As an ardent fan of both the Philadelphia 76ers and the Flyers, I would like to thank you for shedding some light on the Spectrum mess (A Heavy Blow in a Windy City, April 1) and letting the rest of the nation become more aware of what transpired during the forgettable month of March. Even though the 76ers and the Flyers managed to stay in the NBA and NHL races, this whole situation could not have arisen at a more undesirable time for them.
Perhaps the best quote to come out of this thing was made by a Philadelphia sportswriter: "There are a lot of sports fans in Philadelphia, many of whom will vote in the next election, and they have fantastic memories."
The reason the Spectrum was closed when the roof blew off is that Philadelphia has a ban on topless performances.
JOHN J. LYONS
TIME FOR CHANGE
Your SCORECARD item "In a Fix" (March 4) and the subsequent comments by ECAC Commissioner Asa Bushnell and YMCA Assistant Director John Marsh of Binghamton, N.Y. (19TH HOLE, March 18) should arouse basketball coaches throughout the country to urge their athletic directors to take action against the legislation forbidding summer and outside basketball competition. All coaches are aware that summer basketball competition involving college athletes is taking place in camps of various sorts throughout the country. I believe one has to be naive to overlook this fact. The rule has been found to be totally unenforceable unless one college athlete or coach blows the whistle on another. How many individuals, like Charles Fix, have been penalized in the past while others have been allowed to participate?
I also question the right of an athletic conference to dictate to any student what type of activity he is or is not allowed to participate in during a period (summer) when the conference has no jurisdiction over him. As long as he remains an amateur, what question should there be?
It is certainly up to the directors of college athletics to take a critical look at this situation. Basketball coaches have lived with this "monster" for the past 15 years, and since the colleges are at fault for creating the rule, they are the only ones who can repeal it. Let us do something about this ridiculous rule at the next NCAA convention.
JOHN V. GLINSKI
Varsity Basketball Coach
State University College
I read with interest the account by Martin Kane of the decline of college boxing (College Boxing's Last Round, March 11). I suppose the reasons given by Athletic Directors Ivy Williamson of Wisconsin and William W. Cobey of Maryland for the decline of the sport are well taken. They do not, however, apply at Nevada.
I have had the privilege for the past five or six years of working out in the University of Nevada gymnasium where the boxers train. I have watched them closely, and the methods of Coach Jim Olivas, his patience, his insistence on their learning and mastering the fundamentals before they go on to more complicated procedures, have been eye-openers to me. When, finally, these fundamentals are integrated into a complete performance, the result is astonishing.
I have seen green, gauche but game boys turned, after a season or two, into polished fighters; boys with a lack of confidence in themselves turned into self-confident boxers, with a consequent improvement in their morale that extended far beyond and above the boxing that gave it. These boys are not street fighters, understand. They are not initiated into the tricks of alley fighting. But they could give a good account of themselves in any encounter with hooliganism, because they have been taught the fundamentals of the art of self-defense. Two of our boxers, both fast boys, had no supervision in boxing before they came to the university and into Jimmie Olivas' competent hands. Of the others who distinguished themselves on the Nevada team, none worked out with Golden Glove intentions or an ambition to make boxing a career. The point I am trying to make is that these are average young boys (if anybody is average) who were benefited by the training Nevada and our small California Collegiate Boxing Conference afforded them in a sport that I feel amateurism should cling to no matter how much smoke-filled rooms, crooked betting and sharp practices have impaired it professionally.
I called them average boys. Perhaps normal is a better word. They were good boys in the collegiate boxing ring. They were good boys in my classes. They would be good boys in any endeavor in which they set their minds and wills and muscles to win. They are our best American stuff.