PITINO AND PROVIDENCE
While Providence College regrets the departure of Rick Pitino (POINT AFTER, Aug. 3), it should be pointed out that he did not break his contract. As a matter of fact, he didn't even ask to be released from it.
When Rick informed me of his opportunity to become head coach of the New York Knicks, I immediately told him that we would release him from his contractual obligations if he wished to make the move to New York. I think this is an important point that has not been completely understood by some of the public.
During his two years at Providence College, Pitino not only showed extraordinary ability as a basketball coach but also gave his players a fine example of leadership. His interest in them reached far beyond a coach-player relationship. He was their leader, but more importantly he also was their friend. We wish him well as he undertakes his new position.
(REV.) JOHN FABIAN CUNNINGHAM, O.P.
To Pitino's credit, he actually did not break his contract but rather was released from it. To his discredit, after announcing on May 1 that he was happily planning to stay at PC, Pitino broke his word. Although we cannot quibble with the legalities of his departure, we can take exception to the legacy he leaves to his players and new recruits: Promises are made to be broken.
THOMAS J. GUILMETTE
The essay on Rick Pitino's leaving Providence reveals a double standard in college athletics. While Pitino is free to accept his chance of a lifetime, the athletes he recruited and who came to his program must either suffer under someone new or transfer to another school and spend at least one year in athletic limbo at great cost to themselves.
The special report, Agents of Turmoil, in the same issue reveals what everyone knows: College athletics means big bucks for everyone except the athlete.
State College, Pa.
Major college football is big business, routinely packing stadiums with 50,000 to 100,000 spectators each game. Key players are often recruited solely for their athletic skills, and with a disproportionate number having economically disadvantaged backgrounds, it is unlikely they would otherwise have attended college. It is their dream to eventually obtain a lucrative pro contract, not just to play four years of unpaid football.
Because of either naivet� or greed, the NCAA and major college administrators have chosen not to recognize the financial needs of many players in their collegiate "farm system." The needs exist, however, as the success of agents Norby Walters and Lloyd Bloom has so clearly shown. If the NCAA changed the rules to allow players to be paid while learning their trade, it would be acknowledging the reality of college sports today as well as the needs of the players.
DAVID O. MOORSHEAD
THE $8 MILLION MAN
Tooling around the Gulf of Mexico in a $150,000 Scarab (Vinny's Ship Has Come In, Aug. 3)? A Corvette for when he just doesn't feel like taking out the Jag? Backing the Beach Boys on Barbara Ann? I'm not saying that the various evils that have befallen too many of our young athletes will plague Vinny Testa-verde. He seems to be a wise and serious man. However, is it any wonder that so many newly crowned millionaire athletes succumb to the lures of drugs, laziness and unscrupulous agents?
It's time to stop throwing millions at young men who have not played a single game of pro ball. Testaverde's ship may have come in, but for too many others the subsequent sailing is not smooth.
Bryn Mawr, Pa.