From The Inbox

Money not so well spent as California pokes NCAA's golden goose

Readers take sides over college pay-for-play proposal

Money not so well spent
The legislation to which Morning Read’s Ron Kroichick referred really relates only to the two sports that generate positive cash flow for their schools: football and basketball (“California pokes NCAA’s golden goose,” Sept. 24). I would be highly surprised if a single university golf program generated any positive revenue.

I also would be surprised if anyone wanted the endorsement, or wanted to use the likeness, of any university golfer. Maybe I’m ignorant of the day-to-day realities of college golf, but I believe for the most part that the sport is subsidized by donors and the big two sports, as are all of the other university sports (fencing, swimming, softball, baseball, etc.).

The University of California, Berkeley, near me, has been very public about the costs of all of its varsity sports programs. They run at a deficit even with the revenue from football and basketball.

So, why are people getting excited about this proposal? There is no money there to fight over, as far as golf is concerned. Would anyone buy anything because Golfer X from University Y says he or she uses these balls/clubs/shoes, etc.? Let them get paid. It would be advertising and marketing dollars wasted, as far as I can tell.

Peter Rosenfeld
Albany, Calif.

Some payback might be in order
I am totally against college athletes being paid based on their athletic skills (“California pokes NCAA’s golden goose,” Sept. 24). They already are being compensated handsomely with free tuition, books, food, laundry money, gas money, etc.

However, as the train seems to be speeding in that direction, here is another thought. If an athlete leaves a college or university, while on scholarship, before giving the institution four years of participation in his or her sport, s/he must pay the college back the value of the scholarship.

I wonder what the athletes would think about that.

Bill Boutwell
Jacksonville, Fla.

Give college athletes head start on earnings
It's great for everyone to take the high road and say that a degree is more important than the money (“From the Morning Read inbox,” Sept. 25). It’s great for everyone with a middle- or upper-class lifestyle. How about the kid whose family lives in a slum, with mom working two jobs or younger siblings who need care? What's the free college benefit to them?

Let athletes hire an agent who can advance them money based on potential earnings while they get their degree. They may even stay in school longer if the financial burden is lifted from their family.

Ed Capek
St. Augustine, Fla.

Concede match-play gimmes and watch pace hasten
One of the main reasons for the slow play in the Solheim Cup is the lack of 1- to 2-foot putt concessions (“Got insomnia? Nod off with Solheim Cup,” Sept. 16). (Thank you, Suzann Pettersen, from the 2015 Solheim Cup.)

Golf is a game of true sportsmanship and honor. Initially the tone was set in the first session, with 12-15-inch putts not being conceded. Unfortunately, this is typical for the LPGA in general. I have caddied in many of these type events on the PGA Tour.

Golf is a gentleman’s game, which tends to be forgotten in this day and age. Giving more of the close putts would help speed up the process and make it more enjoyable to watch again.

Andrew Lano II
Vancouver, Wash.
(Lano caddied on the PGA Tour from 1987 to 2012.)

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