My compliments on your article Fight, Ladies, Fight! (March 10). As one who competed in five high school varsity sports (of which cheerleading was the most important in the minds of the administrators) and who now plays field hockey for the University of Connecticut, I have experienced and am experiencing the same feelings as those expressed by the Penn State women. Women who compete in athletics place as much importance on their sport as do their male counterparts. Thank you for recognizing this.
Pat Jordan has pointed out some of the conflicts in women's sports programs. Since many of the same conflicts exist in minor men's sports, the article was doubly of interest to me. I am appalled at the emphasis on scholarships. Major college sports are big business, and athletic scholarships are simply capital investments in this business. Granted, college athletic associations have abused scholarships, but this does not justify further abuse. Lest it be thought that I want to keep women from getting their share of the gold, let me state that I advocate the closing of this gold mine, since it makes a mockery of both sportsmanship and the student-athlete, two concepts it was intended to promote. Let's get support from the schools for all sports, but let's not insist on scholarships, with their attendant pressures to win titles, as part of that support.
DAVID A. ERB
Confronted by the bastardization of the spirit of men's amateur sports, it occurs to me that women might well examine whether they want to become part of the collegiate pressurized package geared to institutional aggrandizement. Perhaps, in the interest of the women whom they serve, women's sports should continue to promote individual development and self-discipline. Might not women's sports be separate but still equal and much more philosophically honest?
ROXANNE L. Voss
Penn State 1970
Union Springs, N.Y.
The point of view expressed by Penn Slate's female athletes is the traditional Olympic philosophy of sport: participation, friendship and personal growth. Sadly, even the Olympics are dominated today by nationalism and aggression.
What is the function of sport? Is it meant to lead to the lionization of an elite few at the expense of all the others? Is its purpose to create a mythical pecking order of superstars on enormous salaries paid by hordes of vicarious thrill seekers whose interest is manipulated by marketing wizards?. The women at Penn State have given us all a lot to think about.
PETER J. MATJE JR.
North Wildwood, N.J.
Sherri Landes reminds me of my sister, the late Mary Ward Neuman, who was one of the pioneer women in riflery in 1924-25. As a Chicago Lake View High School student, she fired a 500 out of 500 possible, leading her team to city, state and national titles. She fired on the Dewar Team (the Davis Cup of riflery) against England in 1929, shooting a 395 out of a possible total of 400. She made Ripley's Believe It Or Not, was featured on Path� News, was offered a movie contract and endorsed rifles and ammunition.
"Sure-Shot Mary" gave it all up to go to college. She shares with Sherri the demure, innocent belief that rifles are used only on targets, not people or animals. Alone in the house, she heard unidentified noises and sat on her bed frozen in fear for an hour until our parents came home. Her rifle stood in the corner three feet away.
THE REV. DONALD B. WARD
First Congregational Church
A YOUNG MAN'S FANCY
I'm glad you printed Bobby Dodd's opinion of spring football practice in your magazine ("The Rites and Wrongs of Spring," SCORECARD, March 3). I hope my high school coach read the item and agrees with Dodd. We have spring training when most of us would rather be playing baseball, chasing girls or collecting baseball cards.
What a relief to learn that we are not alone in our desire to conquer moguls (A Bit of Bump and Run, March 10). From this day forth may bump fanatics throughout America unite, perched undaunted upon the summits of such slopes, courage in one hand, insanity in the other. The lunacy of mogul busting is evident, the lift immeasurable and the esprit de corps of mogul freaks unmatched. There is no greater bang in skiing. Thanks lumps, Billy Kidd!
BEWARE THE COLD
While your publication is deservedly well-recognized for the scope of its coverage, the article Growing Weak by Degrees (March 10) was especially enlightening. The subject of exposure has relevance regardless of where we live. Even we Texans can attest to the need for such knowledge after having spent a January day in the Panhandle. Thanks for passing the word.
B. GEORGE NEHLSEN