Letters to the Editor

10/13 Letters: Make athletics programs businesses to end ‘student-athlete delusion’

Regarding “Nearly every corner of Louisville campus in crisis” (Sept. 29): What took place at the University of Louisville (and no doubt, many other colleges as well) is not a crime warranting an FBI investigation. Rather, it’s simply the result of the unholy alliance between Division I athletic programs and the varied moneyed interests that profit from these programs. Furthermore, as several commentators have noted, incentives to potential employees is a normal business practice when done by businesses.

The solution? End this student-athlete delusion and recognize that most D-I athletics programs are nothing but businesses totally removed from the academic mission of a university. Let’s separate them from the universities and let them operate as businesses. At the same time, let athletes turn pro out of high school and end this one-and-done nonsense. Finally, since sports are a part of the culture at most colleges, let the colleges operate sports programs on the D-II or D-III model, where you will witness true students perform.

Stephen V. Gilmore


Revive Superfund program

I want to compliment the News21 project and the N&O for “Taxpayers bear cost of cleaning pollution” (Oct. 10). I was the deputy director and previously a division director for the National Superfund program in Washington, D.C., from 1989 to 2002. I witnessed the rapidly increasing cleanup completion of Superfund sites in the 1990s as the program ramped up, only to see the program decline after the Superfund taxes were allowed to lapse by Congress.

I was proud to see the program’s innovations. They ranged from community involvement to improved analytic methods to enhanced cleanup technologies that we pioneered in confronting the releases of hazardous chemicals into our ground water, surface water, land and air. We had to deal with initially undetermined hazards faced by people living on sites, near sites or exposed to contaminated water, air, etc.

The Superfund program presently receives less financial support than in it did in 1995 when the taxes expired. Obviously, inflation also has eaten away much of its ability to support site cleanups. Although Congress tried to get the taxes renewed in the early 1990s, the Republican takeover of Congress in the mid-1990s and their total submission to the oil and chemical industries doomed any consideration of reinstating the taxes thereafter. Now, as the article noted, program funds come from the general revenue. Today EPA Administrator Pruitt is pushing the total submission of the agency’s critical environmental and public health mission to the special interests that put him and this administration in office. Superfund is part of this abandonment of public health and environmental protection.

Larry Reed