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While it is admirable that Russell White has overcome his dyslexia and has prospered academically at Berkeley, the fact remains that Cal did not know about his learning disability when it accepted him. Meanwhile, in 1989 Cal rejected 2,500 students with perfect grade point averages. I find it sad that a school that used to pride itself on academic excellence is selling out in favor of excellence on the playing field.
As director of athletics during White's four years at Crespi High, I can attest to the fact that many dedicated teachers and counselors spent countless hours working with him outside the classroom. For White to say that we "exploited" him is nonsense.
I am a 1980 graduate of Crespi High and thus never went to school with White. However, I am familiar with his career at Crespi and would like to refute his claims that Crespi didn't prepare him well enough for college.
My experience at Crespi was rewarding. I matriculated at Harvard, where I was named captain of the basketball team, set the school scoring record and was selected Ivy League Player of the Year and first team Academic All-America. I since have gone on to work on Wall Street. I give Crespi enormous credit for the discipline and skills I acquired in preparation for Harvard. I had many of the same teachers that White had, and I felt well prepared for the rigors of the Ivy League.
It is sad that White is using Crespi as a scapegoat for his academic troubles. He had many special privileges there, including extra tutoring and first-rate coaching. I believe he needs to accept the blame for his problems.
Thank You, Mr. Harwell
When I was 14 and living in Oscoda, Mich., I became a devoted fan of the '72 pennant-winning Tigers. I watched every televised game and listened to every WJR radio broadcast I could. My fondest memory of that season came in late August, when we were visiting my grandparents in North Wilkesboro, N.C. One evening my dad went outside and somehow picked up WJR on the car radio. The two of us sat there in the front seat of our Plymouth Fury II in the darkness and listened to the whole game together.