So Ohio State is The Program (March 5)? Try looking south to Gainesville, where
Florida is the first Division I school to win men's basketball and football
national titles in the same year. The Buckeyes can have the big money; the
Gators will take the championships. As for OSU's school spirit: It will need it
when it gets bounced from the NCAA tournament.
Tim Farrell, Dorchester, Mass.
As a recent Ohio
State graduate, I experienced the highs and the lows of the athletic
department, from the national championship in football to the men's basketball
team's infractions. I appreciate the in-depth story about all the pieces that
make up the Ohio State athletic family. Athletic director Gene Smith has done a
fantastic job for the university, the city of Columbus, the state of Ohio and
the millions of fans who make up Buckeye Nation!
Christopher Thomson, Dublin, Ohio
Since 2002 Ohio
State's athletic department has had to fire a men's basketball coach for giving
money to a player, suspend its starting quarterback for two games for taking
money from a booster and fight off allegations from a former running back that
he received cash and other illegal benefits while enrolled at the university.
Your cover should have included one other title for Ohio State's athletic
department: BIG CHEATERS.
Jerry Butcher, Wilmington, Ohio
How is it that
Michigan makes a profit of $17.5 million on revenues of $85.5 million and Ohio
State makes a profit of only $2.9 million on revenues of $104.7 million? Is
this any way to run a "business"?
Randall M. Baum, Hillsborough, Calif.
If one of Gene
Smith's duties is to protect Ohio State's integrity, he should start with Greg
Oden's "academic" schedule. Sociology 101, History of Rock and Roll and
basketball for an unbelievable 12 credits would be laughable if it were not so
Bill McCann, Johnstown, Pa.
Since tuition can
cost $20,000 or more per year and regular students can take as long as 30 years
to repay their student loans, I believe that scholarship athletes are very well
compensated simply by being relieved of this burden. Can you please forward the
tuition bills of Hillary Klimowicz, the Division III basketball player you
profiled, to wide receiver Anthony Gonzalez (and throw in my student loan
payments for good measure) to remind him how much he was "exploited"
and how little he received from the Ohio State University?
Jeffrey Hanten, Germantown, Md.
about former Missouri receiver Sean Coffey and his academic struggles, I sat
back and thought about one thing: How could he quit on himself and his future
just three credits shy of a degree? Anybody with a real commitment to himself
would find a way to grind it out through those last three credits. If he could
play with pain, then he should be able to suck it up and make it through one
Trent Satchfield, Southaven, Miss.
In your Athlete's
Bill of Rights, I'd like to add a corollary to Article Two, which says that
athletes be given ironclad, five-year scholarships, regardless of performance.
How about adding that any athlete who bolts early for the pros must pay a
penalty of $1 million to an NCAA scholarship fund? If you're going to make a
scholarship ironclad for the benefit of the student-athlete (something I
wholeheartedly approve of), you must also penalize any party that breaks the
Cannon C. Alsobrook, Alpharetta, Ga.
While the success
of Ohio State's football and basketball teams financially supports the rest of
its athletic department, there are dozens of athletic departments at smaller
universities that are destitute thanks to so-called "revenue" sports.
These smaller schools lose millions of dollars each year trying to keep up with
the Ohio States of the world, and often it is at the expense of nonrevenue
sports. Ohio University's football program recently went to its first bowl game
in 38 years, but the athletic department still found itself in a $4 million
hole. Instead of cutting football expenses, the school axed the women's
lacrosse, men's swimming and men's track programs, which ended the careers of
87 student-athletes and resulted in a savings of only $685,000. The big
business of college football may be a windfall for a handful of schools, but
far more often it destroys the careers of true student-athletes.
David Houchens, Columbus, Ohio
I cracked up when Brady Quinn (Me First! No, Me! March 5) said he thought he
was superbly prepared because at Notre Dame he had been "getting every
team's best shot." Apparently, the best shots of the likes of Navy, Purdue
and Stanford somehow prepare a quarterback better than the fast, relentless,
stingy defenses that LSU's JaMarcus Russell faced in the SEC.
Divad Nedrad, Burlington, Vt.