Barry McDermott's article (The Streaks of San Francisco, Jan. 31) was refreshing and inspiring. Too often college athletes are scorned for being immature. Coaches and spectators have a tendency to forget that what they are dealing with is oversized teen-agers who just happen to excel in sports. Forward James Hardy said it best: "People forget I'm still a kid in a man's body."
USF Coach Bob Gaillard has assembled perhaps the finest young basketball team in the country, and he has coordinated the players' efforts so that the team wins. But he has done it without the victory-at-all-costs routine. Gaillard has taught his players to work as a team without sacrificing personal glory. The results speak for themselves.
Whether the Dons continue at their present rate and go on to the NCAA finals is not the point. It is how they have achieved success that really matters. As Gaillard expressed it, "This is not a military site." Of course not, it's a college.
Palo Alto, Calif.
There is no doubt in my mind that San Francisco has one of the best college basketball teams in the country, but the Dons wouldn't (and won't) stand a chance against such titans as UCLA, Marquette, North Carolina and Michigan. Considering the schedule the Dons have played so far, I don't see how they can be rated No. 1, even with their perfect record.
February 14, 1977
I thoroughly enjoyed Barry McDermott's article on the University of San Francisco, especially since I have not yet seen the Dons play. But please clear up one point. Why is it so confounding that Winford Boynes, at 6'½", plays guard? This should be his natural position.
•A typographical error reduced Boynes' height. He is 6'6½".—ED.
Thank goodness "words spoke louder than action" (Jan. 31) at the 71st annual NCAA convention and the Big Football babies did not get their way. It really is difficult to believe that it took Walter Byers' and J. Neils Thompson's committee a whole year to construct such an asinine proposal: reorganization based on a school's ability to compete in Division I in at least eight sports, football and basketball included, with an amendment for those schools with Division I basketball but no football allowing them to retain Division I status in only that one sport.
Since a host of Division I schools, including the University of San Francisco, whose basketball team was featured on your cover, do not field football teams, it is little wonder that the proposal was tabled. Does Big Football expect a school like Providence to play Division I basketball and then run Division II cross-country after placing third and ninth in the last two NCAA Division I cross-country championships? Ridiculous!
Almost as ridiculous was John Underwood's claim that there are no Notre Dame beaters in the Eastern College Athletic Conference. The Irish were recently beaten by Princeton and Villanova in Big Basketball. Oops, I almost forgot. Big Football is the only sport, isn't it?
TIMOTHY F. THOMPSON
THE OWNERS' SIDE
I thought your article on the owners (Who Are These Guys? Jan. 31) was excellent. It proved that professional players are overpaid and that they are extremely greedy. They just don't seem to understand that owners have debts to pay, also. Something must be done about the "million dollar baby" attitude or, in the end, it will destroy sports.
East Hampton, N.Y.
I must congratulate Calvin Griffith, Ruly Carpenter and especially Carroll Rosenbloom on their insight. The people who are ruining our sports are the ones who look out first for themselves and not for the sport. As Rosenbloom said, "The only solution is for us to realize that we are partners.... [The players] have to realize that we're in the same boat together. If we don't work together, we won't have anything to work with." We fans are partners, too, and none of us can tolerate players or owners who care only for themselves. If we do, we won't have anything to enjoy, either.
RANDALL C. SAMMET
I disagree with Rams owner Carroll Rosenbloom's assessment of Wellington Mara. Mara was just trying to protect his interest in the Giants and do his duty to the people of New York by signing Larry Csonka and providing the fans with the best players possible. I applaud Mara's action.
College Station, Texas
As a devoted New Orleans fan, I, too, would like to see the Jazz in the playoffs before 60,000 fans in the Superdome. But if Sam Battistone keeps making decisions like making Barry Mendelson executive vice-president and firing a great coach like Butch van Breda Kolff, the Jazz will end up like the other pro franchise in New Orleans.
JERRY J. LE BLANC
Calvin Griffith did not move the Washington Senators to Minneapolis. He moved the team to Bloomington, Minn., just outside of St. Paul and Minneapolis, and the team became the Twins—for Twin Cities. A ton of St. Paul money went into the deal to bring the Twins to Minnesota.
We think that Griffith is doing the right thing in not bidding for the "glory boys" of baseball. I've never, in my 70 years, seen an owner able to buy a pennant. What's more, they won't do it now by paying the outlandish prices of the Campbells, the Hunters and the rest.
I was disappointed that Ray Kennedy failed to feature another breed of owner, the kind who played—even starred—for the pro team he owns. Today the sole member of this distinguished group is the man who held for nearly 50 years the NFL record for the longest runback of a fumble (98 yards), George Halas of the Chicago Bears.
I enjoyed your article about Sunday basketball telecasts (TV/RADIO, Jan. 31). How appropriate that the best college basketball conference in the country should produce the best basketball announcer, Billy Packer. This "fat little guy who is going bald" has not only received acclaim from players and coaches but, even more astounding, he has gained the respect of ACC fans. We count on Billy to tell it like it is.
Chapel Hill, N.C.
College basketball TV ratings are sure to go up as long as Packer is announcing.
WILLIAM J. SCHULTZ
DEFORD'S IMPRESSIONS (CONT.)
I would like to congratulate Frank Deford on his article Three Little Syllables (Jan. 24). I am married to a Hawaiian, and I have also spent some time in The Islands. I was completely astonished that someone finally found it in himself to write the truth about "Paradise." I do not deny that the Hawaiian Islands can be beautiful and alluring. However, I found very few Islanders who would admit or discuss the shortcomings of Hawaii. So, it has come as a great relief that your magazine has printed an article that shows the true and pressing problems of The Islands. Now maybe the "natives" will admit that there is a snake in the Garden of Eden.
ANOTHER POINT FOR VASSS
All of us who had to do with the National Collegiate Tennis Classic at Rancho Mirage, Calif. enjoyed Joe Jares' story on this event (Graham Did Not Crack, Jan. 17). But I would like to add that the factor which saved the tournament was our use of VASSS no-ad scoring with the nine-point tie breaker. This system enabled us to easily make up the day lost to rain without keeping the students over an extra day.
VASSS advocates are to be congratulated on having surmounted the formidable opposition of tradition in correcting a glaring, century-old weakness in the great game of tennis. The no-ad game with the nine-point tie breaker means that tournament matches can be put on within sensible time limits, which not only tightens the drama for spectators and players, but also makes life easier for all of us tournament directors.
I firmly believe that the nine-point tie breaker is the best of the tie-breaker methods. It is certainly more easily understood by the layman than any other and is packed with tension.
REX V. DARLING
Palm Springs, Calif.
Steve Dyal's letter (Jan. 31) noted that quarterbacks wearing No. 12 were winners in the Super Bowl. He failed to mention Super Bowl III, played on Jan. 12, 1969, in which Joe Namath, wearing No. 12, led the Jets to a 16-7 win over the Colts.
TOUCH OF SPRING
Dan Jenkins' article on the Bing Crosby National Pro-Am was like a breath of spring (Watson, but Not So Elementary, Jan. 31). Bing's clambake always seems to have the right mixture of golf, scenery and celebrities. The sight of Pebble Beach is an inspiration to all of us golfers in the frozen East. At least we know that snow does not cover the fairways and greens everywhere.
I hope your readers have not been led to believe that all cowboys are like the hypothetical one you described in your article The Marlboro Man (Jan. 17). Being a Western cowgirl and ranch wife, I can't help resenting your portrayal of a "real cowboy" as a gambler, boozer and chauvinist who is lazy and chews snuff. I can name a dozen real cowboys who do not fit that description, and they don't insult their wives, either. One in particular is my brother, Bert Oliver of Santa Ynez, Calif., who doesn't drink, smoke, chew or cuss—much. Furthermore, he's a whole lot better looking.
Although I don't smoke Darrell Winfield's cigarette (I smoke Winstons), I really admire him for apparently keeping his head screwed on straight and having a firm grip on his roots. He is quite a man. But aside from all that, just what does a feature article on a fine cowpoke and gentleman have to do with the world of sport?
With reference to your item on "the old hometown" in SCORECARD (Jan. 24), Toledo, Ohio is usually thought of for these two things: the Glass Capital of the World and the home of Toledo University, recent conqueror in basketball of Indiana and South Carolina.
DAVID D. SCOTT
Newport Beach, Calif.
There's yet another song that Toledo is famous for, one much older than Jones Junior High, which was pre-World War II vintage. It is called We're Strong for Toledo and it goes like this:
We're strong for Toledo,
The girls are the fairest,
The boys are the squarest
Of any old town that I know.
We're strong for Toledo,
The place where the breezes blow.
In any old weather,
We'll all stick together
New York City
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