Peter Carry, in writing about the College World Series (Odd One for the Sun Devils, June 30), says, "After losing 3-2 to NYU's No. 4 starter in a game that ended with a close call at first, the Longhorns put on a boorish display that was remarkable in a series that otherwise was a model of old-fashioned, cheer-your-opponent good sportsmanship."
Since then UT President Norman Hackerman and Baseball Coach Cliff Gustafson have received a letter from Cap Timm, chairman of the NCAA World Series committee, saying that they can be "justifiably proud" of the Longhorns. The letter praised the conduct of the Texas players during and after the disputed game. Timm indicated that the Horns were justified in the argument and that they handled themselves well.
Carry carefully avoided describing the close play and left the impression that the Horns were protesting needlessly over a clear-cut call. On the play, Jack Miller hit a sharp grounder to the NYU first baseman. The first baseman narrowly won the race to the bag but collided with Miller. The ball rolled about 150 feet down the right-field foul line, and Tommy Harmon scored the would-be tying run. The umpire called Miller out and ran off the field with his three colleagues, not any of them seeing the ball roll free. However, the umpires were apparently the only people in the stadium who did not see the play, and most of the spectators immediately sided with the Longhorns.
The rule covering such a play can be found on page 37 of Knotty Problems of Baseball, published by the Sporting News. "After catching the ball, a fielder must have secure possession while making the out and, if a collision immediately follows the catch and the fielder drops the ball, the runner is safe."
SPORTS ILLUSTRATED should not tolerate such irresponsible reporting. By reporting only one side of the issue, Carry has degraded the Longhorn coach, the team and the University of Texas.
Peter Carry must have broken the hearts of the 12,000 University of Massachusetts students, many alumni and proud supporters, as well as members of the fighting Red-men baseball team who fought their way to the College World Series in Omaha and there not only beat first-ranked Southern Illinois but brought pride to themselves and their school. Mr. Carry listed at various points in his article seven of the eight participants, but for reasons unknown, nary a mention of our gallant University of Massachusetts team. Perhaps you can reverse your decision just this once.
Your fine report of the Coaches All-America Game (Replay of the 12th-man Theme, July 7) gave me what we psychologists refer to as an "aha phenomenon"—i.e., a little bit of insight!
Since the night of the game I've been in a quandary, wondering how it was possible that Paul Gipson was judged the most valuable player in the game. It seems to me that Bob Campbell did just about everything except sell popcorn and programs at halftime (and, judging from your story, he probably did that too, in addition to helping sell tickets at the gate!). All evening, Bud Wilkinson used the Campbell name almost exclusively-punting, running, catching, etc.—or did I miss the fact that it was the soup company that was one of the sponsors?
Well, now, it all fits into place. It would have been just too logical to award the prize to the most deserving. It would have deterred from the two hours of slapstick comedy! I hope Bobby is saying, "Thank God, maybe the watch had no movement inside anyway!"
DR. GEORGE SIDNEY
The Coaches All-America Game was a flagrant display of bad officiating. It is this type of rule enforcement that is hurting the game of football today. It is hard to believe that in this day of modern technology, such calls can be made and enforced (especially on touchdowns). With all the new slow-motion, instant replay and television equipment, there should be a judge who, when a disputed call is made, would call time out, check the play carefully and then make a decision.