I can think of nothing crueler than subjecting innocent creatures to 24 hours of country music a day.
Costa Mesa, Calif.
? NHL ON TV
The article Left Out in the Cold (Feb. 20) states that Sports Channel America households are receiving more NHL coverage than ever—"two nights a week in NHL cities and three nights a week elsewhere." Here in south Florida we see somewhat less than that, and sometimes we don't even see a whole game. For instance, the only part of a recent Bruins-Maple Leafs game SCA carried was the third period. In place of the first two periods, we saw the end of a Florida Southern-Eckerd College basketball game. The real killer, however, was the All-Star Game. SCA, "the Network of the National Hockey League," saw fit to preempt 30 minutes of pregame coverage to show the end of a basketball game between Old Dominion and Jacksonville. What kind of hockey coverage is that? For my money, ESPN did a much better job of telecasting hockey.
J. JEFF DAVIES
Boca Raton, Fla.
?FOR PROP 42
As a black educator, I am disturbed by Georgetown basketball coach John Thompson's opposition to NCAA Proposition 42, which will stiffen academic requirements for incoming freshman athletes (A New Proposition, Jan. 23). I have been on the high school and college scene for many years as both a clinical and a school psychologist, and I can attest that many high school students, particularly inner-city black males, put forth almost no effort to prepare themselves academically for college. Their sole intention is to go to college on an athletic scholarship and play in the NFL or the NBA.
As things stand today, under the less stringent Proposition 48, many of these youths get the scholarships they want, play a sport for three or four years and leave college undereducated, with no marketable skills and no degree. What is worse, only about 1% of college athletes make it to the pros.
In your article a number of coaches spoke out against Prop 42 because to invoke it, they said, would be tantamount to "throwing those youths away." Coach Thompson and Temple basketball coach John Chaney called Prop 42 racist. I believe it would be racist to reverse it, because without it we are protecting a population of youths who, for the most part, do not belong in college.
Many inner-city youths who are bright, academically involved and well-motivated are excluded from college because of a lack of funds. Where are the advocates for these youngsters? No coach has come out in their behalf. Is it because these kids can't play basketball or football? Are the coaches really as altruistic about black youths as they pretend to be, or is it a winning team that concerns them?
MAYFIELD PETERSON, PH.D.
? WALTRIP'S NUMBER
Darrell Waltrip's lucky number is obviously 17. The press has mentioned that his winning car at February's Daytona 500 bore number 17, that this year was his 17th racing at Daytona, that his daughter, Jessica Leigh, was 17 months old at the time of the race, that he has 17 letters in his name (his middle name is Lee) and that the purse for the Daytona 500 was $1.7 million. After seeing Waltrip on a Nashville Network Television show and then reviewing your coverage of the race (About Time, Fella) and FOR THE RECORD in the Feb. 27 issue, I discovered additional "17" data. Waltrip's share of the purse was $184,400, and 1+8+4+4=17. He also finished 7.64 seconds ahead of Ken Schrader. Yes, 7+6+4=17.
BRYAN E. ADKINS
The story on high school basketball stars Jason and Carlin Warley and their plan to attend the same university (My Brother, My Teammate, March 13) reminds me of the Stith brothers of St. Bonaventure University. Sam (left, above) was class of '60, and Tom (right) was '61. In 1959-60, Sam averaged 20.5 points a game for the Bonnies and Tom, 31.5. Tom was an All-America that season as well as in '60-61.
Each went on to spend one season with the New York Knicks, but they didn't play together. Sam, who served a six-month stint in the army at Fort Knox right after his senior year, played for New York in 1961-62, and Tom played in '62-63. Tom's NBA career was delayed when he developed tuberculosis toward the end of his senior year. But brothers do make great teammates.
Mililani Town, Hawaii