Letters and phone calls from readers:

CHRIS DOUGHERTY, Annapolis --the U.S. Naval Academy my first three years, but was cut this season. Being cut, however, has not diminished my love for the sport, and out of this love, I am prompted to write this letter.

"I am from Philadelphia, and have been brought up 'big five' basketball area has aspirations of playing for Any youngster in the Philadelphia a 'Big Five' team. The thrill of a lifetime comes to a Philadelphia youngster who gets a chance to play in the Palestra -- either on a high school or college level. I was lucky to play there on both levels, and the feeling was ecstacy.

"Washington has the potential of creating its own intracity competition.I would like to see a 'Centre Six' set up, for lack of a better name. Included would be American, Catholic, Georgetown, George Washington, Navy and Maryland. The games would be played at the Capital Centre, preferably the second game of a doubleheader.

"For instance, last night Maryland played Wake Forest at Cole Field House and Georgetown played George Washington at GU. Why not incorporate both games? The Maryland game could be played first, with the 'Centre Six' game second.

"The advantages are many. First, the doubleheader would be a great draw. Second, a healthy atmosphere for Washington basketball is created, as the GU and GW fans would cheer for Maryland (perhaps that is being too idealistic, but the Philly fans always cheers for the Philly team in the first game).

"Also, it would help keep much of the valuable Washington talent in the city. And it would help the recruiting of Navy, American and Catholic to have the Marylands and Georgetowns on their schedules. The local press could really drum up and create excitement for the D.C. fans.

"Also, the intracity setup would give a team such as this season's Maryland team something to shoot for, since it obviously isn't going to win the ACC. If the 'Centre Six' became as meaningful as the 'Big Five,' the championship would take much of the sting out of Maryland's 'poor' season.

"The scores of some games between these teams this season show that more fans ought to have an opportunity to see such good basketball. Already, the six teams almost have the other five on their schedules. Why not incorporate these games into league play (with 'league' in a loose sense; the 'Centre Six' should not be the No. 1 goal of the six teams, since it will not place them in postseason tournaments)?

"Summing up, there would be increased attendance, increased revenue, uplifted recruiting and, most important, a development of city pride in Washington basketball."

Comment: A good idea. Unhappily, Maryland is moving the other direction, dropping locals from its schedule. That's the old nothing-to-gain theory practiced by the top dogs. Georgetown's coach, John Thompson, is against a "city" championship, saying it diverts attention from important conference games. Without Maryland and Georgetown, any intercity "league" would be meaningless.

CLEVELAND BURGESS, Hillcrest Heights, Md. -- "I'm the father and coach of Frank Burgess, the boxer you and Derrik Holmes ridiculed in your column. I want you to know that Holmes got the decision, but out of 3,000 people at the Golden Gloves tournament that night, 2,500 of them thought Frank won. In the second round, if it had 30 more seconds left, Frank would have knocked Holmes out.

"I just want everybody to know that we have a lot of good fighters around here, no just Derrik Holmes. Frank is 17 and he's never lost a championship fight until this one. and this one, the crowd knows who won. Derrik got it on his reputation. Yeah, Derrik wore his red king's crown into the ring. And afterward, the crowd was hollering to him to take that crown and give it to Frankie Burgess."

DAVE CASPER, tight end of the Oakland Raiders, calling from Freeport, The Bahamas, on instructions from an ABC-TV publicity man who said the athletes were having fun filming "Superstars" -- "Fun? This is a helluva lot of hard work. I'm lucky I'm alive. On the film, they make these events -- like rowing --ing is all of us throwing up. Who the hell are they to say we're having fun?"

Comment: Steady, big fella.