My thanks to John Herrera, administrative assistant of the Oakland Raiders, for his interpretation of what he sees in game films (19TH HOLE, NOV. 6). However, making judgment calls during actual play is slightly more difficult than making them in a screening room. Perhaps he could edit and splice the Raiders' films into a feature-length movie and call it Our Undefeated Season.
Wouldn't his energies be better directed toward advocation of instant replay as an aid to officials, rather than toward after-the-fact sour grapes? Fans watching the games are not fools. They see the instant replays and can use their own judgment on the accuracy of officiating and on the sportsmanship and integrity of the athletes.
NORTHWESTERN VS. MICHIGAN
As an alumnus of Michigan ('75), I feel compelled to comment on several statements made by Jerry Kirshenbaum in his article on Northwestern (Waa-Mu! Wha Who? Oct. 30). Northwestern is a fine educational institution, yet the article implies that such academic quality is a rarity in Big Ten schools and among other universities with successful athletic programs. Recent unbiased surveys have rated Michigan's academic programs, particularly its graduate and professional schools, high in the top 10 among American universities.
More appalling, however, is the pretentiousness of Northwestern President Robert Strotz, who criticizes Michigan's athletic department for attempting to make a profit, and succeeding. Strotz and his athletic department, however, do not wish to depart from the Big Ten for fear of loss of revenue from athletic events, nor do they object to subsidizing the athletic department's annual $1 million deficit by tapping the university's other funds. Sheer folly!
While Strotz contends that college athletics should be an activity for students, Michigan's football players earn enough revenue for the university to support the finest intramural athletic program at any university, which benefits every member of the Michigan academic community. More important, it allows academic funds to be used for academic purposes.
So, who is Strotz attempting to fool? With proper and intelligent management, it is possible to run a successful athletic program while maintaining academic excellence.
Strotz' criticism of the University of Michigan football program brings out the true problem of Northwestern football—ineptitude. Strotz implies that his university is the only one in the Big Ten with scholastic quality. I would put Michigan's fine medical programs against Northwestern's fine theatrical programs any day. And Michigan's student athletes are among the best in the nation. As for Michigan's list of grads, how about a President of the United States (Gerald R. Ford), an astronaut (James A. McDivitt), and one of the commentators on 60 Minutes (Mike Wallace), to mention a few?
•Kirshenbaum chooses to straddle the fence on this argument. He was born and raised in Benton Harbor, Mich., earned a bachelor of science degree in journalism at Northwestern and a master's degree in political science at Michigan.—ED.
We hold the opposite view from Jim Kaplan's about scoring in racquetball (VIEWPOINT, Nov. 6). As in handball, the most excitement in racquetball is generated by the struggle for the last few points, the excitement being heightened with each exchange of serve (with or without a change in score). Fifty years as a spectator and player of racquet games have given me a wholesome respect for our scoring rules.
Rallies can be brief when the competition is uneven. But when both competitors are skilled, I have seen breathtaking rallies. Kaplan himself has seen them.