COACH IBA'S DEFENSE
A word in behalf of Hank Iba (" Jab at Iba," SCORECARD, Sept. 25). Lefty Driesell knows that college teams in the Top 10 do not go to the Olympics—a group of individual players go. And until we do send a whole team to the Games, strong defense with the emphasis on teamwork, as Hank Iba has stressed for decades, is the way to win in international basketball—if the judging is fair. If Driesell's teams played defense as well as Iba's, he'd understand its value.
Team Canada lost at home to the Russians in hockey because its great individuals played like individuals and not as a team. Hank Iba's Olympic team and his Oklahoma State teams before that succeeded despite their lack of big name stars because they were a team.
When Lefty Driesell wins 700 basketball games and molds dissimilar 20-year-olds into a cohesive unit as Iba did, he will sound a lot more credible.
Lefty Driesell's comment, "We don't play that slowdown game anymore; our game is fast break," may be true of every collegiate coach in America except one—Lefty Driesell. A good example of Lefty's slowdown tactics was the Maryland-South Carolina game of the 1970-71 collegiate season. While South Carolina was playing the running game that Lefty describes, the Maryland team was following Coach Driesell's orders to freeze the ball until it found a sure open shot. These tactics resulted in a high-scoring 31-30 Maryland win, after which Coach Driesell said something like "You win them any way that you can."
When you compare the coaching records of Henry Iba and Lefty Driesell, it is apparent that Driesell could not even hold Iba's whistle. So who is he to criticize one of the best coaches in collegiate history?
South Ozone Park, N.Y.
MR. BREWER'S ACHIEVEMENTS
I read with great interest your editorial comments (SCORECARD, Sept. 11) on Howard Cosell's interviews of Olympic personages. My views are identical with yours. To my surprise, however, I found equally bad taste displayed in Barry McDermott's treatment of Gay Brewer (You Know Jack, Lee, Gary and, ah, er..., Sept. 18). Mr. Brewer finished respectably close to the field, one stroke behind two of the three superstars he was pitted against in the World Series of Golf. Mr. McDermott's article should logically have reported on Gary Player's skill and cool in staying ahead of Nicklaus and Trevino. Instead, he devoted the entire article to a series of snide remarks on Brewer's past golf performances, personal habits and popularity.
CLEMENT J. BLUM
My compliments to Edwin Shrake for his excellent story on Tom Landry (Why Is This Man Laughing? Sept. 18), the best and smartest coach in the NFC.
North Haledon, N.J.
I would like to extend thanks to Edwin Shrake and SI for the tremendous article on Tom Landry. In a time when we seem to hear only about the Duane Thomases or Dave Meggyesys, it is indeed refreshing to read about a man like Landry.
Even though I am a longtime Washington Redskin fan, I have the deepest respect for Coach Landry. Here is a man who has survived the roughest storms and come through like the champion he is.
Not even Brother Landry can make the New Testament into an argument for salvation by good works or, in his words, "paying the price." And while the Apostle Paul might have made a good halfback, he certainly would never have fallen for such a simple-minded theological formula as the equating of salvation with winning.