Excerpted version of a letter to the American Football Coaches Association Members and the Board of Trustees, July 21, 1986, by Linnea Smith. This letter calls on the AFCAA to disaffiliate with Playboy and other pornographic magazines.

Dear Board of Trustees and Members
of the American Football Coaches Association:

"Because of your leadership role nationally in collegiate athletics as a board member of the American Football Coaches Association, I am writing this letter requesting your time and consideration of the possible ramifications of the association of college athletic programs with Playboymagazine. As our society continues to be increasingly bombarded with sexually explicit mass media, it is very easy for all of us to become desensitized to the harmful effects, especially for our youth, of the sexual and social messages conveyed by these publications. I was extremely pleased to learn from Coach McClendon that you had initiated re-evaluation of this association during your June meeting in Dallas. I have been impressed by the readiness of many coaches and athletic programs to critically assess this issue. ...
          Currently the athletic community and general public are stunned and outraged at the sudden, tragic deaths due to cocaine intoxication of two healthy young athletes. It is critical at this time that leaders within the athletic programs intensify drug abuse preventative and educational measures.
          No matter how intensive an anti-drug campaign is, it cannot be effective unless the mainstream media that glamorizes and promotes illicit drug use is confronted. Billion dollar industries have played a substantial role in perpetuating the myth of risk-free 'recreational' drug consumption.
          For almost two decades Playboyhas been popularizing the idea that drug consumption is expected or normal. The magazine focuses on 'recreational' use while ignoring or trivializing potential harmful effects. In addition, the Playboy Foundation has contributed substantially to organizations lobbying for decriminalization of 'recreational' drugs, including cocaine and marijuana. Rejection is essential and urgently needed of all media that gives positive drug information to a society with a drug problem of epidemic proportions.
          It is important to let players know this is a serious social consideration, to educate them, and include them in a collective decision-making process. The players should be informed that any decision was not made arbitrarily, or without serious consideration with input from the most recent content analysis and research. If a decision is reached to discontinue any association with Playboy, this decision should not be viewed as a withholding of a desirable goal, but as a necessary step while taking seriously individual and collective responsibility for positive social change. ...
          I would like to share with you recommendations that were presented to the Board of Directors of the National Association of Basketball Coaches . They were meant only as a starting point, for you as members are more familiar with the operating policies of your organizations. You may also wish to formulate independently individual and/or institutional policies.

I am hopeful you will consider the following proposals:

1) ... Resolve to take an official and public stand against collegiate football players and coaches appearing in Playboy magazine; ... maximize access to general media to explain your reasons for this decision as an important part of a drug abuse educational program.

2) ... Identify representatives from six different institutions to request that the NCAA consider official legislation regarding this matter. ...Recommendations ... could include the prohibition of student-athlete's acceptance of revenue for travel, room or board expenditures to appear in sexually explicit erotic/pornographic publications that currently publish or have a history of publishing any one of the following:

A. The sanctioning of adult/child sexual exploitation or the depiction of children as appropriate sexual partners. Any sexualization of children is a precondition for child sexual abuse.

B. The sanctioning or providing of positive information on any form of illicit drug consumption. This includes publications with foundations that contribute to efforts to decriminalize 'recreational' drugs, including cocaine and marijuana.

C. The depiction of explicit sexual activity associated with violence (including implied or imminent aggression), coercion, degradation, submission, domination, or humiliation.

3) That the Board recommend to the NCAA to implement, in cooperation with the AFCA and the NABC, broader drug educational programs that include rejection of popular media that promotes 'recreational' drug consumption as well as educational programs that include critical viewing skills of sexually explicit material. Videotape programs and workshops which include coaches and athletes addressing these issues as well as social science and medical professionals could impact on the athletic community as well as the general public.

I apologize for including some disturbing depictions, but I have found that it is very difficult for me to make a point as effectively by talking about the material only in the abstract. ..."

Linnea W. Smith, M.D.