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Mariucci had an opportunity to show character by postponing for
a short time the money and fame that will certainly be his in
the NFL.
MICHAEL E. ANZIS, Alameda, Calif.


Fourteen months ago Steve Mariucci came to Cal with a lot of
noise about how coaching there was the perfect job for him, how
happy he was to be back, etc. Now he's gone after one year (Whiz
Kid, Jan. 27). You chose not to mention those people to whom he
broke a promise--Cal, its fans and alums, and most important,
the players he recruited. Plus he left at the height of the
recruiting season. Mariucci and the 49ers have lost at least one
fan over this one.

Did 49ers owner Edward DeBartolo really say George Seifert
embarrassed the organization? Sure, Seifert won a higher
percentage of games than any coach in NFL history. Sure, he won
two Super Bowls. Sure, he carried himself with dignity and
aplomb. I am not a 49ers fan, but I think Seifert is as good as
they come. Before DeBartolo accuses Seifert of any
"embarrassment," he should reflect upon his own boorish
behavior, or doesn't he consider assaulting a Packers fan after
a 49ers loss at Lambeau Field to be embarrassing?
SAM FLEISCHER, Santa Clara, Calif.


I hope Kevin Garnett and Stephon Marbury, the talented young
Minnesota stars who have not yet developed the egos of NBA
superstars, will stay the way they are, thus setting an example
for future pro basketball players (Feel the Warmth, Jan. 20).
These two Timberwolves, along with All-Star Tom Gugliotta, have
transformed the Timberpuppies into playoff contenders in the
Western Conference.
AARON DAVIS, Minnetonka, Minn.

I was disappointed to learn that Stephon Marbury is being
pursued by the mother of his 22-month-old daughter for child
support. It's too bad that Marbury the unselfish basketball
player can't be more generous with his nearly $2 million salary.
DAVID HAWK, Allentown, Pa.


Thanks for noting Rutgers-Camden's big win and the end of our
men's basketball team's five-year losing streak (SCORECARD, Jan.
20). You're right, a lot occurred between our Pioneers'
victories on the court. We would like to make a few additions to
your list of noteworthy events:

--4,542 students earned diplomas from Rutgers-Camden in 25
undergraduate majors and 10 graduate programs.

--100% of the graduates of our master's of physical therapy and
undergraduate nursing programs have passed their professional
examinations on the first try for five and three consecutive
years, respectively.

--Dozens of Rutgers-Camden professors won national and
international recognition for their work from the White House,
the Nobel Institute, Carnegie Hall, the Fulbright Foundation and
the American Council of Learned Societies.
ROGER J. DENNIS Acting Provost, Rutgers University
Camden, N.J.


Because he punched a referee in the face, 17-year-old Larry
Nicholson must give up a dream and confront life without
basketball (POINT AFTER, Jan. 20). Although his action was
foolish, his acceptance of responsibility is heartening.

I was appalled that you devoted a whole page to a high school
athlete who punched a referee during a game. There are countless
athletes who are good students and caring citizens and have
overcome hardships to succeed. Will they receive such recognition?
NORM VAN SILE Grosse Pointe Park, Mich.

Now every coach in America knows Nicholson's size and
statistics. For punching an official, he received exposure that
money can't buy.
KURT EBY, Pembroke, Ont.


Atlanta Hawks guard Steve Smith pledges $2.5 million to Michigan
State to help build an academic center, and it only makes your
"Go Figure" column (SCORECARD, Jan. 13)? Go figure!
BOB REINHART, East Lansing, Mich.

COLOR PHOTO: SCOTT ANDERSON At last coach Ray Pace and his Pioneers can smile. [Ray Pace hugging player]