Pat Ryan should be congratulated for discussing a topic of great importance in her article A Grim Run to Fiscal Daylight (Feb. 1). But it seemed to me that the article failed to place college football and finances in their proper perspective.
The tremendous entertainment that college football supplies notwithstanding, it must be realized that the primary function of a university in the 1970s should be educating its students—not providing a winning football team. I would think, however, that if all schools totally eliminated recruiting, athletic scholarships, spring practice, color films, training meals and the like, the present type of competition could continue (with only a slight drop in quality) at a cost where athletic departments might again be making money that could be given back to the schools to use on education.
Any coach who finds such a solution unbearable because he values his own personal victories over the process of education belongs in professional football—or in government, where his distorted sense of priorities would fit right in.
Pat Ryan's article showed the need for positive action by the NCAA to curb the already rampant professionalism in collegiate athletics, football in particular. When athletes live in a special dorm, eat at specially planned training tables, enjoy the benefits of special tutors and receive tuition and, sometimes, extra money for expenses, they can hardly be called amateurs. The NCAA should limit scholarships as pointed out in the article and institute some firm academic rules to prevent the current tailoring of academic careers to suit football instead of the other way around.
Frank Broyles may cite statistics showing that football can pay for an entire sports program, but obviously it isn't paying for too many when two-thirds of these programs are in the red. If we are to have college athletics in the future, the NCAA must act.
You mention that colleges are courting professional football teams in order to persuade them to hold their lucrative exhibition games in the college stadiums, and thus share some of the revenue with the colleges. If college football collapses, pro football will be the biggest loser. The pros have had a beautiful, free minor league for years.
It seems to me that they are the ones who should be doing the courting.
BUCKS VS. KNICKS
In reference to Peter Carry's article about the Knicks and Bucks (Lew Is Not Enough, Feb. 8), just because the Knicks have won three out of the four meetings with the Bucks during the regular season doesn't mean the same situation will occur in the playoffs. Granted, the Knicks have a fine playoff group in Willis Reed, Dave DcBusschere, Bill Bradley, Walt Frazier and Dick Barnett. But if Reed's gimpy knee doesn't hold up, instead of "Goodby Lew" it's going to be "Goodby Knicks." Without Reed, the Knicks are not enough.
GLENN E. HOFFMAN
Lew Alcindor is the greatest player basketball has ever known, but he is not the only one involved in Milwaukee's drive for the championship. Mr. Carry failed to give credit to Bob Dandridge, Greg Smith, Jon McGlockin, Oscar Robertson and all the other Bucks. The reason Milwaukee has such a devastating record this year is that the whole team is contributing toward a common goal—being the best. The Bucks are a young team, and they improve with every game they play. It's only a matter of time until they become No. 1.
The thing that really bothers me about your article is that you make the Boston Celtics look like fools. First you have a picture of Greg Smith driving on Dave Cowens. Then you have Alcindor shooting over Cowens. On the next page you show Walt Frazier driving on Don Chaney in what looks like an easy layup. Finally, you picture Dave DeBusschere going over Don Nelson for two points. If you have something against the Celtics then say so. Personally, I think they are going to take it all.