Friday, March 27, 2009

My final letter about U of A basketball

Mr. Jim Livengood-Athletic Director
Dear Sir,
I wrote a letter to you February 15, 2009 with reference to filling the coaching position for the men’s basketball team. I strongly encouraged you to retain the current staff. By now it has because obvious that your mind is made up in favor of a big name coach, Rick Petino’s name seems to be the one you are after.
I watched the game today with the Louisville team coached by Mr. Petino. I have some observations to share with you but first I want to let you know what Lute’s fans have come to expect. His teams are always disciplined, with good character players who play hard but with class. I first discovered Lute when he was at Iowa. The people of the state worshiped him and the style of play he brought. We cried when he left. After retiring to Tucson in 1993, I rediscovered Lute and bought tickets whenever I could. In recent years I have attended nearly every home game by buying tickets from regular ticket holders.
Now back to Louisville. I remember a game just a few years ago which we were winning by a large margin, the fans, me included, were hollering Bagga’s name. When he came in we screamed for him to shoot. He did and made a three point basket. What we didn’t know was that Lute had told them not to shoot. Bagga was disciplined for not following orders. Compare that to Louisville, right up to the final seconds they kept making baskets, pounding sand into our wounds. Petino didn’t stop them nor did he chastise them for their facial expressions and their many signs of disrespect. This is not Arizona basketball. We will never accept this style. We are used to class. Russ Pennell and the other coaches have shown class and we are grateful for what they achieved this year. Whether they are retained or not, you need to find coaches that will carry on the tradition of the past 25 years. We expect nothing less, win or lose.

Jack B. Walters
3961 N. Hillwood Circle
Tucson, AZ 85750
(520) 722-2958
March 27, 2009

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