I think a brief comment is in order concerning a statement by UCLA basketball Coach Walt Hazzard as reported recently in The Times: "We have a paper in our town that doesn't give us much support."
As a coach, Hazzard had done an excellent job this season with a less than overwhelming squad. As a representative of a fine educational institution, however, his public comments about the media have been considerably less commendable than his coaching record. Someone should explain to him that the proper function of a good newspaper is not to give support to the Bruin basketball program, but to give its readers timely, accurate and informative news reporting.
UCLA fans should hope that Hazzard's chip-on-the-shoulder attitude toward the media will decrease as his coaching success increases.
E. K. ROWAN
Methinks we waste a lot of ink castigating the likes of Mark Heisler, but we seem to forget he makes a livelihood degrading athletics at UCLA. To many of us, it surely does not make sense, but for one reason or another The Times seems to employ sportswriters who spend more time ridiculing efforts at the local institutions to promote academics and good athletic teams.
We suffered through the John Hall era, and now we find we are confronted with another period of unsavory reporting by someone who spends more time tearing down with subversive reviews or opinions in order to impress the public or the publishers.
BERNARD L. LEVY
Your well-intended advertising slogan, "A special kind of journalism--every day in The Times" couldn't be more accurate, for I find the biased, slanted, anti-UCLA, anti-Walt Hazzard attacks by Mark Heisler to be notches below the belt, certainly a "special kind of journalism" not worthy of being printed in The Times.
Isn't it about time that UCLA sports and their coaches got the support of your staff? It's a sad commentary, but I always thought the "hometown" paper was supposed to support their local teams, not tear them down. Let's get back to basic journalism, not opinions.
Long after Heisler has left your paper and gone off to Pocatello (or wherever biased newspaper reporters have to exile themselves), Walt Hazzard will still be coaching championship teams for UCLA.
The one disappointment in UCLA's march to the NIT championship: Mark Heisler got an expense-paid trip to New York.
UCLA Lacked Something; It Seems It Was Hazzard
Three big cheers for Coach Hazzard!
I have been a Bruin fan since I was a kid. I watched all the greats come and go, but the last couple of years it seems that the UCLA teams lacked something--I think it was unity.
Coach Hazzard brought back that unity to Westwood, and I feel personally he's done a hell of a job. Back in December, I watched with my hands over my face, but I kept hoping some good would come of this and, boy, did it ever! UCLA now has a leader.
MARK A. MARTINEZ
OK, the UCLA Bruins were not selected for the NCAA Final 64, despite their late-season success. Their choice to go to the NIT, which they declined last year, was a wise one.
Although the Associated Press chose the Michigan coach as its coach of the year, I think the honor should have gone to Walt Hazzard, who inherited an almost impossible early-season road schedule, later brought together a disoriented, low-morale team and won the NIT.
You've got to be kidding! Walt Hazzard just pulled a con job and a lot of people fell for it. UCLA, which used to claim the conference championship was always its No. 1 goal, wants people to remember the NIT to cover up another season of their being ignored by the NCAA.
Last year, when the NCAA did not invite UCLA to be one of its tournament teams, UCLA turned up its nose at the NIT. This year, when the NCAA expanded its "select" group to 64, UCLA (16-12) was thrilled about joining the most mediocre NIT field in history.
Hazzard wanted to show New York "the real Bruins" in his return from disgrace, but previous host St. John's was busy in Lexington, so he was saved from another embarrassing defeat. I'm glad the NIT banner will be hung in Pauley Pavilion because it will be a constant reminder of the season in which UCLA lost twice to conference co-champion USC.
DAN A. NORBY
Now if Walt Hazzard can recruit a 7-foot center and a fine 6-10 forward, we will have a heck of a time keeping him out of the White House in 1988.
STEPHAN F. NORDLINGER
No Accolades, Please, for Peter Ueberroth
Please, no accolades for Peter Ueberroth. Bowie Kuhn suspended Willie Mays and Mickey Mantle for what he felt was in the best interests of the game, while Ueberroth, in his self-serving style, reinstated Mays and Mantle for what he felt were the best interests of Peter Ueberroth.