THE MIT WAY
John Underwood captured the true spirit of athletic competition in the MIT story (Beating Their Brains Out, May 26). I was especially pleased to see mention of John Barry, now assistant athletic director at MIT. I remember Barry when he was basketball and baseball coach at Tenney High School in Methuen, Mass. Although I was the "last man" on his junior varsity basketball team in 1954-55, he was an inspiration to me. He gave equal time to all of us in practice, even though some of us would play only one or two minutes in a game (if we were far ahead or far behind). He has a positive attitude that rubs off on all who know him. We are better for having played for him. I am glad to see that he is now an important part of MIT's wonderfully human (and humane) athletic program.
JOHN A. CLINTON
To further explain the MIT attitude, in the early '30s the gate to the athletic field bore this motto: "Not the quarry, but the chase; not the laurel, but the race."
JAMES H. CARR JR.
John Underwood did a masterful job of portraying athletics at MIT. One small item was overlooked, however: no matter how good his grades, a student cannot graduate unless he can swim 100 yards.
As an MIT graduate, I was extremely pleased to read John Underwood's excellent article. I am a firm believer in MIT's approach to sport and am very glad to see its program get some publicity.
As a former member of the MIT ski team (and now a professional coach at a ski-racing school), I was upset to read that the ski coach "unfortunately...hasn't worked out." I consider him an excellent coach. This is an opinion shared by former and current ski-team members, as well as by people involved in other racing programs. Many people are sorry that he is leaving.
While I otherwise enjoyed John Underwood's article on MIT athletics, I feel compelled, on behalf of the MIT Rugby Football Club, of which I am fixtures secretary, to protest his statement that we are merely holding our own against Dartmouth. Our club, the 1974 New England champion, soundly trounced Dartmouth, 36-4, on its way to another successful season.
I can also assure you that Underwood's statistic of 1.3 dates per year for male students hardly applies to the ruggers, as all those who have attended our traditional weekly postgame parties will readily confirm.
THE METS' METHOD
I strongly disagree with your conclusions (SCORECARD, May 26) on the subject of Met Outfielder Cleon Jones. Professional baseball is a boys' game being played by men who are idolized by tens of thousands of youngsters. Professionals have a public obligation to their patrons as well as to management, which is equally obligated to maintain a respected standard of conduct both inside and outside the stadium.
In these circumstances it is not possible to accept the SI rationalization that management should not have publicly chastised Jones. What better way could he have acknowledged his wrongdoing and, one hopes, restore his image and that of the Mets? Do you honestly believe that payment of a monetary fine is an answer to the youngsters?
HENRY H. KIPPER
M. Donald Grant apologize? Poppycock! The New York Met management did the right thing in holding the press conference and assessing the $2,000 fine. We need promiscuous sports heroes for kids to follow like we need the plague. Sure, incidents of this type happen, but there is no need to condone them. I am 20 and a member of the generation that observes the so-called "new morality," and I still say we don't need behavior of that type.