The NCAA needs to rethink its mission as it relates to modern-day college athletes. Multimillion-dollar TV contracts in college sports are only made possible by athletes who spend upwards of 20 hours per week practicing and playing, in addition to the time spent fulfilling their academic requirements. Athletes should be paid the same as normal students, who are allowed to have jobs.
Roger Goddard, Bradenton, Fla.
While I enjoyed Alexander Wolff's article on the NCAA's legal troubles (SCORECARD), I disagree with his opinion that Pennsylvania governor Tom Corbett's suit against the NCAA is cheap political grandstanding. I think NCAA officials resorted to a degree of unnecessary roughness in punishing Penn State over the university's missteps in the Jerry Sandusky scandal. While it was determined that Sandusky committed dreadful crimes and that a number of people in authority at the university showed gross negligence in their actions, nothing was proved to suggest that either the school or the athletic department did anything that would jeopardize the integrity of the football program or give it an advantage on the field. I see no cause for punishing players and other coaches who did nothing wrong.
Keith Brescia, Falls Church, Va.
Wins to Remember
There was a pretty glaring error in Tim Layden's NFL Off-Season Preview story (You Got It, or You Don't). Layden lists Tony Romo and Mark Sanchez as two quarterbacks who have never won a playoff game. On the contrary, Romo and the Cowboys famously ended a 13-year winless stretch in the playoffs with a victory over the Eagles in January 2010. Similarly, Mark Sanchez and the Jets have won four playoff games during his tenure—two in each of his first two years in the league.
David Cinamon, New York City
I thoroughly enjoyed Peter King's feature on the Ravens and the Super Bowl (Joe Flacco, Period). While seeing Ray Lewis play in his final NFL game was sad for us Ravens fans, it was great watching him go out on top. Another highlight was Jacoby Jones's version of Lewis's signature "squirrel dance" after Jones's 108-yard kickoff return run in the third quarter. That was a perfect tribute.
Lamontay Marshall, Antioch, Calif.
While I am a believer that the 49ers lost the Super Bowl because of questionable play-calling and missed opportunities on offense in the second half, it doesn't change the fact that several penalties that could have been game-changers were not called in their favor. The best evidence of this can be found in the opening photo of King's article, in which two Ravens are blatantly holding San Francisco pass rusher Aldon Smith.
Keith Roberts, Manhattan Beach, Calif.
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With the Lakers' lackluster effort this season (page 34) and with the death on Monday of longtime owner Jerry Buss (page 20), can Kobe Bryant & Co. still make the playoffs?
Kory Powell: Only if they trade Dwight Howard to get some younger legs and move Pau Gasol to the five. If Howard stays, the season will continue to go downhill.
Richard Freeman: There is no righting this ship. They just don't have enough games left. They can try to make it a fun run, but there's not enough time left for any hiccups along the way.
David Hmielewski: Kobe is hungry. He has the leadership and enough talent around him to still make it. They just need the eighth seed.
Lori Pierce: No. They should have brought Phil Jackson back. Then they would have made the turnaround with a chance at the playoffs. Mike D'Antoni will never win anything in L.A.
Dustin Hodel: The team has no chemistry, and D'Antoni's system is not a good fit. They won't make much noise in the playoffs even if they do get in.
TWEET OF THE WEEK
"AS A VIKINGS FAN, IT SADDENS ME THAT TWO ENTIRE GENERATIONS ONLY KNOW AHMAD RASHAD AS MJ'S BOBO AND AN NBA TALKING HEAD."
CJ FOGLER (@CJZERO)
PHOTO ILLUSTRATION BY NICOLE ZIGMONT
JOHN W. MCDONOUGH (BRYANT)
ROBERT BECK (COVER)
FOR Feb. 11, 2013