UCLA? No. 1 jock school? Please! The Bruins wear baby blue!
SUE THISDELL, GLENDALE, CALIF.
Your article on America's top 50 jock schools should be required reading for all high school students planning to get a college education (Jock Schools USA, April 28). The article is proof that many of the top-rated jock schools are also some of the best academic schools.
PETE GORELICK, Irvine, Calif.
As an associate of a university planning firm that has assisted more than 50 colleges in developing quality-of-life facilities such as recreation centers and stadiums, I have concluded that these structures play a pivotal role for all students, not just jocks. These facilities are among the keys to the new three R's of education—recruitment (of students), retention (of current students) and renewal (of alumni support).
JEFFREY TURNER, Washington, D.C.
In your evaluation of Michigan as a jock school, you assert that Gerald Ford, after having played center for the Wolverines' football squad, "went on to even bigger things." The true spirit of the jock school obviously eludes you: Ford was the MVP of the Michigan football team. The presidency pales in comparison.
BRENT MCINTOSH, Williamston, Mich.
I am curious why you did not mention that No. 9 Nebraska has more Academic All-Americas among its jocks, by a large margin, than any other school. Would that make you raise or lower its rating?
MARILYN H. MERCIER, Lincoln, Neb.
A school that has a mission statement of "developing Midshipmen morally, mentally and physically" not included among your top 50 jock schools? A school with 152 years of athletic excellence, the best rivalry in the history of sports (versus Army), two Heisman winners ( Roger Staubach and Joe Bellino), a college basketball player of the year ( David Robinson) and national championships in a variety of sports, including boxing, men's crew, men's soccer, sailing and lightweight football? The Naval Academy has a million-dollar weight room on a par with Nebraska's, a new baseball stadium, two aquatic complexes. 11 full-sized fields for a student body of 4,000. And the entire student body attends every home football game.
CHRIS FUQUA, Gulf Breeze, Fla.
Football All-Americas Leroy Keyes and Bob Griese, men's and women's basketball powerhouses, and even on-campus flying classes. No matter what your criteria, there is no way that Northwestern (No. 40) is a bigger jock school than Purdue.
BRENDA BRANCH, LaPorte, Ind.
How could you fail to list Arkansas? The Hogs' basketball team entered the 1996-97 season as the winningest of the '90s, including a national championship in '94. The men's track team is arguably the most dominant program in the history of the NCAA, winning 24 championships in the last 14 years. The football team has been to 28 bowl games, and Arkansas is the only school other than Alabama and Florida to play in the SEC championship game.
DAVID W. REYNOLDS, Dallas
I was disappointed that Illinois, the school that invented homecoming and tailgating, was excluded. Red Grange, Dick Butkus, Red Kerr and Ray Nitschke, to name a few, are all former Fighting Illini. As avid Illini fans, we have learned to live with some disappointment, but listing Northwestern, Minnesota, Wisconsin and not Illinois?
JON PHILLIPS and KEVIN GLEN, Chicago
The last time I checked, Maryland had finished eighth in the fall Sears Director's Cup competition and had the most dominant college team anywhere in its women's lacrosse squad, which at one point strung up 50 consecutive wins. Oh, yeah, Boomer Esiason, Joe Smith, Len Elmore, Kelly Amonte and John Lucas are a few of the athletes who have gone to school in College Park.
KEVIN FOLEY, Hingham, Mass.