Mailbox: Praise for The Dispatch's Adam Jardy; and does March Madness have correct format?

Brian White
The Columbus Dispatch
Nov 7, 2022; Columbus, Ohio, USA;  Ohio State Buckeyes guard Zed Key (23) takes the opening tipoff against Robert Morris Colonials forward Stephaun Walker (11) during the first half of the NCAA men's basketball game at Value City Arena. Mandatory Credit: Adam Cairns-The Columbus Dispatch

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On college basketball

To Brian: As the OSU basketball season ends, I want to recognize the great work of Adam Jardy in covering the Buckeyes. His work is timely, astute, interesting and tells the story. He is also very responsive when a question is posed. I really enjoy his writing.

As a Buckeye fan living in California, I count on both his Dispatch articles and text messages to stay informed about the status of the team, coaches, players, games and how the season is going. I was recently in Australia and New Zealand for several weeks during the season but was able to keep up with the Buckeyes through those two information sources.

Thanks again to Adam for such professional writing and a great job!

Doug Hartman, Pebble Beach, Calif.

To Doug: Thanks for the kind words for a great representative of The Dispatch. I encourage all to sign up for our Ohio State texts, as Adam and our football writers Bill Rabinowitz and Joey Kaufman regularly deliver breaking news and interesting observations. You can sign up here.

Mar 16, 2023; Columbus, Ohio, USA;  The Michigan State Spartans practice for their first round matchup against the USC Trojans prior to the NCAA men’s basketball tournament at Nationwide Arena. Mandatory Credit: Adam Cairns-The Columbus Dispatch

To Brian: I think it's time to change the NCAA basketball system of tournament bracketing. The Final Four should be open to any team who wins X number of games, who has a winning conference record or some other agreed-upon criteria while tossing out some of the current barriers. (I know some conditions already exist). In the truest sense, a tournament  would include only conference champions and the respective conference tournament winners. But that might be a little narrow and lessen the fun quotient we presently enjoy. One factor to be considered is strength of schedule. It has too much weight, disqualifying some, not all, "bubble teams" who are close in overall wins. Then there are the automatic qualifiers of the "first four" play-in games. Should those schools get precedence over teams left out? And what about teams that peak late, perhaps due to starters returning from injury? The committee has dashed too many hopes over the years.

Secondly, there's so much parity that, in many cases, the home court holds less impact:  a team with a losing record can knock off the predicted favorite, yet the same matchup another time can be markedly different. In addition to letting more teams participate in the Division I bracket, why not consider a separate Final Four only for smaller colleges, where they would have a better chance?

Larry Cheek, Dublin

To Larry: After this wild weekend of March Madness, you'd have a hard time convincing many that the tournament isn't fine as it is.

Ohio State's head coach Chris Holtmann reacts during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game against Iowa at the Big Ten men's tournament, Thursday, March 9, 2023, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Erin Hooley)

To the editor: It was reported that Chris Holtmann declined the entreaties from Notre Dame in their basketball search. Please call the Golden Domers, Chris, so it is a win win for all. OSU gets rid of you and Notre Dame pays your salary. Everyone is pleased, especially those of us who want a new beginning despite a few wins for OSU at the end of the season. 

Michael Oser, Columbus

Skip Young at Florida State

On Skip Young

To the editor: I want to thank Dispatch columnist Michael Arace for his outstanding and moving tribute to former Linden McKinley basketball star Ahmad Aliyy, or Skip Young, as he was known in his playing days in Columbus. Not only did it detail the history of his athletic abilities and life successes, it reminded all of us our country’s history of race relations back in that day. It brought tears to my eyes when I think of what it was like to be on the receiving end of the ignorant hatred that Skip Young endured. And yet he became a pioneer in race integration, a striving individual, a model of a good human being. So many were blessed by his contributions, and thanks to him, inspiration for all of us to do better in these divisive times.Susan B. West, Athens

To Susan: Agreed that Young/Aliyy was a fascinating person. And that Michael did a wonderful job telling that story. However, I'm a bit skeptical that I get praising emails about both Jardy and Arace right when annual performance reviews are due. I know they have a lot of friends and relatives in the area ...

Mar 17, 2023; Dayton, Ohio, United States;  Ready’s Luke Ruth (11) contests the ball with Buchtel's Jayden Maxwell (4) during the first quarter of the OHSAA Division II boys basketball semifinal game at the University of Dayton Arena on Friday afternoon. Mandatory Credit: Joseph Scheller-The Columbus Dispatch

On high school basketball

To Brian: Another example of our culture changing incrementally is a high school basketball championship game being played on a Sunday morning. That would have been unheard of not all that long ago. And to add to it, a Lutheran school will be competing in the game played in the arena of a Catholic university.  

Dennis Singleton, Dayton

Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers saying his intention is to play for the New York Jets in 2023.

On Aaron Rodgers

Hi Brian: I see whereby Mr. Rodgers going to the Jets is apparently a done deal as, evidenced by the fact he is requesting certain players he wants on this team. We now know one more thing about him − he is not short on nerve. All of this from a player who is full of himself, refuses to get vaccinated, will turn 40 later this year, was 8-9 last year and has one Super Bowl to show for his efforts even though he has been in the league since 2005. Do you think he sees himself as the next coming of Joe Montana? Do you get the idea I cannot wait to pull against the Jets every single game next season?

Rick Higgins, Columbus

To the editor: The Jets Song:

When you’re a JetYou’ll be hailed as The CureYou will sing at The MetYou will diss Matt LeFleur

Hair in a bobYou can bask in the darkYou can squeeze Randall CobbAboard Aaron’s Ark

You’re still rockin’ greenFans could be dejectedThe money’s obsceneCareer is resurrectedAs we expected!

Jon Armstrong, Columbus

FILE - In this Sept. 10, 1963 file photo, San Francisco outfielders, from left, Jesus Alou, Matty Alou, and Felipe Alou, of the Dominican Republic, pose in a three-way hand shake before start of a baseball game with the New York Mets at New York's Polo Grounds. Matty Alou died in his native Dominican Republic. He was 72. His former Dominican team, Leones del Escogido, said he died Thursday, N ov. 3, 2011 of complications related to diabetes.  (AP Photo/File)

On Jesus Alou

To Mr. White: Jesus Alou, a 15-year major league outfielder, passed away on March 10 at the age of 80. His life could have ended on June 10, 1969, in the Houston Astrodome in a Damar Hamlin-like moment. Al Oliver of the Pittsburgh Pirates blooped a ball between shortstop Hector Torres and the hard-charging left fielder, Alou, that resulted in an inside-the-park home run. As Sports Illustrated reported, "A frightening collision between Jesus Alou and Hector Torres of Houston . . . could have resulted in tragedy had it not been for fast work by Pittsburgh trainer Tony Bartirome and his Houston counterpart, Jim Ewell. They may well have saved Alou’s life, prying his tongue from the back of his throat and inserting a rubber hose that permitted Alou to breathe normally again. Torres received only minor cuts, but Alou got a severe concussion and a broken jaw." Five years later, Pirates 17-year-old minor league outfielder Alfredo Edmead died one hour after a similar collision in a game, which indelibly illustrates how fortunate Mr. Alou was, as he enjoyed a lengthy career with two World Series rings to his credit.

Richard Zaborsky, Dublin

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