I am disgusted with the behavior exhibited by Bill Wall, executive director of USA Basketball, at the Pan Am Games (Diplomatic Failure, Aug. 19). His arrogant remarks in defense of the U.S. men's basketball team's moving to Florida during the competition have offended practically everyone who had anything to do with the Games. Wall's callous reply about the U.S. women's basketball team needing "a new coach" (SCORECARD, Aug. 26) was uncalled for. At a time when Vivian Stringer needed a show of support from the basketball community, Wall simply hung her out to dry with his belittling statement. While it is true that he went on to say that his point was that the women's team had been accustomed to playing for a different coach, and he has since formally apologized for his comment, I think it's time to remove Wall before he causes his country any more embarrassment.
Wall's attitude is a slap in the face not only to Cuba but also to decent people everywhere. Which is more important, international friendship or a basketball game? If the Americans behave this arrogantly in Barcelona, I'll be cheering for the other team, any other team.
St. Louis Park, Minn.
Eric Dickerson's Commitment
I was disappointed in your decision to promote the approaching pro football season with a cover story on the Colts' Eric Dickerson (Why Is This Man Smiling? Aug. 12). Such a selfish, arrogant man should not be projected as a hero to the youth of America. Dickerson's commitment to his wallet and the NFL record book are the only driving forces behind his present happiness. An athlete who cannot earn the respect of his teammates surely does not deserve the respect of those who matter most to the game—the fans.
FRANK J. TROSSET
Bob Buhl's Stats
It was nice to see Bob Buhl's baseball card in INSIDE BASEBALL (Aug. 12). SI has mentioned him two or three times recently because of his poor hitting, but Buhl shouldn't be remembered only as a batter. Please let your readers know some of his pitching statistics, such as: best National League winning percentage in 1957, back-to-back 18-win seasons in '56 and '57, eight years with 13 or more wins in 15 seasons in the majors, nine of them with Milwaukee.
Ann Arbor, Mich.
On Vacation with Bush
Curry Kirkpatrick's revealing article about President Bush's appetite for all sports (Playing in the Bush League, Aug. 19) brought back fond memories of my one tennis game with George Bush.
One day in 1986, Bush's son Marvin (with whom I used to play tennis when we both lived in the Washington, D.C., area), John Mangan (a tennis All-America at Georgia in '81), Washington pro Fred Drilling and I were playing on the Vice-President's court when Drilling's back went out. Bush, waiting courtside for Swedish Ambassador Wilhelm Wachtmeister to arrive, offered to fill in for Drilling. Marv and I tried our best to knock out our opponents, but Bush kept yelling "Search and destroy!" to Mangan—who did! Suffice it to say, they won and we heard about it.
I guess Bush is still relentless on the court.
Although I don't agree with all of the articles written in your magazine, Kirkpatrick's story on the President certainly agreed with me. What a refreshing look at our nation's leader. With the increased emphasis on exercise and fitness in this country, it's great to see the President out front, leading the way. Curry, you may have misjudged your overhead shot in your game with Bush, but you hit a winner with this article.
MARK S. MCKINNEY
I really don't care if Bush is a southpaw or not. Keep the politicians out of our sports world. They ruin everything they touch.
WILBUR A. HART
Palm Harbor, Fla.
Curry Kirkpatrick finally got to write an article about a tennis player he likes—himself.