I hope people who need help with a compulsive-gambling problem will seek help after reading the articles in SI.
Council on Compulsive Gambling of New Jersey
IVY LEAGUE VS. THE BIG TIME
As a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania (Wharton, 1972) and the University of Georgia (J.D., 1975), I have experienced both schools of thought concerning college athletics. Pennsylvania's basketball teams over the years certainly have proved that student-athletes can produce championship results, as your piece on the Ivy League noted (Color Of The Year In The Ivys: Brown, March 10). So, too, Georgia boasts of such graduates as 1960s football star Robert (Happy) Dicks, now an extremely successful neurosurgeon in Georgia.
There must be some merit to both sides of the Ivy League vs. The Big Time athletics debate. Perhaps a solution can be found in the no pass-no play rules of Texas (SCORECARD, Nov. 4), which are being studied here in Georgia. But then, many SI readers recognize college athletics for what it is: a minor league system not subsidized by professional athletic teams. Perhaps if each professional team that signed a college athlete paid that athlete's school a signing bonus, the scramble for television revenues, gate receipts, recruiting funds, etc. could be reduced, and the students could concentrate on education. Perhaps restricting recruiting to subsidizing an athlete's visit to a "recruiting convention," where the prospect would be exposed to every school expressing an interest, would not only reduce recruiting budgets but also relieve pressure on young minds.
In the meantime, some of us can only smile when an Ivy League team made up of poets, mathematicians, and doctors-and accountants-to-be knocks off a PAC-10 squad, or when a Georgia graduate goes on to perform intricate brain surgery.
GARY E. JACKSON
Congratulations to Rick Reilly on a super-funny, tell-it-like-it-is golf article (Who Are Those Guys, Anyway? March 3). I'm still recovering from laughing so hard I forgot the name of the winner of the L.A. Open—or is it the La La Open?
GARRY G. BLUNT
Rick Reilly is a knowledgeable and extremely entertaining golf writer. Too bad he didn't pursue the cogent statement that last year's low pro average was one stroke higher than 37 years ago, in spite of improvements in clubs and balls. It takes more than money to bring another Ben Hogan or Jack Nicklaus to today's mediocre golf world of economics-minded look-alikes.
Several friends and I have formed a golf league in which we select PGA tour players and use their weekly performances to compete among ourselves. We knew about Doug Tewell, Bob Tway and Donnie Hammond, as well as Clarence Rose, Paul Azinger and Willie Wood. In fact, Corey Pavin was the first pick in our draft. However, even we did not know about Kenny Knox, the following week's Honda Classic winner, a true Who Are Those Guys guy!
"Golf is stuck in an awkward age." Balderdash! Any consistent observer of the PGA Tour notices that Tom Watson, Johnny Miller, Lanny Wadkins & Co. still hover near the lead each week, but the evolution of this great game has simply resulted in more players who can stand up there in the final round on Sunday and hit the shots.
Golf today doesn't need a "superstar"; it already has a potful of them. So what if yester-year provided only a handful? My hat is off to the potful.
R. BRYAN RATLIFF
It's obvious that the only people who really long for the big-name winners on the PGA Tour are the sportswriters. The true golf fans don't seem to mind. Just look at the record attendance at the final round in Los Angeles, even with that "federal witness-protection program" leader board.