SCOUTS VS. SCOUTS
As I read your article on the Wilderness Scouts (Good Scouts Indeed, Feb. 6), I felt a sense of shame. That the Boy Scouts of America would resort to such cowardly tactics in an effort to keep the Wilderness Scouts from using the word "scout" is contrary to the spirit of scouting as I remember it. I attained the rank of Eagle Scout, but my achievements were made under the umbrella of loving parents, economic well-being and a stable social structure. The youths who make up the Wilderness Scouts are not that fortunate. They know what true bravery is: going forward despite strong odds against you.
Solana Beach, Calif.
A few kind and simple phone calls could have done much to prevent the negative press the Boy Scouts are generating for themselves. I learned much in scouting about helping others and about the fundamental rules of citizenship. The Wilderness Scouts seem to be learning the same sorts of things. What are the Boy Scouts trying to do, establish a merit badge in trademark law?
JEFFREY J. HOLLEY, ESQ.
Harold Cornwell, founder of the Wilderness Scouts, has a nice program for the youth of Georgia, and he seems to be a caring individual. However, the Boy Scouts of America ( BSA) is an organization of the same breed. Although you depict the Boy Scouts as a wealthy Goliath fighting against a poor David, this caricature ignores the fact that the BSA is little more than an aggregate of thousands of local troops, many of which are made up of economically disadvantaged youths. Because the term "scout" is so closely identified with the BSA, confusion can reasonably be expected to occur when others use it. The BSA must have the right to protect its good name.
New York City
The important thing is to preserve and pass on the ideals of men like Cornwell and Boy Scouts founder Lord Baden-Powell to youngsters who may benefit from them, regardless of the name of the organization the kids belong to.
KARL F. SWENSON
PROPOSITION 42 (CONT.)
As a student at Georgetown, I feel compelled to dispute the perception that our entire university community stood behind basketball coach John Thompson's anti-Prop 42 boycott (A New Proposition, Jan. 23). While the press correctly reported that our athletic director and our president supported Thompson at the press conference at which he announced his boycott, the applause that greeted Thompson's walkout before our Jan. 14 game against Boston College was hardly proof of unanimous support for his action. The applause was for Thompson the coach, not Thompson the social commentator.
Although a large number of Georgetown students agree with Thompson's position, many others think that while Prop 42 may not be perfect, it is a step in the right direction. It is a shame that Thompson and many other coaches failed to give the measure a chance. Even more shameful is the fact that Thompson's theatrics and worn-out rhetoric took center stage in a debate in which much more needed to be heard from the proposal's supporters.
How many, if any, nonathletes with C averages and combined scores of less than 700 on the SATs are greeted with open arms and a scholarship at Georgetown, Notre Dame, Syracuse, Duke and the like? The protests of Thompson and others are a truly hypocritical and disgraceful commentary on these coaches of student-athletes. College is a privilege earned through a combination of scholastic aptitude and extracurricular activities, one of which is sports. A college's charter is education; its goal is to graduate students who have qualified for a degree. If an athlete doesn't have the potential to realize academic success, whose interests are being served by admitting him to college?
Altamonte Springs, Fla.
My son—1360 on the SATs, 3.5 grade point average, National Merit scholarship semifinalist, starting quarterback on the football team, starting pitcher on the baseball team—is one of 12,000 students who have applied for a spot in next fall's freshman class at Georgetown. Some 10,000 of those applicants—most of whom have impressive credentials—will be turned down. It is ludicrous to believe that a student with a 2.0 GPA and a 700 total score on the SATs should be allowed to occupy a seat in the classroom when so many young people who have put great effort into their studies are told to go elsewhere.
COLLIE F. JAMES III
Let's see, Ken Green (Just Having a Fling, Jan. 30) thinks it's funny to joke, "maybe I'll beat up the wife." He also thinks earning another dollar is more important than boycotting South Africa because of apartheid. I guess these are examples of what Green means when he says that he wants "to be the exact same way I am on the golf course as I am off it." He sounds like just the kind of player the PGA Tour doesn't need these days.
MICHAEL P. HALEY
Ken Green is not the only pro golfer to have participated in lucrative tournaments or exhibitions in South Africa. This is all the more shameful because, unlike the track and field athletes who were suspended by The Athletics Congress for competing in South Africa (SCORECARD, Oct. 24), golfers like Green already have six-or seven-figure incomes that hardly need to be augmented by playing in South Africa.
East Aurora, N. Y.