Letters to the Editor

BY DI READERS | JULY 25, 2012 6:30 AM

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Re: UI President Sally Mason’s Penn State comments:

When Penn State was admitted to the Big Ten, it seemed an inappropriate choice to me. Its near religious devotion to football seemed out of step with other conference schools, with the possible exception of Ohio State.

Nebraska’s more recent admission to the conference seems to be more of the same. If the University of Nebraska is noted for anything other than football, I’m not aware of it.

Perhaps I’m slow to understand that major sports at major universities are money-generating enterprises only and that the “student-athlete” term should not be used in connection with those activities. I’m sure that Coach Kirk Ferentz is a good guy and a terrific coach, but a football coach at an academic institution earning a multimillion dollar salary does not seem to fit any academic model that makes sense.

Of course Paterno & Co. covered up child molestation; they were protecting Penn State’s brand. The same can be said for Jim Tressel’s actions in not reporting Ohio State players’ actions that were in violation of NCAA rules and common-sense standards of behavior.

Any NCAA sanction short of the death penalty for Penn State indicates official tolerance of the behavior of the school’s senior officials, albeit with temporary sanctions for the football program.

It’d be honest and refreshing to hear a university official say that brand protection, including the covering up of certain unpleasantries, is part of the price that the university has chosen to tolerate within the Big Ten for the dubious benefit of participating in major college athletics.

Mike Norton,
UI alumnus Berkeley, Calif.

Personal integrity matters

I have been following with interest the unfolding of the Bruce Rastetter situation. As someone who serves on a board in Iowa City and has signed an ethics/conflict of interest statement, Rastetter’s flagrant disregard of being honest with the Board of Regents is insulting. 

It is demeaning to everyone who serves on the many boards throughout Iowa with integrity and not for personal gain. What makes his indiscretion especially egregious is that he sits on a board that deals with education. 

Not only is he not an educator in any sense of the word, but his business practices in Iowa and in Tanzania make him the worst sort of businessman. He appears to have no respect for people, either in Iowa or Tanzania, or the land, but only for his own profitability. I believe it’s time we take a strong stand in stating that personal integrity matters.

I call upon Bruce Rastetter to resign from the Board of Regents and the Iowa Board of Ethics to do a thorough investigation. 

Bryson Dean
Iowa City resident

Beware the ISO

If Iowa residents outside of Iowa City were to one day look to the heavens and see a small unscheduled speck of illumination low on the horizon, be advised that this is probably not a UFO.

More likely, it is an ISO — an Identifiable Sitting Object in Iowa City emitting light from its upper reaches.

They got trouble right there in that river city, and it starts with an “M” and ends with an “N” and that half spells Moen, the name of a tower  to be gracing or disfiguring the downtown skyline of Iowa’s one and only Iowa City.

Controversy has come over an erection in a city dedicated to love and not war and so proclaimed it a nuclear-free zone as it sings at the city limits — or it did until some stole them, likely from Ames.

Anyway, those opposed to this high rise contend that it is an obtrusive skyscraper that Manhatten-izes their town — never mind that it could stand center court in Carver-Hawkeye Arena — a suggestion that objectors will view as a lack of understanding of how big this monstrosity is.

“Izing” coming from anywhere into Iowa City ought to be of concern; even if it were to come out of West Branch just to the east. How would it look if the Herbert-Hoover prairie went creeping westward and into downtown Iowa City and left the Moen Tower out of place sitting there in clumps of blue-stem grass and big wild turkeys instead of cute little chipmunks?

Anyway, folks from near and far will want to be there when this structure of biblical proportion is ready for business. Be sure to be there to see Iowa City Mayor Matt Hayek address the City Council at its dedication.

Sam Osborne
West Branch

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