At 92 the Wizard of Westwood—who won 10 national titles at UCLA—still has strong opinions on the game.
SI: How closely do you follow college hoops?
Wooden: I go to all of UCLA's home games. In the 27 years since I retired, I've missed a half-dozen games.
SI: Name the one thing you'd eliminate from the college game?
Wooden: Freshmen. Players are more ready athletically than they are socially or academically. The social adjustment is very difficult for the vast majority of them. New surroundings. New friends. It's a tough year.
SI: Do you have any advice for LeBron James?
Wooden: Last year at the Final Four in Atlanta he came up to me in the lobby of the hotel and introduced himself. I said, 'Well, you're going to finish school, aren't you? He said, 'Oh, yes.' I was thinking college. He was thinking high school.
SI: What impact has TV had on the NCAA game?
Wooden: To an extent it has made actors out of some players, coaches and officials. It has also brought about an enormous number of Sunday games, and I never felt there should be intercollegiate competitions on Sundays. TV has been terrible for the collegiate game, but the money it has brought in has been a tremendous help for non-income-producing sports.
SI: How do you spend your time?