Drug charges should be dealt with severely

I am tired of hearing about so-called sports stars getting off on drug charges. What kind of message does this send to our young people?

If the Ravens' Jamal Lewis is guilty, I hope they throw the book him! It is about time star athletes are treated as all other drug criminals.

It's also time for the powers that be in pro sports (owners) to send a message to all participants that any kind of drug involvement will not be tolerated and will be punishable by throwing them off the team.

I realize I am hoping for the impossible.

Dorothy E. Sprague Westminster

Athletics, academics need to be separated

There has been a good deal written lately about the problems facing college athletics. I think I have a solution.

Let's take all the hypocrisy out of college athletics and allow colleges and universities to separate academics and athletics. A college or university should be able to designate teams as professional organizations, owned and operated by the institution, with minimum restrictions on recruiting and compensation.

Athletes would not have to meet academic requirements. They could take classes that would lead to a degree if they wanted to do so, but participation in academics would not be mandatory.

One possible incentive an institution could offer would be a full or partial scholarship to that college or university after the athlete was no longer playing for the team.

If the military can offer scholarships as a recruitment incentive, why shouldn't colleges be able to do the same? A small percentage of the most talented athletes might make athletics a career. The vast majority would be using their athletic skills to earn some money for a few years. After that, they could use their scholarships to get an education if they choose to do so.

Professionalizing college athletics would benefit everyone and hurt no one. Why not give it a try?

Harold Emanuel Baltimore

NIT for Maryland wouldn't be a disaster

This season's Terps men's basketball team needs to stop listening to the media's constant references to them being the youngest team in the Atlantic Coast Conference. They have nearly a whole season under their belts.

Instead of playing like their backs are against the wall and the world is about to come to an end, they need to go out and enjoy the final regular-season games and the ACC tournament.

In this case, the National Invitation Tournament is not the worst outcome. It's like a second-tier bowl game in football.

Chip Rosenberg Lutherville

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