Calling a foul on Tyrone-Central reporting

I am writing to express my disappointment in the article in the March 2 Mirror concerning the Tyrone-Central girls basketball game.

While everyone is entitled to an opinion about the officiating at a sporting event, I feel that it is highly inappropriate for a writer to lead off an article about a high school sporting event by expressing his personal displeasure with the performance of the game officials.

And to call out the officials by name is reprehensible.

I have no idea if the reporter had a personal stake in the outcome of the game or if he merely felt that he was well-enough versed in basketball officiating that he could evaluate the quality of the officials.

But he was clearly out of line.

I’ve been an interscholastic coach and official for more than 25 years, and I will tell you that I have been involved with my share of regular season and playoff matches during that time.

Not every one of those games/matches were officiated to my expectations — including ones that I officiated — but I’ve never felt that any of the officials needed to be identified and chastised by the media.

Every one of the spectators watching the games develops his/her opinion of the quality of officiating, some very accurate in their assessment and some totally off-base, often dependent upon which team won.

Those reporting on the game should bring a non-partisan viewpoint to the contest — at least to the best of their ability– and write an article through that view. Crediting the officials with determining the outcome of the game does not fulfill that task.

I feel that the contest officials deserve a public apology from the Mirror and the writer. I realize that putting together a newspaper late in the evening, involving late-evening sporting events, is a challenge.

I look forward every morning to reading about local and national sporting events that happened during the previous evening.

But perhaps the Mirror needs to find a better way to ensure that this type of public shaming of referees does not happen again.

Kenneth Streilein


PSU coaching lags behind its talent

After reading last Sunday’s mailbag article written by Les Hart, I would like to add my two cents.

Yes, a 21-13 record is respectable for a Penn State team, but how was it achieved? If you look at the non-conference schedule, many of Penn State’s opponents were teams that Saint Francis should be playing but not a Big Ten team.

Was this schedule put together to make the coach look good or the athletic director? Yes, Penn State ended up the Big Ten’s regular season 9-9 in one of the conference’s weaker years.

I personally feel the Lions would have had a better record if they had better coaching.

Too many times they got to the last five minutes of a close game, and their offensive coaching was questionable. The team became one-on-one basketball. Even though they had the leading scorer in the Big Ten in Tony Carr, who is definitely one of the best players in the conference, if not the best, he goes one-on-one — or one-on-two — too often.

As I look to the future of Penn State, next year should be an NCAA year because of the players’ maturity — not because of the coaching.

I am still amazed at this recruiting class, but what comes next?

Byron Lasser


Michigan State scandal blew over

Some random thoughts:

n Has anyone else noticed how quickly the Big Ten Network and ESPN dropped coverage of the Larry Nassar sex scandal that happened at Michigan State? I remember weeks of coverage of the Jerry Sandusky/Joe Paterno scandal. Where is Louis Freeh, now? For that matter, the NCAA’s Mark Emmert and Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany have been very silent, too.

n I would challenge mailbag contributor Will Walk’s contention on the third baseman the Pirates received in a trade from Houston. There are at least nine third basemen currently starting for their teams in the AL who are better than this second stringer the Pirates received for Gerrit Cole.

n Regular letter writer Les Hart raised more than a few eyebrows on his comments about how “lucky” the Eagles were in the recent Super Bowl. He must have forgotten how much the New England Patriots are hated here in Steeler country.

n If any PSU coach needs to be fired, it has to be Coquese Washington, coach of the women’s basketball team. The Lady Lions are not competitive and have not been competitive for the last several years at home or on the road.

n This year’s Pirates’ team will be lucky if they don’t lose 100-plus games.

Byron Ferg