Bob Huggins should be commended on his ability to recruit and
"father" many of his players.
JEFFREY WACKSMAN, Cincinnati
I am one of the so-called "pretenders" who played for Cincinnati
during Bob Huggins's first year as the Bearcats' coach (Breaking
Through, Dec. 2). The article points out Huggins's consistent
method of player acquisition. He has recruited players based on
their athletic ability, with little regard to their academic
capacity or their moral character. Kids deserve a second chance,
but that chance should be used as an opportunity to improve, not
reinforce, old habits. Without question, Huggins has been a
father figure and mentor to many kids, but I just wonder if he
is teaching them enough to sustain them after their stint in the
Queen City. By the way, this pretender received his MBA from
Rice last May.
BRADY HUGHES, Houston
Cincinnati's recruitment of drug dealers, batterers and
classroom slackers to boost its basketball program is yet
another example of our society's warped sense of values. The
more the system tolerates bending the rules and winking at
crime, the more we can expect America's youth to do the same. As
other teams go through Cincinnati on their way to Indianapolis
and the Final Four, look for their players and fans to hold
their noses from the stench.
ROBERT W. HUTCHESON, Judge
Greene County Juvenile Court
December 30, 1996
Your suggestion that Cincinnati has no problem offering
scholarships to athletes of questionable character in the same
issue as your sunny portrayal of Richie Parker and his debut at
Long Island University (Scorecard) confuses me. I have nothing
against Parker's being given a second chance; ditto for the
Bearcats' Nick Van Exel, Art Long and Dontonio Wingfield. The
gray cloud you say hangs over Cincinnati actually hangs above
big-time college athletic departments everywhere.
JOHN P. WISE, Cincinnati
A better article would have examined the question of where the
Van Exels, Blounts, Wingfields, Longs, Flints and Fortsons would
be today without coach Huggins.
TAMMY FISHER, Terrace Park, Ohio
THE BLUE AND THE GRAY
In his Dec. 9 POINT AFTER, Gerry Callahan was man enough to
admit he had erred when he suggested two years ago that Army and
Navy scrap their football programs. While it was an admirable
gesture, it just wasn't enough. I suggest that he drop down and
give us 50 push-ups.
JOE YASHAROFF, Bethesda, Md.
Not so fast, Gerry Callahan. I'm not going to debate whether
Army and Navy should be Division I-A, but I don't think you
should let one good season make you yield any ground. Division
I-A is big and expensive. It requires significant resources that
the academies, and the American taxpayers, shouldn't expend. So
cheer on the Blue and the Gray for their efforts and
achievements, but keep them in perspective.
JULIE RIM, Silver Spring, Md.
Did I miss something? Where was the article to go with the
picture of the Army-Navy game on the Contents page (Dec. 16)?
This was the greatest comeback in the game's history, a real
heart-pumping fight, and you didn't cover it. Not a word about
Army quarterback Ronnie McAda's performance in which he set two
offensive records for Army in its games against Navy. And not a
mention of the great role models we saw in these fine young men.
The respect they displayed to their opponents should be an
example to all.
DEBRA DONNELLY, Honeoye Falls, N.Y.