I'm sure a straight A in basketball goes a long way to support a 1.6 average. However, please advise Mr. Jenkins that Ivy schools do not give graduation credits in basketball.
The NCAA could easily assure that each varsity athlete is a student by simply outlawing all athletic grants. We are quick to note that Russian athletes are subsidized, yet the Big Ten and the SEC, among others, can hardly be called "amateur." To follow the Ivy League would not downgrade American sports. Indeed, I believe there were more Ivy Leaguers on the last Olympic squad than men from any other conference.
BENJAMIN A. HOOVER II, M.D.
If so many NCAA affiliates are in favor of this rule and they have already set high standards for their own schools, why do they continue to schedule games with the Sweatshirt U.'s who so obviously do not meet their requirements? The Sweatshirt U.'s have-no business appearing on the athletic schedules of our institutes of higher learning. They belong among the ranks of professional organizations.
Silver Spring, Md.
If you can't trust colleges to prohibit failing athletes from competing in sports or, more importantly, to honestly decide for themselves whether such competition is in the best interests of the student, how can you possibly trust them not to raise grades?
In actual practice, the new system is no different than the old system. The One Point Six rule was created by Big State U. in order to appease its conscience about its nonacademically inclined athletes. The standards of such athletes can be raised only when each individual university chooses to raise its own standards.
I support Dave Nelson's criticism of the "nothing" punt return in American football (SCORECARD, March 7). In a majority of cases the action in the kicking situation is a mockery of the term "contact sport." While agreeing with Coach Nelson's diagnosis of the disease, I cannot endorse his suggestions for a cure.
Why not have the rulemakers consider the punt return as it is regulated in Canadian football? Under the Canadian rules, the receiving team is obligated to receive the ball because the kicker is allowed to hustle down the field and recover it if it flops around loose. A punt into the end zone, far from being a kicker's error, is an exciting moment, since the receiving team must run the ball out or give up a point (called a rouge). In both situations an imaginary five-yard restraining circle protects the receiver from the kicker's teammates until the ball is touched.
The single undesirable feature of the Canadian rule is that the receiver is not allowed any blocking protection. It seems a logical solution to combine the Canadian rule, complete with restraining circle, with American blocking and throw out the fair catch and touchback. While this may seem a little complicated to those of us who don't serve on football rules committees, I suggest it would be a piece of cake for a group that has already shown its ability to conceive and execute the complex college substitution rules of the last decade.
JAMES A.P. DAY
RUPTURED DUCK (CONT.)
While I do not care to get into a retrogressive contest with Lieutenant Schneidler, he has questioned (19TH HOLE, Feb. 14) the feasibility of using a clipped-wing jet fighter to set the land-speed record on the basis of factors thought obvious enough to be omitted for simplicity's sake in my original letter (19TH HOLE, Jan. 17).
It is true, as Lieutenant Schneidler points out, that our present jet fighters cannot lower their wheels at even half the present 600-mph record; however, it is the relatively fragile wheel-well doors and wheel fairings that limit the speed. On most fighters the doors are open only while the wheels are being raised or lowered. Since my Ruptured Duck would have the main gear permanently locked down, with only the nose wheel being retracted for the "flight" down the speed track, the wheel-well doors could be bolted closed. The wheel fairings should be removed from the struts and riveted in place to close the holes in the underside of the wing, which are normally closed in flight after the gear has been retracted. What is more, since they no longer have to fit into restricted space in the wings or fuselage, there is no limit to the size of wheel or wheels which can be hung on the now fixed main struts.