Letters

October 24, 1999

With such a cozy facility and so many people coddling each
player, the Cleveland Browns have a better chance of becoming
prom queens than Super Bowl champions.
--GREG WALL, Beaumont, Texas

SENSITIVE SUBJECT

Thank you for the story about child molestation in youth sports
(Every Parent's Nightmare, Sept. 13). By tackling this difficult
subject, you give parents and children the weapon they need to
protect themselves: information. Your story may hasten the
healing process for many kids because healing doesn't start
until the truth is told. It may also protect other youngsters as
parents become more alert to the warning signs and take steps to
keep their children away from these criminals.
ELIZABETH PLATT, Malden, Mass.

As a father and youth baseball coach, I must ask: Where are the
parents, and what are they thinking? While I do not place blame
on the parents of molested children for the vile acts of a coach
and supposed mentor, I found it mind-boggling to learn that
parents would allow their children to spend so much
off-the-field time with these men. Slumber parties and overnight
trips with a coach are not normal.
MICHAEL L. CONGER, Rio Grande, N.J.

An important article indeed, but what about all of the girls and
young women who idolize their coaches, treat them as father
figures and then are molested by them? An argument could be made
that girls are more susceptible to the influence and authority of
a grown man.
JONATHAN KOVAR, Hopkinton, N.H.

Child protection is a critically important issue for anyone who
has children or operates a youth-oriented program. For this
reason, we at the American Youth Soccer Organization (AYSO) wish
to inform you about our new child and volunteer protection
program, Safe Haven. Those wishing to volunteer for AYSO must
now fill out a formal application. The written application
requires personal information and two references. Four different
screening protocols are applied to each application.
DOUGLAS L. SEMARK
Executive Director & Chief Learning Officer
AYSO National Support & Training Center
Hawthorne, Calif.

I have been a child abuse prosecutor for nearly 10 years. You
have highlighted two important truths: child abuse is all about
access and opportunity and should always be reported to the
police. Hopefully your story will provide some children with the
courage to disclose ongoing or former abuse.
SUSAN H. HAZLETT,
Assistant State Attorney for Baltimore County, Sex Offense/Child
Abuse Division, Baltimore

Remember, for every child molester or abuser in youth sports,
there are thousands of responsible, caring and talented coaches.
BRIAN CAVANAUGH, Rochester, Mass.

So many great athletes, so few SI covers. Why you would waste one
on criminals is beyond me.
TOM DALY, Menomonee Falls, Wis.

TOO COMFY IN CLEVELAND?

I think the commitment the Browns' ownership has made to
fielding a championship team is remarkable (How the Browns Were
Built, Sept. 13). I am, however, disappointed to read about the
night Jim Bundren experienced cramps. Do we really want the
police rushing to assist players for minor medical problems?
DR. SACHIN SHAH, New York City

Let me get this straight: cozying up to the cops for
preferential treatment in case one of the Cleveland players runs
afoul of the law and a toll-free number with round-the-clock
counselors. Coddle these Browns any more and they, not their
children, will need the attention of those three nannies.
DAN WEAKLEY, Peoria, Ill.

TO BE OR NOT TO BE

At last, an article exemplifying the best of college athletics
(Streak Buster, Sept. 13). Members of a football team who
actually read Shakespeare? Where will it end? Do you suppose most
of the members of the Oberlin and Swarthmore teams attend class
regularly? What a concept.
GARY CIBA, Phoenix

COLOR PHOTO: BOB ROSATO

UNSUNG HERO UP NORTH

I can't believe you did not include Vladimir Guerrero on your
list of good players on bad teams (INSIDE BASEBALL, Sept. 20).
I've been a Montreal Expos fan for a long time, and even I must
admit they were awful this year. Guerrero, however, was anything
but awful, with 42 home runs, 131 RBIs and a .316 batting
average. He's worthy of inclusion on your list--and of MVP
consideration.
KEVIN DUSKA JR., Montreal

HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
OUT
HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
IN
Eagle (-2)
Birdie (-1)
Bogey (+1)
Double Bogey (+2)