Boycott Williams' TerpsAs a basketball coach with 19 years...

Letters

September 26, 1999

Boycott Williams' Terps

As a basketball coach with 19 years of experience, in both high school and college, I find myself very embarrassed belonging to the same coaching fraternity as the University of Maryland's Gary Williams, if the reports are true about the Tamir Goodman situation.

When I start the season, I tell my team that there are only three things that should be more important than the basketball program. They are God, your family and school. In that order.

Many coaches use the same phrase, and most believe it. I have no idea what it must be like to coach a program that is so important that it comes before God, and I hope I never do.

I know some people may be thinking that Goodman wasn't really good enough to play in the Atlantic Coast Conference. This may or may not be true. But to offer a player a scholarship, then pressure the young man to go against his religious values, when you knew all along that this young man did not plan to do that, is wrong.

I urge the basketball fans of Maryland to boycott the Terps program. We have many other NCAA Division I men's and women's programs in this state to support. There are also many fine Division II and III programs, along with the community college and high school programs, that we can support instead.

John Grap, Baltimore

Hazing is never any fun

I was very pleased to read most of what columnist John Eisenberg wrote about hazing of athletes in the Sept. 17 edition of The Sun.

However, when Eisenberg wrote that "sometimes it's fine," he left the door open for hazing that is "harmless and even fun." Fun for whom? Those who haze always have "fun," at least, if they don't get arrested, sued, blamed for permanent injuries, beaten in retaliation, kicked off the team/club, or booted out of school. Then, the victim hazes others, for "fun."

As for being "harmless," it's very rare for the hazer to actually intend injury, but in some cases, he does, and then conceals that fact. Most injuries, including less obvious but no less disabling psychological ones, are always inflicted in the spirit of "harmless fun."

Coaches and school officials, as well as teammates, should be held accountable, by the use of parental pressure and even the criminal law and lawsuits, if necessary.

We've heard all the lame excuses. "Boys will be boys" just doesn't cut it anymore. Enough is enough.

Bradford C. Peabody, Baltimore

Mitchell just didn't cut it

Well it took one and almost two-thirds of another game to find out what every 10-year-old child in Detroit and Baltimore already knew: Scott Mitchell is not an NFL-caliber quarterback.

If we had followed NFL commissioner Paul Tagliabue's suggestion that we build a museum, Mitchell would be a great statue in the lobby.

Now we learn that the Ravens' receiver with the best hands on the team and who's best at getting open, Brandon Stokley, was not even activated last Sunday against the Steelers because the coach thought having Billy Davis on special teams would be the move to win the game.

Memo to Brian Billick: It's a football game, not a track meet.

Michael W. Henley, Glen Burnie

O's woes not Miller's fault

Recent articles in The Sun and talk on local radio shows suggest that Orioles manager Ray Miller will be fired at season's end.

Although eliminated from 1999 postseason play, I contend that it's his managerial wizardry that had this team compile its longest winning streak since 1978.

It isn't Miller's fault that some players that the new general manager, Frank Wren, chose to strengthen the 1999 team were busts.

Throwing a new manager at the players will only add more confusion for players already on the bubble for next year. You cannot blame player injuries on the manager, either.

So, I think Miller deserves another year based on the recent winning streak vs. tanking the rest of the 1999 season.

Harry Kleiman, Owings Mills

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