As head of the New Mexico State Police Department, I want to go on record that neither Bobby Unser nor any other person traveling on New Mexico highways is free to exceed our speed limits.
As for the statement that Unser "looks after their patrol cars," we have our own mechanics and also use commercial garages for that purpose. Furthermore, Unser would not be authorized, nor has he ever had authority from this office, to work on our patrol cars.
MARTIN E. VIGIL
New Mexico State Police
Santa Fe, N. Mex.
COURT TO SHORT
In your SCORECARD item (Jan. 25) on current college basketball players whose first names match the last names of major league shortstops, past or present, you omitted the most famous, hardest-hitting shortstop of all, Henry Aaron, who could be paired with Villanova's standout forward, Aaron Howard. As any true fan recalls, Hammerin' Hank began his career as Milwaukee's shortstop.
? Aaron played 87 games at short for Eau Claire in the Northern League in 1952, his first year in the minors, but he never played that position in the big leagues. He began his major league career as an outfielder for Milwaukee in 1954, following a season at second with Jacksonville in the Sally League. Aaron played 2,759 regular-season major league games in the outfield, 210 at first, 202 as a designated hitter, 43 at second and seven at third.—ED.
You missed the most obvious one. Michael Jordan of North Carolina and Gene Michael of the Yankees, Dodgers, etc.
BOWLS AND EXAMS
As the athletic academic counselor at the University of Missouri, I, too, was concerned about our football team's accepting a bid to play in a bowl game—the Tangerine—whose date conflicted with our final-exam week (SCORECARD, Dec. 21). You might be interested to know how we made the decision to go. Coach Warren Powers first came to me for advice. I surveyed 30 faculty members who would be inconvenienced, and an emergency meeting of the Faculty Advisory Committee on Athletics was held before we submitted our request to attend a bowl to the chancellor, who in turn sought counsel from the Faculty Committee on Bowl Selection before giving the go-ahead.
Each player was then required to make alternate exam plans with his professors and obtain signatures acknowledging such arrangements. Some took exams before finals week, some while they were in Orlando, Fla., and some after they came back. Several players elected not to go to Orlando because of their concern that they might jeopardize their academic performance. And those players who needed to miss practice to study were allowed to do so. No one experienced any major difficulties.
Too often critics propose extreme solutions to the problems in college athletics, such as scrapping the early bowl games. I believe academics and athletics can continue to survive together. I am very proud of our academic and athletic programs and can honestly say that the student-athlete concept is alive and well at Mizzou. Furthermore, for those who made the trip, the stay in Orlando was an educational experience.
LYNN LASHBROOK, ED.D.
Manager, Academic Counseling Unit
University of Missouri
Let me assure you that the members of the Oklahoma State football team did take their books when they went to Shreveport, La. for the Independence Bowl game. In fact, they had regularly scheduled study halls there, along with practice and publicity appearances. This may have resulted in more studying than would have been accomplished on campus. For the band, the cheerleaders and the thousands of undergraduates who made the trip to Shreveport to support their team, the weekend break may have been more intellectually stimulating than marathon cram sessions.
Why the sanctity of exam week? The academic process is spread over the entire 18 weeks of a semester. Intellectual achievement, like athletic achievement, is, after all, the result of continued self-discipline, effort and dedication. Woe to the football team that waits till Friday to prepare for Saturday's game.
Professor of Mathematics
Oklahoma State University