Letters to the Editor

Get U.S. out of Middle East, now

Ron Carlson

Bismarck

If one can believe….Assad, dictator of Syria, uses chemicals, other than chlorine, against his own people. And if that ain’t enough he bombs the hospital treating those whom he gassed…. if one can believe….. If he is doing this it would be with the aid and abetting of Iran and Russia?

If one can believe…we have spent how many trillions in the Middle East? What a combination of events. And we have come out the losers each and every time. So can anyone please explain to me why we still have a military presence in the Middle East? Islamic extremists are animals, have been animals and will continue to be animals.

Senator Hoeven and Heitkamp, cut off the dollars and get us out of there!

Trump donation was insulting

Wayde Schafer

Mandan

Under the “Insult to Injury” category we have President Trump donating his first quarterly pay check in the amount of $78,333 to the National Park Service. At the same time, his budget proposal cuts overall funding for the U.S. Department of the Interior, the National Park Service’s parent agency, by $1.5 billion dollars.

Medical marijuana needed now

Susan Jelleberg

In November, the people of ND made it legal to prescribe medical marijuana to those in severe need. It is now March and the ND government has said it won’t be available until July.

I understand the need to making secure laws to dispense of the drug, however, other states have laws that could have been copied and amended. There should be a provision that would gave access to people immediately to end their pain with MM. Until it is, I invite every person who was elected to spend a day with someone in chronic pain. Knowing it’s available is like dangling a carrot in from of a horse and pulling it away. If nothing else is done this week, a provision should be enacted immediately.

People are more than numbers

Mavi Sampaio

Winchester, Ky.

Most of the aquatic community already know what unfortunately happened this week to one of the most successful college swimming programs in the nation in the last 3 decades: the Men and Women Swimming and Diving programs from the University of North Dakota has been discontinued (cut!!!). Sad times for the swimming community.

This is what really happened. The Athletic Department has been “out of control” with its finances for many years now, with some teams spending more than they are budgeted to, and affecting negatively the overall budget of the Athletic Department, without being able to stop this “bleeding.”

Here is something that I fight against since I was at UND: revenue vs non-revenue sports. This notion is a little misleading to say the least. Take a sport like swimming at UND, for example. They have roughly 10 Student Athletes on scholarship, and 50+ with no scholarship, paying like a regular student just to be on the team. 50! If you multiply that to the tuition, room and board, fees, etc., you will come up with a number around ($15,000 x 50) $750,000. I am pretty sure that this number is more than double of the overall team’s budget, and that including scholarships, salaries, and all the other expenses. That’s the number that the University will be missing next season due to cutting the programs. And this number is assuming that all swimmers and divers pay “in state” tuition (which is not what happens). So is Swimming and Diving a revenue sport? I think so.

In November, a big “Circus” was set for a number of sports that were on the “chop” side of the sports. After a lot of work from Coaches and Alums, and the obvious sad feeling that took over these teams (including Swimming and Diving), the school leadership (Athletic Director and the President) that no program was in jeopardy, and that they will all be maintained (which was obviously a LIE). This led the teams to not put an extra effort in fundraising, and try to help financially (even more than what we already do) the Athletic Department. This step was the LOWEST I have ever seen a leader do. They straight LIED to Student Athletes, Coaches, Alums, Alums families, and community. That is so LOW that disgusts me, and disqualifies those individuals do be in ANY leadership position. Who will trust their words from now on?

But this comes from a couple people that do not have any history attachment to UND. People that look at numbers, and not at people. And that’s not what the program is all about. Can you imagine coming to NORTH DAKOTA to swim? The coldest state in the union, where temperatures some days range way below zero? But that’s the kind of people who comes here: tough fighters, and hardworking young adults, who created one of the best, and few, college swimming programs in the north central part of the country. Swimmers and Divers that are not worried about the weather, but with the quality of the education and the quality of the programs, where they can develop their abilities, be successful, and learn lessons for the rest of their lives. That’s who we are: FIGHTERS!!!

These 2 individuals probably do not know that Bismarck opened a state of the art 50 meter pool a couple years ago, and that West Fargo bought the 2016 Olympic Trials 50 meters pool, and is scheduled to open their pool (indoor) this coming fall. And with this, the sport of Swimming and Diving should blossom in the state, but with the “short sighted” vision of these UND leaders, the swimmers will not have a strong team to go to, and their parents will have to pay “out-of-state” tuition if their kids want to continue swimming throughout college. And that’s sad, very sad…. People in the rest of the state spent (are spending) more than $40 million building facilities to better serve the PEOPLE of our state, and the State Institution that carries the name of the state is cutting the program that could benefit the most from those dollars. VERY SHORT SIGHTED vision, and not connected at all with the rest of the state.

A group of former coaches (now including Coach Chris Maielo and his staff, who did a spectacular job with the teams since they came), alums, and friends of the program are trying to find solutions to revert this NON-SENSE decision. Hopefully our legislators will see the HUGE mistake that was made, and will demand a reinstatement of both programs.

Thanks for your support, and let’s keep FIGHTING!!!!!

GO FIGHTING SIOUX!!!

GO FIGHTING HAWKS!!!

GO UND!!!

Sampaio was UND’s Head Swimming and Diving Coach from 2001-09.

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