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Letters to the Editor - Jan. 14

January 13, 2011

Friedgen was an upstanding college coach

 To the editor:

Ralph Friedgen, former head football coach at the University of Maryland, got a bad deal. He was fired after 10 seasons as the leader of the Terps football program. 

We must understand these stupid decisions by colleges' directors of athletics that college football is a business. It is an activity that contributes significantly to the bottom line of a supposedly academic operation. When the dollars and cents don't add up, look for a change in management, the CEO goes down.

This post college football season has seen more changes in coaching positions than one can recall from the recent past. Major college football is all about money.

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My experience of many years in industry have seen business from the inside. The "bean counters" (the accountants) are the most listened-to people in the organization. Decisions in business are made by looking at the profit-and-loss paperwork. Other reasons for changing personnel are in the minority. A person's other contribution to the organization is a minor consideration. It's what can be measured on the bottom line that counts.

Friedgen has been a successful, inspirational contributor to Maryland's football program. Being an alumnus and lower level coach at Maryland, he also played football for the Terps. He was dedicated to the university. His dismissal with one more year on his contract was a disheartening event for his players and many fans. A radio interview before his last bowl game at Maryland (which he won) showed in his voice the emotional thing that had beset him.

There is a well-deserved epilogue for the coach who did a fine job teaching the right things to his players. He was a fine gentleman. I'll miss his huge outline on the sidelines. He rates high among upstanding college coaches alongside my man, Joe Paterno. His absence will be felt, no matter who comes to fill his shoes.

Ned A. Garrett 

Hagerstown

Woman seeks to return picture

To the editor:

I have found a picture, among others, from my in-laws' home and would like to get it to a relative if someone knows this person. 

On the back it reads, "Johny David Newcomer, Fireman on the C.B.O. Railroad." I am certain he would have been from around this area. He looks like he's about 20 years old with black hair and a mustache. 

If someone knows or is a relative, please call me at 301-797-7415.

Elinor Smith

Hagerstown

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