Three rousing cheers for Coach Ray Bussard of the recharged University of Tennessee swimming team (Fastest Man Afloat, March 1). It's small wonder, indeed, that Dave Edgar and his teammates have made a big splash. By his unique promotive innovations, Bussard has done away with the heretofore hum-drum activity of swimming meets. With the introduction of the Timettes with those two strikingly pulchritudinous bikini-clad gals shown holding Old Glory and canoeing down the pool, with the coed managers who tend with loving care the whims of the swimmers, and with music to swim by—well, who wouldn't be inspired to ultimate victory at UT?
WILLIAM F. O'BRIEN
Allow me to commend you on William F. Reed's article. You have exposed Coach Bussard as one who typifies the contemporary collegiate attitude toward—and misconception of—sport. He not only has a Tennessee swimmer "pour a bottle of water from his home pool into enemy waters," he also "personally inspects the swimmers' dormitory rooms," though most of the police work is left to the Orange Knights. Coach Bussard does not permit dissent from his tactics and rules ("There's no room on our team for the radical or the leftist"). Is the athlete's freedom and opinion suppressed?
Mr. Bussard could also be accused of chauvinism. Being patriotic is one thing, but using coeds to carry the American flag because "it kind of makes the visiting teams lose some of their concentration," is deplorable. I think what has happened is that Bussard has lost his concentration on the pleasure of sport—the engagement of one's self in physical activity as a source of recreation, not war!
Ironically, Dave Edgar, the "fastest man afloat," doesn't care much about Coach Bussard's rules and regulations. Keep winning and enjoying sport, Dave.
GREGORY J. TARONE
Your article was great. A few more about Big Orange Country, which has one of the top all-round sports programs in the nation, and you just might make up for your total neglect of the fabulous 1970 Tennessee football team. (I'll bet if Notre Dame had played in the Sugar Bowl it would have gotten more than two lines of coverage.)
A LOOK AT THE PAST
The Boxer and the Slugger (March 1) is one of the most fascinating contributions to boxing I have ever seen. The descriptive writing of Martin Kane and the lifelike drawings of Robert Handville graphically depict some of history's most interesting fights. But the one that most interests me is the sketch of the Willard-Johnson fight, which has been controversial for years. Now that the film of the fight has been analyzed, permitting the artist to recapture the standout scenes, it is like hitting pay dirt.
Few people, even the experts, ever described Willard thoroughly enough, and I am making no attempt to do it here. But I remember that he stopped off in Oklahoma City after having completed a job as a laborer on a new railroad in the state, before he took up boxing at the age of 28. His hard work in Oklahoma's hot, dry weather may have helped prepare him for his later meeting with Johnson in that 110� heat in Havana.
A month or so after he met Johnson, Willard again came through Oklahoma City. A crowd quickly gathered around him, and it was my luck to be there and hear every word of his description of the fight. He said, "It was tough all the way. For two weeks after the fight I wore a flaxseed poultice around my chest and midsection. Johnson's gloves seared me like a rope burns a horse. But I continued to feel strong all through the fight, and I was determined."
EARL B. COYLE
I would like to thank Robert Handville and Martin Kane. The pictures were fantastic, and the author's way of telling the story made me feel as if I were sitting in an arena watching each and every one of those fights. I really enjoyed it.
Tex Maule's Feb. 15 article Tomorrow's Generals concluded with a rhetorical question concerning the whereabouts of several first draft choices who flopped. I do not know anything about Richie Lucas, Bob Garrett or Don Allard, but what kind of a flop goes on to quarterback one of the great Canadian Football League dynasties, overshadows such superlative quarterbacks as Winnipeg's Kenny Ploen, Ottawa's Russ Jackson and Vancouver's Joe Kapp, and becomes a CFL living legend on a par with Jackie Parker?