At a time when examples of character and integrity have become increasingly elusive in the realm of professional and intercollegiate sport, I find TCU coach Jim Wacker's courageous stand highly reassuring (Special Report: Deception In The Heart Of Texas, Sept. 30). Standing alone is never easy. Let's hope that Wacker's attitude and actions will inspire other coaches to reassess their priorities.
Jim Wacker was shocked to find out that six of his players, including four senior starters on defense and All-America running back Kenneth Davis, had accepted illegal payments from alumni. He kicked them off the team and called the NCAA. Just 48 hours later, with a starting backfield of underclassmen and nothing but freshmen at defensive tackle, he rallied his Horned Frogs to victory anyway—on the road. Jim Wacker for Sportsman of the Year.
The manner in which SMU and TCU have handled the discovery of NCAA rules infractions in their respective football programs is an interesting study in contrasting styles. Where Bobby Collins was concerned about having enough players to maintain his program, Jim Wacker suspended five starters. Where SMU complained of selective enforcement and (un)due process, TCU invited a complete investigation by the NCAA and the SWC. Where SMU appears to embrace the rationalization "Everyone else cheats, too," TCU vows "Cheating won't be tolerated here."
The NCAA would do well to note TCU's response to wrongdoing. Imposition of severe sanctions against TCU will only serve to discourage other schools from being as above-board and diligent in internal self-policing activities as TCU has been.
SCOTT R. BAKER
Your plan for reform of collegiate athletics is one point short. Any student athlete who is found to have accepted illegal inducement payments should immediately be ruled permanently ineligible. This admittedly drastic step is the only way to excise the cancer in our colleges and universities.
JAMES PARKER NAYLOR JR.
Michael Spinks's victory (Michael Played The Heavy, Sept. 30) reinforced an old saying, namely, that age weighs more than tonnage. Spinks is a great fighter; Larry Holmes was a great fighter. Additionally, it is sad to think that Holmes so outdistanced his competition during his reign that his most memorable fight was his only loss, and that he will soon be known as the fighter who was one shy of Rocky Marciano's record.
Larry Holmes has been a fine champion, and he defended his title valiantly against several very tough contenders. But, to borrow a phrase, if he even dreams that he would have been able to beat Rocky Marciano, he better wake up and apologize!
DONALD J. MCCAFFREY
FLYING IN THE FACE OF DEFORD
Allow me to express my extreme displeasure at Frank Deford's MOVIETALK (Sept. 9) on American Flyers. It is not his critique of the movie itself that I object to, for that is a matter of taste. What I take issue with is his denigration of bicycling as a spectator sport. Statements like "Watching other people ride is borrrring" reflect a narrow-mindedness common to many sportswriters in this country. Perhaps Deford is not aware that bicycle racing is second in the world only to soccer as a spectator sport. I think you owe your cycling readers an apology.
RAND ZIEMKE RASMUSSEN
Frank Deford obviously knows absolutely nothing about the sport of bicycle racing or the Coors Classic race that is held every year and which is the basis of this movie. I have seen American Flyers four times, and each time I see it, it makes me want to get on my bike and ride, ride, ride.
Fond du Lac, Wis.
STREET SCENE (CONT.)
Woody Hayes may have a drive in Columbus, Ohio (SCORECARD, Sept. 30), but did you know that Columbus is encircled by I-270, the Jack Nicklaus Freeway? Also, in Detroit, Tiger Stadium is bounded by Cochrane Avenue and Kaline Drive.
WILLIAM J. GLASS JR.