SOCIOLOGY AT SYRACUSE
We must commend Pat Putnam's objectiveness in his outline of the alleged racism on the Syracuse University football team (End of a Season at Syracuse, Sept. 28). However, the record speaks for itself. The most acclaimed of Syracuse football players have been both black and coached by Schwartzwalder. Coach Ben is simply a victim of the times, in which, somehow, the authority and consequent decision-making of the head football coach have been confused with repression and discrimination.
GERALD M. OLESZEK
KNOWLTON C. FOOTE
Your portrayal of Syracuse Coach Ben Schwartzwalder reveals more than a tough, uncompromising ex-major with knotty forearms and a hoary head. He is pictured wearing a shirt emblazoned with "S.U.A.D.," presumably identifying him as a member of his school's athletic department. This makes him a teacher. Mr. Schwartzwalder is entitled to his personal opinions about "Communists, draft dodgers, flag burners or people trying to destroy our country," but as a teacher of young men in 1970 he must also be a sociologist. There is no room for people who "don't know what's happening anymore."
As a former varsity man at Syracuse University, I believe that the imbroglio there has given a wrong image of the team, the coach and the school. Long before many other colleges let down the bars to black athletes, Syracuse was accepting them on the same basis as whites. Coach Schwartzwalder is no bigot. He is a tough disciplinarian and a firm believer in clean, hard football. Syracuse has a long tradition of good sportsmanship. I hope that tradition will reassert itself.
LESSONS FROM FOOTBALL
Sandy Treadwell must have an abundance of romanticism and an equal share of stupidity to believe that a game of football could wipe out the memory of four needless deaths at Kent State University, even for one moment (Not Such a Bad Scene at All, Sept. 28).
Just ask those freaks who cheered (jeered?) at the Kent State-Ohio game, and I'm sure they will tell you that one football victory or a million can't wipe out the bad scene at Kent State.
Many thanks for the fine article on Coach Dave Puddington of Kent State. After months of reading about Namath, Clay and other smoothies, it's refreshing to read about a good old-fashioned square.
Overland Park, Kans.
As a native Oklahoman I grew up with two strong loves. One was for Okie populism, and most people would call me a radical today. But my true fanaticism is directed toward the Oklahoma Sooners.
My love of sports has helped me to see one thing clearly: the evils in this society are not created by evil people—only misguided ones. When Oklahoma is on the move and my heart is in my throat (framed by my long hair), I feel a special kinship with all of my fellow Sooner fanatics, whether they be hard-hatted construction workers with mortar on their boots or bald-headed professors with mortarboard cover-ups. Saturday afternoons filled with football have made me realize that the only bombs I want to see are Jack Mildren's touchdown passes against Texas.
I was shocked and stunned upon reading your article on the Vikings-Chiefs game (The Future Moves into the Past, Sept. 28). You say that old-fashioned hard-nosed football beat the Kansas City Chiefs. Let me remind you that old-fashioned hard-nosed football did not beat the Chiefs when it counted, nor did it beat the Jets when it counted.
Furthermore, who is Viking Jim Vellone trying to kid when he says, "What's the difference between this game and the Super Bowl? Eight months. Eight months of thinking." I'll tell you what the difference is—$7,50O and a lot of fame!
BILL St. ANGELO
Valley Stream, N.Y.