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Letters to the Editors

Paterno column a disgrace

© St. Petersburg Times, published November 17, 2002


John Romano's column on Joe Paterno (JoePa legacy is taking a hit, Thursday) was one of the most uninformed articles I have read in the Times. Romano sensationalized minor incidents that Paterno has been involved in this season. The tugging of the referee's jersey was put to rest by the referee and Penn State immediately after the incident, and only people in the media keep bringing it up to tarnish a good man's reputation. All coaches have made comments about referees; just listen to Steve Spurrier and Lou Holtz. These two men are striving to have as good a reputation as Joe Paterno.

John Romano's column on Joe Paterno (JoePa legacy is taking a hit, Thursday) was one of the most uninformed articles I have read in the Times. Romano sensationalized minor incidents that Paterno has been involved in this season. The tugging of the referee's jersey was put to rest by the referee and Penn State immediately after the incident, and only people in the media keep bringing it up to tarnish a good man's reputation. All coaches have made comments about referees; just listen to Steve Spurrier and Lou Holtz. These two men are striving to have as good a reputation as Joe Paterno.

The comparison to Bob Knight, who is a disgrace to collegiate athletics, was a terrible attempt to bring Paterno down to another level. These two men's names should never be discussed at the same time. Apparently Romano had nothing else to report on and felt like he needed to try to disgrace a good person for the sake of getting his name on the front page.

I usually enjoy the Times, but I have to say this article was completely wrong and uninformed and a piece a poor journalism.
-- Steve Hughes, Tampa

Burk errs on Augusta poll

Martha Burk doubts that 70 percent of Americans support sex discrimination, in reference to the polling about the Augusta National policy (Augusta is right, poll says ... maybe, Thursday). Of course they don't. They just don't see a private club's rules as discrimination.

One of my neighbors doesn't have black house guests. Almost no one supports him, but almost no one thinks he can't do as he pleases in his own house, either. That doesn't mean we support racial discrimination. Burk, get real.
-- Ernest E. Lane, New Port Richey

Heisman hype shameful

Gary Shelton failed to mention Jim Brown, Lee Roy Selmon and a whole lot of other players who were overlooked for the Heisman Trophy (Heisman Hindsight, Wednesday). The Heisman is the biggest bunch of hype the sports world has come up with yet. I'm glad someone finally has the fortitude to say it, and say it in print. John Heisman would be ashamed to have his name associated with this award. His family should sue to have his name taken off.
-- Weldon Comerford, Seminole

Paper slighted Olajuwon

Can it be that Hakeem Olajuwon's retirement only merits a few lines buried in the middle of your sports section? You can't be serious. You gave Patrick Ewing far more coverage when he retired a month or two ago, and Olajuwon was the better all-around player (Olajuwon two NBA championships, Ewing zero).

Olajuwon had probably the greatest variety of moves of any center in the history of the game, and retired as the NBA's all-time leading shot blocker. In the Rockets' championship seasons, he outplayed Ewing, David Robinson and even Shaquille O'Neal in head-to-head matchups.

But when he retires, no front page coverage, no picture, no year-to-year stats? Just a couple of sentences for one of the all-time best centers. Not a tribute equal to the Dream's status in the game, and not the type of coverage I expect from Florida's best sports section.
-- Brett Aayman, St. Petersburg

Yea for baseball 'naturals'

Baseball should take a cue from weightlifting and have separate awards and records for the athletes who are natural and those that use performance-enhancing drugs. That way Barry Bonds can have his MVP and Randy Johnson can have his Cy Young. Bonds and Sammy Sosa can accumulate homer records and they won't taint the real records that legitimate, tested athletes can attain.
-- Dave Rodman, Dunedin

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