Letters

June 05, 2011

In your story, Washington assistant Raphael Chillious cautions recruits about coaches who cheat and asks, "Want to play for someone who lies?" I found that interesting, considering that in 2003 the NCAA punished Huskies coach Lorenzo Romar's program for myriad major recruiting violations involving four prospective student athletes.

Tim Harrington, Everett, Wash.

Bruce Schoenfeld's article (The Spectacular Life of a College Basketball Recruiter, May 16) should be Exhibit A for the NCAA's Committee on Infractions. Each time Chillious or the other assistant coaches shared their assessment of a potential student-athlete with Schoenfeld, they violated NCAA Rule 13.10.2.1, which states, in part, "athletics department staff members shall not evaluate or rate a prospective student-athlete for news media ... prior to the prospective student-athlete's signed acceptance of the institution's written offer of admission."

Chris Williams Germantown, Tenn.

Don Catlin Responds

While I can't claim to know all the facts contained in the story (The Case Against Lance Armstrong, by Selena Roberts and David Epstein, Jan. 24), I do know that in March 2000 the U.S. Olympic Committee and I were grappling with how to raise the testosterone testing standard within the international legal framework and make the test more stringent for U.S. athletes, not less so, as stated by the reporters. I have made these meeting notes public. Also, I want to point out that I never knew which athlete might have tested high for a banned substance, as the UCLA Olympic Lab under my direction always used numbers not names to identify samples.

As a sports research and testing scientist for nearly three decades, I have dedicated my life to ridding sport of performance-enhancing drugs. Those who have worked closely with me know how committed I am to the integrity of sport and its pillars: an effective drug-testing process, research to keep up with new and evolving drugs, and the active support of athletes.

Don H. Catlin, M.D.

President, Anti-Doping Research and Support Clean Sport

Los Angeles

Rethinking CTE

I want to thank Ben Reiter for his cautionary article regarding Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (SCORECARD, May 16). While the effects of concussions and injuries to the brain are becoming better known, we must still be careful not to automatically blame CTE for depression and other mental disorders in athletes. Someone like Dave Duerson—the former NFL safety who recently took his life at age 50—could have felt a sense of despair for reasons that have nothing to do with CTE. I know people want to find a quick fix for suicidal tendencies in athletes, but more research needs to be done to determine if there is any link between severe depression and CTE.

Matt Spiegel, Chicago

Streak Expansion

I enjoyed Kostya Kennedy's article on Joe DiMaggio's hitting streak (SCORECARD, May 16); however, I think one of Kennedy's statistics could use some added context. While it is true that more than 30% of 30-plus-game hitting streaks unfolded in the last 25 years, it is also true that since 1961, MLB has expanded from 16 teams to 30, and since 1962 there have been 162 games in each team's season rather than 154. More games and more teams increase the chances of long hitting streaks.

Franklin deBeers Waupaca, Wis.

Par-fection

I trust Joe Posnanski was simply using hyperbole in his tribute to Seve Ballesteros (POINT AFTER, May 16) when he wrote, "[Tiger] Woods has never romanced tournaments, he's strangled them with pars on Sunday." Surely we are not that far removed from the 1997 Masters when Woods's final-round 69 made him the youngest Masters champion ever. Or from the 67 he shot in the final round of the 2000 U.S. Open to win by 15 strokes. Tiger may have committed many sins on and off the course, but boring us with pars is not one of them.

Scott Phillips, Milton, Ont.

Correction

A letter that appeared in the May 16 issue about Bob Costas in Dan Patrick's column (JUST MY TYPE, April 25) was incorrectly attributed to Liz Ciancone. The actual writer was Ed Prence of Ellwood City, Pa.

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