College sports are out of control. Kansas and Kansas State will play conference games in Florida, West Virginia, Utah and Ohio after the Big 12 expands over the next two years. Southern California and UCLA will jump to the Big Ten. This means students and alumni may never see an away game, and top-rated teams will be concentrated in the SEC and Big Ten, leaving other schools in the dust.
Five of the first 10 picks in the NBA draft this year are one-and-done players. College athletes now collect name, image and likeness money. A high school quarterback signed to play for Miami after reportedly signing a NIL deal worth at least $9.5 million. New Southern Cal coach Lincoln Riley has called on his school’s wealthy alumni to form collective NIL guarantees to rope in top recruits.
Can the small sports be saved from greed? The eight-man 2021-2022 golf team of my alma mater, K-State, has four Europeans. Its women’s tennis team has no Americans at all. Both squads finished ninth this year. Missouri’s men’s golf team has four members from other countries, plus two Texans who are graduate students — not a good local showing.
The bottom line is our kids, grandchildren and neighbors don’t stand a chance to play on our own varsity teams, even in the small sports. Let’s change this pattern.
– Joel Athey, Los Angeles
When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, businesses suffered an abrupt decline in shoppers, restaurant goers and other patrons. Many responded with temporary flags strung between steel posts, feather signs on a single pole and other such signs we continue to see around town.
Generally speaking, businesses have now mostly recovered, and many new businesses have opened. The Kansas City area has made great strides in creating attractive roadways with new tree plantings, lighting, sidewalks and landscaped entryways.
However, some businesses continue to erect new or keep their temporary signs. This kind of clutter is detrimental to the appearance of our streets and neighborhoods. It is also unfair to businesses (and their competitors) who abide by the rules but value the attractiveness of their properties and want to be seen.
Cities should contact these rule-breakers and respectfully ask them to remove these temporary signs. If they don’t comply, then they should be required to. Past accomplishments should not be abandoned. Otherwise, we as a community regress to a time less tasteful and becoming.
– William Roy Dudark, Overland Park
I just read the recent letter to the editor about Len Dawson’s wife, Jackie, and the kindness she showed a young man who attended the Len Dawson football camp at William Jewell College in 1969. (Aug. 17, 12A)
My teammate and I, both 16, left our hometown of Mangum, Oklahoma, to attend the same camp. My dad had been an Air Force colonel at Richards-Gebaur Air Force Base just south of Kansas City, and we loved the Chiefs. Dad wanted me to go to Dawson’s camp after he retired and we moved to Oklahoma. My buddy and I also traveled via bus and went through Oklahoma City on the way to KC.
When we arrived, Jackie Dawson picked us up, and like this letter writer, we felt so thankful for her generosity. We didn’t get a steak dinner as he did, but there’s more to the story. The next morning, we realized our football cleats and tennis shoes hadn’t made it off the bus. As all the players were told to run down the hill to practice, Len Dawson picked us up in his brand new purple Dodge Super Bee car and give us a ride to the field.
I made some good friends there and still have my blue camp jacket. I’ll never forget Len and Jackie Dawson’s kindness.
– Rollie Heatly, Fort Worth, Texas
Prairie Village is where I grew up, and, although I now live in California, the state is still in my thoughts.
In particular, this month’s rousing, commonsense vote of no on the constitutional amendment that would have allowed the Legislature to severely restrict reproductive rights reaffirms that sanity still is more important than party loyalty in Kansas.
This was the best evidence of voter normalcy since Vern Miller lost his gubernatorial race in 1974 — ironically by approximately the same number of votes as kids he busted for grass.
– W. Michael Youngblood, Danville, California