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As UCLA Basketball Goes, Hazzard Has Only Beaten Himself

March 19, 1988

You know a coach is in trouble when the papers start mentioning his career won-lost record and when his contract is up. Walt Hazzard is obviously in trouble.

Pooh Richardson didn't help matters much when he tried to defend Walt by saying it was the players' fault, that they "didn't go out and do what he told us to do," that the team's record was horrible. Exactly so. It's the coach's job to see that the players do what they're told. Otherwise it's just playground ball. And the coach starts to get a Guy Lewis reputation.

My head says Hazzard isn't the answer, yet my instincts say give him the last two years on his contact and see if he can recruit and put a team out on the floor that can generate some excitement outside just the student section. The program can't fall much lower than it already has.

CHARLES CHICCOA

West Hollywood

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