UCLA AND OTHERS
Congratulations on an outstanding article concerning UCLA basketball and Coach John Wooden ( UCLA: Simple, Awesomely Simple, Nov. 30). As a player who saw little action from 1966-68, I'm very happy to see you deal realistically with Coach Wooden's player relationships. I'm referring particularly to those comments made by Mike Warren and Fred Slaughter. Coach Wooden is, without doubt, a great coach, but I sincerely feel he could make more of an effort to show an interest in his players as human beings.
Manhattan Beach, Calif.
Perhaps what is more awesome and more simple than the UCLA way is the battle, silent and deep-rooted, waged between Coach Wooden and the young men wearing the Bruin jerseys. One cannot help but marvel at (and at the same time, raise a question about) the undeniable six-season record of the UCLA mentor. But while he has not been untarnished, Coach Wooden does seem to present himself unscathed as a prevailing force of character and discipline in the midst of these changing times. Hats off to Curry Kirkpatrick for a reporting job par excellence.
I enjoyed your article on college basketball. The story about UCLA was excellent and showed me that Coach Wooden and his players are human after all. The UCLA Bruins will and should be No. 1—until South Carolina beats them for the national championship. The Gamecocks are definitely not a second-place team in anybody's league.
North Charleston, S.C.
Congratulations to SI for being the first magazine to give Long Beach State (No. 8) the recognition it deserves (The Top 20 Teams, Nov. 30). The 49ers also do quite well in other sports. They recently upset San Diego State in football to earn a trip to the Pasadena Bowl to face Louisville. During the past year the swimming team finished fifth, the water polo team third and the volleyball team second in NCAA competition. The baseball team also made the NCAA playoffs. Athletics are on the move in Long Beach.
I realize that you will be swamped with revenge letters regarding your preseason college basketball rankings, but let me make one thing perfectly clear. Kansas (No. 18) has already sacked No. 8 Long Beach State. Keep your eyes on the Jayhawks and the rest of the Big Eight.
Shame, shame. Your offensive team overlooked half of the game of basketball—defense. Army's is and has been tops in the nation. Hold the ball? Only to work for the good shot and then take it and keep the opposition from scoring. Sound logic? It must be, since Army has played in five NITs in six years.
MAJOR G. L. GUNDERMAN, USA
West Point, N.Y.
THE GAME IN UTAH
Congratulations on the fine article about the Utah Stars (The Stars Earn Their Stripes, Nov. 30). I'm glad the theory that Utah could not support a major professional basketball team was finally disproved. We've known we could for a long time.
Salt Lake City
It was interesting to note that two things have not changed in Utah: 1) The basketball fans are still the greatest, based on a working knowledge of the game; and 2) Jack Gardner of the University of Utah is up to his old tricks of trying to belittle the competition to gain interest in his running Redskins. (I coached at Weber State for eight years.) If he wants to fill his arena he should take a long hard look at his own program instead of decrying professional basketball.
The Chicago Bulls
OHIO STATE'S REVENGE
Many things have been said about Ohio State Coach Woody Hayes, but his record speaks for itself. What better tribute to a great coach than a 20-9 victory over arch-rival Michigan? And congratulations to Dan Jenkins for his article, Revival and Revenge (Nov. 30). I think Woody would agree that the sportswriters finally got with it.
DOUGLAS R. ANDREWS
New Concord, Ohio
Woody Hayes has been perhaps the most positively influential man in my life. I greatly regret Dan Jenkins not only misquoted what I had said but also took the thoughts I expressed completely out of context in such a manner as to derive their exact opposite meaning. What I actually said was: "...it is a strange thing playing for him. When you are a sophomore, you are scared of him. When you are a junior, you absolutely believe in him. And then, when you become a senior, I don't know what it is, but you start to question some of the things he does. But I'll tell you this. The more I am away from that man, the more I appreciate him. He taught me things about myself that I never realized until later years, when I started getting out into life."