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Williams Plays It Cool, but the Readers Don't

August 28, 2004

Sadly, but not surprisingly, the hypocrites at the NCAA have struck again. Denying reinstatement to Mike Williams under the guise of preserving "amateurism" is embarrassing. This decision is nothing but a vindictive payback for Williams' trying to take advantage of the favorable court ruling in the Clarett case. The NCAA, by placing form over substance, has made it clear that their purported interest in the welfare of "student-athletes" is merely a pretext for the real goal of profiting at their expense.

Mark S. Roth

Long Beach

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Poor Mike Williams. He took a gamble and lost. J.A. Adande's sympathetic plea to the NCAA for his reinstatement is absolutely pathetic. Mr. Williams was fully aware of the consequences in his decision to become a pro football player. He turned his back to not only his teammates, coaches, and school, but also the NCAA.

He made his bed and now gets to sleep in it. Sweet dreams.

Jeff Sliney

Studio City

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Why would the National Communist Athletic Assn. have any incentive to reinstate Mike Williams? One, they could use him to send a message to any other kid who is contemplating leaving early, and two, there are hundreds of other kids they could pimp.

Before you self-righteous mention the free education thing, let me educate you about the system. These kids make the NCAA billions of dollars and the universities millions of dollars. In return the school and the NCAA give the kid a scholarship worth between $50,000 and $100,000, giving the impression that they are doing these kids a favor. We all go to school to get high-paying jobs, and professional athletics is a job. How many of you would not attempt to go after millions of dollars if the opportunity presented itself?

Willis Barton

Los Angeles

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While DeShaun Foster was guilty of no more than driving a car that he did not buy, Mike Williams chose to hire an agent, accept money and make himself available for the draft with full knowledge that the case had not fully wound its way through the courts. So, Trojan fans, I trust you'll forgive us Bruin fans for our lack of sympathy on this issue.

Craig Dunkin

La Crescenta

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While the NCAA is always a convenient target for criticism for the way it treats student-athletes, it is not the scapegoat in the Mike Williams saga.

Mr. Williams had every right to take a gamble on an early payday, based on the Maurice Clarett decision. However, he knew, or should have known, the risks involved. Of course the NFL would appeal, and the likelihood that they would prevail was pretty good. Also, he should have considered the capriciousness of the NCAA's decision-making process as well.

The bottom line is this: Mike Williams will be a very wealthy young man next year, rather than this year, and USC will still field a good football team without him. Now, can we get back to more important issues, such as the inevitable Dodger collapse in September?

Andrew Oshrin

Long Beach

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