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Archive for Thursday, February 27, 2003

Leave him alone

February 27, 2003

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To the editor:

Leave the young man alone.

I was disgusted by Gary Bedore's piece on Jeff Graves in Friday's sports page ("Team questions Graves' behavior"). And shame on the editors for putting it on the section's front page, above the fold.

What is the point in delving into a young man's private life in search of a story? Bedore seems to have prompted Graves' teammates to comment on a few recent incidents in order to justify a headline.

How would Gary Bedore like it if we queried his co-workers for "insights" that could explain his unimaginative writing? Has he been showing up late to meetings? Are co-workers worried his performance might hurt the Journal-World's chances of winning a Pulitzer? Has he recently been through a personal tragedy?

Maybe Bedore and his editors were never 20 or 21 years old. Maybe they never went to college and experienced the normal stresses and confusion of that environment. I seriously doubt they have ever been through the kind of pressure put on big-time athletes.

Maybe it's the competitive pressure from trash-talk AM radio or the any-fool's-an-expert idiot-net that made him write it.

My advice to Jeff Graves and all other college athletes is to ignore the parasites in the newsroom and focus on what you need to do. If you can do that, you are 10 times the person they are.

Stu Shafer,

Oskaloosa

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