Is This College or Fantasyland?

The best thing to happen in collegiate sports in a long time is the number of high school students and undergraduates putting in for the NBA draft.

We can now empty our dormitories and classrooms of student-athletes who are students in name only. We can cleanse our colleges of the mutual exploitation pacts they make with their star athletes, and we can return to an enthusiastic amateurism for college sports, where kids play for the exercise, break from studies and love for the game.





As an undergraduate at USC, I knew, as did all students, of “Mickeys,” i.e., easy courses where mere attendance and minimal effort virtually guaranteed good grades. These classes were available to all students, not just athletes. All schools have such courses. However, the class at USC that was recently revealed as insuring a good grade without either attendance or minimal effort is not a “Mickey,” but a sham. Accordingly, as a loyal Trojan, I applaud the actions of USC in abolishing the class.

As a possessor of a UCLA graduate degree, and after reading the gloating letters on this topic from other fellow Bruins, I will now call on all loyal Bruins and the school administration to come forth and reveal their plans regarding UCLA’s own classes of questionable academic value.

Some of these classes, listed in the UCLA Extension spring catalog (for course credit at UCLA, not just extension class credit) include “The Garden as a Healing Place,” “An Introduction to Wine,” “Writing Hit Songs I, II and III,” “Proofreading,” “Field Studies of California Birds” (described as a day of bird watching in the country), “Gardening Practices and Techniques” and, my favorite, “The Fashion Experience” (described as a one-day guided tour of the California Mart). This represents more than 20 units of credit.


We have two great universities in this city. Each should look to its own house, enjoy the friendly rivalry and stop attempting to trash the other school and gloat over the other’s misfortunes.


Santa Monica