May I compliment Frank Deford on his articles on the NCAA basketball tournament. Not only did he point out the strong and weak teams in the tournament, but he also pointed out that NCAA now stands for No Chance Against Alcindor. This is so true that I feel the other teams in the NCAA deserve a break.
Why not declare UCLA the undisputed champions for the next two years? This not only would give a few more teams a chance to play in the tournament (the Pacific Eight runner-up, for instance), but it would also give a few more teams a chance to remain in the ranks of the undefeated. The tournament could follow the same pattern except the teams entered would compete for second place instead of first.
Oak Harbor, Wash.
Truly, UCLA has probably the greatest team in college basketball history. But, from what I saw of the "fabulous" Lew Alcindor in the final against Dayton, I was not impressed. Sure, he can block shots just by lifting his arm, and he can stuff the ball through the hoop. But so can any other seven-foot man. Mike Warren, Lynn Shackelford and Kenny Heitz make the Bruins what they are, not Alcindor.
When Mervin Hyman made the profound statement that UCLA was "everybody's favorite" (BASKETBALL'S WEEK, March 27), he was taking liberties that should not belong to any reporter.
CHARLES H. JOHNSON, D.D.S.
I am overjoyed that the National Basketball Committee has figured out how to improve my appreciation of college and high school basketball; but I'm afraid that outlawing the dunk shot is not enough. Why not outlaw all shots within 10 feet (or 20 or 30 feet) of the basket?
The action of this small but enlightened group of progressive and imaginative sportsmen vividly points up the shortsightedness of leaders in other sports. Why wasn't the home run outlawed when Babe Ruth was making a shambles of baseball? Why was Joe Louis allowed to continue using that lethal right after it became obvious that he was better than anybody else? I'm waiting for the day that Jean-Claude Killy is required to ski on one ski. I'm sure the rest of the sports world is with me.
DAVID J. BLOMGREN
?For SI's views on the subject, see page 24.—ED.
Many thanks to Martin Kane for the excellent story on soccer (True Football Gets Its Big Chance, March 27). It is high time that the finest sport in the world did get a chance in this country. At last the public will be watching a sport with action, rather than falling asleep in front of the television screen waiting for some sign of life from a bunch of Vic Tanny rejects gathered together on a baseball diamond.
ALEX A. HOLENKO
If American sportsmen need to be convinced that soccer is real action, let them watch one game on a muddy field. They'll love it!
Contrary to Martin Kane's statements, I think the youth of America does have a lot of interest in this fast-moving sport. Take, for example, Saint Peter's Prep in Jersey City, N.J. When tryouts were announced to initiate a soccer club under the direction of a teacher, Mr. Tony Verdoni (former Tulane standout), over 130 boys turned out, twice the number that tried out for football or basketball.
Jersey City, N.J.