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Original Issue


The Final Two

Two things come to mind when reviewing your terrific coverage of
Maryland's NCAA basketball title (A Staggering Achievement,
April 8). First, given the talent that's been in College Park
through the years, it's remarkable this was the school's first
NCAA basketball title. Second, given the amount of
self-important media in the Baltimore-Washington corridor, it's
incomprehensible that it took a national publication to provide
the best overall piece written on Gary Williams since his
arrival in 1989. Congratulations to you, SI, from a proud alum.
Go, Terps, go!
MATT AMODEO, Burtonsville, Md.

Just because the Indiana Hoosiers coach isn't named Knight, did
you have to ignore the team and its coach so completely? To get
SI's attention, maybe Mike Davis needs to scream, spew venom and
throw a fit--or a folding chair.
KEN SPIGLE Needham, Mass.

Women on Top

As you put it, on the road to their NCAA victories, "Maryland
overcame a multitude of errors," while UConn was Flat-out
Perfect (April 8). Not perfect enough, apparently. By putting
Maryland on your cover instead of UConn, SI proved itself a
slave to convention and, in the process, failed to give proper
recognition to the achievements of these outstanding women.

I enjoy men's basketball more than women's basketball. That
said, with all due respect to Maryland, UConn's women deserved
the cover and a larger story. The only way their season could be
duplicated is through a video game. Unbelievable. Congrats, Lady

Saving Face

Patrick Roy (King of the Ice, April 8) may well be the greatest
goalie ever, but to call him "the most important" is absurd. The
late Jacques Plante's main innovation--the face mask--has saved
eyes, teeth, bones and probably lives. Even Roy wouldn't agree
with you on this one.
JACK FALLA, Natick, Mass.

Coaching the Coach

Thanks, Rick Reilly for taking me back to my seventh-grade
basketball days when losing 42-4 and being more concerned about
my hair were common (THE LIFE OF REILLY, April 8). One piece of
advice for the future: Do your best to teach these young
athletes the game. When they ask, "What's a pick?" explain it to
them, and then explain it again. That's what I felt my junior
high sports coaches left out: actually teaching the game.BETSY KNIGHT, Fairfield, Ohio

As a seventh-grade, basketball-playing girl, I can tell Reilly
why his team spent so much time in the bathroom. When the
coaching is so bad we know there's no point in staying, there's
no better refuge from bad coaching than the girls' room.
HALEY REIMER, Grosse Pointe Park, Mich.

Posse Politics

For those who are turned off by NBA players who require a posse
(Friends of the Court, April 8) and blow lots of cash, consider
these points: Most of these players are African-American and are
culturally conditioned to adopt large kinship networks as a
survival tool, and the cash being spent is a fantastic economic
stimulant. Frankly, it's not really anyone's business how these
players spend their money.

When white people see Steve Nash with his friends or family, we
invariably fail to register anything of note, but when Antoine
Walker exits the arena with his friends or family, white people
tend to feel threatened and instantly think "posse."
RICK KAPLAN, New York City

I'm wondering what those 18- to 21-year-old U.S. soldiers in
Afghanistan think about the 18- to 21-year-old NBA players
having such a difficult time adjusting to their demanding,
high-profile jobs as millionaire professional athletes.
JOHN T. BRENNAN, Oakdale, Calif.

Fessing Up

Gary Smith's article on George O'Leary (Lying in Wait, April 8)
was one of the most well-written pieces that I have read in
years. There is no excuse for a lie, but it is clear O'Leary has
a deep love and passion for coaching. Nobody should pass
judgment on O'Leary until they have read Smith's objective,
heartfelt article.
SEAN D. SENESCALL, Colorado Springs

One of the most important things football coaches do for their
players is to teach them to say, "No excuse, sir" when they
screw up. When he is asked why he lied about his
college-football-playing career and NYU master's degree, O'Leary
should give that answer and only that answer.
JOHN T. REED, Alamo, Calif.

O'Leary doesn't understand that the issues are more then just
"two sentences in my bio." He used those lies to motivate,
humiliate and belittle his players over the years. Those are the
people he should be asking for forgiveness.
THOMAS J. ELLING, Temecula, Calif.

America becomes a little less civilized each time we see that
integrity counts for very little. George O'Leary's brother says,
"The willingness to lie on a resume is an indication of how much
you want the job." I wonder if he feels that way about his heart
surgeon, his dentist or his airline pilot.
JOHN RAUSCH, Arlington Heights, Ill.