I foresee that the unfortunate fallout of a court ruling will be a skyrocketing increase in the number of talented athletes with diagnoses of learning disabilities. That diagnosis may very well be the loophole that many college coaches have dreamed of since academic eligibility became a requirement for collegiate sports participation.
SHERI HART, Columbus, Ohio
Your story title about the Carolina Panthers, Long Way to Go (Dec. 18), echoed what my friend and I would say when pulling out of the driveway at 7:30 a.m. and returning at 8 p.m. on Panther Sundays. But the headline was incomplete. We would usually follow that phrase by saying, "but it sure is worth it." It's a shame your article highlighted the 18,000 empty seats rather than the 55,000 folks willing to devote entire days to a football team.
DANIEL MEDVID, Charlotte
I sympathize with coach Dick Motta of the Dallas Mavericks (Agony of D-feat, Dec. 18) because of his difficulties with two of the Three J's—Jim Jackson and Jamal Mashburn ( Jason Kidd, the third J, not being a problem). An NBA coach shouldn't have to put up with such childish behavior from some of his top players. If they can't handle leadership, no doubt some of the bench warmers would like the opportunity to prove themselves as leaders of this young and talented team.
ANTOINETTE D. HARRIS, St. Petersburg, Fla.
One Honest Man
With one exception, the Dec. 18 issue was one of your best ever. I especially liked the way the Sportsman of the Year article focused on athletes who display the highest level of character as well as performance. SI's acknowledgment of responsible, sportsmanlike behavior is to be commended.
Unfortunately, you blew it with This Week's Sign That the Apocalypse Is Upon Us (SCORECARD). The incident you referred to—a Virginia game warden fining himself for shooting a quail out of season—was actually a sign that the Apocalypse may not be as close as we think. The game warden made an honest mistake. He didn't realize that the start of the 1995 season on quails was not until six days later. When he learned the correct date, he admitted his error without prompting from anyone else and paid the penalty. There are plenty of signs that things are going to hell in a handbasket, but this incident is not one of them.
ROBERT GLUCK, Herndon, Va.
For five months all over the country sportswriters, including yours, have hyped the Heisman Trophy to honor the nation's best college football player, and when Ohio State running back Eddie George finally wins it, you guys give it a one-sentence mention in SCORECARD (Dec. 25-Jan. 1). Unbelievable. George and college football fans deserve more.
MATT PARK, Appleton, Wis.