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Where's Gene Bartow When We Need Him?

December 19, 1987

Why have the crowds at Pauley Pavilion become so embarrassingly small? Because it's obvious to everyone outside the UCLA athletic department that Bruin basketball is going absolutely nowhere under Walt Hazzard.

Hazzard can't coach and he can't recruit, and he has managed to make the NCAA tournament just once in three years, where the first good team he played beat him. This season, he'll be lucky to make the NIT again.

We Bruin fans certainly don't expect a national title every year, but we don't see why a school with UCLA's tradition and success in other sports shouldn't be a perennial contender, such as Indiana or Georgetown. However, the smug, parochial people who have given us Larry Farmer and now Hazzard have robbed us of any long-range hope for the program. Hire a coach who teaches smart, disciplined basketball, who gives us at least the promise of national contention, and we'll pack Pauley again. Keep Hazzard, and it'll remain a mausoleum.

DAVID SELKIRK

El Segundo

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