IN A FUNK ABOUT THE DUNK
College basketball's dunk was dumped from the rules book in 1967 because it caused injuries to fingers and wrist, gave a special advantage to taller players and sometimes smashed up baskets and glass backboards. Now a movement is afoot to bring it back.
Guy Lewis, Houston Cougar coach, opposed the dunk ban from the beginning and is even more "violently opposed" to it today.
"It was the most exciting shot in basketball," he says, "and it hurt the game tremendously when they did away with it. I think the people on the rules committee are afraid to admit they made a mistake. The absence of the dunk removed a lot of the excitement from the spectator's point of view."
UCLA's John Wooden thinks the dunk is comparable to baseball's home run in producing excitement.
"When a big man does it, it's a crowd-pleaser," he says, "but when a little man does it it's a tremendous thrill."
There are coaches, though, who disagree. George Ireland of Chicago-Loyola holds that "the art of the game is shooting, not stuffing or jamming."
Without the dunk, he feels, "There are no delays of games, no injuries and no backboards broken."
But an Associated Press poll indicated that a majority of coaches want the dunk restored. And if the NCAA rules committee is listening, maybe it will be.
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