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April 11, 1988 - Image 18

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1988-04-11

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.


Opinions " APRIL 1988


'Brain' can't compete without brawn

By Michael Merschel
The University Daily Kansan
U. of Kansas
It doesn't seem fair.
I'm a big fan of that well-discussed
team that competes in that famous
building on the edge of campus, and
when a top player is declared ineligible
because of some silly rule, fans can't
help but be disappointed.
I'm referring to the sad situation re-
garding Melvin Blossom, the star play-
er for the U. of Kansas' (KU) top-ranked
computer programming team, who was
recently declared athletically ineligible.
Undefeated in their last 39.75 match-
es in the computer center, the Data Pro-
cessin' Jayhawks were off to a shaky
start this year.
To make up for the loss of several
seniors, KU scouts tried recruiting
players from Southern Methodist U.,
whose programming program was

erased after reports about sex and
money being offered to high school
seniors with high SAT scores.
KU also looked at junior colleges like
Bartlesville Technical Institute, where
Blossom broke school records in bytes
scored and defensive debugging.
Blossom played as well as expected
after he signed with KU. He helped KU
remain undefeated at home with upsets
over teams like Cal Tech. With Blossom
processing, KU had a shot at the final
Then it happened.
As with otherintercollegiate competi-
tions, computer programming has a
giant rules-making organization over-
seeing competition. The National Com-
puter Competition Association (NCCA)
has strict guidelines regarding who can
and can't program.
Among other things, the NCCA
guidelines call for everyone competing
in academic events to pass a simple

physical. All a player really has to do is
take a deep breath to be allowed to stay
on the team.
The test isn't designed to weed any-
body out. Programmers are given extra-
special attention during the year: brea-
thing tutors, free oxygen tanks, etc. It
takes a lot of effort to fail the physical.
That's why it was so shocking when
Blossom did.
Oh, everybody expects smart people
like Blossom to be physical wimps. But
in big-time college academics, these
guys usually squeak by. When they
don't, as in Blossom's case, it seems like
the system has failed.
I know it doesn't seem fair for our star
player to get nailed on a technicality,
but it's probably for the best.
Once he graduates, Blossom won't
have much help. He'll have to function
on his own. And in today's society, if he
can't breathe, he's as good as dead.

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The MinnesotaDaily asked internation-
al and American students: "What do you
think is going to be important in the
world this year? What would you like to
see happen?"
Nowhere to go
I wish that no one would have to experience
what it's like to live insa state of war. I wish that
no one had to feel that they have nowhere to
turn to, no family nor a homeland.
Abir Abukhadra
Pre-business major
Don't be afraid of glasnost
I would like to see the U.S. change its
attitude toward the Soviet Union in 1988. The
U.S. should take advantage of the glasnost
situation in the Soviet Union instead of being
afraid of it. The U.S. should not be afraid of
advancement in the Soviet Union which could
he beneficial for both countries.
Angela Goreham
Soviet studies graduate program
United States
Save the rain forest
I would like the world to be more concersed
with eliminating pollution and conserving na-
ture and those many species and plants that
are becoming extinct. Saving South American
rain forests where nature is being destroyed on
a large scale is also very important.
Youvaraaj Hanuman
Pre-management major
British Guyana
Scrap missiles
I would like to see the U.S. Senate approve
the INF treaty, and I want real progress in
implementation of the treaty. I want a less
aggressive military presence in the Middle
Michael Holmes
Speech-communication major
United States
Stop the war in Ethiopia
I would like to see peace in my country,
where guerillas are fighting the government,
and a solution to the famine so the people can
live with dignity. I want the government to
become democratic and I want it to change its
priorities so that feeding its people becomes
its top priority.
Hasia Succar
Nursing major
Harar, Ethiopia
someone I can't identify grabbed
me last might and then walked
away? Can I prosecute someone
for intentionally scaring me? Can
I follow you out of a party at night
and make you afraid? Oh, I would
love to make you afraid!
I suppose the next time I want
to walk somewhere at night I
should call campus security for
an escort. "Hello? Yes-would
you send someone to escort me to
Topliff so I can visit a friend?"
Is this me? Afraid to go alone?
No, I don't.want to be afraid. I
know who you are. Don't think
that I don't recognize you.
If you are going to walk alone at
night, my sister tells me, make
sure you look like you have an
attitude problem. No one will
bother you if you look like you
have an attitude problem. Now
that's good advice. Take back the
night? I will never let you have it.
Mara Leventhal

Dartmouth College, NH




Letters to the Editor have been edited for space
and content.
Prof sorry for 'sloppy' job
Editor: I would like to apologize to the
students in my Greek history class
last fall for a somewhat sloppy job.
That the people at the top are treat-
ing the U. of New Mexico as a joke is
no excuse for the rest of us to allow
our standards to slip.
Richard M. Berthold
Associate Professor, Classical History
U. of New Mexico
Sex in the field
Editor: They say 95 percent of an
iceberg is underwater. I think
this is the case with the gay issue
facing the military.
The military readily admits
that it would be easy for a gay to
get into the military (simply by

not admittinghe's gay). There are
already gays in the military, and,
it poses virtually no problems.
Why, then, is the military so
against officially allowing gays to
I think the real problem is the
issue of allowing women into
combat units. On today's modern
battlefield, there is no reason to
believe a woman would be less
capable to fight than a man. The
only reason they aren't allowed to
is because the military insists
that there would be a number of
sex-related problems. If gays are
allowed into the military, it
would void the military's argu-
ment to disallow women in com-
bat units.
Timothy Christensen
2nd Lieutenant, U.S. Army ROTC
U. of Wisconsin, Madison
1 know who you are
Editor: To the person who saw me
leave the party alone last Satur-

day night, to the person who fol-
lowed me:
I have never been afraid of the
night. If dark streets in New York
City do not scare me, what do I
have to fear from a solitary walk
across theGreen? Haven't I been
taught to protect myself? Besides,
I am in New Hampshire.
I heard you walk up behind me.
I saw your drawn shadow
approach. I did not think to be
threatened or afraid. Not here,
not me.
I suppose that you just grabbed
me to scare me because before I
could even react, you had begun
your hasty retreat. Well, it work-
ed. I was frightened. And I was
alone. And it was dark. Alone, in
the dark, with nothing to do but
walk faster.
This morning I am angry. You
violated me and I have no chan-
nel of recourse. Shall I call cam-
pus security and report that

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