NO SPORT IN PHILLY
Thank you very much for the article concerning the Philadelphia school board's financial dilemma and its subsequent decision to discontinue varsity and intramural sports in all of the public schools (We Expect Them to Storm the Gates, Sept. 6). Outgoing School Board President Richardson Dilworth calls varsity sports "an activity that involves comparatively few students." But he should take another look. In addition to the most publicized sports (football, basketball and baseball), there are also track, swimming, tennis, golf and cross-country, not to mention all the intramural and club sports. It takes a good number of students to participate in these sports, and even a greater number to support the teams and go to the games. In my school, Central High, there was a frenzy of support for our football team before the city championship game against Bishop Egan. Nothing will ever match that excitement.
Mr. Dilworth's statements, "Three out of four black athletes who go to college on athletic scholarships get virtually no education.... Besides, most of the scholarships are to tramp colleges," are the kind of foot-in-the-mouth remarks the former mayor is well known for.
As the current academic year begins, Mr. Dilworth might be interested to learn the whereabouts of some of our West Philadelphia High School products. Among our football players, Norman Townsend is a senior on the Princeton team, Jon Cureton is at Lafayette and Emmelt Deans is at Kalamazoo. Gene Coney is a junior at Trinity College ( Conn.) and Stephen Johnson is a junior at Holy Cross. Last June, Bob Bell graduated from the University of Cincinnati after co-captaining the 1970 team and being named the No. 1 draft choice of the Detroit Lions. Talmadge Owens graduated from Wichita State and is now doing social work in the West Philadelphia area. As for our basketball players, Greg Newman is at Drexel University, Billy Jones is at Denver and Brady Small is at Weber State. Also, Ben Dozier is on the track team at Indiana and Carlos Barge is playing soccer at Ohio University. These men are all black scholar-athletes who are making it at top academic schools because sports gave them a chance.
West Philadelphia High School
Concerning School Superintendent Mark Shedd's statement (and your headline), "We expect them to storm the gates," I feel this is exactly what should happen. In view of the problems facing young people like myself, one thing we do not need is more time on our hands.
I am attending college on an athletic scholarship. Without it, college would have been next to impossible. I feel the Philadelphia school board's decision is an injustice to all high school students, not only the varsity athletes.
J. P. MCLINN
What is amazing is that both Dilworth and Shedd recognize the outrage of Philadelphia's citizens, admitting they expect the citizens to "storm the gates." It's incredible that this doesn't tell these two administrative giants a thing or two.
DAVID J. BESSETTE
MEDAL WINNERS AT MATCH PLAY
I for one am pleased that a "superwinless nobody," more appropriately referred to as DeWitt Weaver, was able to survive the field of Palmers, Nicklauses and Players and bank a $35,000 purse for winning the annual (I hope) U.S. match-play championship (Heads Roll at Head to Head, Sept. 6). As SI pointed out in rather uncomplimentary fashion, it was the first victory for Weaver after seven years of toil on the professional golf circuit. It is to Weaver's credit that he has been able to persevere through what must have been some frustrating and lean years as a touring pro.
New Hope, Minn.
I thoroughly enjoyed your article about the match-medal championship. I should also like to call your attention to what occurred the day after the tournament ended. DeWitt Weaver deserves a medal for his actions after he won the crown.
DeWitt had agreed early in July to play an exhibition round at the National Junior Golfers Association championship here on Colgate University's Seven Oaks course. Naturally he did not know he would be $35,000 richer at that point and he could easily have canceled out of the exhibition, since he was doing it gratis. But winning the U.S. match-play championship didn't change his attitude a bit.
Instead he hopped on a plane Monday morning after less than three hours' sleeping time and flew to Hamilton. He spent a full hour with youngsters entered in the 160-plus field, then proceeded to shoot a two-under-par 70 on the 6,854-yard layout: no mean feat considering the course is rated at 74-plus. After the round, during which he continuously joked with the gallery, winning many fans in the process, he went right back to talking golf with the entrants.