HOT FOOT (CONT.)
At long last a victory for the amateur athlete (No Goody Two-Shoes, March 10). The so-called shoe scandal is a small step in the right direction in assisting our amateur athletes, who, thanks to antiquated regulations imposed by the AAU and other such organizations, risk their amateur status almost every time they turn around. It is high time that these outdated eligibility rules be revamped and updated and the amateur athlete be compensated for the dedicated hard work that brings him the jubilation of victory or the agony of defeat. A medal or gold cup doesn't pay for the travel expense or the equipment required.
The next pair of shoes given away should be a pair of walking shoes to Avery Brundage and his crowd. I have several old pairs I would gladly send along—collect, of course, as I would not want to contribute to Mr. Brundage's losing his amateur standing.
I imagine the next step in this "scandal" (your word not mine) is to have the likes of Mr. Brundage repeat the Jim Thorpe fiasco and take back all the medals en masse. Let's all get behind our amateur athletes and see to it that they get a just reward for their sacrifices and not concern ourselves with such trivialities as how or from whom they get their shoes, travel money, meals, other expenses or college education. What is wrong with a little help, cash or otherwise?
BERNARD D. DUNN
Lieut. Commander, USN
Fifty-seven years ago the "greatest athlete in the world" was deprived of his Olympic medals and trophies because he played baseball for a measly $50 or so a month prior to the 1912 Olympics. In 1969 two of the world's leading sports shoemakers admit paying as much as $100,000 to Olympic athletes, and these athletes still have their medals. All this is obviously a sign of our inflationary times. Now we go big.
I have always thought Jim Thorpe was born 50 years too soon. Now I am sure.
Concerning your recent article, No Goody-Two-Shoes, would you please contact the representatives of either Puma or Adidas, I have no preference, to inform them that I am ready to sell out to the highest bidder. I am starting out at $200 but I'm willing to go as low as $5.95.
As for my qualifications: my fastest time in the 100-yard dash is a scant 12.8 seconds, and with some training I will be able to break the six-minute barrier in the mile. But my specialty is the high jump. With my modified Fosbury Flop I have cleared 5'2". This jump was good enough for fourth place in the 1968 annual third-period track meet at Athens High School (Coach Malinowski's team beat Coach Sellers' team). Speaking of high jumpers, that brings up an interesting point. Since they usually wear two different types of shoes, I could wear a Puma on my left foot and an Adidas on my right.
Keep up the good work!
My opinion of your organization has been somewhat lowered. The epitome of the put-down was achieved by SPORTS ILLUSTRATED (SCORECARD, March 10) at the expense of Mickey Mantle. Calling him a "limping, sporadic shadow" and a "superhero of small boys" certainly degraded the man whose achievements in his field were phenomenal for a person with his physical history. Mr. Mantle was a man who lifted baseball out of the depths of mediocrity, and fans across the nation realize this fact. To suggest that the Mick will be overshadowed in the limelight of a Bill Robinson borders on the insane.
My congratulations to Mickey Mantle. No one need make excuses for him; he need not make any apologies. He was a fantastic superstar, a fantastic human being and all of baseball is forever indebted to him.