach Fry, who was a psychology major in college, had the visitors' locker room painted pink, which has resulted in occasional complaints over the years. In 1985 Michigan's Bo Schembechler and Illinois's Mike White both tried to foil Fry by taping butcher paper over the pink walls, but both their teams lost to Iowa that year, Michigan 12-10 and Illinois 59-0.—ED.
I was surprised to read that you consider Penn State's "breathtakingly basic" uniforms the best in college football. This represents a meteoric sartorial rise for the Nittany Lions, considering that you rated their road togs the worst-looking uniforms in college football just eight years ago (Sept. 5, 1984).
MICHAEL J. BAUHOF
State College, Pa.
Thank you, Sally Jenkins, for showing everyone why the Miami Hurricanes are the team to beat in college football (A Helping of Family Values, Aug. 31). Sure, not everyone agrees with their style of play, the showboating, the arrogance, the intimidation, but like it or not, the Hurricanes' winning attitude has given them the advantage over the rest of college football. The fact that former Hurricanes act as big brothers to current players shows that being a Hurricane instills a sense of pride that helps to make Miami so successful.
Congratulations to coach Dennis Erickson for speaking out against the taunting and other antics exhibited by his players. Success in football, as in any endeavor, should be celebrated with class and dignity. Here's hoping Erickson can turn things around and infuse the players with the type of attitude that befits a team of Miami's caliber.
JAMES R. WILLIAMS
I found it amusing that your rather positive article on Miami's football program appeared in the same issue that carried a SCORECARD item about two Hurricane players' being indicted on federal fraud charges.
Contrary to your Scouting Reports (Aug. 31), SMU football is not dead. Like many other universities in the country, SMU has begun a formal evaluation of its athletics program; a task force expects to make its recommendations to the board of trustees before the end of the year. The committee is considering numerous options. Your story mentioned only two possibilities. It failed to state that one option is the continuation of SMU football in Division I-A.
Assistant Athletic Director
Southern Methodist University