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Original Issue


Vitamin Dee

There is no doubt who leads Illinois. Just check out, in the picture on the cover of the March 7 issue, what Dee Brown has written on the tongue of his right shoe: THIS IS MY TEAM.

Jeff Coffman, St. Louis

One name you could have included among your favorite players is Vermont senior guard T.J. Sorrentine (We Love to Watch, March 7). Although he is often overshadowed by teammate Taylor Coppenrath, Sorrentine won the America East player of the year award as a sophomore before sitting out the following season with two broken wrists. This year Vermont relied on him for his leadership and scoring. He was second on the team (behind Coppenrath) with an average of 18.6 points while the school made the NCAA tournament for the third consecutive year.

Christopher Kingston, Peabody, Mass.

I guess when you made a list of the top 5 guards that might stop Dee Brown (Dee-Lightful Matchups, March 7), you forgot to include Tony Stockman of Ohio State.

Gregory Lill, Alsip, Ill.

As a lifelong supporter of Indiana University, I am delighted that the 1975--76 Hoosiers will remain the last team to go unbeaten--at least for another season.

Mary Chadwick, Brooklyn

Over the Line

Temple coach John Chaney was totally wrong when he sent in a player to injure a player on the opposing team--and his actions certainly warranted a three-game suspension (Scorecard, March 7). But the officiating crew should have been censured for gross incompetence. Before the game Chaney threatened to send in a goon if Saint Joseph's wasn't called for setting illegal screens, and he sent in seldom-used Nehemiah Ingram, who fouled out in four minutes. How many flagrant fouls can a player commit before an official has the common sense to eject him and the coach? If the officials had done their jobs properly, perhaps no one would have been seriously injured.

Chuck Holton - Shorewood, Wis.

Alexander Wolff writes, "Chaney leads the personal life of a monk, devoting himself to young men who might otherwise be abandoned." But how many of these young men actually graduate? Under Chaney it's just 43%, according to the latest NCAA figures. I always thought the main purpose of a university was education. If that is still true, then Temple should have been ashamed of itself long ago. Chaney's "goon" episode is merely giving the university the opportunity to do something it should have done years ago: fire a coach who fails to fulfill the university's mission of educating its students.

Tom Grant, Kutztown, Pa.

International Pastime

E.M. Swift's heartening and heartbreaking article beautifully captured the bittersweet nature of life and baseball in Venezuela (Unsafe at Home, March 7). Andrés Reiner's academy is inspiring young people to build new lives out of abject poverty. What would be even more inspiring to me, however, would be to know that Major League Baseball is conducting similar life-building activities in places such as Oakland, Newark, Washington, D.C., Detroit and South Central Los Angeles, where hope is in short supply.

Skip Corsini, San Rafael, Calif.

EDITOR'S NOTE: Major League Baseball's Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities (RBI) program, founded in 1989 in South Central Los Angeles by former major leaguer John Young, provides an opportunity for teenage boys and girls in disadvantaged areas to learn and play the game. The program is run in partnership with the Boys & Girls Clubs of America.

Venezuelan president Hugo Chàvez has, in fact, lived up to some of his promises. In the face of a hostile media, his administration has brought thousands of Cuban doctors to provide medical care to poor Venezuelans, and additional measures are helping Venezuelans complete their high school, college and university educations.

Scott Charney, Dallas

Spring Football

Did Peter King actually attend the NFL scouting combine (The No. 1 Question, March 7)? When discussing the running backs, he failed to mention Cal's J.J. Arrington, who had the fastest 40-yard dash time of any back at the combine and was the only running back in Pac-10 history to gain more than 2,000 rushing yards in a season and not win the Heisman Trophy. Instead, King spent two paragraphs discussing Maurice Clarett. Does anybody outside of Ohio give a hoot?

Michael J. Henninger - Kailua-Kona, Hawaii

I was surprised that in your sidebar on the Randy Moss trade (No Rush to Invest in a Bad Act, March 7), Oakland was described as the potential "perfect fit" for Moss. The only perfect place for Randy is preschool.

Zach Schneider, Duluth

Big Daddies

Thank you for the wonderful picture of Ben Wallace and his toddler son, Bryce. (SI Players, March 7). We are constantly bombarded with negative stories of the African-American man and his inability to support or care for his children. Thank you for assisting in breaking this stereotype with that image.

Katherine E. Carlson - Brooklyn Center, Minn.

I was thrilled to read your article on Horace Jenkins, the NBA's oldest rookie (SI Players, March 7). Jenkins, a Pistons guard, derailed his dream of an NBA career to care for his infant son and took and $11-per-hour job to make ends meet while never giving up his dream.

Sheila Langley, Jacksonville

Scout's Honor

Alexander Wolff's profile of grizzled NBA scout Marty Blake (The Man Has Seen 'Em All, March 14) is the best sports profile I've ever read. The story captures the legendary character's 65 years in sports and is alternately funny, revealing and touching, but always true. It reminded me of Hemingway's tale of another old-timer who remains pure in his epic struggle. (Since it closed with Blake assessing a long-distance jump shot, you might have called it The Old Man and the Three.)

Jeff Elder, Denver, N.C.

Worthy Praise

Thanks for your great article on John Kerr, NBA player, coach, executive and broadcaster (SCORECARD, March 14). Since I was welcomed into the family as a "draft choice" in 1993, I have watched with great pride as my father-in-law has consistently promoted the league. When he is up for induction to the Hall of Fame this year as a Contributor, I hope the voters see him for the totality of his accomplishments. Regardless, we who know him have already figured out that he is the whole package as a person. That's why we call him Big Papa.

Elizabeth Cavanaugh-Kerr - Devon, Pa.

Form Letter

I don't object to your Swimsuit Issue, but gee, how about a little beefcake for your women subscribers? Watching basketball just hasn't been the same since the NBA traded short shorts for ... skirts.

Jean Shirley, Berkeley, Calif.

Breaking Nudes

A photo of nude men playing golf (SCORECARD, March 14) may make some ladies, who annually complain about the Swimsuit Issue, happy. But it made me run, screaming.

James Evans, San Antonio

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