Maryland seating policy is all about loyalty

Contrary to Mr. Don Vasquez's belief that "It's all about money," ["Terps' new arena still packed house," Aug. 23], seating in the University of Maryland's new Comcast Center is all about loyalty.

The University New Arena Seating Plan Committee was composed of Terrapin Club members from all giving levels, M Club members, University of Maryland alumni, faculty, staff and fans.

One of the goals of the committee was to maintain positive, trusting relationships with donors by honoring loyalty to the program. Evidence of the committee's success is the fact that more than 200 donors with total lifetime contributions as low as $1,500 have already selected seats in the Comcast Center.

While donors with such limited lifetime contributions are usually not afforded the opportunity to purchase season tickets at other high-profile college programs, these donors were rewarded for their years of Terrapin Club membership and membership referrals, as well as their limited financial support.

In short, their loyalty to the University of Maryland, not their money, earned them the opportunity to purchase seats in the Comcast Center.

It is regrettable that not everyone was able to purchase seats in the new arena; however, the plan used to allocate seats is an objective one that is based on loyalty to the university.

Bob Baker Fallston

The writer is a former president of the Terrapin Club and was a member of the University New Arena Seating Plan Committee.

Now, Baltimore should try to steal Olympics

Once again, the national sports cabal has kicked Baltimore where it hurts. In a ceremony reminiscent of Paul Tagliabue's public dismissal of Baltimore's attempt to replace its beloved Colts, the U.S. Olympic Committee has dashed the Olympic dreams of Baltimore and sister city Washington.

Instead of Baltimore/Washington, the USOC has given San Francisco and New York the chance to become the United States' bidding city for the 2012 Summer Olympics.

They cite their reason as worry that Washington might attract a backlash. Didn't the tragic events of 9/11 show us that the world sees New York as being as strong an icon as Washington?

I propose Baltimore repeat the desperate acts we were forced into several years ago by the NFL. If we won't be given a fair chance by the powers that be, we should steal an Olympic Games!

Athens is struggling to get its act together for the 2004 games. That city would be easy pickings with a few drachmas in the right pockets. Torino, Italy, follows shortly after in 2006, and Beijing in 2008. It looks like Vancouver might get the 2010 games. We wouldn't even have to move those games across an ocean!

Regardless, we've done it before, and we can do it again! Baltimore will have an Olympic-class games -- with or without the blessings of those who think they know better!

John W. Keating III Bel Air

Don't shed any tears over Mora's worries

It must be very disheartening for the poor people of the Baltimore area to read about how rough it is for Melvin Mora to support his family on just $350,000 a year ["Strike threat adds to Mora's worries," Aug. 27], not counting what he makes in the winter leagues playing ball.

Granted, his medical bills are high, but at least he has health insurance.

How many families in The Sun's distribution area support six children on a lot less than what he makes in meal money?

It is about time we stop feeling sorry for ballplayers who pay their agents more than the average working stiff makes. If it is so bad, why don't they quit and get a job in the real world.

Fred Plitt Mount Airy

It's time for expose on Billick's offense

Sun columnist Mike Preston knows his football. Period. So why not have Mike do an article on why Brian Billick (who proves the adage that being lucky is better than being good) has failed utterly and miserably over the years at establishing even a semblance of an offense for the Ravens?

Mike has done this in bits and pieces in his columns, but it would be interesting to see a complete analysis of the reasons for Billick's failure as seen by someone with football savvy.

Joe Michael Cierniak Glen Burnie

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