College athletes deserve to be paid

Coaches like Nick Saban are being paid $5 million each year to coach college football teams. Although they are under contract, they may leave for another college or go to a professional team before the contract is over.

On the other hand, unpaid athletes are held to a higher standard than these millionaire coaches. They cannot leave their school and enroll in another school to play their sport. If they do they are ineligible to play for one full year. The other option is to enter the draft after three years of college.

This double standard is unfair. Coaches may put in a lot of time, but athletes have a risk of injuring themselves.

Athletes practice roughly 20 hours a week and still must attend class and study for their exams. If a football player who was projected to be a first-round draft pick is injured, the money he would have received from the NFL would never be realized. That’s why I believe athletes should receive some pay for their dedication to their team and university.

In the past few weeks, AJ McCarron’s jersey has probably been a hot seller at the Alabama bookstore. He is not seeing any of that money.

If coaches can make millions without any guarantee of loyalty, it is only fair that players receive pay as well.

Katherine Evans


(The writer is a student at Penn State Altoona.)

Super Bowl had its moments

I have watched quite a few Super Bowls, but last Sunday’s was rather unique.

A power outage was a surprise to all. Had this problem not been resolved, what would have been the outcome? Surely, heads would have rolled.

Once the game was resumed with about 13 minutes remaining in the third quarter, the Ravens went completely emotionally flat to allow the 49ers to get back into the game.

I don’t know if it was the halftime entertainment or the 108-yard kickoff return for a Raven touchdown that took first prize, but it sure caught the 49ers off guard.

All in all, it was a good game at 34-31. I was hoping the 49ers would have won just to secure their sixth Super Bowl win, tying the Pittsburgh Steelers.

The ads were not that impressive with many running one after the other and not making sense, at least not to me. However, my two favorites were the Wounded Warriers Project and the Dodge Ram, featuring the farmer in all of us.

This is the time of year when sports writers really earn their salaries by coming up with creative sports news that hold our interest.

Thank goodness the NHL is actively back in action along with the NBA and local college sports.

Les Hart


Armstrong lacked responsibility

So the news is out: Lance Armstrong did indeed use performance-enhancing drugs.

The details have been well strewn throughout the media, and for the most part what you hear is the normal busted superstar routine – apologies and tears sounding, titles and achievements being stripped.

In central Pennsylvania, we are well aware of the routine. However, what amazes me is that in nearly every situation, and especially Armstrong’s, is the lack of responsibility.

If there’s one thing my father used to drill into me, it’s the importance of being responsible. I would hope that Armstrong got the same advice somewhere along the line, but sadly it appears he did not.

Granted, to begin with, he should have never considered using performance-enhancing drugs. But even after he did, he had time to admit to his wrongdoing and maybe continue on with his career. Instead, he chose to try to just let the whole thing blow by and leave his mess unscathed. Obviously, that didn’t go too well.

After battling the courts for years, he decided to call his cycling career quits. Finally, I thought, the man will stop appearing everywhere for negative reasons.

But, of course, that couldn’t be the end. We should have know there would be more. These things always end with a bang.

So as Armstrong’s bicycle pulls into the garage to finally rest after a decade of constant bombardment, Lance decides to pull one last hurrah: He blazes down the street, announcing to the world that it was right, and he had it completely fooled all along.

To end this closing ride, he smashes into the wall of fines, and thus ends his awards, titles and fame.

Nicely played, Armstrong. Nicely played.

Cole Joseph Crusciel


Will lacrosse grow into Blair County?

The northeastern part of the United States is home to more lacrosse programs than every other region combined. This includes professional, college and high school lacrosse.

But the quick-paced sport of lacrosse has yet to catch on in Blair County. Not one public or private high school in Blair County has a lacrosse program.

The game of lacrosse is spreading fast, with a steady rise in high school programs across the country. There were 1,273 high school programs in 2000 compared to 2,612 programs in 2007, according to GeoIQ, the world’s first completely web-based location analysis platform.

That number is likely to grow.

Over the last decade, the Sporting Goods Manufacturers Association says participation has been up 218.1 percent. So why hasn’t the fastest growing sport in America reached Blair County? I can’t tell you why, but our area could benefit if the sport was adopted.

Kids are interested, especially since many sports networks are carrying it on television, and some kids are yearning to play a new sport. Lacrosse doesn’t need a new venue. Any multi-purpose field will do.

Aside from the physical health benefits, the addition of local lacrosse programs would give a chance for both boys and girls to be part of something new and unique. New sports are less likely to come with the high expectations and pressures of other popular sports. The equipment can be pricey, but not any more than football or hockey.

The danger of lacrosse is minimal, and improvements in equipment helps insure safety, so parents would not shy away from letting their child participate.

I suggest starting the sport at the club level. If this is done, I believe it will quickly become a varsity sport.

Brook Kasianowitz


(The writer is a student at Penn State Altoona.)