LETTERS

November 28, 2011

• Anyone who thinks a proposed $2,000 stipend for college athletes will cure the ills of big-time college athletics is naive. Some athletes, particularly the stars, will still have their hands out. Ask Reggie Bush if $2,000 would have altered his decision to accept much more than that in illegal benefits from a sports agent while he was on scholarship at USC.

Joe Doney, Jacksonville

Some of George Dohrmann's proposals about compensation for student-athletes (Pay for Play, Nov. 7) seem frightening. The operating budget of a university should include enough money to run all of its athletic programs fairly. The idea of cutting sports or demoting some to club status based on a strange combination of Title IX regulations, free-market economics and a conjured-up need to pay certain athletes threatens the heart of college sports.

Jon Murray, Little Meadows, Pa.

I don't think it's the business model for college athletics that's flawed; the flaw lies in the federally mandated rules of Title IX. Women play the same intercollegiate sports that men play except for football, which demands a much larger roster than any other sport. The only real solution would be a revision of Title IX that omits football. Maybe then athletic programs could balance their budgets and have a little extra for stipends.

David J. Eveld, Seguin, Texas

Backup Plan

I was pleased to read Kelli Anderson's article about the NBA players who are returning to college during the lockout (SCORECARD, Nov. 7). Whether they are completing degrees or pursuing coaching opportunities, these guys seem to understand that a career in pro sports doesn't last forever, and that without something to fall back on, there is little chance for prolonged success beyond the court.

Rachel Weeks, Billerica, Mass.

American Express

As a die-hard Oilers fan and Edmonton native, I never thought I would be writing in support of Maple Leafs G.M. Brian Burke. However, after reading your article Made in the USA (SCORECARD, Nov. 7), I felt compelled to do just that. In only three years Burke has turned the Leafs from a disaster to a promising club. And I sincerely doubt that Toronto fans are worried about the large number of Americans—like Burke—who are in the Leafs' organization. They're simply pleased to have their team on track for the playoffs.

James Turnbull

Edmonton, Alberta

Long Overdue

Tim Layden's article on Mike Reily (The Forgotten Hero, Nov. 7) is a superb piece of sports journalism. If not for Layden, the captivating story of Reily's short life may have languished in a long-forgotten cardboard box at Williams College. It's fascinating to learn that the athletic department kept Reily's number from being reissued for so long without anyone knowing why. I'm glad to see this young man's life getting well-deserved recognition.

Joan Galvin, Clearwater, Fla.

I was deeply touched by your story on Reily. It reminded me so much of another fine college athlete, Peter Nictakis. A catcher and team captain at Boston College in 1998 and '99, Nictakis battled Hodgkin's disease for 71/2 years before dying in 2000. Two amazing men with similar stories gone too soon. I weep for both.

Sandra Vincent

Hopkins, Minn.

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FEEDBACK

How concerned should the Jets be about QB Mark Sanchez's recent struggles?

David Ushakow: The Jets shouldn't be that surprised, because Sanchez has always been mediocre at best. New York is a team that's centered around defense. Now that the D isn't playing well, Sanchez's flaws have just become more apparent.

Stuart Wexler (@jomolungma): They should be concerned enough to sign a veteran backup in the off-season but nothing more than that. Remember, they've played in back-to-back AFC Championship Games. Jets fans need to have patience.

David Matthew Melville: I think they should be more worried about offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer's inability to call successful plays than Sanchez's growing pains.

spartantown (@spartantown): The Jets should be concerned but not just with Sanchez. Their running game is nonexistent, and that was the case even before the injuries to LaDainian Tomlinson and Shonn Greene.

PHOTODAMIAN STROHMEYER (SANCHEZ) PHOTO

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