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By HUBERT MIZELL

© St. Petersburg Times, published February 18, 2001


NCAA recruiting needs a new set of standards

Please use your influence to help establish new NCAA/SEC standards for college recruiting regarding high school football players. Hal Mumme, former Kentucky coach, resigned. He was not offered a traditional buyout, but Larry Ivy, UK's athletic director, may enter negotiations on severence. Mumme had four years remaining on his contract.

Ivy and Kentucky should be commended for their actions. Violations may or may not be directly tied to Mumme, but if they occurred, they did so on his watch. He has not complained publicly.

This should become the standard. Perhaps integrity can be achieved and a measure of ethics brought into the recruiting process.
-- Ed Wright, Clearwater

Hubert says: Policing by the NCAA will always be sporadic, like a couple cops trying to keep a harness on spring break at Daytona Beach or Clearwater Beach. Best way, I think, would be for powerful people aligned with a university, including big donors, to demand and monitor what is really going on. Trouble is, too many zealots are the first to look the other way, common sense being overcome by a hunger for victories and jock renown.

* * *

I read you are retiring. You have been out of gas for years. I have been ignoring your side of the front sports page.

You turned me against you ever since you said you hate boxing. Now you ridicule the XFL. I assume you do not approve of Arena football. The only thing that kept you around this long is your free tickets to the Masters.
-- Trevor Armstrong, Clearwater

Hubert says: It is a free country, Trevor, which allows you and me to have our say. Free tickets? You're really, really wrong there.

* * *

You are a moron. Why don't you retire and play shuffleboard, bingo or what ever old f---- do. It's a shame your employers don't see what I see. You sound as though you're from Russia or someplace like that.
-- Rocco Rocco, via e-mail

Hubert says: Okay, so I demean the XFL, while you trash old people and Russia. Hey, we all have our standards.

* * *

In 18 years as a Michigan college professor, what worried me most about the United States was rampant ignorance. Now, through today's TV and music as well as so-called sports, we covet and even glorify the most weak-minded, low-class and socially pitiful elements.

Pro wrestling used to amuse me, as an act, but the escalating inhumanity should by now be a turnoff to almost anyone with an IQ above fifth-grade levels.

XFL? What sad testimony, not so much that crass promoters would devise it -- because they'd offer infant wrestling in pickle juice if people would pay to watch -- but it infuriates me that NBC would become such an ugly pig by giving it such visibility.

Every person has a right to be uneducated, affected by alcohol and/or drugs and abusive with language, while creating asinine images for our children. But why should major media give them such a stage, even glorifying their animalistic acts?

I'm afraid this war is lost.
-- Katherine Mead Taylor, Sarasota

Hubert says: A fear I share.

* * *

You're right about the absurdity of the XFL, while you did note the positives of the venture. I suggest we cool it, allowing TV ratings to subside as even the curious and oddity seeking public eventually realizes this is low-class football with a couple of interesting innovations but a really trashy feel.
-- Kellen Jefferson, via e-mail

Hubert says: No more XFL columns planned by me.

* * *

Congratulations on your retirement. You are one whose quality of writing is so high that we hope you will keep turning it out, even on a part-time basis.
-- Haywood Harris, Assistant athletic director, University of Tennessee

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