THE LAW, TEXAS-STYLE
Three cheers for the Lone Star State! What with Jim Wacker (What Kind Of Fool Am I? Nov. 4) and House Bill 72 (SCORECARD, in the same issue), Texans have two reasons to be proud. Though the new law has its opponents, I hope most Texans will appreciate its long-range benefits. If, as you report, about half the students in Texas high schools flunked at least one course during the first six weeks. House Bill 72 arrived just in time.
I am fortunate enough to be a senior in a school ( New Braunfels High) that lost no varsity football players and only 10 of some 200 band members. Our secret? An administration that warned us of the aftereffects of failing a class, a teaching staff that set up tutoring programs before and after school, concerned coaches (and band directors) who checked up on us to see if we were in the danger zone and, finally, students who turned off Leave It To Beaver reruns and made the grade.
I believe that students who really care will make this effort and will thereby improve their teams and themselves. Also, it is no secret that kids who care make a program successful. We should know: our football team is 10-0 (ranked sixth in the AP poll for Texas 4A schools), and our band made it to the state marching band contest on Nov. 11.
New Braunfels, Texas
I have one objection to the Texas plan. I feel that by imposing sanctions against a student who is failing only one subject, too much power is given to each teacher. Such control raises the serious possibility of abuses. Besides, if a student is failing, say, only one out of five courses, he has an 80% rate of passing, which isn't bad. I feel that a fairer policy would be one that restricts students only when they are failing two or more subjects.
As in any comprehensive law, this one needs fine-tuning. But, on balance, good job, Texas!
RUSSELL B. MOORE
Being a resident of Groves, Texas, I know how big an effect House Bill 72 has had on Texas football. Thomas Jefferson, the high school I am attending, has lost eight jayvee and eight freshmen football players. I am not one of them. What's more, because of House Bill 72 we are not allowed to have fun while in school. This means no pep rallies during school hours, which has made school spirit a thing of the past. If it were up to me, I would have the law abolished.
ROBERT DES MARAIS
The article Blowing A Fuse Over The News (Nov. 11) by Alexander Wolff and Robert Sullivan makes it clear to me that many of the fans of college sports are nothing short of sick. How can anyone say, "So be it" or "So what?" in response to the Lexington Herald-Leader's article about alleged widespread booster payments to University of Kentucky athletes? Can anyone seriously threaten to "take a baseball bat to the delivery boy"? I have had it with people making excuses for what's wrong with college sports, or getting angry at those who report on those ills. I'll take professional sports, where the athletes are greedy (they learned well in college) but at least are open about it.
HARRY A. TURNER
How dare you refer to Kentucky Wildcat basketball as a "once-proud program"! If you think for a moment that this alleged "scandal" could possibly take away one iota of the love and pride any true Kentucky fan holds for the Wildcats, you are sorely mistaken.
Kentucky basketball is steeped in tradition, from the Rupp years through the tenure of Joe B. Hall to the present program directed by Eddie Sutton. I guess it's true that when you're the best, everybody's out to get you. At any rate, that is certainly the case here.
It's also interesting that SI neglected to mention that Part Two of the two-part article in the Lexington paper went on to say, "Cheating on the NCAA rules has become so common in college basketball that you can find it almost anywhere you look.... About one out of every five players [of a few dozen top recruits of the last two years interviewed at other schools] said openly that they had received improper offers." So why the big deal over Kentucky's alleged "violations"?
LUANNE S. NAST