BASKETBALL: THE NO. 1'S
In your pro basketball preview (SI, Oct. 26) you state that George Yardley and Dolph Schayes are the most potent scoring punch in the league. Let me remind you that Cliff Hagan and Bob Pettit are the No. 1 scoring duo in the league. Last year they broke Paul Arizin's and Neil Johnston's two-man point total, but you didn't bother to include it in your records. Just look at the averages and the question is answered. I realize though that being from a small town like St. Louis makes no difference to you Easterners and you print only what you want, as is proved by numerous articles on the fabulous Boston Celtics and other such trash. The Hawks have beaten the Celts in one playoff and lost another. Does this indicate they are inferior? It's the same old story of being good in the East and getting the big play from the sportswriters there while the good teams in the Midwest and West are shoved aside.
I also find it humorous in your numerous articles on Bill Russell to note that you say he has outsizable point production totals off all the big men in the league. Another fallacy: Pettit, if anything, has a higher average against Russell than the rest of the league. I've watched this closely and his average is more against Boston than against the rest of the league. Get on the ball!
? George Yardley is the first player ever to score more than 2,000 points in a season; Dolph Schayes has scored more points (over 14,000 now) than anyone in NBA history. In their first full season together, they must be rated "most potent." In our scouting reports the St. Louis Hawks were termed a team without a flaw, "inferior" to none. Incidentally, Yardley and Bill Russell are Californians, Pettit is from Louisiana and Hagan from Kentucky; not one is an Easterner, but we love 'em all, honest.—ED.
BASKETBALL: TOO TALL
I am very concerned about the problem of the height of pro basketball players. Slater Martin, the shortest man in the loop, had no trouble in being accepted by the organization. Contrary to this, Alan Seiden, one inch taller than Martin, hasn't convinced his team that he's needed. Why? It's my opinion that short men can be even more agile than the tall men.
Two articles in your October 26 issue showed great contrast. In Here Comes the Big Fellow at Last we see how Chamberlain makes good use of his height. And in Littlest Leader it is shown how Martin uses his 5 feet 10 inches to best advantage.
I suggest that something should be done about this problem. Basketball is steadily losing its charm and attraction. Within the next few years, all basketball players, at least 6 feet 5, will merely place the ball through the net.
North Woodbury, Conn.
FITNESS: IT IS TIME
It is encouraging when communication media as important to the nation as SPORTS ILLUSTRATED indicate a sensitivity to the moral fitness needs of our young people and adults, which anticipated the wave of feeling concerning the fraudulent use of competition as evidenced in the recent TV-quiz scandal. With Fitness for What? (SI, Oct. 26) your magazine has indeed done another in the long line of constructive services in the area of character training and sportsmanship by this brief but excellent article.
JOHN L. BARRINGER, Director
Health, Physical Education and Recreation
Tucson Public Schools
After the Van Doren revelation hit the morning papers I couldn't help thinking how timely your editorial on Fitness for What? became. It is good to see your magazine broaden its scope without lessening its morals. An attitude like yours leads instead of misdirects, and at this time in our young lives I think that's very helpful.
One thing: If you take a stand on TV fixes, why not investigate college football pool betting? When you call honesty "a desideratum" in sport and go on to say that it is sport's "life breath," it seems strange to condone by silence a practice as obviously illegal as it is debilitating.
G. G. HUDNUT
?See page 66 for a discussion of the British pools.—ED.