Letters to the Editor

1/3 Letters: College athletes can miss classes, but not ‘exclusive buffets’?

It was good to see “As college athletes travel more, missed classes come into focus” (Dec. 31) – even if the athletes and university administrators interviewed showed little appetite for changes that would ease the problem. Professors, it seems, must accommodate student-athletes’ ever-busier travel schedules, as if that were the natural order of things on campus.

Tolerating missed classes, however, may not be enough for Duke, N.C. State and UNC-Chapel Hill to compete in the really big leagues. According to “Power 5 schools pay up for athletes’ meal options” (Dec. 26), due to NCAA rules changes, “athletes at Division I schools, whether on scholarship or not, have been eligible to receive unlimited meals and snacks since 2014.”

This promptly set off a nutrition war among the biggest football powers. Alabama increased food spending on athletes by $1 million in the new rules’ first year and is building a $15 million dining hall to seat 817 athletes in all sports. Clemson counters with a $55 million football-only facility that features a dining hall dispensing personalized diets. Triangle universities, if they’re to avoid a nutrition gap with the Alabamas and Clemsons, may find that while athletes must be allowed to miss classes, missing out on exclusive buffets is out of the question.

Allen Torrey

Chapel Hill

Expand FUSE labs

I recently read the article “FUSE Studio inspires STEM learning at Peoria school” (Dec. 30) on FUSE labs in schools across the U.S. and Finland. I personally think these labs are a great way to learn and should be incorporated into every public school system across the nation.

STEM is a huge part of the world today, and jobs in this market are highly valued, as are trained individuals to fill these jobs. A lot of schools underestimate the potential of STEM or are under-equipped to provide proper learning materials. The grants given to these schools are very important, and an essential part of preparing students for careers in these fields.

As for myself, I am aiming for a doctorate in genetics. I wish I had this opportunity in school, and I believe that it is the opportunity of a lifetime for these students. Too many schools are lacking adequate science and technology labs, and students aren’t given the opportunity to explore science and technology in a hands-on experience. This is the best way to learn, as it gives students the ability to discover knowledge on their own. I really enjoyed reading this article and am thankful for the opportunities given to these students.

Grant Leonard

Chapel Hill