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Harrick Bashers Are Out in Force

March 26, 1994

Memo to Coach Jim Harrick: You would probably do best to avoid the Letters section this week.

STEVEN HALPERN

Beverly Hills

*

Bill Walton is right.

ROY SEERY

Los Angeles

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Do you suppose that "student-athletes" Tyus Edney, Ed O'Bannon and Charles O'Bannon know that Tulsa is in Oklahoma now?

HOWARD COHEN

North Hills

*

Jim Harrick's only response to those of us who have criticized his repeated failure to produce a team that is competitive for an NCAA championship has been to state: "It's hard, real hard to win an NCAA title." Correction, Jim. With you coaching, it's impossible.

LEONARD B. LEVINE

Los Angeles

*

You have Ed O'Bannon, who played his heart out, sounding like a coach and apologizing for the way UCLA performed against Tulsa. Meanwhile, the coach, Jim Harrick, doesn't seem to be concerned. After all, it's just another game.

It's March Madness, all right. Madness to let Jim Harrick continue as coach. It's time for Chancellor Charles Young and Peter Dalis, the athletic director, to give Harrick the compensation he deserves, as coach of a Division II team that he may be able to coach.

RON VALENCIC

Studio City

*

Jim Harrick should feel ashamed. A coach's singular role should be to assist his or her athletes in achieving their highest potential. Through remarkable non-coaching, Harrick has denied his UCLA basketball players, some of the best athletes in the country, the chance to achieve their true potential.

Nobody can deny that this UCLA team has the talent to beat any team in the nation on any given day. But to watch these great athletes game after game achieve astonishing mediocrity is as torturous to Bruin fans as it must be to the players themselves.

Harrick should either start coaching or get out of the way. Anything less just isn't fair to the players.

JAMES A. PARSONS

Palos Verdes Estates

*

How long will UCLA allow Jim Harrick to embarrass the university? How long will the coaching staff be allowed to cheat these talented but uninspired athletes? How long will sportswriters in this city make excuses for Harrick?

The truth is that Harrick needs no one to make excuses for him. He is pretty good at it himself. Here are some of my favorites: 1) Most of my losses are on the road. 2) The referees have no guts. 3) Bill Walton hurt my feelings. 4) My back-up center hurt his back. 5) They won't pay me as much as Bob Knight. 6) I just can't seem to get my half-court offense to work.

Instead of making excuses, why can't he just say, "I can't coach," and then utter those two magic words that all UCLA alums are dying to hear: "I quit."

IAIN HAMILTON

Northridge

*

I have never bad-mouthed Coach Jim Harrick. I have been patient with him and his team in hopes that the real Bruins would show up for March Madness.

However, after the loss to Tulsa, I find myself exacerbated. There is no doubt UCLA has the talent to play with any team in the nation. The question now is finding a coach to properly motivate that talent.

GREGG M. GOO

Rowland Heights

*

Please have your readers send donations to the Jim Harrick Fund, which will enable us to buy out his contract at UCLA. For some reason, Pete Dalis is reluctant to spend the money, and it is painfully obvious that UCLA needs a new basketball coach.

DAVID B. RADDEN

Los Angeles

*

The awful truth is now undeniable. As long as Harrick is at UCLA, the team will go nowhere. The great recruiting class coming up will be wasted on a program that is doomed to mediocrity before the first game is played.

JOHN J. GOTTES

South Gate

*

The UCLA men's basketball team had many turnovers this season. Now that another unfulfilling season has passed, it's only appropriate that one more turnover occur--that of the head coaching position.

It's time to make room for Bill Walton, a man knowledgeable about basketball who is also a leader, a motivator, a winner and who has high expectations.

RONALD T. FOGEL

Thousand Oaks

*

It's astounding that UCLA fans are still living with the mythology of John Wooden. They have been duped by ludicrous publicity and irresponsible reporting into believing that John Wooden was a mystical Bruin god whose heroics will never be equaled.

The major tragedy is that UCLA people have abused their many good coaches in comparing each with the mythological god. Some of these were probably great coaches.

The UCLA fan has always lacked integrity and has never known how to lose with class. Jim Harrick is a very good and certainly dedicated coach who will give his school many more winning seasons. He's a good man doing his best for a school that wants too much, a school that should spend more time educating its fans.

MANUEL E. DE LEON

Tustin

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