Thank you for Bill Brubaker's article Dear Chris (Nov. 26). As manager of my high school's basketball team, I have been assisting my coach in forwarding recruiting material to the players and sending out information about our players to various colleges, which made reading Brubaker's piece that much more enjoyable. I well remember the college scouts who attended our basketball games last season in hopes of snaring our All-City point guard, Terry Coffey, who was eventually signed by the University of Connecticut. So much of that article reminded me of what lies ahead, for better or worse, in the basketball careers of our players.
Thank you also for your college basketball issue, although I do wish Dixon (111.) High's best-known player had stuck to basketball rather than politics.
Head Basketball Manager
Maret High School
After reading Bill Brubaker's article on three highly recruited basketball players, I was dismayed to find that the coaches mentioned in the article would go to such undignified and condescending lengths to sign a 17-year-old kid. After being told daily that he is God's gift to basketball, how can a 17-year-old keep things in perspective?
As a parent of one of the players mentioned in the article, I would like the readers to know that coaches Jim Valvano and Tom Abatemarco are two of the most honest and conscientious coaches I've ever met. They are not just interested in winning but are concerned about the future and welfare of each player. The personal criticism of them was unfair.
ST. JOHN'S MULLIN
Curry Kirkpatrick's Just A Guy From Da Naybuhhood (Nov. 26) was a fine and almost accurate portrayal of Chris Mullin the basketball player and Chris Mullin the person, except that I feel Kirkpatrick exaggerated the Brooklynese in Chris's speech.
As a student, I worked in the athletic office at St. John's and later was a press assistant for the Madison Square Garden college basketball department for three years, so I've had an opportunity to know Chris on a personal basis as well as sit in on his Garden press conferences. He has always spoken in clear, concise English and hardly ever let his natural New York accent destroy the correct pronunciation of a word. Chris is an intelligent young man. Just because someone is from Brooklyn, Manhattan or Queens doesn't automatically make him a member of the Bowery Boys.
Director of Security and Services
As a New Yawkuh at Duke in da Sout and a big St. John's fan, I found da ahticle on Chris Mullin a little distractin'. C'mon whadda ya tink dis iz? America has a multitood of diffrent waze uh tawkin'. Don't pick on us New Yawkuhs.
EDMOND D. FARRELL
Thank you for the excellent article on Chris Mullin. I just wish that his contribution to the community had been mentioned. He served as honorary coach of the Queens Special Olympics and showed the same patience and class in dealing with handicapped athletes as he shows on the basketball court.
Special Olympics Volunteer
BISHOP AND FAUST
After I read Frank Deford's article on Eddie Bishop (A Twilight's Last Gleaming, Nov. 19), I flipped to 19TH HOLE and the readers' responses to your earlier article on Gerry Faust (Somebody Up There May Be Listening, Nov. 5). After reading about Bishop, who was loved regardless of his record as a coach, the attacks on Faust seemed callous, stupid and selfish; such attacks are the product of fragile egos trying to force their own narrow and even inhuman goals on the athletes and coaches of "their" teams. The Faust hate mail left no doubt about how something like Bishop's death could happen.
I was glad to see the real fans praising Faust's beliefs, commitment and philosophy; perhaps more such praise for Bishop could have made a difference. Thanks to SI for trying tactfully and sensitively in both of these articles to uphold the human values in sport, which are greater than the numerical results of any single game, season or career.