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Sheldon Ocker’s The Write Stuff


You make very valid points about paying coaches with $3 million, $4 million contracts, the reason being that successful programs induce alumni to donate millions of dollars to the engineering school, the med school or the school of education.

While you were talking about the big revenue generating schools such as Texas and Ohio State, I would suggest that it works on a much smaller level also. All one has to do is look southeast of Akron to Mount Union.

One can go back 25 years ago and see that enrollment was weak and no new buildings were being constructed. Then along comes Larry Kehres.

The football program became successful, especially from 1993 to present. Now proud alumni are coming out of the woodwork and proudly supporting their Purple Raiders.

More importantly they are proudly supporting their alma mater, Mount Union. Enrollment is up and all one has to do is look around as they drive through Alliance and see the excitement and energy in new buildings and improvements to the campus in general.

Take the successful football program out of the equation and I maintain one would not see the financial support that has come their way through these alumni and the pride in their national champion Purple Raiders.

In a day and age when coaches don’t wait for the ink to dry on their contracts before moving on to greener pastures, not just the football program but Mount Union as an entity benefited greatly from the loyalty that Larry Kehres gave to the school.

Gaile Wilkinson


Dear Gaile:

Go Raiders.


If, as you say, Danny Salazar has the talent to become the Indians’ best pitcher since Cliff Lee and C.C. Sabathia, Cleveland fans have a question. When will he become a free agent and leave Northeast Ohio?

George Nehlsen


Dear George:

In fewer than 40 words, you have summed up why Tribe fans no longer buy season tickets, which is at the heart of the club’s attendance problem.



Cracks me up every time I hear people complain about nobody going to Tribe games even when they’re winning. Let me share with you just a few of the reasons why I knew I would never go back after taking my 4-year-old a couple years back.

After paying $20 for parking to a gentleman standing in a half empty lot right across the street from the stadium, I was waved through about 10 alleys by about 10 more flaggers until I was nearly a mile from the stadium. Jipped before I even parked.

Then inside the stadium, ordering a soda for my son, the only option was one about a half gallon in size, and when I asked for a lid and straw the kid looked at me like I was an alien. I’m supposed to give a 4-year-old a half gallon of pop with a five-inch opening on top and no lid?

Not to mention, if you forget something in your car it will only cost you the price of another ticket to go get it. Only one scan per ticket, no re-entry. Wonder how many stadiums are like this?

My editor is still wrapping up the 500-page book on why The Jake sucks. They need a dose of reality.

John Wadsworth

Dear John:

Are you serious? Your tall tale about parking a mile away from the ballpark could only be true if you had filled one of those half-gallon cups with vodka and drank it before you handed the guy a 20.

Concessions stands have at least three sizes of cups, which is not a secret to anyone except you.

The Indians do allow re-entry at certain gates, but here’s a tip: Make a list of the things you need to take into the ballpark and check each item off before you leave the car. Print the words out, preferably using a dark colored crayon.



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