I could not disagree more with Merrell Noden's POINT AFTER (June 26) regarding Ben Johnson's 1987 world record of 9.83 in the 100 meters. I do not feel that Johnson should be allowed to keep this mark any more than a bank robber, upon getting caught on his second heist and later admitting to the first, should be allowed to keep the money from the first theft.
The rules say no wind and no drugs. Violate either or both of those rules, and a world record should not count. I have nothing against Johnson; he just stole something that doesn't belong to him.
North Miami Beach, Fla.
What does an athlete have to do to warrant lifetime banishment? Here is a man who took anabolic steroids for six years before the World Championships in Rome, and then when he got caught in Seoul, denied for nearly a year that he ever took drugs. Only when brought before a board of inquiry did Johnson finally admit to taking steroids.
The question isn't whether Johnson should be treated harshly simply because he is Johnson. The question is why shouldn't he be treated harshly for lying and for taking IOC-outlawed drugs?
San Marcos, Texas
NUMBERS UP (CONT.)
Rick Reilly's Heavenly Hundred (POINT AFTER, May 22) was obviously selected before your article on Bo Jackson of the K.C. Royals and the L.A. Raiders was written (The Big Stick, June 12). I suggest the following changes: award number 16 to Bo Jackson, baseball player, and 34 to Bo Jackson, football player.
JOHN E. BAUM
For the life of me, I can't understand how anyone could choose Franz Klammer (number 15) over Bart Starr, or Roger Bannister (41) over Tom Seaver.
In 1969, college football's 100th anniversary year, Kansas coach Pepper Rodgers got special dispensation from the NCAA to exceed the two-digit limit, and he gave senior placekicker Bill Bell number 100. Bell wore number 12 in his sophomore and junior seasons, during which he scored exactly 100 points.
Green Valley, Ariz.
In honor of the centennial of the state of West Virginia, in 1963, placekicker Chuck Kinder wore number 100 for the West Virginia Mountaineers. I doubt that there will be other nominees for this unmentioned slot.
JAMES E. BARONE
Number 8 ( Carl Yastrzemski) has to be Yogi Berra. The man appeared in a record 75 World Series games. And this is coming from somebody who idolized Yaz.
THOMAS J. PRENTISS
Rolling Meadows, Ill.
Number 56: Jim Bouton over Lawrence Taylor?
ALAN J. GOLD
New York City