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Originally published Tuesday, January 15, 2008 at 12:00 AM


"Support athletic programs because you love the school, because you love the sport — not just because they win. "

A sampling of readers' letters, faxes and e-mail.

Questionable goals

You on the sidelines, put your money on worthwhile receivers

Editor, The Times:

I was unhappy to read "Huskies booster offered $100K for coach's firing" [Times page one, Jan. 10], about Huskies booster Ed Hansen, founder of Frontier Bank and three-time mayor of Everett, trying to influence the University of Washington decisions with his money by trying to get the UW to fire football coach Ty Willingham and athletic director Todd Turner.

It is unfortunate that those who have a lot of money seem to think they have more clout than those fans who pay for tickets and attend the games out of pure enjoyment.

In support of Coach Willingham: It takes a while to build a program back up after some pretty rough times. He needs and deserves the respect of the school and the community for his efforts to maintain discipline and also encourage his players to graduate.

I respect him for what he has done for the program and for the young men who are supposed to be students first and players after that. He understands the right priorities!

My comment to the rich guys: Why don't you folks put your money where it is needed and leave the sports programs and athletic departments to do their business the best way they know how. When you give money to a program, that doesn't give you the right to dictate how the program is run.

If you are a true philanthropist, you will allow the schools and sports programs to do what they know best. They sure do not need armchair quarterbacks with expendable cash to tell them what to do.

— Marian Ely, Renton

Losing isn't nothing

When did it become OK to support only the win? Offering huge sums of money to fire a person because the team that person leads didn't win enough games is ludicrous.

Teams have good and bad years. Sometimes the string of bad years is longer than you like, but you adapt. You support your team regardless, and when you have a great year, you celebrate it.

To the alumnus dad who doesn't want to share with his daughter the sadness of losing: Sharing happiness and sadness is part of being a parent. Each win, each loss, is an opportunity for your daughter to learn how to adapt in life. If she becomes an athlete, she'll have winning and losing seasons and will be a better person because she experienced both.

Ty Willingham seems to be a good person and coach, respected by his players. Fact is, his teams will win some and lose some. Just like my Cougars do.

Support athletic programs because you love the school, because you love the sport — not just because they win. And those businesses that withdraw support because the team is losing can add another mark in the loss column — my business.

— Kelly Jones, Seattle

One for the gypper

So Ed Hansen offered the University of Washington a couple of hundred grand to get the football coach and athletic director fired.

According to UW President Mark Emmerts' "A little perspective on intercollegiate sports" [guest commentary, Jan. 10], the university has a $3 billion budget, and the athletic department operates on a self-generated $60 million per year. And along comes the community-minded Hansen who, according to a report on KIRO radio, is the founder of a billion-dollar bank, to offer up a paltry couple of hundred grand to try to buy what he wants.

The amount offered says volumes for what Hansen must think of Emmert, that he could buy what he wants from Emmert in the first place, and for a lousy two hundred grand at that!

If this were a serious offer and not some kind of bad joke, one wonders what Hansen would do for $200K?

— Dick Ronish, Seattle

A fateful dose

Attention may wander

Two Times readers, Fr. Frank Schuster and Richard Johnson ["Life and death situations," Northwest Voices, Jan. 14], tell us that it should not be up to the government to decide whether or not a woman has the right to emergency contraception from her local pharmacist, because the state shouldn't have control of the conscience or religious faith of the pharmacist; that if the pharmacist has ethical or moral grounds upon which to base his/her decision, he/she should be able to deny that person whatever medication he/she feels is immoral or against his/her own ethics or religious beliefs.

I would ask that the pharmacist choose another line of work, where his/her faith will not deny someone their right to lawful medications.

If your pharmacist is a member of the congregation of Christian Scientists (as unlikely as that might be), does that give him/her the right to deny you any medication, as God will heal you by prayer? Or if you're a Scientologist, does that give you the right to deny schizophrenics their antipsychotic meds, because they can be cured using an E-meter?

Schuster fears the state's intrusion into religion. I fear religion's intrusion into medicine. One should have nothing to do with the other.

As for the argument that Plan B kills babies, I would like Johnson to cite the medical evidence that proves this. Just like the pill (which is, after all, what Plan B is — a high dosage of standard birth-control pills), Plan B prevents a fertilized egg from ever attaching itself to the uterine wall or, in some cases, prevents the egg from becoming fertilized at all. So if Plan B is being denied, shouldn't regular birth-control pills be denied as well?

Please, let us not regress to the times when women could not choose whether or not to have an unwanted child.

— Sten Ryason, Seattle

Breathing might improve

Once fertilization has occurred, a new life has begun. The purpose of medicine is to support life. The purpose of "Plan B" is to destroy life. Drugs that destroy life are called poisons. Doctors or pharmacist should not have to deal in poisons.

The United States culture is based on the notion that our creator gave us the right to life. I have always thought that the purpose of our laws, the purpose of our medicine, the purpose of our educational system, the purpose of our work and the purpose of our marriages were to support this gift, this right that our creator gave us.

If this is true, then "Plan B" as well as abortion, whether we like it or not, will have to be made illegal.

— Tim Carney, Seattle

Privileged class

We come from a long line of bureaucrats

Over the holidays, I made several trips to Sea-Tac Airport and I noticed that the "premium customers" of the various airlines are given priority access to the TSA screening, a government service.

I have a Safeway frequent-shopper card; perhaps I can use it to cut in line at the Post Office and Department of Licensing?

We should all wait in the same line at Sea-Tac.

— Ronald Roberts, Redmond

Copyright © 2008 The Seattle Times Company

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