Seven years of loyalty mean little at Maryland In 1995...

LETTERS

May 05, 2002

Seven years of loyalty mean little at Maryland

In 1995, being a fan of college basketball, I decided to try to buy season tickets for Maryland basketball. I went to College Park, where I was informed that I would have to join the Terrapin Club to apply for season tickets.

I did so, even though I am a graduate of Loyola College in Baltimore. I paid the membership cost, which I recall was about $50. In future years, it would increase and is now $125 annually. This membership puts me on the mailing list for offers to buy season tickets to football, lacrosse and women's basketball games, as well as Hall of Fame dinners and the like at College Park.

I attended through the Joe Smith and Keith Booth eras and even the one-year rental of Steve Francis, enjoying the Terps. I bought T-shirts, sweatshirts and other Terps memorabilia for myself and my kids. I took chances on the raffle each year on tickets to the ACC tournament.

When the Terps hit the jackpot this year, I was as proud as the other season-ticket holders. Then, on April 25, I received a message on my recorder telling me that I needed to have 198 "Terpoints" by April 30 to renew my tickets.

Terpoints are accumulated by buying season tickets, among other acts. I got through to the office on the 27th, only to be told that I needed 63 more Terpoints to renew. The cost: $800 by April 30 - or else.

I had shared my tickets last season with a friend and informed him that I was not interested in being extorted after seven years of loyalty. We had shared the league games and the exhibition games against the likes of Division II and traveling AAU teams.

Maryland athletic director Debbie Yow and her cohorts may smile when some corporate giant steps forward and shells out nearly $2,500 to replace me as a season-ticket holder. I will still feel that loyalty is worth more than that.

Buck Ward

Towson

UM seating policy is hardly a surprise

While Alan Armstrong may contend that something is not quite right with the Comcast Center seating policy ["Full-court press on Terps tickets," April 27], he needs to know that the policy was recommended by a committee consisting of Terrapin Club members from all giving levels, M Club members, Maryland alumni, faculty, staff and fans.

He should also know that the goals of the committee were: 1) to maintain positive, trusting relationships with donors, faculty, staff and students by honoring loyalty to the program and still recognizing those donors who make sizable donations; 2) to raise the Department of Intercollegiate Athletics' share of the funds needed to build the new arena; 3) to fund the annual scholarship bill fully through gifts to the Terrapin Club.

It is regrettable that Mr. Gardner was completely surprised to learn that Comcast Center seats will be assigned based on "Terpoints." Since the latter part of 1999, the Terrapin Club has been communicating to its members the seating policy that was established by the University New Arena Seating Committee.

No Terrapin Club member should be surprised!

Bob Baker

Fallston

Note: Baker is president of the Terrapin Club.

Leave Belle's name out of the newspaper

Baltimore and the state of Maryland were blessed when Albert Belle left for good. Now, I see his name back in the print media again and, as usual, he contradicts himself, or more precisely, he lies.

In The Sun's April 27 sports section, Belle is quoted in an Associated Press article as saying, "No, I never used a corked bat."

However, Belle was fined for using a corked bat, and it was proved by the American League and umpire Dave Phillips that the bat in question was filled with compressed cork.

I guess Albert forgot about that?

Nobody gives a hoot about Albert Belle, so please keep his name out of the papers.

Roy Ruhe

Columbia

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