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Letters To The Editor
Mail All Letters To: VIEWPOINT, The Cats' Pause, P.O. Box 7297, Lexington, KY 40522
Never leave without it
Enclosed, please find my check to renew my subscription to The Cats' Pause. Let me take this opportunity to thank you for producing such an excellent newspaper.
I am a sales representative for a computer company and cover the seven Southeastern states. I read TCP while traveling. I never leave home without it.
I know things aren't great in Lexington right now but Kentucky will work through these problems and hopefully will come out stronger than before.
It seems that the topic of conversation is when and where the axe is going to fall. We need to go ahead and "bite the bullet." make these changes so that we can build strong teams in all sports. It's great to be so strong in basketball, but I just returned from Knoxville, and I am tired of driving long distances and sitting in all kinds of weather to watch the football team lose another game that could have been won. Other schools in our conference are strong in all sports (LSU, Georgia) and there is no reason why we can't be, too. Go ahead, UK, make the changes that need to be made.
A 'Cat stuck in Dawg Country,
Wes Warmouth Atlanta, Ga.
Swift and just?
As a former fellow Kentuckian (Paintsville), I naturally am a Wildcat fan. I am more than a little bit enraged at all the crap going on around the nation about the Kentucky program. I am sure a lot of things happen with any large institution that we rather it didn't, and when they do we expect full punishment. That is the situation now, and if we are guilty then we deserve punishment, so let it fall appropriately.
What angers me is the punishment we are experiencing is without ever having been found guilty of anything. Our system of justice demands each of us to be given a swift and just trial before penalties are imposed. That has not been the situation. The NCAA has made a lot of charges that took forever to be made (which in itself has caused unjust punishment through recruiting, etc.). Hopefully this situation will soon be resolved and we can all get on with the game.
I am also very angry at Dr. (David) Roselle for having fired Cliff Hagan. I agree that Cliff Hagan was responsible for the entire athletics program and should shoulder some of the consequences for anything that goes wrong in that department.
Then too, Dr. Roselle is responsible for the entire university. Should he also be fired? Come on! There is some pussyfooting going on here. Let's satisfy the NCAA first, then maybe they will go easy on us. Don't worry about the individual. Dr. Roselle, start packing your bag too if this is the attitude the university is going to adopt.
I would like you to accept the enclosed check to renew my subscription to Tlie Cats' Pause and a copy of the TCP Kentucky Basketball Yearbook.
Oh, yes! Thanks for letting me shoot off my mouth about the current situation. Ah! The frustrations of a Wildcat basketball fan.
William E. Perry Pickerington, Ohio
He is our coach
He said he would have gladly crawled from Arkansas to be the basketball coach at the University of Kentucky, and with true Kentucky fan warmth, we welcomed into our fold. Almost as easily as we had run off his predecessor, Joe Hall.
All the fans who called in to the call-in shows, as well as the sportswriters and sport-scasters, sang his praises as he molded average players into winners and produced winning seasons from those predicted to be losings ones. And now...
...Look at us!! We so-called fans are already picking Eddie Sutton's replacement, when he has yet to be proven guilty of any of the recent NCAA charges. And his so-called friend, Dick Vitale, is calling for his firing, "guilty or not," on national TV. Folks, we had better pray that Sutton is absolved of any wrongdoing, that he does not quit in disgust and that (David) Roselle has the good sense to realize that getting a quality coach to come to Kentucky, after seeing how we treat them, will be next to impossible. And let's face it, a mediocre coach means mediocre players, which means you can kiss Adolph Rupp, tradition and Kentucky basketball bye-bye.
And for all you sportscasters who are crying the blues because coach Sutton won't allow you to watch the team practice, I say why should he? He is smart enough to know that you won't be there to write about how a very young, inexperienced team is working hard and doing its very best to make the state of Kentucky proud of them. He knows that you vultures are there to pick the bones clean of what little pride and dignity remains, by your speculative writing.
Until Eddie Sutton is proven to be in violation of school or NCAA rules, we should remember HE IS OUR COACH and deserves our loyalty and support.
Bob Saxon Paducah
Editor's note: Bob, I think we at TCP speak for the majority of the media when we say that, with a few exceptions, nobody likes to write about all the problems that Kentucky basketball has undergone during the last seven months. Given the choice, writers and broadcasters, more often than not, would rather report positive stories than negative ones. At the same time, however, no one can deny that there is an NCAA investigation going on, there are
problems with UK basketball, and they must be reported.
You ask why practice sessions should be open to media members, so we'll give you our opinion: The Kentucky basketball program is YOUR program, it belongs to the people of the commonwealth and Wildcat fans everywhere. When you deny media a chance to be present at practice, you rob UK fans everywhere of vital information about THEIR team—good, bad or indifferent. We would much rather write about LeRon Ellis' marked improvement this season from last, about Chris Mills' abilities on the court, about Sean Sutton stepping forward and becoming a team leader. But because we are not allowed to view practice and interview players daily, we, and in turn YOU, are kept in the dark.
Don't desert the ship
As a metallurgical engineering grad, I'm fully aware that alloys can be weakened or strengthened through the effects of fire. Unfortunately, the fire of the NCAA, fueled by self-serving journalistic "investigative reporting," "destructive sensationalism" and the gang-tackling of rival coaches and fans does not appear to be strengthening the alloy or mixture that is Kentucky basketball fandom. The weakening is apparent by low attendance at Blue-White games and continual attacks upon a not-found-guilty-as-yet athletics staff and players. Your journalists appear also to join in the gang-tackling.
In my 56 years, I've not had nor wanted the thrill of drugs and alcohol. My highs have come from my family and friends and, yes, Kentucky basketball. The enjoyment of that special underrated and not-understood high cannot be appreciated or approved by any but the loyalist of fans.
Brash Adolph Rupp was abrasive to reporters, but the genius of a man, through Kentucky basketball, gave a poor, sparsely-populated state a spot in the entertainment world that no other state has enjoyed.
Joe Hall continued to provide a high level of success and entertainment; however, the journalists enjoyed unmerciful attacks on Joe's finer, but less than Adolph's, personality.
Eddie Sutton is one of the top coaches in the land and if he and the Kentucky fandom are ultimately strengthened by the fire, he will take us back to the mountain top in college basketball.
To my fellow fans, I say, don't desert the ship! Stay with a truly-important Kentucky commodity—Kentucky basketball. The commonwealth needs you now!
Sam Kegley Westerville, Ohio
Nice idea, but...
You would think that with all the problems
that the athletes have getting pocket money and all the charges that the NCAA has leveled at the university over just such trifles as buying someone a hamburger or giving someone a t-shirt, someone not connected with the Kentucky Athletics Association or UK would start a fund for the UK athletes. Then a lot of the handshaking would stop, the needy athletes could borrow up to so much money from the fund and pay it back with no interest, when and if they ever got the money. This plan would cause a lot of kids to go to college that otherwise won't go, and maybe these kids would not steal if they had a way to get much-needed money, which a few of them have done at UK.
The fund would have to be operated through a local bank, or you would have the NCAA sleuths fooling around trying to find something to nit-pick at. The donors, whoever they may be, could deposit the money in the bank in the account of the N.A.A.U.K.—Needy Athletes At UK. This is just an idea, maybe someone will take it from here.
Everybody knows that all athletes do not have a lot of money! Of course you would still have the wealthy alumni that want to give their favorite player something nice, which is there business, and they will just have to find a more discrete way to give it to the athlete. And furthermore, the athlete is going to have to keep his mouth shut and not talk to strangers about such matters. After all, if someone offered my boy or girl $20,000. I would say take it quick before they change their mind, and keep your trap shut.
What I am really saying is that there is a way to keep the super sleuths of the NCAA off your back and maybe put them to hunting a job. And in the meantime, I hope someone with a little ingenuity will check in on all the pros and cons of the fund for athletes at UK and get the ball bouncing.
Sam Shepherd Pineville
Editor's note: Sam, the pros, as they relate to the athletes, are self-explanatory. Unfortunately, the major con in your plan is that it would violate current NCAA legislation which states that athletes are not allowed to accept anything from the university except board, books and tuition, and can accept nothing from anyone outside the university that is not available to non-athlete students.
Hire Larry Conley
I was disheartened to learn of Mr. (Cliff) Hagan's resignation. Cliff has done a wonderful job in promoting all of our sports, both large and small. We are one of the few, maybe only, univerities where athletics is self-funded. I admire his sacrifice to help clear up the basketball program's problems.
I would like to ask all our fans to consider and support Larry Conley, if available, for (Continued on page 38)