One of Jack Scott's most important premises is that the end does not justify the means in college athletics. Yet in his rush to further his noble experiment of sports sociology at Oberlin, Scott has employed a common big-time athletic tactic of driving out almost all of the previous staff in his department. Oberlin, with its keen sense of ethics, should soon realize whether Scott is a phony or merely insensitive.
JANE B. CORRIE
As a former basketball player and graduate of Oberlin College, I am in complete agreement with Jack Scott's values and with his plans for sports at Oberlin. But when a man of Coach Bill Grice's stature has to leave Oberlin, then something is rotten in my alma mater.
Assistant Professor of English
University of Washington
The juxtaposition in your Oct. 23 issue of the articles on Jack Scott and Pee Wee football (Sooner or Later, Champions) was nothing short of ironic. All that is wrong with amateur athletics and all that Jack Scott is fighting against is born throughout the country in just such kiddie leagues. Although Jay Cronley's article dealt with some of the more humorous aspects, it is here that winning at all costs is first emphasized by frustrated Vince Lombardis. If only all kiddie athletics were as innocent, fun and fruitful as Mr. Cronley's.
If Scott can influence others in his profession, then perhaps all athletic experiences, from elementary school right on through to the professional ranks, will be richer. Jack Scott, we all need you, and I look forward to your success.
Allow me to express my thanks to Brock Yates and SPORTS ILLUSTRATED for the inspirational article on the Cannonball Baker coast-to-coast auto race (From Sea to Speeding Sea, Oct. 23). It should provide every rugged individualist in the Ayn Rand mold with the motivation to break free of the social contract and participate in no-holds-barred road races hither and yon. The only difference, of course, is that they will be unlikely to possess the athletic ability of Dan Gurney or a superb machine like the Ferrari. But then, that should make it just that much more interesting for those of us who, along with our wives and children, happen to be sharing their racetracks with them. Bon voyage!
JON G. MARCH
Patrick AFB, Fla.
I enjoyed the piece by Brock Yates. Whether or not the Cannonball Baker Memorial Race was morally right or wrong is unimportant. It is the spirit behind the race that counts. In a day and age when we are all told to be practical and realistic and where safety and security are obsessions with society, Yates stands out as someone different. As long as the present trend continues, the spirit of adventure will be destroyed. No longer will young men grow up with dreams of sailing ships and flying machines. They will grow up to be robots in a mechanized society. Thanks to Brock Yates and SI for adding a little color to a society that is rapidly becoming colorless.
JOHN RUHA JR.
The past year has been so full of sporting feats that the choice for Sportsman of the Year is a difficult one. In the interest of fairness, though, I believe that wrestler and Olympic gold medalist Dan Gable must be considered. His dedication and remarkable accomplishments are an inspiration to those of us who participate in this little publicized sport. I nominate Dan Gable for Sportsman of the Year.
There are many athletes who dominate their sport for a year but few who dominate for a number of years. One exception is Billie Jean King. She has been the No. 1 woman tennis player for the past two years, and before that was battling Margaret Smith Court for the top ranking. Mrs. King is the one primarily responsible for the popularity and success of women's tennis and the women's pro tour. She is playing her best tennis at an age (28) when athletes are usually beginning to go downhill or are finished. At a time when most athletes are more concerned with making money, she has publicly stated that she plays tennis because she loves it. True, she thinks women should have prize money equal to the men's, because they deserve it. Mrs. King has totally dominated women's tennis this year. Give her the recognition she so rightly deserves.
Jack Nicklaus, Sportsman of the Year, Sportsman of the Decade and Sportsman of the Century. His record speaks for itself.
The late A.B. (Bull) Hancock Jr. of Claiborne Farm. Not only was he a champion in his own field of thoroughbred breeding and racing, he was a friend to all sports everywhere and a gentleman as well.
JAMES H. GRANTHAM