- The Washington Times - Monday, March 27, 2000

I'm going to take it one letter at a time today:

Grandma Kate of Columbia, Md., writes: "As an old basketball girl who is 76 years old, I am still waiting for the boys to raise the rim. Don't you get tired of watching the men hang on the rim? We girls have a good shooting eye."

Response: The difference between the men's and women's game at the college basketball level is accountability. Too many administrators in charge of Division I programs are merely interested in complying with Title IX and not in holding the women to the same standards as the men. The result, too much of the time, is a viewer-ugly product.

Maurice D. Marsolais of Fairfax, Va., writes: "The Erick Barkley thing. Just ridiculous. I don't blame coach Mike Jarvis for losing his cool. He doesn't deserve this kind of grief from the NCAA. We've really created monsters. I think we have to apply a statute of limitations to anything that happened with a kid in high school."

Response: When Erick Barkley was an infant, it seems someone illegally changed his diapers. Not surprisingly, Barkley is leaving St. John's early to go to the NBA, where the NCAA suits cannot touch him.

J. of Southern Maryland writes: "Coach Norv Turner can only do so much with the material he has. What will poor Dan Snyder do next?"

Response: With Bruce Smith in the fold, the Boy Owner is now trying to sign running back Bronko Nagurski to a multi-year deal, according to sources familiar with his thinking.

Ralph Peterson of Alexandria, Va., writes: "With FedEx paying the Redskins more than $200 million for the naming rights to the stadium, astronomical food and beer prices, parking and Metro fees and increased ticket prices, what's left? Pay toilets, that's what. And each toilet can only be used after a Susan B. Anthony dollar coin is inserted. I trust you see the wisdom in this after the coin flopped. People would bring bags of the coin to the stadium, not to go to the 'John' but to go to the 'Susan,' and Dan Snyder would have yet another rip-off."

Response: Nothing against the Boy Owner, who would charge for the air you breathe if he could, but going to the Susan probably would offend NOW.

W. Russell Pickering of the District of Columbia writes: "Your column on the John Rocker mess cut through the sanctimonious fog emitting from the national media, the Atlanta Braves management and the commissioner. In my time, if an employee did something reprehensible, inexcusable and stupid, as John Rocker did, the boss either took him to the woodshed and/or fired him. But then, as you say, it's a new America."

Response: America usually feels a considerable amount of compassion for those who make dumb decisions, including druggies, drunks, dropouts and Jerry Springer's guests.

C. Richard Bowers of Sarasota, Fla., writes: "Local sports experts, mini-IQ mush-heads, crucified John Rocker. Unpleasant as it was, John Rocker spoke many truths. He didn't shoot, rob, assault or spit on anyone. He was right. They were wrong. Despite the NAACP, ACLU, NBA, NFL, baseball and sportswriters, the First Amendment is for everyone, including John Rocker."

Response: As it turns out, a family values-obsessed America has come down on the side of "a kid with purple hair, a queer with AIDS, a dude out of jail for the fourth time and a 20-year-old mom with four kids."

Norm Leas of Silver Spring, Md., writes: "Your column on John Rocker was a breath of fresh air in these politically correct times."

Response: The politically correct would not have disguised themselves as Indians and thrown the chests of tea into the Boston Harbor.

Richard E. Smith of Fairfax Station, Va., writes: "What really annoys me about today's athletes is how they celebrate after each good play. This has turned me off to professional basketball."

Response: I take this to mean you are no fan of dance partners CWebb and JWill.

Richard L. Fenstermacher of Warrenton, Va., writes: "The Washington Times is a great newspaper. Please live up to its standards. Thank you."

Response: No, thank you.

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