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Harbor College's Year in Sports Defended, Successes Noted

June 22, 1989

I'm writing in regards to an article by Irene Garcia, "El Camino Had Big Year, but Harbor Teams Struggled" (June 9). This was one of the worst articles that I've ever read. The topic was in poor taste: featuring positive aspects of one college and negative aspects of another. Community colleges get enough negative publicity. The problem doesn't need to be elaborated with incorrect and inconsistent details.

But let's get down to some REAL facts.

Overall, El Camino had a good year. Of its 20 athletic teams, 10 went to post-season playoffs. That equates to 50%. However, Harbor also had a good year. Harbor, comparatively speaking, only competes in seven sports. Of those seven, four teams went to post-season playoffs. That equates to 57%. Going by percentages, Harbor had the better year, which makes the article inaccurate.

The article is inconsistent for several reasons. El Camino's softball team had a "great year" because it reached the second round of the playoffs. The Harbor basketball team, however, had a bad year because it was "whipped by Santa Monica" in the second round of the playoffs. From these statements, it is hard to decipher if it's good or bad to make it to the second round of the playoffs.

The real inconsistency is in baseball. That is one sport that El Camino has never excelled, which is probably why it was not mentioned in the article. El Camino has been to the playoffs once in the past 15 years. Harbor, on the other hand, has one of the strongest teams in the state. Harbor won its conference title, had six players named to the All-Southern California team (El Camino had none), had two players named to the All-State team (El Camino had none) and had one player named to the All-American team (El Camino had none). The article elaborated on how Harbor was "overpowered in the playoffs," "shut down in the tournament," had poor pitching and "packed their bags early." I hardly think that coming in third place in the state denotes that Harbor had a bad year. There was not one positive aspect written about the baseball team in the article.

Considering the vast difference in athletic budgets between Harbor and El Camino, I feel Harbor should be commended for its ability to run successful sports programs despite an ailing budget.

I assume that in the future, more attention will be paid by the editor to see that articles like this never get printed.

LINDA E. O'BRIEN

Harbor City

Editor's note: O'Brien is the daughter of Harbor College Athletic Director and baseball Coach Jim O'Brien.

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