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Letter to the Editor: Be proud of our student athletes

Friday, May 20, 2011

Comments pertaining to "disparate" coverage of the university's men's and women's athletics is paradoxically both intriguing and perplexing.

It appears from such assertions that the foundational core principles of university athletics have been overlooked. Each "student athlete" is a student first. Regardless of gender, each expends an inordinate amount of energy and time studying and attending classes and is also extensively involved in physical and mental training, practicing, traveling and participating in their respective sport. These demanding activities provide excellent opportunities for student athletes to develop proximate and long-term goals, time management skills, leadership skills, communication skills, interpersonal relations skills, collaborative skills, analytical problem solving skills and the enhancement of values and self confidence.

These composite academic and athletic experiences constitute the essential core qualities for academic success and are also necessary to become successful professionals and responsible citizens in the "competitive global marketplace."

Supporters should consider rendering "honor to whom honor is due, tribute to whom tribute is due." Our outstanding student athletes, regardless of gender, are diligently incorporating the admonition of a wise ancient seer: "Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with all thy might."

The university, dedicated supporters and fans as well as our fine community are the beneficiaries of the talent, motivation and attitude of our exceptional student athletes. Rather than being overly concerned with supposed "disparate" media coverage, let us all be proud and extremely pleased with the extraordinary success, accomplishment and improvement earned and exhibited by all our teams. Go Southeast.

JERRY LEE WESTBROOK, Cape Girardeau