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Published: Monday, 8/11/2003

Readers speak out on Clarett, college athletics

If Maurice Clarett is making news, it must be time to open my e-mail bag:

I get the feeling you're less than happy about Maurice Clarett. What do you have against him? Do you think he has some kind of obligation to Ohio fans and Blade sports writers (specifically one John Harris) to stay at Ohio State until the almighty NFL says he can leave?

Give Maurice a break. He deserves whatever he can get. If his freshman performance at Ohio State is any indication, he's one of the greatest football players we've ever had in this state. Let him go to the NFL if he wants.

Tom

Agreed. However, as long as Clarett is enrolled at Ohio State, he should be expected to follow the rules. No exceptions. Is that too much to ask?

There is no doubt that Clarett has caused OSU a ton of embarrassment, and (school officials) would like to dismiss him from the team and the school. Not like the old days, when the coach cut you from the team and that was it. Or the dean called you in and said you were no longer a student here, so leave.

Richard S. Lawson

Spring Hill, Fla.

Clarett's not being included in the team photo speaks volumes about his uncertain status in Columbus. I've got a hunch that coach Jim Tressel knows more than he's willing to let on.

Your column (“Colleges need special major for athletes” ) proposes a thought-provoking, but impractical, idea regarding a special college major for potential professional athletes. Student-athletes are encouraged to get a college degree so that they will have something to fall back on if they get injured, go undrafted, etc. Your idea would leave such an athlete with very little recourse.

A special college degree for professional athletes is a necessary gamble and would be offered by only the most cynical of universities.

Jeff Horvath

Maybe so. But to my way of thinking, anything's an improvement over the current ineffective system.

Your plan would end the classroom charade for future NFL players. At the same time [it would] provide valuable financial planning advice for future millionaires. I'd suggest a few classes in “behavioral science” and ethics.

Joe Swiergosz

Sylvania

To heck with those fragile egos located in downtown Indianapolis. The sooner the NCAA finally agrees to break from tradition and initiate changes in this regard, the better.

I was a college football coach for 14 years. I was a graduate assistant at the University of Pittsburgh for two years, defensive line coach at Indiana University of Pennsylvania for one year, offensive coordinator at Western Kentucky for seven years, and defensive line coach at Bowling Green for four years.

I know the feeling of being discriminated against. I applied for several jobs, but was told they had to hire a minority. I also tried to get into an NFL camp as a volunteer coach for several teams. These positions are only given to minority coaches.

Discrimination works both ways. Even though it is harder to become a head coach if you are black, it is easier to become an assistant if you are black.

Rick Denstorff

You said a mouthful.



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