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January 22, 1996
Why shouldn't NHL players get what they deserve-good, honest pay?MARK HAKIM, SPRING LAKE HEIGHTS, N.J.
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January 22, 1996


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Why shouldn't NHL players get what they deserve-good, honest pay?

New Attitude in the NHL
E.M. Swift's POINT AFTER (Dec. 18) was wonderful. He blasts NHL players for trying to choose the place of their employment, for trying to negotiate better salaries by using individual holdouts, for having problems with their bosses and for trying to continue to work at successful companies in the twilight of their careers. In short, he bashes them for "trying to control their own destinies." Why, the nerve of those ingrate jocks!
JOSEPH E. SUH, New York City

Last year hockey fans were treated to half a season (which wasn't all that bad) because the owners locked out the players. Now E.M. Swift wants to point the finger at the players who have the temerity to ask for some of the pie the owners have been scooping up for decades.

The reason hockey players, who a few years ago were the "cold-weather farm boys" Swift writes about, have changed is directly linked to the education in business tactics the owners have provided. A pro athlete in today's climate, with $60 seats and multimillion-dollar TV deals, would have to be out of his mind not to try to get his share. As usual, the owners have no one but themselves and their greed to blame.
DAVE VIENS, Tacoma, Wash.

I believe that a pro athlete has the right to control his own destiny, but he gives up that right in exchange for security when he signs a multiyear contract.
RICK ROSING, Vero Beach, Fla.

Good Trade
I have to disagree with Michael Farber's notion that only the Colorado Avalanche benefited from the trade involving goalie Patrick Roy (King No More, Dec. 18). In return for Roy the Montreal Canadiens got an up-and-coming star in 21-year-old goaltender Jocelyn Thibault and two steady, every-day wingers. Roy has perhaps three or four solid years left in the NHL, while Thibault's career is just beginning. Montreal is two or three defensemen from another Stanley Cup, and money saved in the trade should enable them to sign free agents who will help them in this quest.
TONY POWER, Edmonton

Academics vs. Athletics
Your SCORECARD item on learning-disabled student-athlete Chad Ganden (Dec. 11) failed to note three critical pieces of information. First, the NCAA does "realize that special situations call for special solutions." In fact, accommodations and waivers are available to learning-disabled students, including Chad.

Second, the eligibility standards referred to in the item govern only eligibility to compete in intercollegiate athletics during a student's freshman year at an NCAA Division I or II school. The standards allow student-athletes who do not have a minimum level of academic preparation the time to adjust to the academic demands of college without the added pressure of athletic competition.

Third, as the item noted, Chad was denied the opportunity to take an early school-paid recruiting visit because he did not meet the academic standards needed for such a visit. What your article failed to note is that Chad is now eligible to take a school-paid recruiting trip and has been since Nov. 15.
Executive Director, NCAA
Overland Park, Kans.

Before we became politically correct, a learning-disabled kid did not have a constitutional right to replace another kid on a team. Perhaps we were better off in our unenlightened ignorance. Has Chad considered joining a swim club? Should my wife and I sue to force our jumping-impaired son to be "accommodated" by the basketball team? Or maybe he could star on the football team if only he didn't have to be timed in that damned 40-yard dash!
CRAIG LESLY, Santa Ana, Calif.

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