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
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 PIATT, 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
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.