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Morning Briefing

Independence Bowl Springboard for Coaches

December 18, 1987

In 1984, after taking Air Force to the Independence Bowl the year before, Ken Hatfield moved to Arkansas, where he succeded Lou Holtz, who moved to Minnesota.

In 1985, Holtz took Minnesota to the Independence Bowl, then moved to Notre Dame.

In 1986, David McWilliams took Texas Tech to the Independence Bowl, then moved to Texas.

In 1987, after taking Tulane to the Independence Bowl, where it meets Washington Saturday, Mack Brown is moving to North Carolina.

Says Independence Bowl executive director Paul Manasseh: "Our slogan next year will be, 'If you don't like your present position, just come to the Independence Bowl, and we'll get you another one.' "

Said Utah Jazz Coach Frank Layden after Wednesday night's loss to Boston: "Everywhere, I hear the Celtics are having trouble. I think that if you live in Afghanistan, that's having trouble."

Jack Nicklaus, on why he tees the ball so high: "Through years of experience I have found that air offers less resistance than dirt."

Said Hall of Fame golfer Gene Sarazen, when asked his greatest thrill: "Collecting my first Social Security check."

Trivia Time: How many players 7 feet or taller are playing in the National Basketball Assn.? If you're within 10, consider it a winning answer. (Answer to follow.)

Wrote Tony Kornheiser of the Washington Post after the Warriors had traded Joe Barry Carroll and Sleepy Floyd to Houston for Ralph Sampson: "The Rockets are suddenly a very explosive team. They already have the best center in basketball, Akeem Olajuwon. Now that the Twin Towers concept has been razed, Olajuwon can play unimpeded around the basket."

That night, Olajuwon went 4 for 13 and scored 11 points as the Rockets were wiped out by the Denver Nuggets, 132-113.

Add Kornheiser: Of Sampson, he wrote: "Has there ever been such a potentially devastating player? Coaches cower in fear of what he might wreak on the court."

Says Bill Fitch, his former coach at Houston: "I don't think Ralph Sampson is nearly as good a basketball player as a lot of people think he should be."

From Wallace Matthews of Newsday: "In Bob Arum's weekly column in the Las Vegas Sun, he reports that Howard Cosell, when told that ABC's Alex Wallau, his former producer, was suffering from cancer, said, 'Who cares? He's getting just what he deserves.'

"This from the great humanitarian who is calling for the abolition of boxing on the grounds that it is 'barbaric.' "

Trivia Answer: At the start of the season, the NBA Guide listed 41 players who were 7 feet or taller.

Quotebook

Charles Barkley of the Philadelphia 76ers: "If ifs were gifts, every day would be Christmas."

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