The failure of all of Maryland's public colleges to graduate even one Division I scholarship basketball player from the freshman class of 1992 is an embarrassment.
This revelation, highlighted in The Sun recently, is just one example of a higher education system that has compromised the meaning of a college education for the sake of fielding better athletic squads. Universities should be places for learning and not farm teams for the NBA and NFL.
College athletics has become such a big business with millions of dollars of television money at stake that the vision of the "student-athlete" has been lost.
It is the rare college athlete who is gifted enough to play professional sports. Those that fail without receiving a true education have a long, difficult road ahead of them. It is unfair for universities to use athletes as revenue-producers and give them false hopes when they know the students cannot comprehend college-level courses.
On the other hand, students going to college merely as a step to possibly reaching the pros are cheating themselves if they do not pursue a degree.
Enrolling students to play sports who would otherwise not gain acceptance to college cheapens the achievement of so many true student-athletes who compete at high skill levels as well as complete their college educations.
Fair standards must be established to enable qualified students to receive athletic scholarships and, ultimately, college degrees.
E. Mitchell Arion, Goldsboro
On Sept. 2, Sun columnist Ken Rosenthal wrote that "the month of September is again devoted to the pursuit of Ripken milestones rather than a pennant."
Thank you, Ken!
Is anybody else awake out there? When the organization changes its name back to the Baltimore Orioles from the "Cal Ripken Orioles," the club will be a contender again.
On Sept. 3, Sun columnist John Eisenberg wrote about Cal as "a player who defined an entire era for the Orioles."
He sure did. Grab all the personal achievements you can at the expense of winning pennants. The Orioles haven't played in a World Series since 1983.
Scott Polyniak, Lake Shore
Baines will return
Harold Baines is gone but not forgotten. Out of Baltimore, Baines is playing for a contending team, the Cleveland Indians, for which he is most happy with the possibility of participating in a World Series.
His presence on and off the field will be felt because of his enthusiasm for the game.
We wish him well. But Baines, like Eddie Murray, will return someday to complete his playing days in an Orioles uniform thanks to the good heart of Peter Angelos.
Edward R. Platt, Randallstown
I'm a die-hard Orioles fan, but with the Orioles out of it for this year, I'm rooting for the Cincinnati Reds and the Oakland Athletics to make the playoffs.
It would be good for the game to have a team with a small payroll win it all.
Bob Townsley, Eldersburg
Who are these guys?
We have met the future of the Orioles, and it is Jesse Garcia, Eugene Kingsale, Matt Riley, Ryan Minor, Mike Timlin, Delino DeShields, Mike Figga, Rich Amaral and Albert Belle.
How did this happen?
Mel Tansill , Catonsville