LOSER OR VICTIM?
I take exception to Larry Keith's article on Glenn Fletcher (Sitting, Waiting and Hoping, March 31). He describes an individual who failed to take advantage of the many educational opportunities offered him and who appears to have no more athletic ability than the average small-college football player. There are lots of guys who are "nice persons to be around" but who do not warrant four pages in your fine magazine. Why did you waste space on this loser?
I suppose your article on Glenn Fletcher was meant to expose the exploitation of college athletes. I know that it was no news to any student who attends a major university. There are Glenn Fletchers walking the campuses of schools all over America.
Larry Keith's poignant piece on Glenn Fletcher clearly depicts the black male's enslavement to the cruel myth that salvation—the promise of upward socioeconomic mobility—can be realized through athletic-prowess. For young Fletcher, achievement in football has become the ultimate ceremony of self-recognition and self-assertion. Nevertheless, of greater import here is the fact that he was victimized and condemned to failure at an early age by the educational system and its representatives.
I strongly urge you to continue reporting on the darker realities of sport in general and intercollegiate athletics in particular. By doing so, you will foster a more perceptive understanding of sport in the black community.
PHILIP A. NABIL
Your SCORECARD item (March 31) on the academic problems of USC athletes illustrates how great the gap between college athletics and academics has become. But let's not blame the schools for "exploiting" the athletes, as one USC administrator put it. If these athletes fail to acquire an education, it's their own fault. They are not forced to enroll in these ridiculous classes. If they want an education, why don't they take challenging courses that will lead to a degree and increase their appeal in the job market? After all, if they can't recognize the importance of a degree, what are they doing in college?
Paul Zimmerman's references to the word GOD etched on the hillside near the site of the NFL's annual meetings in Rancho Mirage, Calif. made for an interesting lead into a well-written article that explained a few of the many intricacies of the Raiders' proposed shift south (Whither the Raiders? March 24). However, had Paul looked more closely, he would have seen that what is carved on the hill is not GOD but COD—a reference to the local junior college. College of the Desert. Then again, the College of the Desert basketball team recently made it to the semifinals of the state tournament, and many feel God may have had something to do with it.
Palm Springs, Calif.
?It is COD, although College of the Desert Athletic Director John Marman says, "Kids are always going up there and changing the C to a G."—ED.