We, the members of the Hungarian National Olympic Team, who came to the United States after choosing freedom at the close of the 1956 Olympic Games at Melbourne (SI, Dec. 3, 1956) and now enjoy the hospitality of the people of the United States, send you our sincere regards and grateful thanks on the first anniversary of the organization of our team.
As a result of previous Olympic Games, members of our team have won 12 gold medals and three silver medals for the Hungarian colors. We wish to serve the ideals of amateur sports and the fame of Hungarian sportsmanship with our future successes and results.
We thank you for your assistance in enabling us to come to this great country where we found personal freedom, good jobs and sports possibilities.
January 6, 1958
for The Hungarian National Olympic Team San Francisco
SPECIAL BASKETBALL ISSUE:
Just as your special issues on baseball (SI, April 15) and football (SI, Sept. 23) were worthy of superlative appraisal, so can your special issue on College Basketball (SI, Dec. 9) draw well-deserved acclamation. Never before has a magazine ever presented such a thorough synopsis of the major college fives in such an interesting, informative manner.
SPECIAL BASKETBALL ISSUE: HOW COME?
I feel that you should have included a section on small college basketball similar to the one you had on independent teams.
In this area we have what many think is one of the best college teams in the nation—Pacific Lutheran College. Last year PLC compiled a 28-1 won-lost record against college competition. Their only defeat (by
1 point) was in the semifinals of the national NAIA tournament in Kansas City to the team that easily won the championship the next night. PLC finished third.
This year, Pacific Lutheran beat the Buchan Bakers, a strong AAU team, by 11 points. The next night the Buchan team defeated Seattle University by 3 points.
I suppose there are a few other small colleges that could qualify in this category.
In your excellent and comprehensive basketball issue you wrote:
"Regardless of which school wins the NCAA's university division championship at season's end, however, the NCAA college division winner—considered too small to compete in the top class—will feel that it could whip the big boy if it had the chance."
Just who were last year's (and the first) NCAA college division champs?
As if I didn't know!
GEORGE A. COLE JR.
Wheaton College '41
New York City
•All of the 176 teams scouted by SPORTS ILLUSTRATED fall into the NCAAs university division. Wheaton, the 1957 college division champion, showed a 28-1 record last year and this season has defeated DePauw, Illinois Wesleyan, Elmhurst, Millikin, Calvin and lost to Gustavus Adolphus.—ED.
We were very disappointed that you failed to mention Evansville College.
•Coach McCutchan's players gained an 18-8 record; this year, have defeated Louisville, Western Kentucky, Valparaiso and lost to St. Mary's.—ED.
How come Colby, Bates and Bowdoin don't rate?
CALVIN L. BUTLER
•Colby, under Coach Les Williams, has so far defeated Bowdoin, Maine and Brown but lost to Dartmouth, Bates and Boston College.—ED.
What's the matter? Don't you like Fresno State?
JOHN HARLAN JR.
•The team's 1957 record stands at 16 won and 10 lost. This year, Coach William Vandenburgh's men have defeated Santa Barbara and lost to the San Diego Marines.—ED.
I was hoping to find Youngstown U. of Youngstown, Ohio. Our boys could and will box the ears off some of the teams you listed.
•Youngstown, coached by Dom Rosselli, showed a 23-4 record last year; this season won over Kent State, Eastern Michigan, Alliance, Marietta but lost to Muskingum.—ED.
G-r-r-r! What's this business of Adams State but no Abilene Christian in your basketball issue?
•Coach Dee Nutt lost 12 and won 12 last year; so far his men have defeated Baylor and lost to Texas Tech and Southwest Texas.—ED.
How could you scout 176 colleges and leave out Hamline, one of the top basketball schools in the country?
•Hamline's players, coached by Joe Hutton, won 22 games in 1957, lost only four. This season's opponents have been Eau Claire, Texas Tech, New Mexico, SMU and New Mexico A&M, all of whom defeated Hamline. So far the team has beaten only Augsburg.—ED.
I find no mention of the team that finished first in the New England NCAA tournaments—St. Michael's College.
Winooski Park, Vt.
•St. Michael's, coached by George Jacobs, defeated 17 teams, lost to six. This year they have won over Adelphi and Fairmount State and lost to Norwich and Providence.—ED.
BASKETBALL: WE ARE THE PAYING CROWD
In the Special Basketball Issue two good coaches discussed the question: Do colleges need the 24-second rule? I'll go along with Columbia Coach Lou Rossini, who came out against such a rule.
In the first place, the rule isn't necessary. The college game may not be as fast as pro style, but it is just as exciting. The 24-second rule would do nothing for the game, and it might, as suggested by Coach Rossini, detract from its quality. Players would feel rushed, and they would be in a hurry to shoot. Even the pros take some fantastic shots just to beat the 24-second buzzer.
No, no, no, Coach Rossini (SI, Dec. 9). You are dead wrong, and you halfheartedly admit it!
We are the paying crowd, and we like to see action, fair play and a good game. All three are denied us in basketball these days, when teams put on a "freeze" just because they are ahead in the last half. They may as well stop the game; how boring it becomes! I'll never forget the SMU-San Francisco game a few years ago, when SMU froze and stalled and almost stopped playing altogether the entire second half, only because they led (temporarily!).
Coach Rossini foresees poor shots and poor basketball if the 24-second rule were imposed! Look at the pro leagues, running up scores of 120 and 130, while providing an active and exciting game—is that poor shooting? Let's bring the 24-second rule to basketball.
ROBERT C. BURLINGAME
BASKETBALL: WHAT'S THE SCORE?
Boo to SPORTS ILLUSTRATED for Jeremiah Tax's article on Adolph Rupp ("Big Week for the Man in Brown," Dec. 16). Tax ridicules success with prefabrications. Tax is guilty of the misconception that discipline detracts from good sport. Five from 12 leaves seven months a year for fun.
America wasn't built by funsters; it takes single-mindedness and discipline to be world champions. How about eulogizing success, not belittling it?
FRED E. GUTH
Did it ever occur to Mr. Jeremiah Tax that Coach Rupp may believe the only fun that exists in sports is winning? Let's put it this way: Kentucky basketball players enjoy themselves more than any other basketball players in the nation—because they win 85% of the time.
In this era of character building, sportsmanship, etc., let us not forget the primary object of every game is to win. Why else do they keep score?
It is very doubtful that 12,000 fans would crowd the U. of Kentucky gym every game to see if Coach Rupp's boys were enjoying themselves. I know I would not.
•Jeremiah Tax believes that games should be played to win. So does Adolph Rupp. There is no other way to play. But there are other reasons—the inherent values and pleasures of the game—why one should play, win or lose. There is more to basketball than its record book and the paid-up entertainment of 12,000 spectators. If there were not, sport—all sport—would be just another form of Russian roulette, i.e., if you lose, you're dead.—ED.
Congratulations on your fine series, Revolution in Skiing by Willy Schaeffler (SI, Nov. 25, Dec. 16, Dec. 28). The Austrian teaching technique is definitely the greatest step forward skiing has seen since Emile Allais. There are many instructors as well as skiers who have never seen this technique demonstrated and consequently know nothing about it. I'm fairly certain that I was the first around the Seattle area to demonstrate this method of teaching to the Pacific Northwest Ski Association's Instructors Certification Committee. They were totally unimpressed and rejected my application for certification summarily by stating such an "approach to skiing and teaching was not sound or related." They are pushing against the tide.
The Willy Schaeffler articles have taken Vancouver by storm. Every good skier is practicing reverse shoulder as a start. . . .
Our creaking joints! We've done every exercise in the book since SPORTS ILLUSTRATED'S first issue on Revolution in Skiing arrived in the mailbox. Finally came the day—we picked up our boards and traveled to Arapahoe Basin for the real test!
We assumed the comma position, struggled to keep our shoulders straight, and, by gosh—we'd both been trained by the Arlberg method—we actually made a few of those shortswing turns.
Both recreational and competitive skiers should congratulate Willy Schaeffler for his outstanding contribution to skiing.
Thank you for the excellent series on the new methods of skiing you have started. This is by far the best story yet written on shortswinging and no one but Willy Schaeffler could have presented it in a simple, understandable form.
ERNEST H. BLAKE
Taos, N. Mex.
Messrs. Schaeffler, Bowen and Riger have made an invaluable contribution to the sport of skiing by presenting the first analysis of the new method to the general public. I had heard about wedeln and kurz-schwingen for some time without ever getting the same explanation from two skiers. Like most skiers, I am interested in the developmental history of the sport. Can you tell me how the shortswing method was developed, where and when?
•The shortswing (Kurzschwung) is historically a radical but organic projection of the Arlberg system with which Hannes Schneider launched the modern era of skiing in 1922. The basic Arlberg technique emphasized a crouching position and wide sweeping stem turns—executed by stemming the downhill ski and winding back with the shoulders, then stemming the uphill ski and rotating strongly into the direction of the turn, simultaneously bending and straightening legs and torso. The Arlberg technique remained unchanged until the development of steel edges in the early '30s allowed skiers to stand straighter because they could get a better hold on the snow. Topnotch competitive skiers like Friedl Pfeifer developed a strong, counterrotational wind-up followed by forceful rotation and shoulder follow-through with which they launched themselves more directly into graceful, swinging turns. In the 1936 Olympic Winter Games, Ski Pro Toni Selos ran the slalom course as forerunner without stemming, his skis parallel, winding and swinging through the gates. His time was an incredible 10 seconds faster than that of the winning and stem-turning amateur. A highly interested spectator at this pioneering run was 21-year-old Willy Schaeffler, who, with his fellow draftees of the Mountain Troops, was detailed to pack the snow for the course. In the years to follow, Austrian racers like Toni Selos, Peppi Jenewein and Willie Walch, to name but a few, developed personal modifications in the parallel technique by using heel thrusts to speed their turns. Meanwhile Emile Allais, a French racer who had skied with Toni Selos, developed his own technique of parallel skiing into the French system, which eliminated the stem turn altogether in favor of side-slipping into the turn. Using this system of tremendous wind-up, down-weighting and rotation, French skiers dominated international competitions during the postwar years until challenged by Austrian racers such as Eddi Mall, Franz Gable and Hans Nogler, who were already modifying their rotation in favor of heel thrust.
Late in 1949, two brilliant young Austrians, Christian Pravda and Toni Spiess (then a junior competitor), began to whip themselves through slalom gates using exclusively a snow-brushing heel thrust with reverse shoulder and no rotation. Virtually the entire turning action was executed below the hips. These and other elements of racing techniques were carefully studied firsthand and through motion pictures by a group headed by Professor Stelan Kruckenhauser, who then synthesized the elements into a full-fledged "school": shortswing. Professor Kruckenhauser rules as Technical Chief over the entire ski teachers' training program in Austria. To be licensed as a teacher every Austrian candidate must pass an examination at Professor Kruckenhauser's training center at St. Christoph, a few miles from Hannes Schneider's St. Anton. Thus, today shortswing is the "official" Austrian Alpine system.
It is the first time in skiing history that top instructors studied the great racers and painstakingly assembled the most useful elements of all the systems into the simplest and most effective technique yet devised for recreational skiers. From Hannes Schneider come the snowplow and the stem. Emphasis on side-slipping, parallel skiing and edge control was taken from the French system. The great Austrian racers, beginning with Toni Selos and ending with Toni Sailer, have contributed the erect downhill posture, heel-thrusting turns with body bent to the comma as well as a new grace and precision.—ED.