?At the time of his 1948 Heisman award, SMU's Doak Walker had also played three years of varsity football, beginning as a wartime freshman in 1945.—ED.
IVY OR BIG TEN?
Many thanks for the warmhearted look at Ivy League football (Yesterday Is Not Far Away, Sept. 8). While your interest in the social conventions associated with the Ivy game is excessive, the basic merit of the game as a quality amateur sport came through nicely. Ivy teams have two things going for them that make them fun to watch: a solid corps of scholar-athletes from all over the country, providing at least strong first-team units; and some of the most innovative and able coaches at the college level. To cite one example, Joe Restic and his assistants at Harvard produce teams that play highly sophisticated, wide-open football on both sides of the line.
Cynics will insist that the Ivy League is bush. In a way, they are right. Other conferences and teams are better. But the Ivy game is unabashedly (and proudly) amateur, in contrast to the semipro orientation of the "big time." Which is preferable is a personal judgment. I, for one, would rather watch the NFL for pro football and the Ivies for the college game.
JOHN O. FIELD
Chestnut Hill, Mass.
Big Ten folks are a trifle tired of this holier-than-thou Ivy jazz, the constant harping on hoary age and tradition. Just for openers, Cornell was founded in 1865, its first president, Dr. Andrew White, having previously served as a professor of history at the University of Michigan.
Re the simon-pure Ivy recruiting, don't let George Plimpton put you on. The Big Ten certainly has overemphasized football, but the Ivy League regularly takes fine high school players from many areas. The caliber of Ivy gridders is shown by such pros as Mike Pyle, Ed Marinaro, Calvin Hill, Dick Jauron, the luckless Pat McInally and, earlier, Chuck Bednarik.
I'd love to see college football back where it was when I was collecting a gimpy knee and no letter at Ann Arbor, when the boys played both ways and the perquisites and recruiting were low-key. Meanwhile, let old Cantab Plimpton remember that a jock usually is a jock anywhere—except perhaps at MIT and the University of Chicago.
For better or worse, college football is as much a part of the American scene as the ups and downs of Wall Street. A well-rounded education is supposed to be the goal of students at our educational institutions and I believe that being a part of an Ohio State-Michigan week offers something in that direction.
B. GEORGE NEHLSEN
As a 39-year-old banker in Philadelphia, I am a long way from the time when I was 16, growing up in Rhode Island and paying my way into Lincoln Downs to bet $2 on Tony DeSpirito, also 16, and a "lock." in the feature. Frank Deford's article on Tony (The Kid Who Ran into Doors, Sept. 1) was sheer poetry, as classical as the Kid's riding style. To those of us raised in New England in the '50s, DeSpirito brought the winner we were seeking while our much-loved Red Sox kept stumbling at the gate.
DONALD M. GLEKLEN
Newton Square, Pa.
Tony DeSpirito deserved Frank Deford's moving eulogy. You could add dozens to the list of athletes who were cut down by Dame Misfortune, but for openers try Tucker Fredrickson, Karl Spooner, Maurice Stokes and Tony Conigliaro. As John Greenleaf Whit-tier said in Maud Mailer, "For of all sad words of tongue or pen/ The saddest are these: 'It might have been!' "
Howard Beach, N.Y.
NO BLUE RIBBON
This time you have outdone yourselves. I refer to FACES IN THE CROWD (Sept. 1), in which you include the remarkable sporting achievement of Ch. Jo-Ni's Red Baron of Crofton winning some dog shows.