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Image 8 of The Cats' Pause, April 29, 1989

Part of The Cats' Pause

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&7ie (jots' &au&e VIEWPOINT Letters To The Editor Mail All Letters To: VIEWPOINT, The Cats' Pause, P.O. Box 7297, Lexington, KY 40522 Hiring CM. good move Dear sir: Oh, how the mighty have fallen! When was the last time a Kentucky team was not invited to the NCAA or NIT tournaments? Kentucky's once mighty, prestigious program is in shambles. Coach (Eddie) Sutton may not be personally responsible for this demise but he is certainly guilty by association since he was in charge of the program. Hiring CM. Newton as athletics director is a step in the right direction. Now we must get a new head coach with the same type of credentials as CM. Newton. I agonized through this basketball season. I've been a Wildcat fan since I first learned of Kentucky basketball back in my childhood in eastern Kentucky. To me, the state of Kentucky and Kentucky basketball are synonymous. I want to be proud once again to be called a Wildcat fan. I'll always be proud of being a Kentucky boy. Thanks for hearing me out. Sincerely yours, Charles Rickard Union Lake. Mich. P.S. I thoroughly enjoy both The Cats' Pause and Big Blue Basketball. It seems they're my only contact with the outside world. Editor's note: Charles, in answer to your rhetorical question, the last time UK was left out of postseason play before this season was 1973-74, when Joe B. Hall's second club went 13-13. Cmon Stan Dear sir: Stan Torgerson, you had the opportunity to criticize Joe B. Hall for 13 years when he was UK basketball coach and, in spite of you and his other critics, he succeeded. The man is intelligent enough and well-though-of enough by the broadcasting world to be accepted, even by the University of Louisville fans! He is showing that his knowledge of basketball and expertise is indeed proving his capabilities as a coach and an analyst. So, your criticism of Joe B. Hall's analysis is without foundation. In the Feb. 25 issue of The Cats' Pause, you presumed to know how to tell this man the best method of analyzing the game of basketball. It is my opinion that is the reason you write • a sick column, while Joe B. Hall analyzes basketball games. Thank goodness, he is no Dick Vitalc! Mrs. Sarah Floorc Louisville Consider Haskins Dear sir: ble replacements for Eddie Sutton. All of them are white. Now that Eddie Sutton is no longer UK's coach, I urge UK to also consider black coaches. Specifically, I urge UK to consider Clem Haskins. Aside from the immorality of racial discrimination, it is in UK's best interest to consider black coaches. History should have already taught UK this lesson. UK was un-disputably the preeminent basketball school in the country through the 1950s. It won four national championships within 11 years. Then came integration. UK resisted until 1971, which to my knowledge made it the last team in the country to integrate. As a consequence, UK has won only one national championship in the last 30 years. It spurned players such as Wes Unseld. Butch Beard, Haskins and Jim McDaniels. to name a few. Imagine Unseld rebounding and throwing outlets to the Runts. That was at least one national championship ignorantly tossed away. Instead, Unseld elevated UofL to national-power status. That status caused the stream of good black players from the city of Louisville to go to U of L instead of UK. That may have also helped lure Denny Crum from California. Now, U of L not only wins more national championships than UK, it is a serious contender for it more often. Imagine Darrell Griffith in the same backcourt with Kyle Macy at UK. UK might have repeated as national champion in 1979 and again in 1980. The past cannot be relived, but UK can learn from its mistakes. Many of the white coaches I have seen mentioned would be very capable, but none would be more capable than Haskins. Nobody has done a more remarkable job in building a team from nothing. When Haskins took over at Minnesota, the team not only faced NCAA charges, it had lost three players who were charged (though later acquitted) with rape. He had no talent at all, not even a LeRon Ellis or a Chris Mills to build around. He took a patchwork of substitutes, freshmen and junior college transfers and molded them into a team. They struggled the first two years, but they played together and they played hard. Despite their losses, the fans and the state were proud of them. Now the hard work is paying off. With less talent than most teams in the NCAA tournament, Minnesota made the final 16. In addition to winning, Haskins has conducted himself with class and dignity. I believe he could bring respectability and winning back to UK. Whether UK hires Clem Haskins or someone else, I hope it does the right thing by considering coaches on their merits, not their race. I believe UK can dominate college basketball once more. I would love nothing more than to see that happen. However, it will not happen again if UK lets itself be guided by the ignorance of racial discrimination. Sincerely, Thomas M. Ross Bloomington, Minn. Roselle should be next All season long, I have read about possi- Dear sir: The ongoing NCAA (Not Concerned About Athletes) investigation and rumor mill has thus far resulted in the resignations (firings?) of two gentlemen who were not named in the list of allegations against the Wildcats' basketball program—Cliff Hagan and Eddie Sutton. Like all UK fans, I have agonized over the events of the past 12 months and look forward to the end of the ordeal so that the new coach and his staff can get on with the business of returning Kentucky basketball to its rightful position at the top of the heap. If coach Sutton had been found guilty of any serious violation of NCAA regulations, then I would have welcomed his resignation, much as I have come to like him as a coach and as a person. I have enjoyed watching his teams perform over the years and I wish him the best in the future. If we are in the process of pushing for the resignation of those at the top, regardless of guilt or innocence, then I feel strongly that president (David) Roselle should follow Hagan's and Sutton's example and tender his resignation. At a time when strong leadership is needed, president Roselle has been conspicuous by taking no visible action or by mouthing platitudes about waiting for the process to take its course. I realize that a university president has many more things on his mind than the athletic program, but if Mr. Roselle has not yet grasped the importance of the basketball program to the university and to the commonwealth, then the sooner that someone else is in the president's chair, the better. I cannot imagine either John Oswald or Otis Singletary being as seemingly inactive as Roselle has appeared. Better days in '89-90 Dave Harris '68 Eatontown, N.J. Wildcat Mania Dear sir: After serious thought, I suppose they were right. "They" being the folks who used to tell me: "Williams, you ain't got the brains God gave a goose!" Those folks were moved to such sagacious comments upon observing "Williams," mainly me, trudging eight and one half miles through cold, blizzard, sleet and rain. You see, I lived this distance from the only school I ever graduated from, good ole Frenchburg High School, nestled at the foot of some beautiful hills that are abundant in Menifee County. I played basketball for the Frenchburg Wildcats. My family had no vehicle. Not many folks had vehicles in my area. Those that did were not often moved to drive eight and one half miles to see FHS get clobbered by Morgan County or Oil Springs 91-36 or some similar score. So after every game I would emerge from the old wooden gym, watch all the fans pile into their cars and drive east. I had to go west, not because Horace Greeley said to, but because my momma's love and buscuits and gravy awaited at home, to the west. Many a night the weather would be so bad I slept in parked cars or trucks. People didn't lock up in those days, in that county. More than once 1 snuggled down in the sweet alfalfa in some cozy hayloft, lullibied to sleep by the lowing of cows and the whickering of plow horses. More than once a farmer would admonish me for not coming to his door to seek shelter. But even then, in my youthful innocence, I didn't know if what I had was catching, so I wanted to spare him and his good family from this malady! "Wildcat Mania" was what it was, but I didn't get the proper diagnosis till moving to Lexington years later. The odds are all those families had been "eat up" with it for many years! Late January and all of February, when the weather is at its wintery best, or worst in Kentucky, I would leave home Monday and not return until Saturday. We'd practice Monday eve, couldn't get home. Have a game Tuesday night, couldn't get home. Practice Wednesday and Thursday, couldn't get home. Have a game Friday night, get home at 2 a.m. Saturday morning. I would buy a $1 meal ticket, good for lunch Monday through Friday. This lunch in the school cafeteria was often the only meal I would have all day. We had a beautiful farm, a successful farm, we just never seemed to have money. Of all my problems, obesity was not one of them. I had to walk three miles to get to the school bus, as it could not get up the holler I lived on. All this so I could flunk algebra and set English back considerably! All because I wanted to play basketball for Adolph Rupp, to be a Wildcat, to wear the revered Blue and White that was cussed and discussed but definitely held in high respect and awe among the sports-minded people around the country. I never became a Wildcat. Wasn't good enough, naturally, to wear the Blue and White. I settled for being a fan. My life was controlled by Kentucky basketball. I turned down promotions that meant night shift at IBM, the other big blue in my life, so I could follow the 'Cats. That was when games were played when God intended them to be played, at night. In 1967 I joined the Committee of 101, a fine organization dedicated to supporting UK basketball. I retained my membership on coming to Texas. I salute the 101! Bronchitus drove me from the Kentucky winters to a warmer Texas climate. But we follow the 'Cats. I receive The Cats' Pause, pick up the games somewhat on the radio and catch the 'Cats on the telly. I am awaiting a heart transplant as the old one is worn out. I assure all you folks back in Kentucky that whenever and from whomever a heart appears, it will be promptly transfused and programmed with the love and respect I have for all the boys—come and gone, yet to come—that run out of the tunnel to the strains of "On, On, U of K," to all the coaches and, most of all, you fans who make the program what it is. Thanks, God bless and "Give 'em hell. Wildcats!" Fred Williams Dale, Texas