As one who lives close by Jim (Super Row) Rowinski's hometown of Syosset, N.Y., I remember going to see the twiggy shooting forward when he played for Syosset High, the school I now attend. Therefore, I appreciated Curry Kirkpatrick's super article (The Prince of Pecs Gave Purdue a Lift, March 5) on Rowinski, the rest of the Purdue Boilermakers and their rise to the top in the highly competitive Big Ten. "Steroid" has come a long way from the slender 6-footer he was to the 6'8" monster that now controls the boards of Mackey Arena. I'm glad he's getting credit.
Jim Rowinski's amazing turnaround began last year when he made an 18-foot buzzer shot against Illinois at Champaign. He was then part of coach Gene Keady's Bench Boilers, who erased a 20-point deficit against the Illini in the final 12 minutes and 41 seconds. Rowinski may often look more like the bull in the china shop than another Russell Cross, but he and the rest of the Purdue squad exemplify what can be accomplished with determination and good, solid team play. Rowinski for Player of the Year, Keady for Coach of the Year and Purdue for Team of the Year!
MICHAEL W. WALKER
Although Curry Kirkpatrick's article on Dwayne (Pearl) Washington (All Syracuse Is His Oyster, Feb. 20) was informative and timely, I still can't figure out why the author chose to reveal the Pearl's "combined 670" SAT score. Even taken in the context of establishing Pearl as "something of a student," the score serves only to emphasize the sham that is big-time collegiate sports. That a well-respected university like Syracuse would admit anyone with such a low combined score, but in particular a revenue-producing athlete, is both hypocritical and demeaning. If I recall correctly, one gets 200 points per SAT for simply writing in one's name. It seems Pearl could average just 135 points per SAT beyond that minimum standard.
My only hope is that the noted Syracuse communications school, in which Pearl is presently enrolled, will teach him some of the finer points of self-expression. Basketball fans, especially those black youngsters who will surely idolize Pearl, deserve a better hero. When asked about Olympic basketball coach Bobby Knight's probable reaction to his nick-name, Pearl should be able to say more than "He'd be flipping out."
New York City
?Pearl's first-semester grade-point average was 2.4 (of a possible 4.0).—ED.
Does Bobby Knight really have a choice? Bobby, you can call him Pearl.
I'm addicted to Curry Kirkpatrick's style, his mastery of words and timely remarks. His past articles on the Big East and SEC tournaments, Virginia-Georgetown, DePaul and the 1976-77 Sixer team were classics. Give him a 10-year, $20.4 million contract.
I was touched by Jaime Diaz' profile of Iona guard Steve Burtt (Making It the Hard Way, March 5). Certainly Burtt was forced to grow up quickly, and I admire how well he has done both athletically and academically. His devotion to his grandmother shows another admirable dimension of his character. Despite his painful tragedies, he has succeeded. Thanks for a fine article on a worthy athlete and human being.
Hooray! Jaime Diaz' article on the Gaels' Steve Burtt brought long-awaited national recognition to a fine athlete and gentleman. Although the story captured the sadness of Burtt's life, we think it missed one important aspect of his personality. This cool, "mean" Monsterhead melts at the sight of young children. Before and after every Iona game we have attended, we've seen Burtt mingling, talking and playing with youngsters in attendance, and he patiently signs autographs for all those who clamor around him.
We Iona fans will cry along with Burtt and assistant coach Ken Williamson when Burtt graduates, but I'm sure the children of Iona alumni will always smile, remembering the grin on Steve's face as he entertained them at Mulcahy Center.
MICHELE AND VINCENT BENI