As an avid sports fan I would like to thank SPORTS ILLUSTRATED and Jay Cronley for bringing the Oklahoma football situation to the public's attention (Oklahoma Penalty: Illegal Procedure, April 30). I find it appalling to think that cheap, conniving ways are used to lure athletic talent to particular universities. I believe a total crackdown by the NCAA is necessary to try and clear up the injustices being done to high school recruits. Now that the problem is out in the open, the NCAA must look into all universities, not only Oklahoma, which is but one among many. Now is the time to investigate the faults of college recruiting, before the "dirty" label is placed on all of our collegiate sports.
New Hyde Park, N.Y.
I was disappointed to read about the altered transcripts of Oklahoma football players Kerry Jackson and Mike Phillips. I agree that something should be done, but why declare Jackson and Phillips ineligible? They had nothing to do with it. There should be a way to penalize the guilty without affecting the innocent.
I read your story rather dispassionately, as a report of the facts—and it was a good job. But for me, the two paragraphs near the end containing the remarks of Tom Hansen, assistant executive director of the NCAA, provided a more significant perception of what is happening in the world of sports.
If indeed the NCAA's view of televising next season's Oklahoma games despite a possible NCAA probation is as Mr. Hansen stated, i.e., that "the contract between ABC and the NCAA has been approved, and we would consider it binding. It may be too late for the network to make any changes," then the NCAA ought to disassociate itself from sports in perpetuity or at least until the sun rises in the West.
That the assistant executive director would even make such a statement should put the NCAA on probation for the next 30 years.
San Jose, Calif.
Morton Sharnik's article on Al Feuerbach (The Magnificent Obsession, April 30) was a sterling account of a man overcoming all odds to become a champion.
I once coached a ninth-grade team that was too small, too short, too inexperienced and always too outmanned to win a football game. I told the 16 members that it was not always the biggest or the best team that won, but always the team that wanted to win the most. That team became the AAA Catholic city champs of Houston. All 16 of them!
Man-made laws say that a man of Feuerbach's size cannot put the shot 70 feet. These same laws do not weigh the size of the heart or the intensity of obsession, if you please, to become the best. Through his ability to close out the rest of the seemingly mundane things of the world, and to concentrate solely on throwing the shotput, Al Feuerbach will become the greatest shotputter to ever live. Why? Because he thinks he can.
? Feuerbach broke the world record last Saturday with a heave of 71'7".—ED.
As a longtime fan of the Giants, I enjoyed your article They're Neither Too Old Nor Too Young (April 30). With veterans such as Marichal, McCovey and McDowell blending with the youth of Speier, Bonds and Goodson, the Giants should give the Big Red Machine fits this year and for years to come. I have seen Speier play on a few occasions, and there is no doubt in my mind he is on the path to superstardom. Many major league shortstops have great arms, but not the bat or the desire Chris has. With him and with many other young players gaining experience, the Giants seem assured of producing a contender that will indeed bring the fans once again to Candlestick Park.
SAXON GRAHAM JR.
Orchard Park, N.Y.