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 move to the Big Ten. That 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 top 10 picks in the NBA draft this year are unique players. College athletes are now raising money for their name, image and likeness. A high school quarterback has signed to play in Miami after apparently signing a NIL contract worth at least $9.5 million. New Southern Cal coach Lincoln Riley called on his school’s wealthy alumni to form collective NIL guarantees to recruit top recruits.
Can little athletes be saved from greed? The 2021-2022 eight-man golf team at my alma mater, K-State, has four Europeans. Its women’s tennis team has no Americans. Both teams finished ninth this year. The Missouri men’s golf team has four members from other countries, plus two Texans who are graduate students — not a good local performance.
Ultimately, our children, grandchildren, and neighbors have no chance of playing on our own college teams, even in minor sports. Let’s change this model.
– Joel Athey, Los Angeles
When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, businesses suffered a sharp drop in the number of shoppers, restaurateurs and other customers. Many have responded with temporary flags hung between steel poles, single pole feather signs and other similar signs that we continue to see around the city.
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 driveways.
However, some businesses continue to erect new signs or keep their temporary signs. This kind of clutter detracts from the appearance of our streets and neighborhoods. It’s also unfair to businesses (and their competitors) who play by the rules but value the attractiveness of their properties and want to be seen.
Cities should contact these violators and respectfully ask them to remove these temporary signs. If they don’t comply, they should be required to do so. Past achievements should not be abandoned. Otherwise, we as a community are regressing to a less tasteful and less becoming time.
-William Roy Dudark, land park
I just read the recent letter to the editor about Len Dawson’s wife, Jackie, and the kindness she showed to a young man who attended Len Dawson’s football camp at William Jewell College in 1969. (August 17, 12A)
My teammate and I, both 16, moved from 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 Camp Dawson after he retired and we moved to Oklahoma. My boyfriend and I also traveled by bus and drove through Oklahoma City to KC.
When we arrived, Jackie Dawson picked us up and, like that letter writer, we felt so grateful for her generosity. We didn’t have a steak dinner like him, but there’s more to the story. The next morning we realized our soccer cleats and tennis shoes hadn’t got off the bus. While all the players had to come down the hill to practice, Len Dawson picked us up in his brand new purple Dodge Super Bee and took us out 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, TX
Prairie Village is where I grew up, and although I now live in California, the state is always on my mind.
In particular, this month’s enthusiastic and sensible vote on the constitutional amendment that would have allowed the Legislature to severely restrict reproductive rights reaffirms that mental health is still more important than party loyalty in Kansas.
It was the best proof of voter normalcy since Vern Miller lost his gubernatorial race in 1974 — ironically by about the same number of votes as the kids he arrested for weed.
-W.Michael Youngblood, Danville, California
This story was originally published August 24, 2022 5:00 a.m.