Letter to the Editor

Let's play in different sandbox

Thursday, November 19, 2009

As a longtime supporter of everything Southeast, I was alarmed to read in the Southeast Missourian sports section that Tony Samuel's contract might not be renewed because of his losing record the past several years.

This is unfair to Mr. Samuels. His teams have played hard and as well as they were capable of, considering their levels of talent. If we face facts, we recognize that we have not been able to recruit players with Division I levels of talent since we left Division 2 and the old MIAA conference. Those of us who don't have their heads in the sand recognize that the top talent in our recruiting area is snapped up by bigger, more prestigious schools, and that local players don't want to go to school cose to home. Our coaches are left with players the big schools don't want and are expected to build winning Division I teams.

In the 18 years we have been in the OVC, we have accrued a 70-141 record under three coaches. It might be safe to conclude that bringing Lou Holtz or Bobby Bowden here would not make a significant difference in our record if the pool of available recruits remained the same.

Perhaps it's time we faced reality, gave Tony Samuels due credit for a job well-done and started playing in a different sandbox with kids our own size instead of taking up permanent residence in the cellar of the OVC.

I used to enjoy the MIAA games where we won more than our fair share.

JOHN B. LONG, Cape Girardeau