LESSON FROM MONTANA
I never dreamed that a school like the University of Montana would receive four color pages of attention from SPORTS ILLUSTRATED. The article (Playing the Payroll Game, April 23) naturally attracted my attention, because my home is in Montana and I attend a school that is possibly the capital of football, Notre Dame. Even though your article was about a scandal that could end up discrediting the Montana sports program, there are two points that need emphasizing.
First of all, Coach Jack Swarthout really took a beating with the massive rumors and controversies that spread between his indictment and acquittal. He deserves to be commended for his honesty during the entire year or more of frustration.
Second, the Montana students still have a lot going for them, because when it comes to sports they are doers instead of watchers. Many of my friends are enrolled at the university and I think I respect them most because they are interested in applying their talents instead of cherishing someone else's. Here at Notre Dame practically everyone is a watcher.
I would hate to see football deteriorate at the small universities like those in the Big Sky Conference, but maybe this says something to the larger schools that are clouded with numbers and scoreboards and where only a minority of students are really doers.
Notre Dame, Ind.
WINNERS AND LOSERS
Dan Jenkins has done it again (Jack Fell Down and Lost His Crown, April 16). Why can't he give credit where credit is due and congratulate Tommy Aaron for his victory in the Masters?
Mr. Jenkins seems to think that Jack Nicklaus is the only one capable of winning the big tournaments. And when he speaks of Gay Brewer, J.C. Snead, Jim Jamieson, Chi Chi Rodriguez, Johnny Miller and Tommy Aaron as "guys in the mines," I suggest he check the 1972 statistics. Collectively these players earned more than $613,000 not bad for "miners."
It is true that Nicklaus is far and away the best on the tour today, and everyone knows this. So let's hear about some of the other players for a change. Even if Mr. Jenkins couldn't bring himself to do it, I would like to congratulate Tommy Aaron on his final-round 68, a great tournament and a most deserved victory.
JAMES M. SCHIAVENZA
Santa Clara, Calif.
We really enjoy Dan Jenkins' writing and share his reverence for Jack Nicklaus. However, his article in the April 16 issue did justice neither to the Masters champion, Tommy Aaron, nor to the fascinating array of players and personalities involved in the outcome of the tournament. Nicklaus earns all the respect and adulation he receives as a champion. We are both crazy about him and surely wish that he would win every tournament he plays in. But, basically, each tournament belongs to the winner, not to the loser, no matter who he may be. Let Jack continue to earn the glory awarded him by winning, but when someone else wins, let that player revel in the glory alone.
JIM and SHARON STASIOWSKI
Clive Gammon is indeed an asset to your extremely capable staff. His fascinating article about the river Tarn (Truffles and Flourishes on the Tarn, April 16) has compelled me to regear for trout fishing.
More than a mere teller of tales, Mr. Gammon has done a magnificent job of acquainting us with the subtly elegant nuances inherent in almost all fishing expeditions. On this reader's scale of 1 to 10, Mr. Gammon has ascended to the lofty parapet of 9?.
JOHN J. HARDING II