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Original Issue


The decision to crown champions in several divisions is another
sign that we are lowering the standards held as measures of
JIM BATMAN, El Cajon, Calif.


Indiana basketball isn't about more state titles for more
schools (The End of the Road, March l7). It's about dreams of
boys endlessly shooting jump shots, imagining that they are
winning a state title for their school. The rivalries of
sectional week cannot be replaced by more trophies at different
levels. My alma mater, Mooresville, won its sectional for the
fourth time in six years this season. This year we lost the
morning game (in the semifinals of the regionals) to Union, a
school that has only a hundred-odd students. I am sorry to see
Hoosier Hysteria go.
DAVID WHALEY, Mooresville, Ind.

Having been a student at small Knightstown High (enrollment
under 600) in 1980, I remember how exciting it was when our
girls' team made it to the Sweet 16 of the Indiana basketball
tournament that year. That was true even though we ultimately
lost to the second-largest school in the state, North Central.
It was the biggest thing ever in Knightstown, except when the
film company came to shoot most of the movie Hoosiers there.

We Hoosiers don't have much to brag about on a national scale,
so congratulations to the IHSAA board that voted to destroy our
basketball tournament, the best in the country. I'm sure the
morons who brought us this disaster would also vote for a
multiclass Olympic Games based on populations of the competing
TOM SURBER, Indianapolis

Alexander Wolff told only one side of the story. The truth is,
the majority of Indianans want class basketball. This was proved
more than once before the final vote was taken by the IHS Board
of Commissioners. The principals of all the high schools voted
twice, fans were polled at varsity basketball games all around
the state, and students from every school had forums to express
their opinions. Each time the outcome was the same--for class

Nobody likes to go against tradition, but it is time for a
change. I am a varsity basketball coach and have experienced
Hoosier Hysteria while playing on a sectional championship team.
But it is time to let all schools have a fair chance to win a
state championship.

Don't tell the students at Whiting High (enrollment under 300)
that class tournaments represent lowering standards. To them the
move means a chance to compete on a level playing field. People
should keep in mind that it was in 1954, before many of today's
players' parents were born, that a small school last won the
single-class basketball tournament. The community as a whole
prefers the excitement of continuing to play after the first

For the last two years our football team has played for the IA
(smallest class) state championship. My junior year we won the
title. We were not disappointed that we played in a class; we
were too busy celebrating.

Has it not occurred to anyone to have the champions of the four
classes play each other for an overall championship?
STEVEN CHAPPELL, North Syracuse, N.Y.

Rather than eliminate the single-class basketball tournament,
which most fans prefer, the IHSAA should eliminate home court
advantage. It should have been done years ago. If it had,
Batesville and other smaller schools might have gone farther.
RYAN BOND, Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio


While Alexander Wolff's appreciation of North Carolina coach
Dean Smith was thoughtful and well-written, SI's one-page
recognition of Smith's monumental achievement was woefully
inadequate (Dean of Coaches, March 24). Smith's surpassing of
Adolph Rupp's career wins record is something that until
recently could not have been envisioned. This mark pales in
comparison, however, with the positive effect Smith has had on
the lives of his players and associates. He is a greater man
than he is a coach, and that's saying something.
GEORGE B. ALBRIGHT III, Cockeysville, Md.

How could you have written about Smith's beating Rupp's record
without mentioning that both of these legends played at Kansas
for Phog Allen, who is still No. 5 on the alltime victory list?


What a terrific thing Peyton Manning has done for college
football (Thank You, Peyton, March 17). He has shown that there
are still players who love the game and want to play one more
year to see "that little orange section in the stands at road
games." Manning would succeed in life even without his ability
to play football.
CHRIS MAXWELL, Chattanooga

I thought the great thing was not Manning's decision but how he
arrived at it. He sought advice from people who had faced the
same decision and then weighed their opinions against his own
beliefs. Manning shouldn't be applauded because he decided to
pass up the big bucks of the NFL but for maturity beyond his


I've been a Roy Williams fan since he came to my Kansas
residence hall on Oct. 31, 1988, to talk Jayhawks basketball
with about 40 of us students (Home at Last, March 10). I was
impressed that this unknown rookie coach spent an hour with us,
calling us "the fans our program has to have." Afterward, he
said he had to get home so that he could see his daughters in
their Halloween costumes before they went to bed. This may show
why Kansas fans have grown fiercely loyal to Williams. Wins and
losses are just part of his popularity and success.

In 1988 several dozen of us students were waiting in Allen Field
House the night before Kansas' first Big Eight Conference game
against Kansas State at home that season, wanting to be the
first in line for the best seats. As coach Williams was leaving
practice at 7:30 p.m., we yelled that we sure could go for some
pizza. What a surprise it was when he, his wife, Wanda, and
their children arrived around 10 p.m. with enough pizzas to feed
twice the number there.
TOM N. SCHAEFFER, Jackson, Mo.

As the son of an alcoholic, I also grew up in a tumultuous,
nomadic household. In adulthood I have struggled with the same
things that Williams has--a search for predictability and
structure, self-doubt and lack of confidence, ambivalence toward
my father, a need to be alone and anger toward alcohol. I have
more respect than ever for Williams now that I know the dark
hole from which he has pulled himself.
STANLEY GIVENS, Johnson City, Tenn.


Hooray for the umpires for taking action to curb the absurd
reactions of players to decisions (SCORECARD, March 17). It's
time decency prevailed instead of childish behavior when a call
goes against one's wishes.
ALLAN L. WOLFF, San Marino, Calif.

Although there is no doubt that the Roberto Alomar incident was
poorly handled, the umpires' new zero-tolerance policy is about
to make a sham of baseball. I have been a high school wrestling
official for 10 years. I have been screamed at, yelled at, sworn
at and subject to "death stares." I would love to make a tenth
of what major league baseball umpires squeak by on. Wake up,
umpy. Your actions are becoming just like those of the spoiled
brats who have already driven away many from baseball.
KARL STANTON, Mehoopany, Pa.

COLOR PHOTO: LANE STEWART [Willie Wise and Mel Daniels in game]

Stars of the ABA

When most people think of the ABA, they remember Julius Erving,
George Gervin, George McGinnis, David Thompson and others who
went on to NBA fame. For followers of the ABA, however, the
likes of Willie Wise (above, left) and Mel Daniels
(right)--superb players who barely got to play in the NBA--as
well as Roger Brown (Point After, March 17) come just as quickly
to mind. Thanks for Mike Littwin's look back to a time when
basketball was more flamboyant and fun.
THANE R. KOLARIK, Pittsburgh