FOOTBALL: ROSES AND BRICKBATS
Thanks for a very enlightening article in Lay Those Elbows Down, Mike (SI, Nov. 16). Having read the article and observed the picture, it is clear to me that McKeever intentionally elbowed Bates in the face. Yet everyone sits back in their rocking chair talking about how unfortunate the whole situation was, while men like Tom Hamilton and Don Clark, the USC coach, sit back and almost praise what McKeever has done. In my own opinion, McKeever should not only be eliminated from the football field but be suspended from school.
W. Haverstraw, N.Y.
Attached is the mailing label from the Nov. 16 SPORTS ILLUSTRATED. Will you please see that the proper authority is given it immediately with instructions to cancel the subscription at once?
Your biased, slanted and blasphemous write-up of Mike McKeever can do no good, but untold harm to athletics, athletes and the university program in general. Your inferences to Don Clark's coaching are uncalled for.
W. W. WILSON
San Pedro, Calif.
Another of the reasons I subscribed was shown in the story of Mike McKeever. Your straight-to-the-shoulder, no-doubletalk reporting rates SPORTS ILLUSTRATED as an outstanding magazine serving a useful purpose with the interest of the reader in mind first.
I agree that the coaching staff is responsible for this slaughter. I was amazed to read that there was some excessive use of the elbow last year which resulted in McKeever's being kicked out of the game. When coaches are so win-thirsty themselves that they seem to close their eyes to this type of play, I would say there is something wrong with the morals of the coaches, not necessarily the players.
KEN JUDGE GLANGER
Goodness gracious, another fellow has been hurt. We're just going to have to do something about that game called football. It is just getting to be too rough a game. Yes, put those bully boys aside. As you say, " McKeever's injury of Bates may have been unintentional, but the boy does misconstrue aggressiveness as modified manslaughter!"
Actually, the entire content of your article is completely biased.
MARK DU BOURDIEU
Long Beach, Calif.
The hypocrisy of the McKeever football incident has reached a new low. Coach Clark of Southern California claims he does not have to apologize for the football team—which implies he condones the play of McKeever, who has been kicked out of the last two games for excessive roughness and who has a record of illegal play. The president of Southern California apologizes for the incident but claims nothing will be done to McKeever. Obviously, the money to be made at the gate rears its ugly head, as McKeever is unquestionably a vital cog in the winning of football games for Southern California and is needed to win. Nobody at Southern California worries too much about Bates. I believe all the people who love football should take stock of this situation and wonder what can be done. Let us hope something is done.
HERMAN H. RITZWOLLER, USN
CONSERVATION: USE OF RESOURCES
My congratulations on your publication of Peter Matthiessen's article Slaughter and Salvation (SI, Nov. 16). The greatness of the U.S. rests ultimately on the use of its resources, and to the present it has used these resources shamefully and must in the future save them.
If we do not value these things and maintain a reverence for them, then we can conclude our reverence is for things like the University of Southern California's McKeever, and I, personally, would rather watch a single antelope than a whole herd of McKeevers.
Sauk Centre, Minn.