Can it finally be said that NCAA stands for No Cheating At All? The recent ruling to nullify SMU's 1987 football season (Shame on You, SMU, March 9) was a step in the right direction. But then, the day after the decree, recruiters from other schools descended on the SMU campus like scavengers to grab Mustang players amid indications that some of the recruiters were breaking rules. Where were you then, NCAA?
THE REVEREND QUENTIN PAYNE
? NCAA enforcement director David Berst says his organization is looking into possible recruiting violations involving transferring SMU players.—ED.
The NCAA enforcement division is a joke. Despite the numerous recruiting (and other) violations at SMU, the NCAA still levied only a partial "death penalty" on the football team. How does the NCAA expect to deter this type of activity if it is reluctant to punish to the fullest extent possible schools that commit such violations?
SCOTT P. EDWARDS
How about the actions of former SMU linebacker David Stanley? A guy who can pull the plug on a program after he leaves it has no guts, in my opinion. Stanley had time while at SMU to reveal violations. Instead, he waited, letting the punishment fall on former teammates and SMU newcomers. I agree the NCAA must have control over athletics; however, if schools are going to be punished for allowing payments to players, then players should be punished for accepting them. My sympathies go to the innocent players and students who will suffer from this punishment.
The Rhino Wars (March 2) by Maryanne Vollers is a compelling account. It exemplifies SI's commitment to fine journalism that informs and motivates readers. Vollers' writing is fluid, and her story evokes the sense of urgency that moves the Zimbabwean game wardens to go so far as to shoot poachers on sight in order to save the black rhino.
The article prompted me to answer an appeal I recently received from a wildlife fund.
W. EUGENE JESSUP
I spent six months in Zambia last year and about two weeks in Zimbabwe. I saw that the rhino-poaching problem is very serious, very important and very difficult to deal with. However, people should ask themselves two questions before supporting the Operation Stronghold approach: Would you allow shoot-on-sight enforcement patrols in your country, and if not, are the lives of poverty-stricken black Africans less important than those of your neighbors?
Salt Lake City
Rhino wars? Bring on baseball!
Jack McCallum should be complimented for recognizing the unrecognized (The NBA's Unsung Heroes, March 9). Finally a writer has applauded a member of the Milwaukee Bucks. Despite his midseason injury, Paul Pressey continues to be one of the steadiest players in the NBA. He can shoot, score, pass, drive and definitely play defense, a trademark of the Don Nelson era at Milwaukee.
But I question McCallum's choice of Detroit's Vinnie Johnson as the leading candidate for the sixth-man award. If Milwaukee's Ricky Pierce (19.6 ppg, 53% from the field, 87% from the line), doesn't win over Johnson (15.6, 47%, 79%), the award shouldn't be given to anyone. Clearly, Pierce's stats are superior to Johnson's, and Pierce hasn't received any ink all year.
MICHAEL J. RYAN