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Letters to the Editor
Published January 2, 2005

Re: Presidents still block change, Sunday

As a former college football player studying engineering, it was difficult (but enjoyable) being a student-athlete. It seems to me that all this clamor about a playoff system comes from the sportswriters and sports fanatics who probably never even played the game!

UM president Donna Shalala said it well: "Football is a very physical game. Already we have players injured. I like the current system that elevates the importance of the bowls. To be honest, I'm much more interested in graduation rates before playoffs. I'm concerned about the time student-athletes spend practicing instead of studying."

Believe me, playing college football with the demands of studying is very demanding! So I hope Shalala and the other college presidents do not change their minds.

If someone brings up the pros and the number of games they play, remember it's a job to them. Also, don't forget to look at their injury lists.

-- Evan Adams, Via e-mail

The article by Bob Harig quotes Lee Corso saying that college presidents don't have to give a reason for opposing a college football playoff, then quotes a couple of them, the presidents of USF and Miami, doing just that.

Only problem is, their reasoning can be easily refuted.

USF's Judy Genshaft says the playoff would interfere with final exams. Aren't most schools' finals in December, before the bowls, therefore already "interfered with?" She says the playoff would interfere with basketball, but I say only marginally, if it were to be a one- or two-game playoff after the bowls (I favor two games, sort of a Final Four). She said the regular season already serves as a playoff. Tell that to Auburn!

Miami president Shalala, who seems bothered that football is a physical game, used the tired argument that a playoff would diminish the importance of the bowls. I have a question: How could you diminish the importance of the bowls any more than all but one of them are already diminished? A playoff could incorporate the existing bowls, or use them as a playoff of their own to enter the final two or four, thus turning several bowls into "playoff games," increasing their importance. Regarding the "rationale" of these presidents, no wonder some don't want to give a reason.

-- Stephen M. Wilder, Albany, Ga.

Reggie White was a great player, but more than that a man of sterling character with strong faith in God. In 1987 when he was awarded the NFL Outstanding Lineman by a brewery; he rejected it and did not accept the $50,000. He felt that because he did not drink beer, nor any intoxicants, it would be against his faith to accept the award. How many pro athletes would not accept the money? Now Reggie does not have to watch the ridiculous beer ads on TV, with actors dressed as football officials exchanging their six packs of beer for the others' in a series of stupid parodies.

-- Tom Brasser, Palm Harbor

While any death is unfortunate, particularly when it's sudden, Reggie White was a homophobic hypocrite. Jesus preached peace, not violence. I fail to see how one can be a follower of his teachings and claim to be Christian. Also, White spoke many times on his disdain for gays and lesbians. He certainly had the right to those opinions, much as I do. My point is quit making this guy out to be so wonderful.Jim Loveland, St. Petersburg