Playing in high school is privilege, not a right

Regarding Mike Preston's column of March 4 ["Big Brother is a big bother in Carroll County high schools"], Preston should be aware of the following:

Participation in school sports is a privilege, not a right or an entitlement.

Perhaps those student-athletes who might forfeit years of practice and lose scholarship opportunities if suspended from their teams for using drugs or alcohol should consider that possibility before engaging in behavior they know is prohibited.

Athletes who use alcohol or drugs have demonstrated a disregard for school and team rules, and are therefore not entitled to the trust that enables a coach to assume responsibility for the health and safety of his or her athletes, particularly when the team's schedule requires overnight stays away from home.

Students who do not participate in athletics are still "eligible" to do so; use of alcohol or drugs results in the forfeiture of this eligibility.

Scott F. Granger Arnold

Real fans of Ravens not upset over Blake

This letter is in response to Mike Preston's column of March 8 ["Cheap play for QB Blake costs Ravens"]. Mr. Preston could not be more off base with his opinion.

Hats off to Ravens general manager Ozzie Newsome and coach Brian Billick for using sound judgment and having the nerve to stand up against another greedy player.

I do not understand Preston's admiration for Jeff Blake. The facts are he is a 32-year-old, below-average quarterback who has a propensity for making huge errors in big games. He has never won anything.

The Ravens offered him the starting job and, if he met the incentives, a salary that was competitive with other starting quarterbacks. Perhaps the truth is Preston had more faith in Blake making the incentives than Blake himself did.

Mr. Preston's assertion that Blake should have made more demands on the Ravens regarding personnel and play-calling is laughable. Does Preston make demands on how The Sun is run?

I have yet to talk to a real Ravens fan who is upset with the departure of Blake.

Bruce Nycum Baltimore

Ravens' Redman needs to get away from Billick

Every year the Ravens, in the personage of Brian Billick, make a desperate attempt to re-sign a substandard quarterback, then failing to do so, seek to recruit yet another substandard quarterback!

Jeff Blake looked like a high school quarterback throwing passes into the dirt in front of him last season.

As for Chris Redman, he should have had more playing time to fine-tune his performance and allow a reasonable assessment of his skills. This wasn't done, and yet, Redman is now told that he'll have to compete with a seasoned (although depleted) veteran at that position.

This is neither wise nor fair.

Redman should look for the first opportunity to get out of town. Under Billick, he never will get a fair chance to quarterback the team.

Bob Di Stefano Abingdon

Line drawn on Boston good move by Ravens

Thank you, Ravens, for drawing the line and not signing free-agent wide receiver David Boston to an expensive, long-term contract.

I hope the team's decision wasn't entirely a medical or financial one, but was in part because of concern about his reported off-the-field problems.

Call me old school, but I still think character, integrity and playing by the rules, on and off the field, are important considerations.

John Hasler Sparks

Billick found lacking in ability to judge QBs

Grossly overrated as a head coach, Brian Billick continues to amaze all with his lack of expertise in judging quarterback talent.

Simply look at his record: After trashing Trent Dilfer, who won him a Super Bowl, Billick opted for Elvis Grbac - who couldn't get out of his own way, let alone a charging defensive player - then inserts Jeff Blake, who far from set the world on fire in Cincinnati.

Billick, inexplicably uninspired by a quarterback named Redman, who the late, great John Unitas flatly stated "could play well in this league," now is rumored to pursue Brian Griese. Griese was unable to do anything worthwhile with a first-rate Denver team.

I'm tired of hearing about Redman being physically unable to play. Billick simply doesn't like him for whatever reason.

Why doesn't this coaching braggart consider bringing back Terry Bradshaw, Bart Starr or someone like Fran Tarkenton. Any of these quarterbacks would be better than those he is currently exploring.

Louise Kelly Millersville

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