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A Texas coaching legend again denied induction in Basketball Hall of Fame | Opinion

·3 min read

The call came, again, and it was not the news she wanted, again.

Leta Andrews said she did not get in.

Leaks about the Basketball Hall of Fame class of 2021 began to leak early on Sunday, and the former girls basketball coach at Granbury High School said she was not a part of it before it was formally announced.

Don’t ask why. No Hall of Fame makes any less sense more than the Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, Mass.

Included in the class of ‘21 are NBA stars Chris Webber, Paul Pierce, Chris Bosh, Ben Wallace, Villanova coach Jay Wright, NBA coach Rick Adelman and others.

You read that right. Chris Bosh.

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All Andrews’ omission from Springfield does is perpetuate the negative stereotype that accomplishments in the women’s game are inferior.

There is no women’s basketball without a Leta Andrews.

Hall of Fame cases are endlessly debatable and subjective, but if what Leta Andrews accomplished is not worthy, close the doors.

It’s the same argument I, and countless others, made for former Dunbar boys basketball coach Robert Hughes. Hughes was on the ballot for years before he was finally inducted in 2017.

Andrews coached for 52 years at Texas high schools, and won 1,416 games. That’s more than Hughes, and the most in the United States.

She won a state title, and is already a member of six other Hall of Fames, including the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame.

She was coaching basketball before Title IX was passed in 1972. No one of this generation has any idea how hard women like Andrews, and so many others, worked just to make the game possible for girls.

Andrews retired in March 2014, and is 83.

What is she supposed to do? Come out of retirement to win a few more games?

No sports Hall of Fame is any mystifying, and often infuriating, more than the Basketball Hall of Fame. No Hall of Fame needs an update more than the Basketball Hall of Fame.

All sports Hall of Fames are dated. They each began innocently, when their respective sports were small and quaint. The respective voting processes were mostly ignored.

As sports morphed into a billion dollar business, making a Hall of Fame is not a only career validation but also potentially lucrative, thus the respective procedures for induction warrant scrutiny.

While the voting procedures for baseball, hockey and football are flawed, they are at least transparent.

Don’t bother asking how the induction process for the Basketball Hall of Fame works. It’s a riddle encased in an algorithm that has no letters or numbers.

It doesn’t make any sense.

The Hall doesn’t announce who is part of the selection process.

A candidate must be nominated, then go through a screening process; if they make it through that, then they are a finalist and their case is reviewed by the Board of Trustees.

The candidate needs 18 votes by the Board.

No idea who is on any of these panels.

You might be, and you may not know it. Your dog could be a voting member of the Basketball Hall of Fame.

I have been told repeatedly by NBA people, and college basketball people, that positive stories in the media about a candidate can be the difference.

Leta Andrews deserves to be on the ballot again in the fall.

And, next year, Leta Andrews deserves to get that call telling her she will be in the Hall.

If she’s not in, close the doors.