The Death of an Athlete (Feb. 20) is another sad story about a young man who thought anabolic steroids were going to lead him to the promised land. When are teenage athletes going to learn? It's a shame that it took the death of Benji Ramirez to show them that steroids aren't the answer.
MICHAEL A. GRANIERI
It is said that a picture is worth a thousand words, and there is no better proof of that than the photograph of Benji Ramirez in his coffin. It sends a shocking but clear message to anyone considering using steroids.
Swimmer, University of Kansas
What disturbed me the most in your article about Benji Ramirez was the notion that women prefer men with excessively—and obsessively—muscled bodies. If it will save one male from doing steroids. I would like to say that many, perhaps even most, females do not like that look. In my opinion, that deeply muscled look is not only unattractive but also hideous in some cases.
What a pleasant surprise to see LSU's Chris Jackson on your Feb. 20 cover. He has escalated my love for basketball with his dazzling ability and obvious knowledge of the game. I was particularly interested to learn from the article (Can't Hold This Tiger) that he has Tourette syndrome. Ten years ago, at the age of 12, I was diagnosed as having Tourette's. I, too, have been on medication for the disorder. I am amazed to see that Jackson can accomplish what he has, because I know firsthand the struggles involved. Chris, you're an inspiration to me. Don't let anything stop you.
Douglas S. Looney's article on Texas football recruiting (On the Road Again, Feb. 20) is a sad commentary on the priorities of the University of Texas and of the Southwest Conference. Not once did Bobby Jack Wright talk about recruiting student-athletes. Not once did he talk about recruiting athletes with strong character. It is obvious that the University of Texas has not learned from its recent NCAA probation and is still of the football-first mentality.
Wright says that players lie and break their commitments to schools. He also says they need someone they can trust. He later describes how Texas feigned interest in a player to keep him on the hook in case it needed to sign him. So much for coaches they can trust.
Whooee! Sure enjoyed the article on ol' Bobby Jack. His new little Longhorns are gonna play some tough Texas football soon and bring some respect back to the Southwest Conference.
I was astonished by the article by Jaime Diaz about the LPGA (Find the Golf Here? Feb. 13). Sara Lee became a sponsor of the tour in 1988. From the first day, our company has had nothing but positive experiences with the LPGA players and administrators. At our inaugural Sara Lee Classic in Nashville, the tremendous personalities of the LPGA players shone through during the pro-am play and delighted the spectators, who totaled more than 50,000. What's more, the caliber of the play is much higher than the "modest crack of a 215-yard drive." If that is all women golfers are capable of, then hurricane Camille must have been behind most of the drives I watched.
LPGA veteran Patty Sheehan said in your article, "We are waiting for the time when being the greatest women players in the world will be enough." It is already enough for Sara Lee and for the fans of Nashville. We think they are great. Come see for yourself at this year's tournament, April 28-30.
GEORGE W. BRYAN
Sara Lee Corporation
Permit me, as the director of the Safeco Classic, an LPGA event, to disagree with the view that the middle-aged amateurs playing in pro-ams favor Seniors over LPGA pros as partners. Our experience in Seattle is exactly the opposite. Our pro-am players, who also play in the Seniors event, enjoy them both but consistently give the edge to the women pros. Most of these midde-aged men are mid-to high-handicappers, and they tell us that they relate better to the LPGA swing and that the LPGA player is generally more fun to play with because she is friendly and appreciative and is much more enthusiastic about the pro-am. They also tell us that Seniors ride in carts and are seldom in close association with the amateurs during a round.