Congratulations on your article The Toughest Kid on Anybody's Block (Jan. 4). You couldn't have picked a better man to feature than John Roche or a better team than the South Carolina Gamecocks. The Gamecocks may have bad tempers, but you have to admit that they're good.
All I can say is that UCLA had better watch out when NCAA title time comes. The Gamecocks are going to be there.
Curry Kirkpatrick captured the spirit of Coach Frank McGuire and the South Carolina basketball team. Unfortunately, some of South Carolina's players seem to feel that it is smart to unload a left on a counterman or kick an opposing player when he is down. Worse than this is the apparent attitude of Mr. McGuire in recruiting this type of person or condoning these actions by his players. Whether valid or false, this is the opinion many people developed when Mr. McGuire was coaching at North Carolina and hold now, while he is at USC.
If a coach is to be judged solely by the number of wins, then Mr. McGuire is an unqualified success. If he is to be judged by his ability to assist young men to grow, then he is apparently less successful.
JERRY N. PHILLIPS
January 18, 1971
Please have Curry Kirkpatrick explain more clearly in a future article what "New York basketball" is all about. It has to be more than a coach who claims he isn't Jesus and a boy who picks on soda jerks. Whatever it is, it doesn't work against North Carolina players who know how the game should be played. Witness Jan. 4: North Carolina 79, South Carolina 64.
It is clear now that your beer parlor hero (Ribock) can handle nine drunks but he can't hold a candle to a player half his size on a basketball court.
CARROLL D. PAYNE
Madison Heights, Va.
Mr. Roche and the Gamecocks came to Chapel Hill and were soundly beaten by the North Carolina Tar Heels. Several technical fouls were called on South Carolina. Displaying the most unsportsmanlike conduct on the court will not get a team anywhere. The Gamecocks have an excellent team, but their actions of the past have caught up with them.
North Carolina still has the best basketball around, and it will continue to have it despite the actions of John Roche and South Carolina.
Mr. Kirkpatrick's article on John Roche and South Carolina basketball gives the impression that the team is involved in fistfights as often as possible (on and off the court). South Carolinians take great pride in their basketball team, their university and their state. We are not appreciative of someone sitting at a desk telling the readers how mean the team appears to him. If you have taken it upon yourselves to inform your readers about the bad guys, why not tell them about coaches who become personally involved in riots. Or about officials who are either so biased or blind that they call the infractions of playing rules as they want them to be—not as they are? It has always amazed me that millions of people watching the games on TV can see this but not the officials.
We have worked hard to build a basketball power at South Carolina and to build a beautiful new coliseum in Columbia. It appears to me that it gives SI acid indigestion to write about USC, but since we are rated No. 2 in the country you feel you must give us some coverage every now and then, and so you make it as unflattering as possible. Yes, we have a good team and we are proud of it.
Mrs. J. C. WOFFORD
It seems to me that Curry Kirkpatrick could have characterized John Roche and his teammates as great basketball players and not as street urchins. Kirkpatrick must think that Roche would rather hit a jaw than two points. How could any loyal Gamecock supporter believe that?
JOHN W. FOLSOM
If I were John Roche, the very next guy I'd slug would be Curry Kirkpatrick.
J. PATRICK DOHERTY
Elmwood Park, Ill.
Why don't you write a boxing article on South Carolina and a basketball article on North Carolina?
Curry Kirkpatrick's was an excellent portrait of Frank McGuire's "hotheads," as John Roche aptly described the South Carolina team. A lot of ACC fans have known for a long time that McGuire, Roche, Owens, Ribock and mates lack one important quality to go with their talent—class!
BARBARA A. JOHNSON
THE BOWLS RUNNETH OVER
The first part of Dan Jenkins' article The One-Day Season (Jan. 11) is the finest descriptive introduction to a three-bowl synopsis yet to be rendered in journalism circles. After that, it was a great recap of the bowl games. Congratulations on another fine literary presentation.
The bowl games are over, and the team you didn't mention in your article about the big three in the nation came out on top. Nebraska's coach doesn't play golf with rival coaches, give car commercials on television or carry on phone conversations with the President. Bob Devaney is just the nation's No. 1 coach with the No. 1 team. He who laughs last laughs best, and all of Nebraska is laughing now.
I would like to commend you on your article on the San Diego Gulls hockey club (A Not So Silent Minority, Jan. 4). I am a very ardent Gull fan and have listened to and watched many of their games. The Gulls are a very good team and are currently in second place in the Western Hockey League, behind the Portland Buckaroos. Mark Mulvoy wrote a very good piece but he left out one important thing. He forgot to mention Bob Courcy, who is currently the WHL's scoring leader.
I am sure that there are many San Diegans who think that the Gulls could beat some of the National Hockey League teams, and I am one of them.
LAWRENCE J. GOLDZBAND
La Mesa, Calif.
It's about time the National Hockey League people woke up and noticed that the WHL teams and cities are just as capable of producing large crowds, good players and exciting action. Congratulations to Mark Mulvoy on a fine, well-written piece.
Mark Mulvoy is fast becoming the Western Hockey League's favorite sportswriter. This started in your Dec. 14 issue, when he reported on the Vancouver Canucks, who were until last year a WHL team. Now he comes back with another article in the Jan. 4 issue on the San Diego Gulls. All Gull fans can tell you that we love the Gulls as they are, and we do not really want an NHL franchise. At the present time we are hoping and rooting for a Lester Patrick Cup this season. Congratulations to Mark Mulvoy and SI for great articles concerning the world's fastest sport!
La Jolla, Calif.
Please extend my congratulatory thanks to William Leggett for his fine article on the Kansas City Royals' baseball school (To the Tune of a Hickory (Well, Ash) Stick, Jan. 4). I think Royals Owner Ewing Kauffman has set an excellent precedent for the baseball world to follow. Were age not a factor (I believe, in my case, it would be) I would seriously make an attempt to gain admission to his school. To Mr. Kauffman I offer my best wishes for success.
University Park, Pa.
The school that Ewing Kauffman has set up is a step in the right direction to prepare baseball for the future. And that raises a big but simple question: If the baseball academy is a success (and I have a satisfying feeling that it will be), could similar schools be set up for basketball, hockey and even football?
Among the New Year's resolutions printed in your Jan. 4 PEOPLE column is one by Howard Cosell to "quit as soon as I can afford it." I don't know Mr. Cosell's address, but in order that his resolution may be speeded on to fulfillment, here is my dollar. Please forward it to him.
JUDITH E. NEMMERS
Address editorial mail to TIME & LIFE Bldg., Rockefeller Center, New York, N.Y. 10020.