Congratulations to SI for the wonderfully written article on Rick Mount of Lebanon, Ind. (Brighit Star in Indiana, Feb. 14). It goes to prove once more that Indiana produces the best players in the nation. Just consider. The NBA could start a complete team with nothing but Indianans: Clyde Lovellette at center, Terry Dischinger and Ron Bonham at forward, Oscar Robertson and Dick Barnett at guard. Throw in the Van Arsdale twins, Bobby Leonard and others as reserves, and they could challenge any NBA club.
Among the colleges, the only two unbeaten major teams in the U.S., Kentucky and Texas Western, both start Indiana boys. Indiana has produced its share of outstanding coaches, too. When one mentions John Wooden of UCLA, Branch McCracken of IU and Tony Hinkle of Butler that's a mouthful of success. And Indiana's Everett Case, who recently retired as coach at North Carolina State, may be the best ever to have coached in and out of Indiana. In 23 years of coaching Indiana high school teams Case compiled a remarkable 726-75 record with four state championships, while in his 18 years at North Carolina State he registered 379 wins against only 134 losses.
Even in Europe the effect of Indiana basketball talent has been felt. In the recent tourney at the University of Innsbruck in Austria, two men from Jasper, Ind., Carl Roos and yours truly, helped the American team win the whole thing with a perfect record.
Rick Mount rates the cover, but Calvin Murphy of Norwalk, Conn. is only a FACE IN THE CROWD? Why not a cover for him as well? A 5-foot-10-inch, 160-pound Norwalk High senior, he is the possessor of the modern state high school basketball scoring record of 62 points. Already he has a career total of 1,990 points and, in leading Norwalk to an 18-1 record so far this season, he has scored 767 points for a 40.4 average. He got 460 points as a soph and hit for 763 points in his junior year, when he led his team to a 21-3 record and into the semifinals of the state tourney.
We believe that our Doug Jackson is more deserving of the lavish praise that SI heaped upon Rick Mount. Besides being a member of the National Honor Society, Doug is now only 28 points away from breaking the Sunflower League scoring record (set by Lucius Allen, Lew Alcindor's little buddy at UCLA). If he maintains his present 27-points-per-game average, tops in the state of Kansas, he will certainly succeed.
Overland Park, Kans.
Brooklyn, the best basketball area in the country, deserves just as much acclaim as Lebanon, Ind. Brooklyn's PSAL Division I, better known as the Suicide Division, perennially produces the New York City championship team and at least one or two All-City athletes. Just a few former Division I stars whose names might ring a bell are Lenny Wilkens, Bill Cunningham Connie Hawkins, Sihugo Green, Eldridge Webb, Sam Penceal and Frank Standard.
Furthermore, your hero must be superhuman if he is that much better than the likes of Coak Cannon. Jim MacMillan, Ollie Shannon or Hector Blondett. These current Suicide sharpshooters will be heard from in the future.
Hugh Whall's article on Sol Lamport (A Sail Means Only a Sale to Sol, Jan. 24) is clever and entertaining, but it presents only half a picture of Sol Lamport's personality. Sure Sol is out to make a buck, whether it be in making fine sailcloth or anything else, but he is also a very warm, considerate and generous human being. He donated numerous trophies for junior competition, trophies that never bore the name Lamport on them. He also donated 10 Finn-class sails to the U.S. International Sailing Association. The sailing world never knew about this, and Sol did not care to have them know it. He donated them simply to further competition by young sailors in this important Olympic class.
I also know from talking to him that Sol likes the life in Woodstock, Conn., likes the people he has met and already feels a part of the community.
For all its cleverness, the article missed one real point: Sol Lamport has a heart as big as all outdoors.
New York City
PLUS AND MINUS
There is a fallacy in your editorial about racetrack minus pools (SCORECARD, Feb. 14) that is a common one, universally and firmly implanted in the minds of legislators, racing commissioners and the public in general. To attempt to controvert it is probably an exercise in futility; yet the subject is very important to racetrack management, particularly here in New York. Last year our legislature took another slice out of the bettor's dollar by doubling the breakage from 5¢ to 10¢. The racing commission followed up this increase in the state's share of the breakage with a telegraphed order to the various tracks establishing a legal minimum payment to successful bettors of 10¢ on the dollar.
Actually the phrase "legal minimum" is a misnomer, because no law requires such payment. It is, in fact, a complete perversion of the fundamental principle of pari-mutuel betting, because it compels the racetrack to gamble with its patrons. The practice of paying minus pools under any circumstance was not always a part of the pari-mutuel system. Originally, if there was nothing bet on other horses, a winner merely got his money back.
On a 5¢ minimum the problem was never so serious because the smart bettors of large sums would not take big risks for 5%, but today our stakes programs in both Thoroughbred and harness racing are being jeopardized because tracks cannot afford to race standout horses. What difference would it have made last year if Bret Hanover was in a field of three or five or seven or 17? Ten percent would have been very attractive.
And let me suggest another dreadful possibility. Assume the Florida Racing Commission had compelled Hialeah to permit show betting on Roman Brother. And assume a tremendous show bet on him by the smart ten-percenters. And assume he ran out of the money—as he did. Now, of course, no bettor at Hialeah would be so unfair as to suggest that management would have anything to do with the result of a race to save itself, say, $100,000. But there may be bettors at some racetracks who would, perhaps, timidly make such a suggestion. Or, perhaps, even try to burn down the grandstand.
The simple fact is that making racetracks gamble with their patrons is an evil thing. We should return to true pari-mutuel racing or as close to it as practicable, i.e., the 5¢ break.
ERNEST B. MORRIS
President, Saratoga Raceway
Saratoga Springs, N.Y.
Your article, Year of Drought in the West (Feb. 7), states that the decline of the Thoroughbred-breeding industry in California is due to the state's having only 110 days of top-quality racing. Just how many days of top-quality racing, would you say, are run in Kentucky, the acknowledged leader of the industry?
If, as you say, California's two limited seasons, separated by a break of two months in the spring and five months in the fall and winter, deprive horsemen of the incentive to plow money back into local breeding programs, maybe the southern California racing patrons would benefit by the competition of a third track (at Los Alamitos, for example). Or would this suggestion be in direct conflict with the views of the groups paying for the Stanford Research Institute report?
If legislative help is needed to solve horse racing problems (i.e., increased tax revenues), how did you overlook the following?
1) Legalized book making (a cinch to bring in more revenue than the "remedies" mentioned in your article).
2) Government loans to horseplayers (this would boost the track handle along with the welfare and unemployment payments already finding their way to the track).
With the proposed increase in racing days, harness racing at night and Sunday racing, the average horseplayer is going to have only a limited time available in which to come up with scratch for the track.
K. B. WEESHOFF
Joe Jares's description of the Texas Western College buildings (Defense by a Coyote Caller, Feb. 7) says that they are southwestern in style and that some resemble the Alamo. This is not a correct description.
TWC buildings (all of them) are authentic Tibetan, and have been described as the only true examples of this type of architecture in the U.S. This style was used to blend the buildings into their mountain campus setting. The combination of mountains, extremely attractive buildings, grass and trees makes the school area one of the most looked-at tourist attractions in Texas. The Sun Bowl football stadium, located between two mountains on the campus, also has some Tibetan characteristics.
All new buildings, including a $3 million science building now under construction, follow the same design. There is no hodgepodge of contrasting building styles as exists on the main University of Texas campus in Austin.
The only building that nobody likes anymore is the 5,000-seat field house (Tibetan). It is about 6,000 seats too small.
HAROLD C. ROBERTSON