The entire national collegiate athletic picture would be a great deal brighter and could be freed from its recent gambling and recruiting blights if more schools would embark on an athletic program similar to Washington and Lee's.
EDGAR L. GROVE
Congratulations on George Walsh's article on helmets (18 Football Deaths, Nov. 6). There are many things wrong with the helmets of today, and Walsh has brought them all out in the open.
My 9-year-old son plays football with a group of boys, each of whom is already wearing lethal weapons. With the current helmet in your hand, it would be easy to kill a man. The helmets and shoulder pads are as hard as concrete. It is compulsory to wear a so-called face guard, which provides a leverage for neck injuries never equaled by judo.
Thirty years ago I played every game for two years in high school football, at weights of 115 and 125 pounds, without injury from body contact. One quarter was lost when a blow from a then-new thigh pad knocked me unconscious. In sandlot football I had received hundreds of such thigh blows without injury. Two of our boys got their noses broken. Nobody's neck was broken.
Football is undoubtedly a character builder—if the equipment doesn't kill you first.
Kansas City, Mo.
Of the 18 deaths cited in your article you say three-quarters died of head and neck injuries. How many of the remaining died of internal injuries, heat stroke, etc.? In other words, is it going to help by just improving the helmet? It shouldn't stop there. If high schools and colleges do not have proper equipment for protection because of cost, then it's about time cost came down.
WILLIAM E. KING
Why the worry about expense? Funds are always found to improve stadiums, lights and playing fields. Now it's the players' turn for improved equipment.
NANCY M. JANOKAITIS
Eau Gallie, Florida
In January 1961 the National Alliance Football Rules Committee adopted a rule making mandatory the wearing of fitted flexible mouth and teeth protectors by all boys participating in football. The rule becomes effective for the 1962 season. This rule applies to all member high schools and colleges of the National Federation of State High School Athletic Associations, National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics and the Junior College Athletic Association.
The report of the joint committee on mouth protectors of the American Association for Health, Physical Education and Recreation and the American Dental Association is available from the American Dental Association, 22 East Superior Street, Chicago. This 21-page booklet would provide material of interest to your readers and might also save me many trips to the office on game nights to try to save teeth that almost certainly would not have been damaged had the player been wearing the inexpensive, comfortable type of fitted mouth protector recommended.
R. S. WRIGHT, D.D.S.
Your article should be called to the attention of all high school coaches.
GEORGE W. HAMILTON