Some of your recent editorial comments pertaining to the University of South Carolina and its withdrawal from the Atlantic Coast Conference are most puzzling. Just what is SPORTS ILLUSTRATED trying to prove?
Our recent differences with the ACC go far beyond the matter of grade eligibility for athletes. That just became the major focal point. We are now an independent and very pleased to be a member-at-large of the NCAA. We are not bitter toward the ACC—we are simply no longer a member.
What we have done is to place ourselves on the same NCAA standards for awarding grants-in-aid as the overwhelming majority of institutions in the U.S. We have not lowered the academic standards of our fine institution in any way, and at no time have we expressed interest in lowering them. Surely, you must realize that more than 400 colleges and universities use the National Collegiate Athletic Association's tables for the granting of athletic grants-in-aid. As far as I know, the ACC is the only conference in the country that uses a minimum College Board score for scholarship.
The NCAA tables have been devised by college administrators and professors from a vast cross section of the U.S. to pied ct, on the basis of high school records, whether an athlete will achieve at least a 1.6 grade-point average as a college freshman. Here at South Carolina, however, he will have to maintain a 2.0 to stay in school. It is also interesting to note that of the 37 young freshmen to whom we have awarded grants-in-aid for the year 1971-72, all but four were completely qualified according to ACC standards. All 37 were qualified for entrance and for a scholarship according to the NCAA tables. South Carolina will continue to use the NCAA tables.
We have wonderful people here in South Carolina, and they are justly proud of their university. But they have been very disturbed to see their native sons continue to go to the Big Ten and other equally prominent schools using NCAA eligibility standards because they could not enter their own state university under the ACC entrance requirements. Herein lies the crux of the problem we faced as a member of the ACC. It is true, unfortunately, that some young men cannot qualify academically for any school. But if they can qualify for a scholarship to the overwhelming majority of institutions in America, why should they be denied admission to their own state school?
The citizens of South Carolina do not deserve the treatment they have received from you. And regardless of the thoughts expressed in your articles, my efforts and desires have been and always will be for the betterment of college athletics.
PAUL F. DIETZEL
Director of Athletics
University of South Carolina
SONNY STRIKES OUT
My compliments on your fine article on Sonny Sixkiller (The Magic Number Is Six-killer, Oct. 4). I would be interested, however, in knowing the whereabouts of writer Roy Blount on Nov. 7 of last year. One thing I know for sure is that he was not one of 58,000 people sitting in Stanford stadium in Palo Alto, or one of numerous millions across the country who watched the Stanford-Washington game on television, When Mr. Blount states that "...he [Six-killer] matched, or perhaps outdid, the passing of Jim Plunkett," he is in error. Plunkett's performance that day did much to earn him the Heisman Trophy. For the record, Plunkett completed 22 of 36 passes (61%) for 268 yards and four touchdowns. Six-killer hit on 18 of 41 (44%) for 158 yards and one touchdown. While Sixkiller also ran for a touchdown, Plunkett had his fifth touchdown pass nullified because of a penalty. If you want to term these two performances as "matching," that is your business. You will never convince anyone who saw the game or who can count.
FRANK R. ATKINSON
Your writer talks about former Indian sports figures and says, "Indian Jack Jacobs...is not widely remembered." Maybe not in the U.S., but he certainly is remembered in Canada. Indian Jack went to the Canadian Football League from the Green Bay Packers in the early 1950s and set Canadian football passing records. Jacobs played for the Winnipeg Blue Bombers from 1950 to 1955. When Winnipeg built its new football stadium in 1953 it was referred to as "the House that Jack Built."
Ask the young Canadian football fans in Winnipeg and they can tell you who Indian Jack Jacobs was even though he played 10 years before they were born.
SHELDON L. ARONOVITCH
It is no small wonder that Walter Bingham (My Drive to Be a Champion, Oct. 4) failed to improve his golf game. How can any human being, approaching the tee for his drive, think of all these tips: left arm straight: weight shifted left, and back toward the heels; right knee cocked; hips square to ball; bring club back without breaking wrists; pivot; coil; keep head still: come off left heel; keep right side rigid; swing through and out: relax grip.