First, the attendance of Hubert Bobo in high school was good. The office record shows that he was absent six days in his freshman year, five days in his sophomore year, nine days in his junior year and 21� days in his senior year. His point average was 2.6 for his subjects in high school (this was figured on the basis A = 4 points, B = 3 points, C = 2, D = 1, and failure = 0). Mr. Bobo was not awarded his high school diploma by the school board over the protests of the principal or superintendent. Mr. Bobo was awarded his high school diploma in the normal way, the same as the other members of his graduating class.
S. L. DARST
Chauncey-Dover Exempted Village Schools
THIS IS NO MOUSY RECANTING
I have made a public apology to the community of Chauncey-Dover, Ohio for the humiliation caused them when rumor, passed along to your reporter Mr. Shaplen as rumor, apparently was not checked. I hope you will see fit to join me in apology for this unethical journalistic oversight.
When Mr. Shaplen asked me what I knew about Bobo, I told him that an officer of the athletic board had reported to me a conversation with the boy when he was failing his studies here. According to this officer, the boy had blamed his poor showing on the fact that he had not been attending high, school more than three days a week. The so-called dispute over his high school diploma came from the vice chairman of an important university bureau. I gave Mr. Shaplen the names and sources of the information. Why did he label it as "research" on my part? I believe that gossip is gossip, but the printed word carries strong responsibility.
I also resent the unauthorized use of my picture (where did you dig up that sour pose from, anyway?). The article carried the inference that the information about Bowermaster and other unnecessarily cruel morsels came from me, leaving the erroneous impression that I had inspired the whole article and had fed all the scurrilous tidbits to the magazine. I did not know the article was in process until I was called upon as one of many being interviewed.
Particularly do I hope that you will print the whole context of my remarks about Athletic Director Richard Larkins, a man whom I greatly admire: "Dick Larkins is one of the finest gentlemen I know, with a high sense of idealism. He, like the coaches, the presidents, the commissioners, the alumni secretaries, is caught in the system of high-pressure football..."
This is no mousy recanting of my actual remarks. With your general thesis, Win or Else, I heartily agree, needing only to look over my shoulder at the ghosts of such fine coaches here as Fesler, Bixler, Widdoes and Wilce strewn along its cruel path. For years I have been writing frankly and honestly about this overemphasis in my column in our alumni magazine. My stand is well and publicly known, nor do I propose to retreat from it a single step. But from all the unnecessary viciousness in your piece, I beg to become disassociated.
JOHN B. FULLEN
? SI appreciates the difficulty of Mr. Fullen's position as OSU alumni secretary who disagrees with big-time football policy. When Mr. Fullen (one of many interviewed by Shaplen) told the story of Hubert Bobo's academic derelictions, Robert Shaplen thought he was relating his personal research and not retailing "gossip." Mr. Fullen's "sour pose" comes from a Columbus newspaper where it was published before. SI regrets the embarrassment caused Mr. Darst and Mr. Davis (see below) by quoting Mr. Fullen's statement that Hubert Bobo was graduated over the protest of his principal. But SI cannot agree with Mr. Darst in accepting Hubert Bobo's record as that of the average Ohio high school graduate. The cumulative record at Chauncey High School shows that eighteen of the twenty-one and one-half days that Hubert Bobo was officially absent from classes in his senior year fall into the final eighteen weeks of his high school career. During those weeks he was absent virtually every Monday or Friday and sometimes both days. William Smith, Chauncey football coach, explains that Bobo enjoyed these days as guest of various eastern and mid-western colleges anxious to secure his services as football player.—ED.
I AM THE MAN
I am the man who was principal at Chauncey when Bobo graduated. The records at Chauncey show that he had a satisfactory attendance record. The board of education took only the part in his graduation required by the State Department in Columbus which requires boards of education to approve in their minutes the names of all people who receive diplomas. The minutes of the Chauncey-Dover Board of Education will show Bobo's name included with that of some 30 others.... I hope you will see fit to correct this misinformation which you have published.
W. G. DAVIS
?Last week in a letter to the Ohio State Journal, Mr. Davis had this to say about his former pupil: "...he was the greatest high school athlete I have ever known.... If certain people [at OSU] had spent more time guiding a young man over a few rough spots... Ohio State might still have the services of another great fullback."—ED.
IS SOMETHING ROTTEN?
President Whitney Griswold of Yale recently declared in an SI article (Oct. 17), "The main purpose of an educational institution is education." But when football coaches are paid more than top professors, and the annual bills for football "scholarships," salaries, supplies, maintenance and travel expenses total more than enough to build a 100-student dormitory, a fully-equipped laboratory or a 25,000-volume library, something is rotten in the state of education. As Robert Shaplen described it in another recent SI article (Oct. 24), college football has become "a vast profit-making amusement enterprise with amateur dressing."