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March 26, 2007
Jock Culture 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.
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March 26, 2007

Letters

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Jock Culture
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 sad.
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.

After reading 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 class.
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 deal.
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

Mighty Quinn?
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.

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