COLLEGE OR THE PROS?
As your article Does Herschel Have Georgia on His Mind? (March 1) indicates, Herschel Walker is one athlete in a million, perhaps one in a billion. He has superior athletic ability, fine academic credentials and an extraordinary temperament. This is all the more reason why Walker should stay at Georgia until he gets his degree. If Walker were to challenge the NFL eligibility rule and win, it would not only set a legal precedent, but also an attitudinal precedent, opening the floodgates for every unscrupulous agent and every ego-inflated athlete who thinks he can make it in the pros. Granted, it would be a shame to deny Walker the opportunity to play in the pros now. But it just may be a sacrifice he has to make so that others won't have to experience strife and anguish.
ROBERT W. DEFLIESE
It may be that Herschel Walker, a bright young man, would benefit from two more years in college. But it is increasingly clear that many of the nation's college athletes who might jump to the NFL are not really receiving a college education anyway. Under the circumstances, it is hypocritical to speak of a player giving up his college education for the remote chance of playing in the NFL. Many players have a better chance of making it in the NFL than of earning a college degree, and they should have the opportunity to try to do so if they choose.
Anytime a college football player can get a million-dollar contract in the NFL or in Canadian football, he should take it. With wise management, he can guarantee himself financial security for life. Walker could still pursue a college degree during the off-season. What would Walker's earning potential be if he was severely injured next season?
BILL KLING JR.
Herschel Walker is good, no doubt about it, but if he leaves Georgia he'll be leaving a lot. Good luck, Herschel; the decision is yours. But don't forget that if you decide to go to the pros, they may strike. You wouldn't be running then, you'd be a walker for sure.
FREDERICK W. KREPS II
John Underwood's insightful article provided an interesting peek into the enigma that is Herschel Walker. It would certainly stir up a hornet's nest if this extremely gifted athlete decided to challenge the NFL. But I'm betting that Herschel will do just as Underwood hinted: His will be a challenge in name only, and Herschel will "then blithely pick up his Georgia helmet and go back to practice, his college eligibility intact."
Whichever path this personable, intelligent young man chooses, someday he should be one helluva prospect for the FBI.
HAROLD O. CHRISTENSEN
Thank you so much for a super article (Raise One to the Islanders, March 1). The Islanders not only set an NHL record for consecutive victories, but also demonstrated a unique oneness as a team. Being a devoted fan, one who was lucky enough to be at that record-breaking game, I know for a fact that Islander fans also share a special bond. The kind of thunderous applause our Islanders heard was certainly the kind they deserved. I'm proud to be an Islander fan!
Dix Hills, N.Y.
Don't you think the New York Islanders should have been on your March 1 cover? All they have done is win the Stanley Cup two years in a row and break a 52-year-old winning-streak record. Who wants to see a half-naked football player, anyway? The swimsuit issue was a while ago.
TROUBLES OF GEORGE
Thank you for the fine article on George McGinnis (Oh, What Might Have Been, March 1). I, too, grew up in Indianapolis, and as a 5'8", 175-pound junior end, I had the awesome task of lining up on the football field across from "Big George" when our Northwest Pioneers played westside rival and No. 1-ranked Washington during McGinnis' All-America senior year.
Being a foot shorter and 50 pounds lighter than George, I understandably had a few self-doubts until I actually engaged George at the line of scrimmage. To my pleasant surprise, George offered all the resistance of a blocking sled, when he wasn't sidestepping me completely, and only seemed interested in the game when his number was called on pass plays.