THE HOYAS' TITLE
I'd like to thank Curry Kirkpatrick for finally giving the Georgetown Hoyas the credit they deserve (A Team for All Time, April 9). Although I'm a devout fan of the Hoyas, I admit they might have acted out of line a few times. But while achieving a 34-3 record and winning the national championship, they proved themselves to be a great team.
Staten Island, N.Y.
In your face, Curry Kirkpatrick!
Boiling Springs, Pa.
Thanks to cable TV, in season I watch college basketball almost every night. Considering the abundance of talent they have to work with, I can't understand why some coaches resort to the strategy of the stall. Thanks to John Thompson and his Georgetown team, we might just see a new trend. The Hoyas' fast-paced offense, which takes it to the boards and doesn't let up, makes the other team play Georgetown's game. Most can't.
If anyone wants to stop Georgetown next year—or the next—he should start thinking like the pros. Thompson does.
No sport can compare with basketball as a test of the all-around athlete, and for my money, no level of the sport approaches the college game for excitement. Yet I fear for college basketball.
There are two major problems: Rules committees seem determined eventually to duplicate the pro game with shot clocks, and players and officials appear set on gradually opening the door to rougher styles of play. In your April 2 issue, reader Michael S. Moriarty compared Georgetown's play to that of the NHL. Actually, the college game is drawing nearer to the NBA in terms of intimidation by players and coaches. Why dive headlong toward a goal of inferior worth?
The game of basketball is seriously flawed. The problem is the concept of deliberate fouls. The team that is behind at the end of a game must deliberately foul its opponent in order to regain the ball. This turns what should be the most exciting part of the game into an interminable free-throw shooting contest. Every foul brings the game to a screeching halt. And the team that is behind fouls again and again. For spectators, this is boring.
A single rule change could correct the flaw: When a team is fouled during the final two minutes of a game, that team should retain the ball after shooting free throws. There should be no change of possession. Teams would have to find some other way to get the ball, such as using quickness, rather than taking the lazy man's way. Of course, this works only if there is a reasonable time limit on holding the ball without shooting. But the 30-second shot clock has already proved that it improves the game, so I don't even consider that an innovation anymore.
DAVID C. SMITH
Portola Valley, Calif.
Each new national champion seems to spawn trends that flood college basketball the following season. With Georgetown's title we'll probably see swarming defense, frequent substitutions and secluded teams next year. However, Patrick Ewing started a trend three years ago that needs to be stopped—the T shirt. During one ACC game between Duke and Virginia I counted no fewer than nine players wearing T shirts under their jerseys. Let's get back to no sleeves and looking like basketball players again.
Frank Deford hit the nail on the head in his essay on the Baltimore Colts' move to Indianapolis (SCORECARD, April 9). The Colts and Baltimore were indeed one.