Fan Speak Sept11

Sunday, September 11, 2005

Defenseless

AFTER ATTENDING the Southern Illinois-Southeast Missouri State football game on Sept. 1, I agree with Southeast coach Tim Billings that the team seems to be more talented this year. However, they still seem to have the same problem that has plagued them for a couple of years: The defense is lightning quick and appears to be in position to make a big play almost every down, but they coudn't tackle a decent high school player. They look like they're playing a game of two-hand touch football. I hate to second guess the coaching staff, but it looks like they've never run a tackling drill in their lives.

Get with the program

LAST WEEK you reported that the Saturday baseball game would be broadcast on WDKA; it wasn't. This Saturday, you reported that the Cy Young pitching match-up between Chris Carpenter and Roger Clemens would be broadcast on WBSI; it wasn't. What is wrong with your TV listings that you seem unable to be able to get them correct?

(We regret the inconvenience.)

Let Foust play

IN REGARD to the fans that are bashing Southeast Missouri State men's basketball coach Gary Garner for bringing in Oklahoma transfer Brandon Foust: Please let everything play itself out before saying anything. Look at what Southern Illinois did with Viginia Tech transfer Roland Roberts back in the 2001-02 season. Before that year, the Salukis hadn't participated in the NCAA Tournament since the 1994-95 season. They brought Roberts after he had been kicked out of the entire state of Virginia. So Roberts transfers to SIU and helps turn the Salukis into one of the nation's top midmajor programs. I didn't hear people in Saluki Nation complaining about Roberts. They were excited to have him. And look what has happened to the Salukis since then. We're in a similar situation here with Foust. I'm not saying we're immediately going to become a Top 25 team or even a top midmajor team, but we may very well become a legitimate OVC contender with him. Maybe, maybe not. I'm just saying let things play out before criticizing Garner for bringing in what could be the best player ever at Southeast.

Second chance

WHAT HAS happened to that most wonderful of human qualities, forgiveness, around here? So what if Southeast is giving a young basketball player that made a mistake a second chance? The University of Oklahoma has had a reputation for decades of allowing it's scholarship athletes to run rampant. They have recently adopted a no-tolerance attitude in an attempt to salvage their reputation. The young man is a first offender, and the legal system is willing to drop charges if he stays out of trouble, so what gives you people out there the right to judge him? I suspect some of you have been just looking for an excuse to drop your season tickets in a manner that would avoid the fair-weather fan label. You'll come running back all draped in red as soon as they start winning some games.

Defensive guru, but... .

SOUTHEAST COACH Tim Billings can't keep his hands off the defense because he knows that was his level of competence. He did a wonderful job at Marshall, but has yet to show that he has what it takes to be a head coach at the college level. Personally, I don't think he has enough backbone to be a head coach in college. Everyone knows that he allows everyone else to run the program for him. In actuality, the best thing that could happen right now is having Kip Shaw take over the head coaching position and putting Billings at defensive coordinator. At least the defense would improve.

Technically speaking

IN THE Central article on Sept. 3 it was stated three interceptions were thrown by Garrett Stevens which led to touchdowns. Actually only one was returned for a TD. The other two were the result of Eureka having many yards of rushing, leading to TDs. All three of Eureka's TDs were not solely the result of interceptions. I believe, of the 175 yards by Central, most of those were in the air. We really do, however, enjoy your coverage of high school sports. Keep up the good work. It is great for the kids to see the interest of the Southeast Missourian in what they do. By the way, I am not a parent of any Central team member but just a loyal Central fan.

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