Bill Peterson's recent column on UC basketball ("Huggins, UC the Winner's in Coaching Carousel," issue of March 29-April 4) finally presents a rational, intelligent and somewhat complete picture of the Bearcats' coaching change situation.
I had problems with too many of Bob Huggins' recruits starting from Dontonio Wingfield on. Peterson aptly describes that all programs will encounter problems from time to time and that Mick Cronin's work at UC served to "tame down" the ratio to acceptable levels while adding some very high-performing recruits.
Cronin is the right hire for Cincinnati, as Peterson describes, being a Cincinnatian who has probably been appointed to his dream job and might be a solid 25-year hire who could, rather quickly I suspect, have everyone saying, "Bob Who?"
Huggins will do well at Kansas State and, if managed properly there — press dealings, character/intelligence of recruits, academic monitoring — could make K-State a high-performing and respected program.
Andy Kennedy returns home to what could be a final job for him or a great stepping stone to a better job.
The bottom line for myself, a 1972 UC graduate and fan since 1960, is that this was the right strategic hire for UC. I applaud the courage of Nancy Zimpfer and Mike Thomas to complete this move, save for some clumsy moments.
The major risk with Huggins, even outside of the obvious — recruit problem history, bad press dealings, mismanaged UC image, mismanaged player academics, DUI, etc. — was that he was frankly burned out at UC. At his initial press conference he stated he would "win the national championship and retire in 10 years."
Well, it's been 16 years, with no Elite 8 appearances in the last decade after sitting on a recruiting gold mine in 1994 after the 1992 Final Four and 1993 Elite 8 appearances. Huggins just grossly mismanaged the recruiting from 1994 (Wingfield) on.
Hopefully, he's learned some good lessons and will make a success of things at K-State, but I sense he's pretty stubborn and might not learn lessons very quickly.
Anyway, Peterson's article was extremely well written, comprehensive, unbiased, professional and informative.
— Tom Keltner, Dayton, Ohio
Thanks for Leadership
I am in appreciation for Margo Pierce's thoughtful article concerning Jeff Hill ("Killing a Family," issue of March 1-7). I'm against the death penalty and get frustrated by the local mainstream papers that refuse to look thoughtfully at the complexities of this issue.
I strongly applaud CityBeat's leadership concerning this story.
— John Ravenna, Bond Hill
Let Family End Violence
Regarding your recent article "Killing a Family" (issue of March 1-7), I'm deeply saddened that the Hill family has had to endure this continual struggle. This actually demonstrates how cruel and unusual the death penalty is to everyone affected by the Hill tragedy.
One needs to question what purpose the death penalty serves in this case:
· How is justice being served?
· Are Ohioans safer?
· Hasn't this family suffered enough?
Maybe we should all ask, "Would we want the state to kill our family?"
We have to stop the cycle of violence somehow. Let it begin within the family.
— Daphne Miller, North Bend
Editor's Note: For an update on the Jeff Hill death penalty story, see Porkopolis on page 13.