This is an article from the Dec. 10, 2007 issue
O.J. Mayo should be a top player this year, but the basketball-related decisions that he makes in consultation with his advisers raise a red flag. I'm not sure what is worse: going against your family's recommendation that you attend a college closer to home or taking advice from Kobe Bryant on when to share the ball with your teammates.
Eric Michalko, Toronto
O.J. Mayo and Kevin Love (A Fight Between Friends, Nov.¬†19) might be the next two superstars of college basketball, but they are also examples of what is wrong with sports today. Mayo has been in the spotlight since seventh grade while fighting, missing class, bumping a referee and being cited for marijuana possession. (The charge was dismissed when another passenger in the car claimed responsibility.) Love's parents, while capturing every moment of his career on tape, complained that Kevin didn't receive respect from his hometown or school for his accomplishments, petitioned to get the coach fired after butting heads with him about playing time and ultimately filed a restraining order against the entire coaching staff.
Mike Fink, Media, Pa.
In your feature on college basketball rivalries (The Best of Enemies, Nov.¬†19) I found it interesting that Kentucky and Louisville were both featured but not against each other. While Florida, the rival you named for Kentucky, has enjoyed some recent success, any blue-blooded Wildcat can tell you that our archrival is Louisville--which Adolph Rupp disdained so thoroughly that we didn't play them for nearly 25¬†years!
Chaim Schramm, Philadelphia
There is a basketball feud between Florida and Kentucky only in the overactive imagination of your writer and Gators fans born after the year 2000. Since that year, there have been 10 Kentucky wins and eight Florida wins, a respectable rivalry. Before that, Kentucky had won 74 of 96 meetings, including one stretch of 18 straight.
David Rust, Merritt Island, Fla.
In your college basketball preview how can Texas Tech not be on your list of the 65¬†teams that will make the NCAA tournament (Filling the Brackets, Nov.¬†19)? May Bobby Knight verbally draw and quarter your so-called experts!
Tom Mac Donald, Eustis, Maine
Untidy Bowl System
The phrase "that's why they play the game" has come to mind after each of the many upsets of title-game contenders this season. Yet the NCAA stubbornly stands by the BCS (Bowl Chaos Season, Nov.¬†19), preferring to select the teams that will play for the national championship by using polls and computer rankings. The NCAA needs to wake up and give college football fans what they want--a real national champion that earns the title on the field, not in the CPU of a computer.
Ken Meinen, Temple, Texas
Austin Murphy's story implies that teams in conferences without championship games will be punished by comparison with teams whose conferences do have a playoff. How ironic that a system that won't allow a playoff rewards conferences that do.
Kevin Druckenmiller, Fremont, Ohio
Miami's Pro Bowlers
In your story about the recent and obvious shortcomings of the Miami Dolphins (A Season in Hell, Nov.¬†19), you say that the only Dolphin to make the Pro Bowl since '99 is Chris Chambers. Actually, many Dolphins have made the Pro Bowl since then, and Jason Taylor and Zach Thomas have made 12 Pro Bowls combined in that span.
Michael Torres, Miami
Editor's Note: The story should have said that Chambers is the only player drafted by Miami since '99 to make the Pro Bowl. SI regrets the error.
As a longtime Illini family, we've never had great love for Indiana. However, we did always have respect for its basketball teams during the Knight and Davis eras. In a very short time, though, with Kelvin Sampson onboard, Indiana has shown that it no longer cares about running a clean program (Players, Nov.¬†12). By condoning Sampson's recruiting tactics, Indiana has shrouded itself and its basketball program in disgrace. Kudos to Kent Benson for recognizing how his school has changed since he was a student.
Betty L. Waldhauser, Pawnee, Ill.
Guileless in Seattle
As an 18-year-old I felt as if I were reading about one of my own friends with your story on Kevin Durant's first week in the NBA (The Kid Enters the Picture, Nov.¬†12). I can imagine one of my friends thinking about asking for an autograph from Carmelo and staring at the dance team. Durant is perhaps the biggest celebrity in the state of Washington, but he still lives with his mom and plays video games with the neighborhood kids. Let's hope that KD keeps his good nature throughout what will be an illustrious NBA career.
Danny Sadagursky, Staten Island, N.Y.
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