LONG AND SHORT
The Case for the 12-foot Basket (Dec. 4) is a prime example of irresponsible journalism. This article could well be the catalyst for a rule change that would bring in the 12-foot basket and, with it, the decline and fall of the U.S.
It should be apparent to thinking people that such a change will soon result in 9-foot players, probably in less than a generation, at the pace of today's world. This would be a tragedy. Seven-foot men can live in our society with some difficulty; 9-footers could not. Consider American homes, almost all with 8-foot ceilings. How many billions of dollars would be required to rebuild the nation's houses? The game would not long be improved, the 7-footers would become the small men on the floor.
Let's think things through before rushing into print.
ROBERT H. RICHARDS. D.D.S.
Raising the basket height to 12 feet to minimize the physical advantage of the big man in basketball makes about as much sense to me as making all football running backs who have 100-yard-dash times of under 10 seconds wear lead weights so that they will not have any "unfair" advantage over the slower players.
New Haven, Conn.
Your "case for the 12-foot basket" just might be the answer for college basketball, which now seems to be in pathetic shape. Just imagine: everyone in the U.S. takes it for granted that UCLA will go undefeated three years straight, winning about 90 games in a row. It's ridiculous.
In every other sport but basketball the underdog has some chance. The Boston Red Sox pulled "the miracle" in baseball this year, while Indiana did the same in college football. Even such perennial winners as the Green Bay Packers and Notre Dame lose occasionally. But in basketball, there are virtually no upsets when the big man takes control. Pro basketball is not much better.
Let's give the 12-foot basket a chance. Otherwise, my winter sports diet will remain hockey.
Ann Arbor, Mich.
It occurs to me that a compromise, which should satisfy a majority of the coaches, would be to raise the standard height of the basket one inch each year over a period of 24 years.
SHORT AND SWEET
I've just read your 1967-68 college basketball issue (Dec. 4). I hadn't realized that Providence, Holy Cross, La Salle, Villanova, Delaware (watch 'em this year!), Temple. NYU, St. John's, Fordham, Manhattan, Seton Hall, Georgetown, Army, Navy and Rutgers had stopped playing basketball. It's really strange, since about half these schools were in postseason tournaments last year.
Or maybe you'll have a supplementary issue?