SHOW SOME RESPECT
Last fall I read with particular interest, in your special college basketball issue (How Do You Like Your Hoops? Nov. 20), the no-holds-barred debate among Curry Kirkpatrick, Greg Kelly and Alexander Wolff as to which is the best college basketball conference. I concluded that the three of them didn't know what they were talking about. Now, after watching the NCAA tournament games, I am certain that I was right. To call the Southeastern Conference nothing but a football league, as Kelly did, was absurd. Which conference put all four of its invited teams into the Sweet Sixteen? The ACC? No. The Big East? No. The Big Ten? No way.
Furthermore, three of the SEC's four teams—LSU, Kentucky and Auburn—went on to the Elite Eight. The fourth, Alabama, got knocked out by another SEC team ( Kentucky). Thanks to the NCAA Selection Committee, three of the conference's teams were put in the same regional. Maybe next year the SEC will not be underestimated!
Congratulations on Bruce Newman's excellent, long-awaited article on Philadelphia 76er forward Charles Barkley (A Double Feature All By Himself, March 24). As for his being a force at both ends of the court, two thoughts come to my mind when Barkley gets his hands on the ball under the basket. My first is. Wow! Then I thank the genius who invented collapsible rims.
While rummaging through some old copies of SI, I stumbled upon an article (Born Free And Living Up To His Name, Jan. 22, 1979) that proclaimed the superstardom of Lloyd (now World B.) Free. It also berated the Sixers for giving up Free in 1978 to the then San Diego Clippers in exchange for a mere first-round draft choice in 1984. You apparently suffered from the same nearsightedness as the Clippers. That seemingly meaningless 1984 pick has now taken the imposing form of Charles Barkley.
BART D. COHEN
I am upset. Your March 3 LEADING OFF picture showed Jim Heffernan of Iowa in a near-fall situation. This is an embarrassing position for any wrestler, but salt was added to Heffernan's wounds when the score of the match was erroneously reported as 12-5 (the correct score was 6-4).
I anxiously read the next three issues hoping to see a statement correcting the score, but all I found was Jaime Diaz's story about 190-pound NCAA champion Duane Goldman and Iowa's national title (Iowa Was Good As Gold, Man, March 24). I was upset again. Certainly all 10 of the NCAA wrestling champions deserve a little more recognition than was given.
St. Edward High School
THE BIBLE OF BASEBALL
What must have been a labor of love for Roy Blount Jr., his story The Sporting News (March 17), brought many warm memories for this reader. As a young boy growing up in Southern California in the '60s, I could be found either outside playing baseball or inside reading about the game. The Sporting News delivered what I wanted most: baseball all year long.
Certainly there are many baseball fans who share my appreciation of the Spink family for its immeasurable contribution to baseball through the years.
Please convey to Sporting News chief executive officer Richard Waters and editor Tom Barnidge that this yuppie is obsessed with baseball. Save the box scores!
WILLIAM R. CUNNINGHAM
The world record for the men's 100 meters is 9.93 seconds, which works out to 33.04 feet per second. Could Cool Papa Bell, or anyone, really run 270 feet in eight seconds (33.75 feet per second), even on a straightaway, let alone around the bases from home to third?