Anonymous Letters Speak To Cowardice Of Authors

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I read only the first sentence of a letter I received March 13 before noticing it was not signed.

Seeing it was anonymous, I tossed it into the trash without reading another word.

I believe the letter was probably critical of the Sports Talk column that appeared in the March 10 edition of the Payson Roundup.

In it, I questioned misguided parents who have criticized coaches and contributed to the firing or resignation of five Payson High School varsity head coaches in about a year.

It's regrettable the person who wrote the letter didn't sign it. I would have liked to hear what he or she had to say.

But, I don't read anonymous letters and I don't respect those who do not have the courage to put their names on what they author.

Former coach speaks

One who did sign his comments was former Payson High School football coach Curt LeBlanc, now the head coach at Queen Creek.

Curt read the March 10 Sports Talk and e-mailed to say it was sad how a select few parents and fans -- whose perspective is limited -- can have such a negative impact on school athletic programs.

Curt said he distinctly remembers a parent taking issue with the PHS staff only seconds after the Longhorns beat Blue Ridge for the 1998 state football championship.

I, too, remember the incident. It was an upsetting, sad moment in what should have been Payson High School's evening of glory.

Evans done at ASU

The firing of Rob Evans as the head basketball coach at Arizona State University is further proof that collegiate sports is big business and all about wins and losses.

In his eight years at ASU, Evans did what he was asked to do when hired -- clean up a program that was rife with scandals of point shaving, rape, robbery and low graduation rates.

He required his kids to do their homework, go to class, take tutoring, get good grades and graduate.

Evans also expected the players to be respectful, obey the law, set their goals high and be accountable for their actions.

He didn't settle for excuses, and he was not the type of coach to let an 18-year-old act like a pampered, spoiled child.

One newspaper reporter wrote of Evans, "He has poured his soul into helping his players evolve into men."

Ike Diogu, a former Sun Devil who was an NBA lottery pick, said about Evans, "He's an awesome person, and it goes beyond basketball. He's done so much for me."

Watching Evans over the years, it was obvious he had a pick and shovel workman-like approach to the sport and life in general.

His methods and approach were good for ASU basketball and good for the entire school.

Thanks to Evans, the basketball program is now squeaky clean.

In the coaching fraternity, Evans is widely regarded as a man of impeccable character and a class act.

But, his teams didn't win enough games and there were too many empty seats in Wells Fargo Arena.

Which means, Evans is out of a job, and the ASU administration is on the hunt for a successor.

Coach Evans will be missed.

18-holers kick off

The Payson Women's Golf Association 18-hole group will host its annual kick off brunch at 9 a.m. Tuesday, March 28 at the new restaurant in the old Mad Dawg's location on Main Street, which promises to be open by then.

Players interested in joining the PWGA are invited to attend the brunch and learn more about the organization. Reservations can be made by calling Dorothy Meek at (928) 474-9670.

Goin' bowfishing

The Tackle Box will host a free bowfishing seminar beginning at 9 a.m. Saturday, March 25 at the store, located one mile south of Punkin Center.

Instructors will be Jimmy Ridge and Scott Darnell. Activities include demonstrations, equipment displays and hands-on bowfishing at Roosevelt Lake after the seminar.

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