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Original Issue


In your article about UCLA's seventh consecutive national championship (A Slight Case of Being Superhuman, April 2) little was mentioned about the other fine Bruin players. I agree that Bill Walton is a great college basketball player, but it takes five to play the game. And Walton is no superhuman. First, he should learn to be a man. Sure he scored 44 points and pulled down countless rebounds, but when some calls of goaltending or fouls on him were made, he yelled, almost cried and nearly threw a fit. He's doing the right thing by staying in college another year for seasoning because who knows what will happen when he gets into the pros and has to play people his own size and a little bit tougher, like Chamberlain, Cowens, Abdul-Jabbar and Thurmond?
Easton, Pa.

Will you please pass along to Artist Robert Handville my congratulations on his pictures? When I watched Memphis State I was intrigued by the eyes of Larry Finch. Then to see the expression so graphically portrayed—something so indefinable—was fantastic.

All week long I saw visions of those incredibly clear color photographs that would be taken at the Bill Walton Show. I anticipated seeing beautiful prints of a Greg Lee pass to Walton or maybe Larry Finch grinning at the free-throw line, or a pompon girl, or even a pompon. I might even have settled for a black and white closeup of Curt Gowdy! What happened?

I'm not attacking the work of Mr. Handville, just the decision to exchange the glossies for the canvas.
Troy, N.C.

Walton's Gang won the tournament, but Memphis State's Larry Finch had to win the hearts of all who watched. Besides being a tremendous ballplayer, Larry Finch is what life is all about. When Walton went down and Finch embraced him, he showed a spirit of sportsmanship not often seen in a tense tournament game. Larry Finch is a credit to his team, his school and all the athletes in the world.
Bronx, N.Y.

The only way to make the NCAA basketball finals a contest again is to ban the champion from the playoffs the next year.
Gainesville, Fla.

In retrospect it appears that your selection of John Wooden as Sportsman of the Year was extremely apropos.
Beverly Hills, Calif.

Thank you, Peter Carry. Dave Cowens (Boston's Perpetual Motion Machine, April 2) is certainly the first great White Center in the NBA. Recently, while departing from a Celtic-Hawk game, I spotted Cowens being followed by an assortment of basketball freaks and Cowens admirers. I called out to him that our car had broken down and asked if he knew of any good mechanics in the area. Well, Dave Cowens, who the day before had been selected as the MVP in the NBA, explained that he wasn't sure that he could fix it without any tools. He was about to open the hood of our car when we explained that we were only kidding and thanked him for his concern. That is Dave Cowens, the best "head butter" in the NBA.
Fairhaven, Mass.

Dave Cowens deserves the award he has just received, the MVP of the National Basketball Association. Now all we are waiting for is Celtic Coach Tom Heinsohn to bring home Coach of the Year honors and the Celtics to land the NBA championship.

In the selfish, greedy, dollar-oriented world of professional sports, where a man's salary and what he does with it seem more important than his field-goal percentage or batting average, it does my heart much good to hear of a gifted athlete who longs for the simpler things in life and manages to achieve them.
Butler, N.J.

Kenny Moore's story about the running of the Munich marathon (The Long Blue Line: A Rerun, April 2) is the best I have ever read. I sincerely hope there are more in the works.

Track is a beautiful sport, and the marathon is the most satisfying event because there is more of it. In my experience distance men are more inspirational than their colleagues (all that running gives them lots of time to contemplate their purpose). Thank you for combining Moore's talents with the beauty of his event. Please, please continue.
Wayland, Mass.

The Long Blue Line was further testimony that the Olympics have become largely a showcase for political and personal propaganda, and I ask that you send a copy of the article—or Kenny Moore himself—to the International Olympic Committee.

Through an Olympic athlete's ability to listen to others, may the IOC realize that understanding and respect for one's competitors are not only the key to a legitimate Olympic victory or defeat, but also the only hope for the Games to survive as international recognition of an individual's efforts to achieve athletic excellence.
Vineyard Haven, Mass.

It was magnificent coverage of a poorly understood event and the problems facing its top competitors. But Brown and Galloway were a bit ahead in the cherry picking game if they got picked up by the Polizei in Oslo. Polizei is German. In Norwegian it's Politi. Even says so on the patrol cars. And besides, Norwegian cherries are like their U.S. cousins: they're sour only when picked out of season. Just ask any American kid who's been picked up by the policía for cherry picking.

In regard to the Margaret Court vs. Bobby Riggs tennis match (SCORECARD, March 5): from an authoritative book of the 1920s, Mechanics of the Game by Paret, we quote, "The actual difference in the standards of skill between the two sexes is more than most people realize. About 40 years ago there was a famous test match in England between the two champions of the day—William Reushau and Miss Lottie Dod—with Reushau giving Dod a handicap of minus-40 and won rather easily." Now Bobby Riggs, a sharpie, has just the strokes (drop shot and deadly accurate lob that bothered even Budge) to ruin a woman. And Margaret Court has a weak semi-slice backhand. No handicap is proposed despite Riggs' having the advantage of his court surface and time zone. Has Riggs been arrested recently for taking candy from babies?
Los Altos, Calif.

You came rather close to violating your tradition (SCORECARD, March 26) by almost saying something positive about the National Collegiate Athletic Association.

Though I have read every issue your magazine has ever published, I cannot recall a kind word about the NCAA. Your latest story admitting that the NCAA should have become the nucleus for a governing body over amateur sports 50 years ago is just about the nicest thing you've ever said about this organization.

In your potshots at the NCAA, dropped into all sorts of stories, you arc giving the American public the impression that this is a select group of people who arc governing sports in our colleges and universities. What you never mention is that the "a" on the end of NCAA stands for "association." It is a collection of all the nation's institutions of higher education who arc governing their athletic policies by belonging to the association.

With over 25 years in the college sports field, I and most of my colleagues are aware of what we have accomplished by belonging to the NCAA, virtually eliminating the cheating and downright unethical operation of intercollegiate athletics that was rampant in the era so many tend to call "the good old days."

I am sure that virtually all of the more than 600 member colleges of the NCAA will join me in resenting your statement that "...big-time college football and basketball [are] essentially professional sports." Your editors presented this statement as a quote from "one weary observer of the amateur scene," but the "observer" is not identified.

Does this so-called "observer" call our football and basketball "essentially professional" because they take in money at the gate? If so, then are the Olympics amateur? A ticket to a single event at the recent Munich Olympics went as high as $20.

Or are we "essentially professional" because athletic scholarships are given to the participants? If so, then why doesn't the "weary observer" consider our track, swimming, wrestling, baseball, golf, tennis, etc. athletes as professionals, too? Athletic grants-in-aid are by no means limited to football and basketball, and neither are gate receipts.
Lexington, Va.

Your conclusion on the AAU-NCAA pute is quite appropriate but it seems me the AAU with all its seems imperfections is ready the federation you suggest be organized. Why start another which will repeat all the past mistakes of the AAU fore attaining a stature that the had for many years?

The AAU should be improved, not banded. Organizations such as the NCAA are not broad enough to cover the amat sport spectrum, and even today there is ro for athletes—college or noncollege— the AAU.

I have been a sports fan since my childhood and it has been through media SPORTS ILLUSTRATED that I have see professional athletics as a part of ity and not an institution isolated from rest of American life.

I feel that SI has taken a step backway by implying that Fritz Peterson and M Kekich have tainted all of professional sport by revealing the details of their private (SCORECARD, March 19). The fact the two athletes' problems in the real world become common knowledge only serves give me a greater appreciation of the roic" ability to perform feats beyond th of the average person and does not tarning in my mind the enjoyment I will containt to derive as a fan.

Sports will become more of a worthy endeavor when we all realize that one need not be exemplary to participate.
Bayside, N.Y.

The two "no-decision" games (75-75 90-90) between the junior varsity basketball teams of Washburn University in Topek Kans. and Fort Hays State of Hays, as reported in SCORECARD (March 12) minded me of the only other such game ever heard of.

In Sichang, Sikang, West China in 194 four fellow missionaries and I played a nese basketball team representing a lo bank. Trailing most of the game, We maaged to tie the score at the end of relation play and felt we could take them overtime. But there was no overtime!

When we protested, I received a valuable clue to Oriental psychology. Their said, "No overtime! The game is over! No body wins, nobody loses, everybody happy And nobody lost face.
Wheaton, Ill.

I enjoyed reading your story in SI about professional golf's "second coming" (Rise of the Underground Tour, March 26) and I appreciate your perceptive view of our tour. This is the only chance for a good golfer to find out his potential. The outdated USGA amateur code makes it impossible for a player without means to play amateur golf except on the local weekend level. I sincerely doubt Joe Dey's contention that we will ever run out of players and /or sponsors. Just one golfer from each college should produce enough new entries every year to augment the loss in players. Dey also says that only about 20% of our players will break even or come out ahead each year. I say that the same holds true for the big tour, but as a participant I see nothing wrong in this as it is pure capitalism in action—the survival of the fittest. Thanks again for your article and I hope future coverage of golf will include the NTGA tour.
Tampa, Fla.

If Mr. Gammon truly covered Aintree (Riding for a Fall, March 26), how could he possibly have known how many were at breakfast the next morning?
Los Angeles

•He peeked into the breakfast room on his way to bed.—ED.

I thoroughly enjoyed your article on the Memphis State Tigers (Dr. K, Big Cat and Little Tubby, Feb. 26) and their coach, Clean Gene Bartow, and your deserved attention to their attainments. While your reporter focused on the present, may I add a bit of the past that may be of interest to your readers. For two years Gene also has coached the Puerto Rican National Basketball Team, and despite tremendous problems has produced a 13-4 record in the Pan-American and Olympic Games, against the world powers of amateur basketball, who unquestionably had much more to work with than did the little La Bella Isla of the Caribe. In Cali his team won the silver medal, losing to a great Brazilian team on a contested shot at the "gun" that never went off—shades of M√ºnchen!
San Juan, P.R.

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