I am a charter subscriber, and this is my first letter to one of my favorite and more enjoyable magazines. In "They Said It" (SCORECARD, July 22) you attribute to Chief Justice Earl Warren: "I always turn to the sports section first. The sports page records man's accomplishments; the front page has nothing but man's failures." I read the quote many years ago—and at that time it belonged to the late William Lyon Phelps, professor of English literature at Yale.
WILLIAM M. CLINES
?Professor Phelps, a sports enthusiast, tennis player, golfer, baseball fan and a distance runner in his college days, phrased the same thought somewhat less succinctly in his Autobiography with Letters: "The love of most men for sport and their absorbing interest in it cannot perhaps be defended rationally; it is an instinct going deeper than reason.... The fact that the majority of men turn first of all to the sporting page of the newspaper can be accounted for on the ground that the first page is usually a record of failures—failures in business, failures in the art of living together, failures in citizenship, in character, and many other things; whereas the sporting page is a record of victories. It contains some good news, a commodity so rarely found on the first page."—ED.
THE BLACK ATHLETE (CONT.)
I have read your highly illuminating series on the Negro athlete in the predominantly white colleges (The Black Athlete—A Shameful Story, July 1-29) and I confess that I found the situation astonishing. As a Negro and an educator I suppose the reason for my astonishment stems from the fact that the athlete is treated so differently in the predominantly Negro colleges with which I am familiar. These institutions would not admit anyone who did not have good potentiality as a student, and they deal with him as a student first and secondly as an athlete. Such a policy may not make for national championship teams, but it does contribute to the development of educated human beings and socially useful Americans.
The type of "slave" traffic described in the series—the hiring of bodies, exploiting them and discarding them when they are no longer of value—is despicable and demands the immediate attention not only of the coaches but the highest authorities in the colleges and universities involved.
Until the situation is changed, however, the young men with athletic ability who are also hungry for an education will find that the member colleges of the United Negro College Fund and other predominantly Negro colleges will be very pleased to consider their applications. Moreover, those who have the talent and desire to become professional athletes will find that the record indicates that attendance at a predominantly Negro college does not in any way jeopardize their chances.
SPORTS ILLUSTRATED deserves the highest commendation and a Pulitzer Prize for having the insight to research the problem, the wisdom to assign a talented reporter to the job and the courage to report the story as it is.
STEPHEN J. WRIGHT
United Negro College Fund, Inc.
New York City
It has been my pleasure to work with Buddy Young, former Baltimore Colt star, in his present capacity as an executive of the National Football League. Young initiated and was the chief creative mind behind the recent association of the NFL and AFL with the world's largest nongovernmental professional employment service, Snelling & Snelling.
Called Career Opportunities, the program opens our 375 offices to professional-caliber football players for placement in business and industry. Moreover, it is designed to assist the many collegiate players who are scouted by the NFL and AFL but aren't up to a tryout at training camp.
We can undoubtedly open hundreds of doors for these young men, white and black alike.
RICHARD CHADWICK EDSTROM
Snelling & Snelling, Inc.
I must be a tough, insensitive old bird but my sympathies don't quite reach the Negro athlete of the elm-lined campus or the remunerative professional leagues. The countless underprivileged youths of all colors who will never see the inside of a college institution reach me. The poor, the ignored, the orphans of all races in America stir me far more than the carping and wailing of Jack Olsen on the limited social life of the black college athlete. As one of the journalists here in England reminded his readers, the American Negro on the worldwide scale of "haves and have-nots" is on the side of the "haves." The athlete is often the new millionaire. More power to him, but I cannot weep for him.