It was two years earlier that Oklahoma tried to buck the Heisman odds against an interior lineman by supporting Center Kurt Burn's, who was having a fantastic season. The heroes of this effort were Dr. Raymond White and his OU secretarial science department. They wrote letters to more than 3,000 sportswriters introducing Burris. What happened? Fullback Alan Ameche of Wisconsin won. Burris was second.
University of Oklahoma
LEW'S STORY (CONT.)
In the first article by Lew Alcindor (My Story, Oct. 27 et seq.) a statement was made to the effect that The Hill School, Pottstown, Pa. had offered Alcindor admission at a full scholarship. Great athlete that he is, his memory is faulty.
As headmaster of the school at that time, I remember receiving from a mutual friend a newspaper account of Alcindor's athletic and scholastic success. Through that friend I got in touch with the boy to see if he was interested in making application. He did send for an application and a catalog, and we invited him for an interview.
Alcindor never visited The Hill. He was never admitted and he was never offered scholarship aid. He might well have qualified, and I don't doubt that our coach would have been able to find a place for him on the basketball team.
EDWARD T. HALL
St. Mark's School
I never had the opportunity to know Lew Alcindor personally, but when I read the article in your magazine concerning his four years here at UCLA, I thought I'd find out something about him and his "struggle." In my opinion, he was a fool not to know when he had a good thing. Few people on this campus, black or white, have anything good to say about him. He was conceited—which may or may not be justifiable. He was also stubborn, rude and perpetually complaining. Granted, he ran into much prejudice. But so would any man who conducted himself in such a manner, regardless of race or color.
He treated many coaches and fellow team members as though they were completely incompetent. He got away with it, admittedly. He brought in money and fans—in short he was a great basketball player. But that is no excuse for his actions.
Undoubtedly there is racial prejudice here. It is everywhere. But there are certain black Bruin athletes who regard UCLA as one of the most liberal schools, racially, in the nation. For example—one or two quarters ago the student body voted a $1 increase in the registration fee. The resulting funds—more than $30,000—will be used as scholarship money for underprivileged minority students with academic potential.
I am not against social protest. On the contrary, I feel that many attitudes in our society can and should be changed. And I admire Lew for his convictions and his willingness to speak out. But, on the other hand, I feel that some of his accusations concerning UCLA are unfounded. I say this as an involved student among many who disagree with his story but have no way of telling their own.
It is easy for me to understand why Alcindor had a difficult time at college. With his attitude, any student, especially a 7' basketball star, would have had an equally hard time.
As for prejudice on the part of the students and coaching staff at UCLA, there are plenty of good Negro colleges that would have been more than happy to have given Alcindor a full scholarship. He will receive little sympathy from me for any other of his "soul brothers" here at South Carolina State College.