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Laid Back No Excuse

December 29, 1985

As a newcomer to San Diego, I adopted the Aztec football team, preferring Coach Coryell's exciting offense and Isaac Curtis to my Michigan Wolverines. To the chagrin of my Delta Chi fraternity brothers, I was realistic about my mania. I knew back then that State's continued success would depend not on a change in coaches to Gilbert, Scovil, and who knows next, but a dramatic change in the school itself.

Knute Rockne himself could not make San Diego State's team a winner. The problem is not the schedule, the coaches or having enough fringe benefits for the team. The problem is: When compared to BYU, USC, Stanford, Notre Dame or any other competitor for the stable, dedicated, smart, family-reared, blue-chip recruits, San Diego State is a university in name only. I wish this were not the case. The students there are as nice, healthy, considerate and intelligent a group as at any campus. What kills the school is the "laid-back," anti-achievement dogma.

A typical graduate of State ends in work that any high school student could do. The exceptions generally go into the law, medicine, business, social sciences--all professions that are oversupplied with paper-pushing degree holders who, far from improving the productivity of America, hold it back.

It's time to label the "lay back" ethic for what it is: a San Diego cop-out on a community level. It's easier to "lay back," pretending you have something in reserve, than to commit yourself to something and maybe admit you came up short. As long as the major commitment of the student body of State is to the next shallow sexual experience, easy "A" course, or other tax-subsidized cop-out, any potential football star who wants to cover his bets with a real college degree is a fool to go to San Diego State.

When I was 10, I read a book called "God and Man at Yale" by William F. Buckley. A local rewrite is in order. I will cover all bets on the BYU game for an indefinite period of time until dedication, sacrifice, commitment, responsibility and maturity become the most cherished values on Montezuma Mesa.

JERRY NEWPORT

San Diego

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