Hal Higdon stresses the arduous hill climbing in the Boston Marathon. Clarence DeMar, my boyhood scoutmaster and seven-time Boston Marathon winner, contended that it was the descent that was the worst. Each downward step brought the full agonizing weight of the runner shockingly down on his heel. As the race progressed these became sledgehammer blows.
H. MONTGOMERY LANE
Congratulations on your excellent treatment of the Wally Butts-Bear Bryant incident (A Debatable Football Scandal in the Southeast, March 25 et seq.).
Having been associated closely with football for some 19 years, I have met many people who are close to both gentlemen. I do not know either man personally, but from all I have heard from those who have played for and been connected with them in some capacity and from the high esteem in which they are held by other people connected with the game of football, I cannot believe they were involved in anything underhanded. I cannot conceive, even under the most dire circumstances, that Wally Butts would call Bear Bryant with the idea of betraying not only the institution with which he has been associated for so long, but also the game which has been his life.
Neither can I believe that Bear Bryant would accept such information even if it were offered to him.
One aspect of the whole affair which has been neglected to a large degree is the fact that Mr. Burnett has not been close to football in a long time. As you know, in the last few years football has become exceedingly complicated and much more of a science than in the past. To a lay person not familiar with today's football lingo, a discussion of generalities might sound like inside and informative facts. This could have easily happened in this particular case.
In any event, there seems to be good cause to believe that Butts did call Bryant and that Burnett did possibly hear the conversation, although it was not as informative as he thought it was.
I personally choose to believe that all three are men of integrity and that it is possible that all three are, in fact, telling the truth.
Lake City, Fla.
Contrary to the report in SCORECARD (April 22), the NCAA did not limit collegiate participation in the Pan American basketball trials through enforcement of "its stringent rules."
The NCAA Council granted permission allowing student-athletes to participate in Pan American tryouts and competition, as it has in the past.
The major deterrent to collegiate participation was the fact that many student-athletes were unable to sacrifice the class time necessary.
CHARLES M. NEINAS
Assistant to the Director, NCAA
Kansas City, Mo.