GROPING FOR ANSWERS
Richard W. Johnston's deeply moving A Man Who Hardly Left a Mark (June 10) was a classic study in reporting a tragic, seemingly senseless death in an objective yet compassionate manner.
Fred Mundy's apparent refusal to admit his error and allow himself to be rescued should reaffirm the overemphasis our society has placed on winning and role playing. When the death of Mundy is juxtaposed with Ray Kennedy's report in the same issue on the Long Beach State fiasco (427: A Case in Point), we can see, in microcosm, a nation groping to find its lost ideals, to regain its misplaced values.
Every once in a while your magazine has an article that is truly out of the ordinary, and Richard W. Johnston's is one of them. As I read the story, I tried hard to figure out Fred Mundy's thinking and rationalizing after he had become lost. Now that I have finished, I feel that only two explanations have plausibility. The first is that Rancher-Searcher Andy Meling is correct: "No one could have made so many mistakes without a purpose. This was his destiny." The second, and the one I have more of a tendency to believe, is that Mundy lost control of his faculties in the desert heat after he abandoned his bike.
New York City
THE LONG BEACH CASE
427: A Case in Point (June 10) presents several questions for all of us in the coaching profession to ponder:
1) Who is supposed to derive the benefits from any school athletic program?
2) Who is supposed to derive the benefits from the overall educational programs?
3) Who gets hurt the most when these programs are poorly administered?
4) Who is being exploited by some of the intercollegiate athletic programs?
5) Who is learning every day from the example set by the teachers in our educational programs?
6) What is the one ingredient of every educational setting that, if it were eliminated, would also eliminate any need whatsoever for gyms, football fields, pools, offices, classrooms, labs, coaches, presidents, athletic directors, etc.?