ONE FOR ACADEME
I was amazed to learn that after 25 years the controversy involving the famous cuts in the movie Knute Rockne—All American may be resolved and the missing scenes restored (SCORECARD, Jan. 12). The election of President Ronald Reagan has naturally created an instant market for his films, and we are fortunate that this one, in which he portrayed George Gipp, is among the most popular.
However, a recent viewing of this movie convinced me that the omitted "win just one for the Gipper" scenes become incidental when compared to the film's actual purpose. It is more than a biography of Rockne, a testimonial to Gipp or a documentary of Notre Dame football. The ideals of leadership and competitiveness are presented with such emotional honesty that it becomes a definition of the principles on which collegiate sports should be founded.
At a time when many of our colleges and universities are being criticized for sacrificing athletes' academic programs in favor of winning, perhaps we won't miss "win just one for the Gipper" as much if we remember that in the same film Rockne also tells his players, "You didn't come to Notre Dame only to play football."
LARRY L. TAYLOR
That was a super piece on Czech tennis by Sarah Pileggi ("Fanatics and Fools," Jan. 12). Because I knew Karel Kozeluh well and traveled with him and Bill Tilden on their nationwide professional tour in the early '30s, I'd like to add a little about him. Kozeluh relinquished his superstar status in hockey and soccer to become one of the world's great tennis players. Limber and nimble as he was, he reached for every shot, missing nothing, and he returned everything with speed. The faster the ball came to him, the faster it went back off his tightly strung racket.
Kozeluh, bless him, was fatally injured in 1950 at the age of 54. He crashed in his sports car while driving from Prague to his villa in Klanovice—a distance of 15 miles—for a game of golf.
Sarah Pileggi's masterpiece of sports reporting brought back memories of my youth in Trest, a mountain village in Moravia (pop. 5,000), where the two tennis courts were the place to be seen and to belong to as a kid. That was in the mid-1930s. When my son and I visited there in 1976, 40 years later, the tennis courts were still the place to be.
Probably as important as the achievement of the top players is the fact that tennis is helping to put a little bit of a human face on an otherwise harshly repressive political regime.
THE JENKINS CASE (CONT.)
In SCORECARD (Jan. 5) you note that Texas Ranger Pitcher Ferguson Jenkins was convicted of possession of cocaine but was let off with no penalty whatsoever because he "has conducted himself in exemplary fashion." Be that as it may, logic which states that if he has been good so far, we can let this one crime go seems ludicrous when carried to such an extreme.
West Hartford, Conn.
I take exception to your evaluation of the potential disciplinary proceedings by professional baseball for Ferguson Jenkins' crime. While the criminal justice system of Canada has fairly dealt with Jenkins pursuant to the requirements of due process, it is not inherently unfair, nor is it a case of double jeopardy for Jenkins to be punished for his action by the institution of professional baseball through which he earns his living. Your magazine improperly assumed a similar position in the Don Murdoch case when the then New York Ranger was arrested on similar charges.
A professional athlete holds a special position of importance and prestige in today's society, as demonstrated by the hero worship and extraordinary compensation afforded him. Is there not a commensurate responsibility on the part of that athlete to the hierarchy of the sport, his fellow players and, most important, to society as a whole? Can we not expect a higher degree of social responsibility from our professional athletes than we do from ordinary citizens?