Letters to the Editor

5/9/10 Letters

NCAA relegated to NBA farm league without reform

I find myself in the unbelievable position of agreeing with the Herald-Leader editorial board. It is right on with its assessment of dealing with the consequences of the "one and done" athletes in the University of Kentucky basketball program.

Making it to the Elite Eight in the NCAA basketball tourney is the good news; being in the bottom "Super Six" in graduation rate is the bad.

I agree with President Lee T. Todd Jr. in that the problem is systemic. I encourage Todd to suggest the following ideas to the NCAA Division I Board of Directors: Work with the National Basketball Association and return to the policy of letting graduating high school seniors go straight to the NBA.

If the high school senior decides to enroll in college, make it mandatory that he completes two full years and is in good academic standing at the end of those two years. Then he would be ineligible for that year's draft and must wait until the following year's NBA draft.

Until this problem is addressed, the NCAA will continue to be nothing but a farm league for the NBA.

Sam Penn


Coach touched lives

Speaking as one of "Roy's Boys," I want to thank the Herald-Leader for the outstanding article on the late Coach Roy Walton. Coach touched and changed so many people's lives, he literally influenced the character of Lexington through his life. And I'm not sure anyone has done that to that extent. And whoever chose the picture for the front of the sports section should get a raise. I will keep that forever.

Craig Young


Cashing in on losers

Larry Webster's May 2 column hit upon a very apt analogy when he mentioned Millionaires Row, "where all the people sat who figured out a way to win if you lose or not. Somehow this bunch can cash tickets when their horse comes in last."

Suppose the people who manage the parimutuel betting at Keeneland created some new finish positions to supplement the win-place-show positions, and combinations thereof ("derivatives"), we are familiar with. They might be called last-quit-tire.

You can imagine the effect this would have on the race dynamics and the jockeys' priorities and incentives, not to mention the trainers' practices. Pretty soon, horse races (and Keeneland) would become meaningless and not exist.

This is exactly the scenario that would occur, and has occurred in the national (and global) economy, when Wall Street created derivatives, such as put options, CDOs and other similar "financial products."

Most of these products were created to increase the Wall Street "cuts" or fees, not to improve the economy, or quality of the horse breed.

Ron Blackburn


Offensive to Poles

I was shocked and appalled by the selection of the column, "Did pride cause air crash?" by Adam Chmielewski for the April 18 issue of your newspaper.

The day when the Polish nation around the world gathered together with our friends to accompany the presidential couple in their last trip to the Kings' Quarters in the Old Castle of Wawel, you decided to print an article by a person who had been an active opponent of President Kaczynski and his vision of Poland.

The article is full of omissions that distort and do not properly explain facts, and is based on speculations and assumptions which were known not to be true at the time of printing the article in your newspaper. This is not the right way to support the local Polish American community. You simply offended us and our American friends who were together with us during the week of mourning.

Mariusz Fus


Event horses live long

Your most prominent coverage of the Rolex Three-Day Event — a competition that draws crowds from all over the U.S., Europe, Australia, and New Zealand — was of its most tragic moment with three pictures of one fall.

Where are the front-page pictures of career ending breakdowns at Keeneland? Starving, emaciated Thoroughbreds who are "free to good home" at three and four years of age with bone chips and leg fractures from racing?

How about the ugly side of that sport? Eventing horses are in the game in their teens and 20s — not at slaughterhouses, used up and thrown away at five years of age.

How about more on the really sad story here in Lexington? The glorious racehorses shipping to Canada and Mexico every week, having served to entertain us for a few brief weeks at Keeneland.

Susan Blalock


Oops, forgot to party

"Mission Accomplished" in Iraq declared May 1, 2003 and brought to us by George Bush and Dick Cheney. Oh, my gosh, I forgot to join in the celebration this past week and I hope all will forgive me. But, then there is the date in June in which he again declared "Mission Accomplished" in Iraq, while in Iraq, so perhaps I can get in on that party.

Perhaps, all those families of the innocents who were killed and wounded by our bombs will be right beside me celebrating "Mission Accomplished." Aren't our political leaders in D.C. and Kentucky great leaders? Oh, I would just love to hug them all!

Curtis Gilliland


Thanks, Home Depot

I would like to say thank you to the staff at the Richmond Road Home Depot. While many watched the funeral procession of the fallen officer on Tuesday they took it upon themselves to walk out carts full of water for those observing. They did not charge for it or try to sell anything to us. They just realized people trying to honor a fallen hero might need some water on a hot day. It is nice to see a big company connect with its community in a way that shows they care.

Scott Wisniewski