Revamping college athletics

It was great to see the Monitor address the abuses that have been going on in college athletics [June 25]. College athletics has been sliding further and further away from its original purpose as a valuable part of education. The English believed that valuable qualities are developed in both athletics and academics, as is reflected in their founding of the Rhodes Scholarship. Yet the profit motive in our free-enterprise system has infiltrated our collegiate athletics to a point where institutions, coaches, and players gear their programs solely toward winning at the expense of developing lasting values. This is when cheating takes place.

Athletics is not an end in itself, but a vehicle for teaching and developing in our young people qualities such as honesty, fairness, and unselfishness, along with discipline and camaraderie, while developing talents, mastering skills, and rising to a higher level of expression and proficiency. We could experience a lot more victory in this way than any scoreboard could ever indicate. Seth C. Johnson Washington

It is indeed thrilling to read about the great strides that women athletes are making as a result of Title IX [June 28]. It is also misleading to print an article like ``Title IX's legacy in bloom'' without even mentioning the recent Supreme Court ruling, Grove City College v. Bell, which effectively nullified Title IX. The Supreme Court in this decision accepted the Reagan Justice Department's position that Title IX prohibits sex discrimination only in specific programs directly funded by federal dollars. In other words, if the Biology Department receives federal funds, no discrimination is tolerated in that department. But the institution is free to discriminate in the English Department or on the athletic fields.

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The Civil Rights Restoration Act of 1985 has been introduced with bipartisan support to reinstate the admirable goal of prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sex, race, age, or handicap. Janet Cook Menlo Park, Calif.

The editorial ``Chemical weapons'' (June 21) asserts that ``chemical weapons have been used by the Soviet Union against Afghan guerrillas.'' But a three-year campaign by President Reagan, the State Department, and our ambassador to the UN alleging Soviet use of ``yellow rain'' in Afghanistan has been abandoned after an intensive investigation by Matthew Meselson of Harvard, who has been an adviser on chemical and bacteriological weapons to three presidents. David B. Freed Salt Lake City Letters are welcome. Only a selection can be published and none individually acknowledged. All are subject to condensation. Please address letters to ``readers write.''

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