Porter was just another good kid we expected too much from and gave up on too quickly.
RUSSELL K. CARDWELL, SUMMERVILLE, S.C.
As a former Villanova student-athlete, I spent many enjoyable hours watching Howard Porter become the greatest basketball player the university has ever known (Vacated*, March 25). In 1971 Jack Kraft coached a team that filled us with excitement, enthusiasm and pride as it soared through the NCAA tournament en route to a date with UCLA and destiny. We were proud of our small Main Line school, our team and our coach, but most of all we were proud of the Geezer as he led this Cinderella team to national prominence. And then we watched with sorrow as Porter and Villanova were stripped of their accomplishments. Did Howard do something all of us would not have done if put in the same predicament? I don't know. All I know is that what Howard Porter accomplished at Villanova can never be erased in the memories of Villanovans fortunate enough to have watched him play.
MIKE SIANI, Villanova '72
?Siani himself was a Sporting News football All-America and held Villanova career, season and single-game pass receiving records. He then played for the Oakland Raiders for six years.—ED.
I have often wondered what happened to Howard Porter. I think there was justice in the punishment that the NCAA meted out—forfeiture of the Most Outstanding Player trophy and the return of the $72,000 Villanova received from the tournament—but now it seems ludicrous to continue using "vacated" on the list of Most Outstanding Players. Porter appeared in the Final Four; he was the outstanding player in 1971. The man was punished; the school was punished. It is time the NCAA put Porter's name where it belongs.
LAURIE NOWLAN, Villanova, Pa.
While the death of an umpire on the field is obviously newsworthy, the picture of him minutes before his death that you ran in SCORECARD (April 8) was in poor taste. By all accounts John McSherry was a hardworking and well-liked umpire. A photo of him working a game would have properly honored his memory and accomplishments.
DAVID SCHLIEBEN, Oak Park, Ill.
Your March 25 cover showing Darvin Ham of Texas Tech shattering a glass backboard carries an unfortunate message to those young people who follow the NCAA playoffs. Showboating not only can endanger life and limb but also can create one more dangerous precedent.
Whatever happened to the simple, graceful and unaffected layup?
BEN M. SNYDER, Bloomfield Hills, Mich.
I have been receiving SI for nearly six years, and I have kept every issue. I think the March 25 cover was one of the best ever. That photo really captured the NCAA experience.
MICHAEL BELL, Montgomery, Minn.
My thanks to David Noonan for his article about athletes' hearts (The Heart of the Matter, March 11). I too have hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM). It was discovered two years ago, only weeks after I turned 21, when I contracted pneumonia. HCM is not a new disease for me; I lost my father to it in 1979, when he was only 32. Neither one of us competed at the elite level in any sport, but we were both physically active before we became ill. HCM turned my world upside down, but it simultaneously increased my respect for life and my desire to live a long one.
Luckily for me, my condition has reversed itself. An echocardiogram in February revealed that my enlarged heart was back to normal size and beating as it should. Medications, lifestyle changes and numerous prayers have all contributed to my improved health.