MICHEAL RAY'S EXAMPLE
Thank you for Bill Brubaker's story on Micheal Ray Richardson (Bittersweet, Feb. 4), the best all-around guard in basketball today. I was moved by the concern of the many people who helped Richardson get his career and life back on track. Without their assistance, he might be on skid row.
I wish all troubled pro athletes could receive the help the NBA offers. Let's hope that John Drew, John Lucas and others with problems can use Richardson as an example of how to beat drugs.
By the way, by being selected to the East squad for last Sunday's All-Star Game, Richardson has climbed another rung on his comeback ladder.
As president of Capital Systems, International, a firm that represents and manages NBA players, I commend you for your story on Micheal Ray Richardson. It is a tragedy that so many players with outstanding ability fall into the fast-lane life-style, as Richardson did. I hope that with more education at the college level, some of the drug and emotional problems can be solved.
JEFFREY L. SADLAK
Capital Systems, International
The real tragedy of Micheal Ray is painfully illustrated by his handwritten autobiography. It is our shame. Our entire system used Micheal Ray. Were his coaches any more worried about his literacy than his agents?
Micheal Ray is society's product. He has a limited command of English because We have our priorities askew. We know Micheal Ray's story all too well.
Fountain Valley, Calif.
Bill Brubaker's Bittersweet is by far the best article I have ever read. I have never cared for athletes who couldn't handle the cash or success, but Micheal Ray seems different. He was too naive and shy to say no. I am still not all that sympathetic, but I am more understanding. I think anyone who is waiting for Micheal Ray to falter again will have a long wait.
Why feature someone as troubled as Micheal Ray Richardson when there are other athletes who play their games as well and certainly live their lives in a more respectable manner than Richardson? Stick to the features on such reputable players as Bert Blyleven (Baseball's Dutch Treat, Jan. 28). I prefer to read about an athlete who has made the best of the opportunity afforded him by professional sports and who has also channeled some of his good fortune in the direction of helping others.
I do not feel sorry for Micheal Ray Richardson, period!
GEORGE W. KERDOLFF
I was delighted to read Roger Jackson's item on Tougaloo College (BASKETBALL'S WEEK, Jan. 28) and not simply because I am an alumnus of that school (class of '81). Tougaloo coach Jerry Lewis and athletic director James Coleman should be applauded for canceling the last 20 games of this season because nine of their 12 varsity players were failing to meet the school's scholarship standards. At a time when academic norms are constantly being bent for athletes, it is nice to know that someone considers them important.
J.B. CARTER III
Moss Point, Miss.