Letters to the editor, March 1

Feb. 28, 2014 @ 03:18 PM

Front-page news?
An article in The Herald-Sun (Feb. 26) regarding athletic recruitment at UNC was selected not only as “front page,” but above the fold. Are we to believe that in the entire world, that is the most important news? With turmoil in the Middle East, Russia’s exerting its muscle, impasse in Congress and lest we forget, the Affordable Care Act it should be difficult to envision that.
The article poses the question, “What does eighth-grade prospect need to know?” Based upon the scandal going on for several years without significant redress from the university, my response would be “not very much.” Courses that for many years did not require class attendance or exams appear to be accurate. Plagiarized papers went undetected until brought to light with simple computer check by sources outside the university. Allegations by a university employee that some athletes could only read at grade-school level and one not at all do little to allay doubts regarding this most revered program.
Some would respond by saying athletics are a means to an end, that they are the only way some can achieve success. For some, that is true, but what about those who end their athletic careers as collegians? Those who lack the talent to play professionally must find employment, many without adequate education for a good job.
Without all of the above, that article would have probably been on the sports page, on page two or three, but never on the front page. What a shame!
Curtis Casey


Playing whack-a-mole
As a small government conservative, there was almost nothing about President Barack Obama's election and his public policies that didn't cause me grave concern.
I am called however to find the positives. One of the positives was the impact that the election of America's first African-American president would have on his own community and the possibilities of what he could do.
My son worked with the D.L. Forbes Youth Foundation here in Durham all through high school. He was the only white volunteer in this amazing organization that works with at-risk youth. He saw firsthand the disintegration of the family, the need for male role models and the lack of respect for anyone that this climate fosters.
My Brother's Keeper program is exactly what I had hoped President Obama would do early in his administration. Instead he came out talking about "turning off the video games" and other generic admonitions. This program has good intentions and I will pray for its success. But it is still playing whack-a-mole. Until someone in the African-American community addresses the real seeds of its problems -- 72 percent of children born to single mothers and the encouragement of the welfare state for fatherless homes -- we will still be only wielding the hammer and no real solution.
Janie Wagstaff