What readers are saying
Letters to The Seattle Times sports editor
Title IX is good for everyone
The series of articles in The Seattle Times (June 17) did a great job of showing how Title IX, and the changes that resulted, benefited women. Almost overlooked was how it also benefited men.
As just one example, when I graduated from the UW in 1969, there were no women's volleyball, softball or basketball teams to cheer for. Recently, and as a result of Title IX, large crowds have had the thrill of cheering for UW women's volleyball and softball teams that have won national championships.
The rise in popularity of women's basketball (remember when the UW women outdrew the men?) has ultimately led to professional women's basketball, the WNBA and our own Seattle Storm. It seems pretty obvious that nearly everyone benefited from Title IX.
— Raymond S. Wilson, Bellevue
Who pays for Title IX?
I enjoyed reading the Title IX story ("All things being equal," June 17). I wish, however, it had pointed out this key aspect of UW's program: Tuition-paying UW students subsidize the program, probably without realizing that they do so.
This is not a program, as the story implies, that the athletics department funds. At least not in its entirety.
Title IX programs have few or no "scholarship" athletes, technically speaking. In fact, the "scholarships" are actually the tuition waivers to which your story refers. The UW simply forgives the tuition bills for Title IX athletes. As you know, that's not what occurs in UW's male sports, where the athletics department pays for tuition and fees from its own revenues.
The $3 million in tuition waivers is foregone tuition revenue. It's $3 million that could otherwise be used to hire more teachers, buy more library books or pay for computers in student labs. It's $3 million worth of services that UW provides at no charge to some of the Title IX athletes.
Still, somebody has to pay to provide that service. And in a mostly fixed-cost, tuition-funded business like Washington higher education, the people who provide that subsidy are the students who DO pay tuition — or their parents or their scholarship sponsors. They are, in effect, subsidizing the education of these Title IX athletes.
— Randal A. Beam, Professor and Journalism Program Coordinator, Department of Communication, University of Washington
Thanks for Title IX coverage
Thank you for the wonderful reporting on the anniversary of Title IX! As a beneficiary of the legislation I read all of the articles with gratitude, frequently with a tear in my eye.
I look forward to a day when I can routinely turn to the sports page and read about women's sports in an equitable proportion.
— Sara Jackson, Seattle
Giving David Stern his Seattle due
The Big Ten has 11 teams.
The Big 12 has 10 teams.
March Madness peaks in April.
Seattle basketball fans now want to kiss the rear of NBA commissioner David Stern, the silly little fat man who slapped them in the face. And we want to become "city non grata" in Sacramento as Oklahoma City is here — with another out-of-town owner?
So watch the Big Ten play the Big 12 in April, and show some pride by holding up a Stern middle finger to the little man.
— John Guros, Des Moines
Enjoyed learning about Calabro
I greatly enjoyed reading the article on Kevin Calabro ("No regrets for the radio voice who passed on Oklahoma City," June 19). It occurred to me for the first time that we readers are routinely provided with items concerning various athletes belonging to local teams. We learn about their likes and dislikes, their personal histories, and their ongoing trials and tribulations. Most of these guys stick around for a few years before moving on.
But the people who broadcast these players' games are the ones who don't go anywhere. Through thick and thin, our announcers have names and faces that are known to all of us — guys like Rick Rizzs, Ron Fairly and Calabro. Yet we out here in the field know nothing about them, other than what we might hear them say on the air. Thanks for a little insight into a tremendous local sports figure.
— Tom Likai, Shoreline
Moving fences in won't help ...
Don't fans who read Larry Stone's story ("Has time for change arrived at Safeco Field?" June 17) know that moving the fences in is a double-edged sward?
Sure, it will help pad the numbers of the M's mediocre power hitters, Justin Smoak and Jesus Montero, but what about all those long fly balls that Michael Saunders, Franklin Gutierrez and Ichiro haul in at the warning track? Wouldn't all of those opposition longballs be home runs, also?
Why not stop worrying about hitting home runs at Safeco and concentrate more on getting hits, on-base percentage, pitching and fundamental baseball? It's time to stop blaming the ballpark and take a closer look at the players and management at all levels.
— Dick Weber, Coupeville
... but maybe a livelier ball would
There has been a lot of talk lately about moving in the fences at Safeco Field. Instead, how about introducing a slightly livelier ball for use at the ballpark?
This would improve all aspects of hitting, not just home runs. Colorado has been using a humidor to essentially deaden the ball to compensate for the high altitude.
Seattle has some good hitters, but they'll continue to struggle if nothing is done.
— Richard Momberg, AuburnSend us your backtalk: Letters bearing true names, addresses and telephone numbers for verification are considered for publication. Please limit letters to 125 words or less. They are subject to editing and become the property of The Times. Fax them to 206-464-3255, or mail to: Backtalk, Seattle Times Sports, P.O. Box 70, Seattle, WA 98111. Or email to: email@example.com.