Archive for Friday, April 1, 2005

Column critic

April 1, 2005


To the editor:

Mr. Mayer's Sunday column, "This Jayhawk basketball senior class was overrated," was selfish and unprofessional.

The repeated comparisons with former Kansas teams were not helpful. These seniors played Kentucky and Oklahoma State. They did not play Danny Manning's team, or B.H. Born's.

His reference to "the alleged Fab Four" is misplaced sarcasm. None of these players claimed that status. When freshmen and sophomores, they did not hog the limelight. As juniors, they played in the emotional wake of an unexpected coaching change and made the Elite Eight. None crowed they were better than earlier classes. This year, they hoped to win a national championship. Show me a senior who did not.

It was the inside page, however, that prompted this letter. In a single paragraph insisting upon a comparison between this year's seniors and the most storied team ever to play at Kansas, Mr. Mayer chose "sacrilege" and "get off the sauce" to make his point. Then, in case we missed it, he paired a sophomore with "the incomparable Dean Kelley" to justify "obscene." Nothing justifies such language. And nothing justifies "The loss to Bucknell was the most embarrassing KU tourney game I ever witnessed ... " "Embarrassment" at the falling short of athletes who play hard and honorably is arrogance.

Mr. Mayer's invidious comparisons do nothing to establish that these four men were "overrated." Instead of insight and analysis, Mr. Mayer offers invective; and invective is the hiding place for those with nothing to say.

William R. Sampson,


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