Letters to the Editor

Individual choice

August 28, 2009


To the editor:

In her Aug. 25 letter, Barbara Paris describes as, “most appalling and obscene” the Journal-World’s article about the Kansas University Athletic Department selling 40 press row seats to the coming basketball season for $15,000 each. Her vehement opinion was that those $600,000 would have been better spent as a donation to the homeless and poor.

Perhaps those 40 well-seated KU fans also make substantial charitable contributions. They may derive satisfaction in contributing to their alma mater AND also getting a close-up view to probably the best college basketball team in America. In comparison to other sports teams, fans of the Los Angeles Lakers basketball team are more than willing to pay $3,000 to $4,000 per game to sit in the front row seats along each side of their court.

I would suggest to Barbara Paris that she not travel to the Hamptons in New York or to Palm Springs in California because she will find a great multitude of palatial, multimillion-dollar second homes. She may be surprised to learn that a great share of the endowment funds of American universities are from the estates of these same people.

President Obama’s proposed National Health Plan may include a specific taxation on the wealthiest citizens, but even this seems to be opposed by voters of all income levels. Americans are mostly united on the individual’s right to spend their own money as they see fit.


Richard Heckler 8 years, 9 months ago

It could be more about arrogance and ego than about any type of necessity. KU sports has never been short of funding. Some have said it's about those who want to be seen on TV......arrogance.

Allowing the very few to purchase some of the best seats in the house because they have lots of expendable cash is simply an unfair and reckless practice.

It also supports reckless inflation.

It is also discriminating against those who do NOT have lots of expendable cash yet who love the games as much as any reckless spending wealthy person.

It might be taking the fun out of college sports.

Obviously this letter writer does not know any more about the reckless spending fans than did Barbara Paris.

This same $600,000 could have afforded 10 brilliant financially challenged students full blown college academic scholarships.

Face it KU basketball and football has become more about money money money and egos.

Sending KU home games to be played in Missouri is another perfect example of reckless behavior. KU is in Lawrence,Kansas and it does not matter what other schools do. The merchants could always use the business and taxpayers need the tax dollars and Lawrence likes the game day ambiance.

imastinker 8 years, 9 months ago

Good find tom!

Anyway - I am generally in agreement with the LTE, but have always been opposed to the splitting of the athletics from the general college fund. THis serves no purpose than to allow the revenue to be spent with complete freedom while the colleges can get more money from the state or from tuition. I do think that the college should require (as many colleges do) that any athletic donation be matched by an academic donation.

mom_of_three 8 years, 9 months ago

Give the original letter writer a break.
It was tacky for the LJW to put the story of people freely spending their money lavishly next to a story about homelessness. Of course, she would wonder if that money could be put to better use. My elders would probably wonder the same thing, as different generations value lavish spending differently. The basketball fans who were able to buy those seats probably do donate to charity. Nowadays, when we see people spending money lavishly,don't we all sometimes wonder what else it could be spent on?

Leslie Swearingen 8 years, 9 months ago

Envy is one of the seven deadly sins, because it leads to hate of the one who has what you don't have and that can lead to something else. I do not begrudge someone a nice car when I get on the bus. I would be willing to bet that if those homeless people came into a lot of money, you could find something to criticize about how they spend it.

Kirk Larson 8 years, 9 months ago

As the bard Lemmy sayeth:

"Eat the rich"

as I might add, "Before they eat you."

Kasha 8 years, 9 months ago

Hoorah for the people who "got" my LTE about greed v. poverty. Those who responded to my letter, for the most part, did not. I think those of you who suggested the big buck buyers of those on-court $15,000 season basketball tickets wanted the lights to shine on them are accurate. Greed, arrogance, self-importance--they all pretty much make up the package, don't they. After reading Mr. Hassur's response, I'd bet he is one of those who could easily afford to spend $15,000 for self-satisfaction, but not for people in need.

think_about_it 8 years, 9 months ago

Dear dear Ms. Paris. How much did you donate to charity last year? I would be willing to bet that any one of those people sitting in those seats gave much much more than you did. You are petty.

altarego 8 years, 9 months ago

Kasha: Don't mistake your piety for intelligence. Assuming that people who don't agree with you somehow don't "get" it, is as arrogant as you accuse basket ball fans whose life doesn't suck as hard as yours of being. (Diagram THAT, momma).

I'm sure you are above this petty resentment.

altarego 8 years, 9 months ago

I didn't mean that to sound so harsh. Sorry.

But athletics is vital to a community. So is helping the homeless. They are not mutually exclusive. Sports v. compassion? How about both.

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