Let's put the blame for the basketball fixes (SCORECARD, May 8) where it belongs. The "guilty men" are the players who took the money and the parents who think their coach is working them too hard because it's only a game.
I coached a Babe Ruth baseball team three years ago, and it was the most disappointing experience of my life. The majority of the kids seemed to regard playing on the team as a favor to me worth doing only as long as it did not require too much effort. They thought that winning was something that the law of averages made you do in time.
Well, what the hell is the object of any game? It is to win. I didn't ask my kids to play dirty ball. I only asked them to give the game every ounce of their hustle, skill and mental capacity during the practice sessions and games. That is something that develops pride and will to win. Playing that way is hard work and sometimes the rewards are small, but no one who does it could possibly be talked into shaving points or throwing a ball game. The only people who can keep sports honest are the people who play them.
A serious look at the recruiting policies and scholarship programs of our universities is in order.
JOHN A. RADEBAUGH
Would it not be better to either drop all aid to college athletes or else admit they are professionals and treat them as such?
WILLIAM F. RAMBO
I suggest you stick to sports and leave the moralizing to those qualified, like college presidents.
LIEUT. JOSEPH W. SLOAN
Shaw AFB, S.C.
Agreed, the guilty players have wronged and deserve punishment, but why portray one "dumper" as the stereotype of all (Portrait of a Fixer, May 8)? Aren't the other players of equal guilt? Aren't their expulsions from school, familial disgraces and realizations of their own moral and ethical shortcomings punishment enough?
GEORGE L. SALINGER
The title of this article should be Another American Tragedy.
JOSEPH A. CONCELLO, M.D.
How could you fail to cover in wider detail than FOR THE RECORD (May 15) the effects of the U.S. All Stars' venture into Russia? You didn't even give due credit to the coach of this integrated unit, Johnny B. McLendon, who went to Russia already acknowledged by just about everyone as the country's top amateur basketball mentor. Not only did his team stop a much-stronger-than-the-1960-Olympics Russian five (according to Ohio State's Jerry Lucas, who played against them both times), but they were undefeated in seven contests against the Russians and one against a Swedish team. But you can make friends by doing a piece on him real soon.
GEORGE J. DUNMORE
Those rare Armenian trout that Diplomat Charles Thayer (Long Search for a Russian Trout, May 15) sought without luck in Lake Sevan arc named, in Armenian, ishkhanadzuk, or prince fish.