Jack McCallum's article about troubled Pittsburgh quarterback Ben Roethlisberger was heartbreaking. As a Steelers fan I want the team to keep Big Ben, but it's hard to tolerate his behavior. Thank you for showing that fame can turn even a seemingly moral person into an arrogant egomaniac.
Dominic Francisco, Berkeley, Calif.
One of the many tragic aspects of the Roethlisberger situation (The Hangover, May 10) is that most of the Steelers are leading their lives and playing football without controversy. Many of them are outstanding contributors to the community as well: Safety Troy Polamalu, receiver Hines Ward and backup quarterback Charlie Batch are just a few examples. There are a lot of reasons to continue to be a proud Steelers fan, and so I will remain one, but it pains me that the attention the team is receiving is the result of some really bad, immature behavior on the part of one player.
Cheryl Bleiler Veldman
Round Rock, Texas
The one sponsor who should have kept Roethlisberger as a spokesman was PLB Sports. Who better to sell beef jerky than a beefy jerk?
Dana Casale, Ben Avon, Pa.
Getting It Right
Pittsburgh has two athletes who are polar opposites in the ways they conduct themselves. Sidney Crosby (Alone at the Top, May 10) is a winner both as an athlete and as a human being. Roethlisberger, although a winner as an athlete, is a loser as a human being. My hope is this latest incident is a wake-up call for Big Ben.
Bonney Lake, Wash.
The story on Crosby states that he has surpassed Alex Ovechkin as hockey's top player, but I disagree. While both are great, Crosby has a talented supporting cast while Ovie has had to carry the Capitals. If you took away Evgeni Malkin, Jordan Staal, Bill Guerin and Sergei Gonchar, it would be interesting to see if Sid the Kid could carry the Penguins.
Craig Maracle, Felton, Del.
Sunny in Florida
Having been fortunate enough to work with Rays first baseman Carlos Pe√±a for three seasons as the team's senior video coordinator (Carlos Pe√±a's Funhouse, May 10), I can attest to his kindness and generous personality, and to his belief that any day he gets to put on a uniform is the best day of his life. Baseball needs more role models, and number 23 is one of the best.
Jeff Cederbaum, St. Petersburg
Grade A Solution
After reading Phil Taylor's column about the Honors Scholars at McCallie School who are ineligible for varsity sports because they are receiving merit scholarships (POINT AFTER, May 10), a possible solution occurred to me. Tennessee could establish a rule that any student on a merit scholarship is eligible to compete in a varsity sport if that student has maintained a cumulative grade point average of 3.5 or higher at his or her school for at least two academic years. First- and second-year students would not be eligible, but that should help to discourage the granting of merit scholarships to outstanding athletes with dubious academic abilities. Can the solution actually be that simple? What am I missing?
Myles Gray, Sacramento
Tennessee athletic officials say that without regulation, wealthy private schools would recruit top athletes by offering to pay their way. In other words, the TSSAA assumes schools such as McCallie will cheat if given the opportunity. We no longer try to bring out the best in people; we assume the worst, and make laws on that basis. I don't think that's the right way to act.
Bill Cornish, Saginaw, Mich.
In rationalizing the ineligibility of the four McCallie School cross-country runners due to their academic excellence, TSSAA executive director Bernard Childress states that "the bigger picture is about keeping a level playing field." Eliminating competitors from the playing field does not make it level.
Steve Jones, Charlotte
Having a Ball
My family has known Anthony Kim since he was a young boy, and Alan Shipnuck captured his spirit perfectly in the GOLF PLUS Players Championship Preview issue (May 3). Kim would knock on our door on weekend mornings and ask to play with our dog. When he turned 14, he moved away to take up golf full time, but every time we see him during his PGA Tour stops in Southern California, he always has a big hello and a smile. He's fun-loving, is loyal to his friends and family, and enjoys life. The pressure these young athletes are under is hard for the average person to comprehend—it's great to see that Anthony can still have fun along the way.
Studio City, Calif.
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