What a difference a year makes. Herschel Walker was on the cover of your March 7 issue ("Hitting Pay Dirt") almost one year to the day after another Walker cover (March 1, 1982) asked: "Will Herschel Walker Turn Pro Now?" The two poses are similar, but now there's a New Jersey General helmet on his knee instead of that of a Georgia Bulldog.
We Georgia fans wish Walker the best of luck in the USFL and thank him for playing a large part in the one national championship and the three SEC championships that the university has won or shared in the past three years.
Regarding Herschel Walker, the question of ethics and morality was not discussed. As I read the newspapers and SI's report it seemed to me that Walker had lied, his lawyer had supported the lie and USFL Commissioner Chet Simmons had dismissed all these goings-on as a "special case."
I've always felt, maybe naively, that college athletes are role models for younger, more impressionable athletes. If so, the damage that has been done is probably irrevocable.
GILBERT S. SMALL, D.D.S.
Ann Arbor, Mich.
Herschel Walker's fib on George Washington's birthday (minus a couple of days) and his signing of a $3.9 million contract may be just the kind of blind-side tackle that will knock some sense into intercollegiate athletics. Now is the time for major policy revisions. Let universities lease their stadiums and field houses, their logos and fight songs to the pros. Let the NFL, the NBA and the USFL establish baseball-style farm systems. Let the new farm teams divorce themselves from academic restrictions: no eligibility rules, no grade-point averages, no scholarly pretenses, no slaps on the wrist for rule violations—just good, clean, well-paid, free-enterprise football and basketball.
North Newton, Kans.
Hooray! You put the Herschel Walker controversy in proper perspective (SCORECARD, March 7). The NFL coaches are just jealous that they couldn't grab Walker for their league. The college coaches are acting even worse. I'd advise them to grow up and face reality. Last time I checked, this was still the good ol' U.S.A., where everybody has a right to make a living. Being a devout Florida Gator fan, I was elated to see Herschel go, but I was also disgusted by the reaction of some coaches and sportswriters.
E.M. Swift's article on the 1982 Minnesota State High School Hockey Tournament (The Thrill of a Lifetime, March 7) was a joy to read. But like a carefully scripted soap opera, it left us on the edge of our seats. It told us that the Edina Hornets, "the Dallas Cowboys of Minnesota high school hockey," won the 1982 title, but then teased us by revealing that the 1983 tournament was a week away.
What a nation of sports fans is waiting to find out is: Did Edina do it again? Or did it come up short, as did America's Team? Did Bloomington Thomas Jefferson reclaim the title it won in 1981? Or did East Grand Forks finally win its first tournament game? Or was this the year for Hibbing or Henry Sibley of Mendota Heights or Cloquet or Mariner of White Bear Lake? I don't care who shot J.R., just tell me who won the 1983 Minnesota hockey tournament.
BRUCE B. WOOD
North Plainfield, N.J.
•St. Paul's Hill-Murray defeated Burnsville 4-3 for the 1983 title and finished the season with a 28-0-0 record to become the first unbeaten and untied Minnesota high school team since Edina East went 24-0-0 in 1974. Edina—Edina East and Edina West have since been combined—was upset 2-0 in the quarterfinals by Columbia Heights, making its first tournament appearance. Columbia Heights went on to the "third-place game," losing 4-3 to Henry Sibley. Bloomington Thomas Jefferson, East Grand Forks, Hibbing, Cloquet and Mariner all lost in sectional "playdowns."—ED.
E.M. Swift eloquently captured the essence of sport—youthful enthusiasm, dedication, striving for victory and dealing with defeat. What a welcome change from arbitration, litigation and machination!
LEO A. GORDON, M.D.