Miami is ranked No. 1. Would a penalty in the Sugar Bowl game against the Hurricanes have made a difference in the outcome? NCAA rules state that a football player on the field must wear a mouth guard—in his mouth. The penalty for a violation of this rule is the loss of a timeout, or if all timeouts have been taken, a five-yard delay-of-game penalty.
Your Jan. 8 cover photograph of Craig Erickson shows an apparent infraction. It appears that his mouth guard has found its way into his right sock. Would it have made a difference if Erickson had worn his mouth guard? Probably not, unless he had incurred an injury.
I have witnessed too many of these injuries, and I do not believe that playing without a mouth guard is worth the risk. This is a good NCAA rule, and it should be enforced.
FRED LOOK, D.M.D.
? Erickson keeps his mouth guard in his sock when off the field, and he inadvertently forgot to put it in his mouth when he went back into the game. The NCAA has passed a rule stating that beginning this year, mouth guards must be yellow or any other readily visible color so that they can be more easily seen by officials. A mouth guard protects a player's teeth, and by clamping down on it, the player reduces his risk of a concussion.—ED.