Your April 17 article on the Nets (Making a Point—Playground Style) was beautiful. In that one article you gave the Nets more space than they have gotten in the three New York newspapers in the last five years. It was a good story, but Peter Carry failed to speak enough about the job Ollie Taylor and Billy Paultz did on Kentucky's Artis Gilmore. He also omitted the fact that the 6'2" Taylor dunked one over the 7'2" Gilmore.
Thank you for recognizing and rewarding a fine young gentleman. John Roche convinced all of us in South Carolina years ago that he was to be a great one when he led the Gamecocks to three very successful, nationally ranked seasons. Because of John Roche and many of his contemporaries, Southern basketball at the prep and high school level has been on the rise. In years past the only boys who played basketball were the same boys who played football. Now there has been a movement to year-round basketball, and the caliber of the game has certainly improved. John Roche had quite an influence on many youngsters in our area, and we thank him.
A fine article on the brilliant young New York Nets. But even though John Roche was the star of the series, Trooper Washington was the inspiration. Through the six games he held Dan Issel, a 30.6-point-per-game scorer, to an average of 22.
Glen Cove, N.Y.
Two years ago Utah had the good fortune of having ABA basketball come to our state. During the first year the Utah Stars finished second in the Western Division. In the playoffs that year Utah walked over the Dallas Chaparrals, and beat the overpublicized Indiana Pacers, winning the seventh game in Indiana. The Stars then went on to beat the Kentucky Colonels for the ABA championship.
Once again this year the Stars' play has been fabulous. They won first place in the Western Division, then smeared the third-place Chaparrals in four straight. The Stars are now tied with Indiana for the chance to play for the 1972 ABA championship. It is about time the Utah Stars got some sizable recognition.
Salt Lake City
Congratulations on the fine article by Elliott Burch (Diary of a Derby Horse, April 17). You probably could not have chosen a better horseman, nor one with more journalistic acumen, to give your readers some insight into the hard work, hopes and frustrations of trainers everywhere. Now, if it just turns up muddy in Louisville....
WILLIAM J. KAUP
Big Deal! So Riva Ridge can't run in the mud (Now His Name Is Mud, April 10). No Le Hace won the Louisiana Derby on a sloppy track after nearly being knocked down at the starting gate. After that performance he came to Oaklawn Park and beat Spanish Riddle and Hassi's Image, the latter a better horse than most Triple Crown contenders. And yet in a four-page article you mentioned the Arkansas Derby and its $100,000 purse only once. The winner of the Arkansas and Louisiana Derbies will get his true recognition on the first Saturday in May at Churchill Downs, come rain or shine (it makes no difference).
Little Rock, Ark.
The SCORECARD item "Sneak Punch" of the April 10 issue of SPORTS ILLUSTRATED manages to convey in one sentence two major misstatements of significance about New York's water pollution program. You charge that Mrs. Donna Mitchell was acting on my behalf lobbying in Washington against strengthening amendments to the pending federal water quality bills and you describe New York as "a state with an abysmal record in pollution abatement."
In fact, New York State has done more to fight water pollution than any other state or the Federal Government. In the last five years we have committed over $3 billion to build 348 projects to abate public water pollution. Last year alone we imposed over $1 million in penalties on industrial polluters.
The most eloquent testimony to New York's leadership is the fact that the Federal Government owes the taxpayers of New York $1.3 billion because we have had to prefinance its promised share of sewage treatment projects. That in fact was what Mrs. Mitchell was working for—to see that, in addition to lofty goals, there was sufficient money in the bill to pay the Federal Government's past debts and allow it to be a full partner in the future.