THE GAMBLING SICKNESS
Congratulations on your special report on gambling (The Biggest Game In Town, March 10) and on the other, similar stands you have taken to try to preserve some elements of sanity and honesty in sports. One has to wonder why it is left to a publication to point out what the ostrich commissioners and jellyfish officials of sport ignore until a scandal hits them in the face.
After reading your special report on gambling, which I found enlightening and tragic at the same time, I can't help believing that we should treat this sickness as we do alcohol and drug abuse. Thanks for reporting what most newspapers seem to leave out.
Seaside Heights, N.J.
I have read SI for many years—my father was an original subscriber—but never have I been so impressed by an issue as I was by the one containing the special report on gambling. That took guts on your part. It is a subject that has needed to be explored for a long time. As an ex-gambler, I could relate to everything that was said. People need to know how gambling has ruined not only sports, but families and friendships as well.
As an Ivy League grad who worked two years in the sports information office of my school, I remember answering countless calls from "fans" regarding the physical condition of the hoop team for upcoming games. "Hi. I'm an alumni (sic)," they'd say. "Everybody healthy?"
The Ivy League is not big time when compared with the Big East, the Big Eight or any of the other bigs. It seems to be relatively aboveboard but nonetheless remains a target of gambling.
New York City
As an avid Ohio State football fan, I was mainly interested in the piece by Armen Keteyian on Art Schlichter (The Straight-Arrow Addict). It shows just what gambling can do to an individual. I wish Schlichter the best of luck in the future, and I hope to see him playing pro football again someday soon.
JOHN T. BOWMAN
Congratulations on an excellent article on the plight of Catholic universities (A Heavenly Game? March 3). Frank Deford brought to the fore many pressing problems confronting higher educational institutions, particularly religious institutions, today. However, there were some glaring omissions.
You neglected to mention the story of former Notre Dame football coach Gerry Faust, a fine Catholic gentleman, respected by all. While Faust was at Notre Dame, the Irish were cited by the College Football Association as the national leader in graduation rates for football players three out of five years. However, he failed to win any national championships, and he was practically ridden out of town on a rail. There can be no question where the priorities lie!
As for basketball, how could you fail to mention Michael Graham, formerly of Georgetown, and Walter Berry of St. John's? Both have had problems meeting academic requirements.
You mentioned half a dozen scuffles at Georgetown. To which month were you referring? And how about the ceremonies after Georgetown won the 1984 national title? It should have been an embarrassment to educators nationwide to witness the inability of some of those players to put together complete sentences.