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Four years after the incident Hnida comes forward with this
story? The alleged rape by a teammate was interrupted by a
ringing telephone? Please. Wear your ring proudly, Rick. The
Buffaloes and Coach Barnett will be back with a vengeance.
Brian Newland, St. Charles, Mo.

As a high school coach I can tell you that the recent Colorado
recruiting visit scandals are news but not new. I have always
been concerned when my student-athletes go off on college visits.
Recruiting trips are supposed to expose prospective students to
college life. They do not. Why? Because classes aren't usually
held on Friday, Saturday or Saturday nights. Perhaps a
student-athlete's visit should begin Sunday afternoon to allow
the recruit to view students preparing for Monday's classes. On
Monday the recruit could go to a few morning classes with the
host before having a meeting with the coach and beginning the
journey home. Currently, many recruits get to experience just
college weekends.
Leon Modeste, Andover, Mass.

Head Games

Your item about Carlos Boozer (Inside the NBA, Feb. 23) wrongly
states that he suffered an embarrassment when, in last year's
rookie game, "Jason Richardson bounced a ball off Boozer's head,
caught it and sank a three-pointer." Richardson did not embarrass
Boozer; Richardson embarrassed himself, his team and his league.
Judith Reel, Simi Valley, Calif.

Speed and Politics

For you not to feature Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s accomplishment on
SI's cover is a farce (Junior Wins One for Dad, Feb. 23). America
is tired of hearing about high-priced baseball players and those
damn Yankees. Who feels good about a $131,000 at bat? Dale Jr.
risks his life on every lap. Alex Rodriguez only risks baseball's
going out of business because no one can afford to go to a game.
Brian Evak, New Washington, Ohio

Wow! What a startling photograph. That shot of Air Force One
taking off on the strip behind the Daytona Speedway is a
once-in-a-lifetime picture (Leading Off, Feb. 23). The people at
the top of the grandstands look as if they can almost touch the
plane. If President Bush had known such a photo was possible, I'm
sure he would have given a thumbs-up from one of the windows.
Robert D. Willis, Huntington, W.Va.

I thought it was a little different that the President would go
to Daytona for the race and become part of an evolving American
tradition. All SI had to do was show the picture and state that
he was there. It was a cheap shot to add "... no doubt looking
for votes from NASCAR dads." In the future, leave the liberal
press remarks to Time.
Linton Phillips, Midland, Mich.

On the Surface

Like many kids from Massachusetts, I grew up playing hockey and
agree that there is nothing like a cold, hard and smooth piece of
ice, and I really enjoyed Michael Farber's The Importance of Ice
(Feb. 23). However, I think Farber is wrong to say, "No other
playing surface is so integral to its sport, so complex to
maintain and so misunderstood." Golf course turf has hockey ice
beat in all three areas. Golf is a more precise game than hockey,
and most golf course superintendents have university degrees in
turf management. While we don't have Britney Spears to deal with,
we do have insects, disease, soil composition, soil fertility
and, most important, Mother Nature. I can assure you that we pay
as close attention to the chemical composition of our irrigation
water as the rinks do to their ice water. In addition we manage
over 50 acres of grass with many different slopes, microclimates
and turf varieties, each requiring different care. An NHL rink is
uniform and less than half an acre. Like our counterparts on the
Zambonis, we still employ more art than science and for the most
part are unnoticed unless something goes wrong.
Will Stearns, Plymouth, Mass.

Ice maintenance is a walk in the park compared to the challenges
of snow maintenance facing officials in ski racing. Imagine if
every hockey player on the ice were to skate single file in
overlapping paths. Then add in changing temperatures, wind and
everything else Mother Nature has to offer. And skiing's answer
to the Zamboni, the snow groomer, only sees action before and
after a race, not during.
Brian W. Peck, New York City

Orange You Sorry You Weren't Paying Attention?

How does Pensacola's Roy Jones Jr. not make your list of
Florida's greatest athletes (Sports in America, Feb. 23)? Jones
is considered by most experts and fans to be the best
pound-for-pound fighter in the world--and one of the greatest
George W. Slusher, Cincinnati

I am in complete shock that motocross rider Ricky Carmichael was
not even mentioned as one of the great athletes from Florida.
Carmichael, from the panhandle town of Havana, is only 24 years
old and has already won 11 supercross and outdoor titles
combined. He holds the American Motorcyclist Association record
for amateur wins with 67 and has the most career wins in the
motocross 125 class with 26. In 2002 he won every moto possible,
24, in the outdoor series.
Ben Goodin, Flat Rock, Ind.


COLOR PHOTO: DIANE MOORE/ICON SMI ...Carmichael is a master of moto.