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'Total Yards' Statistic Is an Inflated Figure

November 21, 1987

How long will the nation's sportswriters, including those on The Times, let themselves be duped by the inflated "total yards" statistic pumped out by the Notre Dame publicity department on behalf of Tim Brown's Heisman Trophy candidacy?

"Total yards" includes kickoff return yardage which, for each kickoff, contains about 20 yards of running through empty space before meeting any tacklers. I am a 38-year-old executive and even I could lumber for 15 1/2 yards per kickoff return.

Because of this inflated statistic, Tim Brown may be the first offensive player to win the Heisman Trophy because his defensive teammates cannot keep the opposition from scoring.

LEIF JOHNSON

Culver City

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