High school sports are out of control. Kansas and Kansas State will play conference games in Florida, West Virginia, Utah and Ohio after the Big 12 expand over the next two years. Southern California and UCLA jump into the Big Ten. This means students and alumni may never see an away game and top-flight teams in the SEC and Big Ten will be concentrated, leaving other schools in the dust.
Five of the top 10 picks in this year’s NBA draft 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 inking a NIL deal worth at least $9.5 million. Southern Cal’s new coach, Lincoln Riley, has urged his school’s wealthy alumni to form collective NIL Guarantees to hire top recruits.
Can the small sports be saved from greed? the eighth 2021-2022 My alma mater’s golf team, K-State, has four Europeans. The women’s tennis team has no Americans at all. Both teams finished ninth this year. The Missouri men’s golf team has four members from other countriesplus two Texans who are grad students – not a good local performance.
The bottom line is that our children, grandchildren and neighbors don’t get a chance to play on our own varsity teams, even in the minor sports. Let’s change this pattern.
– Joel Athey, los Angeles
As the COVID-19 pandemic hit, businesses suffered an abrupt drop in shoppers, diners 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 the city.
In general, businesses have now mostly recovered and many new stores have opened. The Kansas City area has made great strides in creating attractive streets with new tree planting, lighting, sidewalks, and landscaped entrances.
However, some companies continue to erect new ones or keep their temporary signs. This kind of disorder damages the appearance of our streets and neighborhoods. It’s also unfair to companies (and their competitors) who play by the rules but value the desirability of their properties and want to be seen.
Cities should contact these violators and respectfully ask them to remove these temporary signs. If they do not comply, they should be asked to do so. Past successes should not be abandoned. Otherwise, as a community, we regress back to a less tasteful and less pleasing time.
-William Roy Dudark, overland park
I have just read the recent letter to the editor about Len Dawson’s wife, Jackie, and the kindness she showed to a young man attending the conference Len Dawson Football Camp at William Jewell College in 1969. (17 Aug, 12A)
My teammate and I, both 16, left our hometown of Mangum, Oklahoma to attend the same camp. My father had been an Air Force colonel at Richards-Gebaur Air Force Base 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 by bus and drove through Oklahoma City on the way to KC.
Jackie Dawson picked us up when we arrived and like that letter writer, we were so grateful for her generosity. We didn’t get a steak dinner like he did, but there’s more to the story than that. The next morning we found that our football boots and tennis shoes hadn’t made it off the bus. When 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 drove us to the field.
I made some good friends there and I still have my blue camp jacket. I will never forget the kindness of Len and Jackie Dawson.
– Rollie Heatly, Fort Worth, Texas
I grew up in Prairie Village, and although I now live in California, the state is still on my mind.
In particular, this month’s rousing, sane no to the constitutional amendment that would have allowed the legislature to severely limit reproductive rights reaffirms that sanity still trumps partisan loyalty in Kansas.
It was the best proof of voter normality since Vern Miller lost his gubernatorial race in 1974 — ironically by about the same number of votes as kids he blasted for weed.
– W.Michael Youngblood, Danville, California
This story was originally published Aug 24, 2022 5:00 am.