How to winThe article in The Sun on March 16 lauded the...

LETTERS

March 29, 1998

How to win

The article in The Sun on March 16 lauded the accomplishment of the Forest Park High School boys basketball team that won a state championship with the unlikely regular-season record of 2-15. These 15 losses had come in the tough city league, and the Forest Park victory was a great testament to the high level of play in Baltimore City.

However, Forest Park did not learn an important lesson enduring all those losses. The team must not have learned how to win

graciously. The actions of the team after the victory did not reflect the spirit of competition or the celebration of victory.

I was at the game, and I witnessed the actions of the Forest Park players after the game. Instead of celebrating with the other team members, several players and a team manager ran over to fans for the opposing team to taunt them. Several expletives and obscene gestures were exchanged. This exchange is recorded in The Sun's article. The picture of the player with his arms extended is not facing his team members or the team's fans (shown in the background). This player is giving this gesture to the opposing fans. It was disappointing to see how these young men handled themselves after their thrilling victory.

What is the point of high school athletics if it is not to learn discipline, good sportsmanship and self-improvement? Maybe we should forgive the players because they had too little experience in winning in the city league. But a coach or principal should make sure that his players would know how to win and lose graciously before they are put in this situation.

John Early

Pikesville

March Madness an education

The Sun sports editor and columnists are to be commended for their annual coverage of the NCAA tournament. In the metro area, only The Sun lists the teams in the tournament, and where the schools are geographically located. This is very important for students and adults. Some schools have the same name but are in different cities and states.

Educationally, one can increase an awareness of geography and better understand the United States. Role models can be found everywhere, and The Sun's sportswriters are covering more than the score. Keep up the good work.

Darrell E. Davis

Columbia

Women's hoops

It won't be a pleasant task, but you have got to do it. Take Milton Kent into an empty office (preferably away from the sports department, so no one will hear him wailing), pour him a stiff drink and inform him of what 99.9 percent of all sports fans already know: Women's basketball is a bust and nobody cares!

Robert Smith

Catonsville

Suspension solution

In light of the brouhaha about the suspension and then arbitration leading to the unfortunate suspension of Latrell Sprewell, I have a modest suggestion. Since athletics are such an integral part of our society, star players who are found guilty of violations of the law such as driving while under the influence, spousal abuse, involuntary and voluntary manslaughter and even murder should be allowed to serve their sentences after their playing days are over.

This solution would please the athlete since he or she would not suffer financially. The team owners and the fans would not be deprived of the talents of these stars. The media would continue to be able to report in detail the peccadilloes of these fallen heroes. Society could continue to honor those individuals who excel athletically.

Nelson Marans

Silver Spring

Success breeds respect

Over the past five seasons, the Maryland men's basketball program has been to the NCAA tournament five times, won a share of the ACC title in 1994-95 season and placed in the top four in the conference five years in a row. The problem is, people seem satisfied with the Terps' recent success. The rafters at Cole Field House lack an NCAA championship banner and a Final Four banner.

Maryland players this year have complained that they're not getting enough respect, but they're forgetting you have to achieve something to get respect.

John Marcario

Woodbine

Pub Date: 3/29/98

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