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Dec. 17, 2001
Dec. 17, 2001

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Dec. 17, 2001

Catching Up With...

Letters

Jumping Through Hoops

This is an article from the Dec. 17, 2001 issue Original Layout

I found your college basketball preview issue (Nov. 19) quite
interesting. My alma mater, Purdue, is not listed in the men's
top 65 (Scouting Reports), nor is the women's team--runner-up in
last year's NCAA tournament--listed in the top 10 (Break Up the
Huskies). Oh, ye writers of little faith (and knowledge).
MARY C. HERRMANN, Wheeling, Ill.

Where is Tulsa in your top 65? Don't tell me you forgot the
Golden Hurricane's victories in the semis and finals of last
season's NIT. It ripped Memphis and Alabama, ranked No. 11 and
No. 26, respectively, in your preseason rankings, and has back
three of its five starters. Maybe you should give yourselves a D
for poor study habits.
LUKE FOSTER, Tahlequah, Okla.

Who is Kent State? Western Kentucky? Neither has done anything
in college basketball, yet you rank them ahead of Michigan
State, which has been to the last three Final Fours, won four
straight regular season Big Ten championships and will contend
for the conference title this year.
BRAD WILLIAMS, St. Charles, Mich.

Last year you left Syracuse out of your top 65. It quickly went
into the top 20 and stayed there. Now, I believe, the Orangemen
have less talent, and you slot them at 36. Never underestimate
Jim Boeheim!
ROBERT DONABELLA, Camillus, N.Y.

What a surprise that Cincinnati gets an F on its report card!
When will Bearcats coach Bob Huggins admit that he is running an
upstart CBA franchise? No one goes to Cincinnati for an
education, and no one goes there to win a championship.
CHRISTOPHER DROUIN, Troy, Mich.

The disgracefully low graduation rates prove once again that the
colleges are farm clubs for the NBA.
MICHAEL G. VALENTE, Naples, Fla.

Other students at a school like Maryland (19% graduation rate)
should be insulted. Most of them pay for an education while the
athletes get a free ride and abuse the privilege. I graduated
from a Big East school, but I'll follow the Patriot League and
the Ivy League this year. At least the players are really
students, not hired guns.
JOE MOFFA, Richmond Hill, N.Y.

Big Time? Big Mistake

As a college professor, SUNY Buffalo alumnus and a sports
enthusiast, I read Welcome to the Big Time (Nov. 19) with mixed
feelings. Though I empathize with Morris Brown coach Derek
Thompson, who spent $1,500 out of his pocket earlier this year
on a recruiting trip, I--and most of my untenured
colleagues--spend several times that amount each year on
work-related travel. However, I don't feel much sympathy for
Rees Johnson, the former Northeastern Illinois coach who missed
out on his dream of coaching "one game in the NCAA tournament."
Sounds like the decision makers at Northeastern Illinois got
that one right.
MITCHELL ROBINSON, Storrs, Conn.

Squeeze Play

You don't have to live in Minnesota to applaud Steve Rushin's
column dealing with Major League Baseball's corporate
assassination of the Twins (AIR AND SPACE, Nov. 19). What
astonishes and sickens me the most is that the baseball geniuses
responsible for the cancellation of a World Series are still in
a position to decide the game's future.
GARY DRAKE, Stamford, Conn.

Washington has not had a major league baseball team since the
"new" Senators left following the 1971 season--a testament to
owners who care nothing about fan loyalty. Washington fans, who
had watched 11 presidents throw out the Opening Day first pitch
and had seen the great Walter Johnson pitch, were told to
support the Baltimore Orioles as their home team. Sorry Steve,
get over it. You should realize that baseball is a business run
by greedy owners who care little about the fans who support
their teams.
JONATHAN WOLIN, Laguna Beach, Calif.

COLOR PHOTO: MANNY MILLAN

Smma cum Laude

Too bad you didn't include report cards for your women's Top 10
as you did for the men's top picks. I imagine their graduation
rates (below) are higher. The women's programs are purer and
more exciting than the men's. (Svetlana Abrosimova, right,
graduates from Connecticut this month with a degree in business.)
LARRY WARRENFELTZ, Pensacola, Fla.

Connecticut 67%*
Tennessee 67%
Vanderbilt 91%
Oklahoma 46%
Texas Tech 83%
Louisiana Tech 64%
Duke 83%
Iowa State 63%
North Carolina State 64%
Stanford 80%

*Graduation rates compiled by NCAA.com.