Never before have I read an article in your magazine as prejudiced as Alfred Wright's article on Jack Nicklaus' U.S. Open victory (Jack Delivers the Crusher, June 26). I am one of the first to admit that Jack Nicklaus is one of the finest golfers in the world. But let's be fair, shall we? Several of Mr. Wright's comments about Arnold Palmer were cruel and unnecessary. Loyalty and admiration for individual athletes are fine until one loses sight of the qualities and talents of other athletes, too. In my opinion, this is precisely what Mr. Wright has done.
CHARLES GARY IAMS
I would like to congratulate Alfred Wright on his article. It is about time that someone told the golfing public who really is the greatest golfer of all time, Jack Nicklaus.
I admit that Arnold Palmer has more class than any other golfer, but that doesn't win golf tournaments. Jack Nicklaus is the greatest and should be getting the applause he deserves.
Menlo Park, Calif.
There is surely little sense in the arithmetic by which you, and others, claim that Nicklaus' score at Baltusrol constitutes an Open record.
Quantitative comparison among and between scores recorded on different golf courses is totally meaningless. The only proper test is strokes vs. par. Nicklaus' 275 was five strokes under par—or five strokes better than theoretically faultless golf.
How much under par was Hogan's 276 at Riviera in 1948? By how much has any Open winner beaten par in the 67 years of Opens? I don't know, but I do know that the champion by this test is the alltime Open champion.
•These are the five best under-par Open scores—either tying or beating Jack's five under:
Possibly it is unfair to write thus of two men who are deceased. They will not be able to say that they were misquoted.
CHARLES M. BURTON
Kansas City, Mo.
I would like to commend Bill Russell and Tex Maule (I Am Not Worried About Ali, June 19). This article should be read by everyone in the country—if they could read it with an open mind. There is great open-mindedness here and not the quick condemning attitude that is so often displayed against a minority.
The man's sincerity toward his religious beliefs cannot be denied. Look at what he's already given up—and there is more to come. I think he's a fine example of a man for standing on his beliefs when a whole country is against him. He is criticized so much for not defending his country, a country that gave him so much—a country that gave the Negro so much it forgot to give him equal rights. When he gets his equal rights, then maybe we can expect from him what we would expect from people like me, who can eat anywhere, sleep anywhere and find a job anywhere. But I happen to be white. Until then, let's all of us who are quick to condemn and criticize get up and look in the mirror and say, "I am fair." How many of us can do it?
AL TAMBERELLI JR.
Muhammad Ali is a sensitive man of high principles; indeed, he has those same traits of purpose, dignity and conviction so commendable in whites that are intolerable to white America if possessed by Negroes.
BOB VAN COURT
NCAA VS. AAU (CONT.)
Right you are! When the International Amateur Basketball Association failed to renew the privileges of arranging international competition it had previously granted the U.S. Basketball Federation, the AAU was the winner (SCORECARD, June 19). But basketball was the loser.
The fans at the World Amateur Championship in Montevideo, Uruguay (where the IABA met) wanted to know where the good U.S. basketball players, about whom they had read, were. They repeatedly asked, "Why weren't they on the team representing the U.S.?" The answer is obvious. The team representing the U.S. was selected by the AAU.
As you say, the Russians understand and want to maintain the status quo.
CLIFFORD B. FAGAN
President, Basketball Federation of the U.S.
As volunteers teaching basketball in a Peace Corps program in Montevideo, we recently had the opportunity to observe the world championship. Uruguay worked hard to make it a success, and the attention attracted by the event was evidence of the growing interest in this sport the world over.
It is unfortunate that, as founders of the sport, we in the U.S. do not show the same interest. The mediocre team sponsored by the AAU finished fourth behind Russia, Yugoslavia and Brazil, all of whom brought good teams, worthy of international competition.
Aside from the poor play, what disturbed us even more was the poor sportsmanship and outright rudeness displayed by the American team. The coach and players were constantly harassing and complaining to the referees during the games and, by such ploys as trying to change men already designated in a jump-ball or free-throw situation, the coach sought undeserved advantages. After losing the first game against Yugoslavia, one U.S. player was seen in a newspaper photo the next day making an obscene gesture at the crowd. And during the singing of the Uruguayan national anthem in the closing ceremonies several members of the U.S. team were joking with their teammates.
The hissing and booing (in contrast to the cheers and applause that greeted the other teams) that the Americans received as they left the gymnasium were justly deserved. The American team destroyed much of what we have tried to teach in our two years here—how to play good basketball and, more important, how one should conduct oneself both on and off the court.
Must this petty quarrel continue between the NCAA and the AAU? Must a coach and team of such poor caliber and preparation represent the U.S. in international competition? The U.S. has every reason to be proud of its basketball and the example it offers to the rest of the world. We feel it is only just to demand, therefore, that U.S. basketball officials also share in this pride and strive to make sure our country is represented in any international competition with the very best the sport has to offer.
JAMES C. LOUSTALOT
TIMOTHY N. MURPHY
EDWARD J. SCHWARZ
MICHAEL L. COOK