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Original Issue


Your preseason college football prognosticating has once again left me scratching my head.

Ryan Bucchianeri
As a graduate of the Naval Academy ('75), I was overwhelmed by your story about Navy kicker Ryan Bucchianeri (A Time of Trial, Aug. 29). The final week of last season was extremely difficult for anyone associated with the Naval Academy. Bucchianeri dealt with the distressing events with dignity and courage.
W.D. SQUIRES, Secaucus, N.J.

With all the glitz and glitter that surrounds many of today's athletes, I find it inspiring to read about a gracious and dutiful representative of one of our nation's service academies. The strength of the young men who play for the academies and their ability to deal with adversity are examples of how each of us should lead our daily lives.
Team Captain, Army Football '90

Nine years ago, while training for a new sport that I loved, the triathlon, I broke my neck in a freak accident and remain paralyzed. When doctors informed me I would never walk again and probably would have only limited use of my arms and hands, I was devastated. My first thought was that there was no longer any reason to live. Only with the help of my family, friends and therapists did I grudgingly accept that life goes on.

Bucchianeri's acceptance of his misfortune and of the misfortune of his three friends who were killed in the automobile accident following the Army game is part of a maturing process that most people never come to grips with, no matter how long they live. I wish him well, and I look forward to watching him kick a field goal in this year's Army-Navy game.

College Rankings
Arizona Wildcats No. 1 (SCOUTING REPORTS, Aug. 29)? What planet do you live on? After the Stray Cats' performance against Georgia Tech [19-14], you guys should consider going on strike for the rest of the season.

How could you put the likes of Western Michigan (No. 42), Rutgers (No. 43) and Bowling Green (No. 49) ahead of my alma mater, Georgia (No. 50)? The SEC is the toughest league in the nation. I just wish the Bulldogs could play the likes of Rutgers and Bowling Green.
BOB TAYLOR, Columbia, S.C.

Miami No. 7? Florida No. 8? Florida State No. 10? Hello, McFly! Since 1983 at least one of these three schools has always finished in the Top 5.
KEVIN MILKEY, St. Petersburg, Fla.

Tyrone Wheatley
As a relocated Ohio State fan, I wasn't unhappy to hear that Michigan's Tyrone Wheatley would miss a few games with a shoulder injury. However, I have just finished reading your article on Wheatley (The Long View, Aug. 29), and I have a newfound respect for this man.

Wheatley is a great example for young people, but I do hope he'll take it easy on us this November in Columbus.

Can someone please explain to me why Tyrone Wheatley is heroic because he "chose education over cash"? With $8 million, such a levelheaded, goal-directed young man could buy a damn fine education during the off-season or after his career and still have enough money to provide an education for every member of his family and all their descendants. Now he has to hope he doesn't blowout some joint (again!).

I would have taken the money now. Geez, with $8 million you could buy a small college.

Upon reading This Week's Sign That the Apocalypse Is Upon Us (SCORECARD, Aug. 29), I feel compelled to inform you that one week earlier, while appearing before the same judge who heard San Francisco slugger Barry Bonds's hardship plea in San Mateo County, my autograph was not requested and my alimony and child support were not reduced. But then, I'm not on strike, I wasn't scheduled to earn $4.75 million this year, and I am not a major league baseball player. I was a fan.
JIM JIMISON, Cupertino, Calif.

What kind of message is Bonds sending his child when he seemingly will use any excuse to reduce his child and spousal support? This incident also illustrates our declining justice system. How much respect can one show a judge who is so enthralled by a celebrity athlete that he asks for an autograph?
BRAD MILLMAN, Souderton, Pa.



Bucchianeri has a firm handle on football, school and life.

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