BASKETBALL: YOU ARE THERE, YELLING
It was a great night in Lawrence, all right, and Jubilation on the Kaw (SI, Feb. 11) was a masterpiece. After reading it, we felt we had been there—yelling with the 17,000 that night at the University of Kansas Field House.
LUCILLE AND OLIVER VENEKLASEN
BASKETBALL: LITTLE GARY
Congratulations to Jeremiah Tax on his article Jubilation on the Kaw. His mention of Gary Thompson brought back memories of the 1951 Iowa State High School Basketball Tournament in Iowa City, when little Gary, playing for Roland, Iowa, almost upset powerful Davenport, Iowa for the championship.
Being a loyal University of Iowa graduate, I had hoped Gary would decide on the University of Iowa for his college. But after seeing how Gary has pulled Iowa State out of its basketball slump, I am glad that he decided on Iowa State, thus making another small school a big name.
BASKETBALL: SCOUTS TAKE NOTE
After reading your article about basketball scouting (Basketball's Underground Railroad, SI, Feb. 4), I realize you can't start too early. You might be interested in hearing about two Washington, D.C. prospects. They have led their school to seven wins out of eight games played. They are Fred Hetzel, 6 foot 5, and Sam McWilliams, 6 foot 1. They are both in the ninth grade! In one game Hetzel scored 35 points in the 20 minutes he played. Sam averages 16 points, and as captain he has led his team well on the defense also, bringing in rebounds from nowhere. The pair are great basketball players.
TRACK: HUMAN AND MECHANICAL ERROR
As the person who promoted use of the Cinetimer for the Madison Square Garden meets (The Answer to "Who Won?", SI, Feb. 11), I am the last to question its value or its need. However, it is and cannot be more than "an aid to the judges"; it cannot be a substitute for them. All too often, both with this device and with the Bulova Phototimer which preceded it for track meet use, no picture at all was available. And often when there was a picture, it was difficult (and sometimes impossible) to decipher.
Officials in all sports are fair game for the press-box or grandstand expert. Track and field judges are no exception. True, even as you and I, they may occasionally "blow" a close one, but how often do you see comment on the amazingly high percentage of times the officials' "naked eye" judging has been sustained by the camera on close finishes?
The reference in your article to the California timers, if it is intended as a slur upon their accuracy or probity, is entirely unwarranted. I have worked with the timers in both southern and northern California, and they stack up with the best in the world both as to accuracy and reliability. If, on rare occasion, there may be some human lapse, please remember that even SPORTS ILLUSTRATED can on rare occasion flub it, as in the very article in question, when it refers to "averaging" the times of watches. This can never be done. If two of the three watches have the same time, that is the official time, regardless what the third watch may read. If all three watches disagree, then the middle time (not an average of all three) is the official time.
Chairman, National A.A.U.
Track & Field Committee
?No slur at California timers was intended.—ED.
SPIKE WEBB: WRONG SPORT
Too much cannot be said of Spike Webb, this fine coach and builder of men and their characters (SI, Feb. 11, 18).
I was privileged to graduate with the class of 1930 from the United States Naval Academy, and took a brief course under Spike Webb.