May 25, 2003

Bryn Mawr runners should be applauded

The controversial foul that disqualified three Bryn Mawr School runners in the Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland track meet may fit the letter of the rule, but it does much to undermine the spirit and integrity of sport ["Mount de Sales wins title as Bryn Mawr sees unity backfire," May 18.]

In athletics today, it is all too rare to see the honest and spontaneous expression of innate joy that comes not from winning, but from a pure and simple love of the sport.

In the May 17 meet, that joy was exactly what three Bryn Mawr seniors, who were clearly in the lead in the 3,200-meter race, were feeling as they linked hands before crossing the finish line together. The race officials did not see it that way.

That there was no advantage to be gained by the girls in their hand-holding was never in question. It had been a fairly run race and its finish showed, if just for a glimmer of a moment, everything that is right about sports and the young people who love to play them.

Such moments should not be judged, but should be crystallized, as this one will be for Bryn Mawr, and set as the jewel in the crown of athletic competition.

The Bryn Mawr runners should not have been disqualified. Their accomplishment should have been celebrated. They are worthy of the win, and Bryn Mawr is proud of them.

Maureen E. Walsh Baltimore

Note: The writer is headmistress at Bryn Mawr.

Columns show Preston is no lacrosse expert

How much longer must we be subjected to the rantings of Sun columnist Mike Preston with regard to a sport that he has little or no knowledge about? Of course, I'm talking about lacrosse.

As an unbiased fan, I felt he was totally off base in his criticism of Towson's performance last Sunday in its NCAA quarterfinal loss to Johns Hopkins ["Less-talented Towson forgets to use head," Monday].

I doubt that Mr. Preston knows how to handle a lacrosse stick or draw up a play for that matter, so where does he get off ripping the team and coach Tony Seaman? These kids are college athletes, not professionals. They play a sport because they love it, not because they're paid to do it.

They do not deserve to be scrutinized in the same manner that an Oriole or Raven would.

Allowing Mr. Preston to write editorials regarding lacrosse, especially in a city that is perhaps the sport's biggest hotbed in the world, is an embarrassment to your newspaper. Real fans of the sport are not fooled. We see right through his annoying and often idiotic garbage.

Brad Tarr Perry Hall

Adding new schools will hurt ACC rivalries

As a lifelong Maryland Terrapins fan, I'm very disgusted at the fact that the Atlantic Coast Conference wants to bring in teams from the Big East that will damage one of the best conferences in the NCAA.

The ACC brain trust needs to realize that the conference's history and tradition is built on such great rivalries as Maryland-Duke in men's basketball and Maryland-Virginia in football.

Those in charge of the ACC need to sit down and realize that this potential move will dilute the rivalries that make up this storied conference.

Eric C. Glenn Baltimore

Why doesn't Billick give Redman the nod?

Just how many sides of the mouth does Ravens coach Brian Billick have these days? It looks like he's headed into hexagon territory with his latest announcement.

Chris Redman has to compete again for the starting quarterback job? Unless I missed something, he was the starting quarterback before his injury last year. Ray Lewis also was sidelined with an injury; does he have to compete for his job as well?

OK, a back injury is generally more serious than a shoulder issue, and Redman isn't exactly the premier quarterback in the league. And, yes, we do need to be protected at this position until Billick spins the revolving door again next offseason.

But what did Redman ever do to receive the consistent criticism and cold shoulder from Billick over the past few years?

If Billick is so hellbent on loyalty and leadership issues, why did he let Trent Dilfer go and why is he snubbing a talented and gutsy individual on his current roster?

Let's just give Redman the nod unless his injury clearly indicates that he cannot take the punishment anymore.

Gary A. Rostkowski Parkville

Orioles already appear to be playing out string

After attending an Orioles game recently, I came to the conclusion that I'm not getting my money's worth.

While no reasonable fan would expect the Orioles to be contenders this year, it appears at least some players are resigned, already, to play out the season for last place in the division.

I'm sure that on-field and senior management already know who is putting forth maximum effort and who isn't.

But the memory of the terrible slide at the end of last season may be nothing compared to what's going to happen as the Orioles start playing contenders.

John Hasler Sparks

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