Letters: Athletic And Academic Demands In College

Melissa Block and Audie Cornish read letters from listeners about the demands made on students and student-athletes in college.

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AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Now, your letters and a couple of corrections. Last week, we aired a story on the Supreme Court's decision in a campaign finance case. The court struck down the cap on the total amount of money that individual donors can contribute to candidates and parties in each election. In that story, we said contributions to superPACs do not have to be disclosed. In fact, superPACs, by law, must disclose their donors. Donors remain anonymous when they give to groups calling themselves social welfare organizations, also known as 501(c)(4s).

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

Now, another correction. This one to a report we aired after last week's shooting at Fort Hood. On Thursday, we said the shooter, Ivan Lopez, had seen a military psychiatrist for an unstable psychiatric condition. And we implied that that information would have come up when Lopez went through a background check to buy his gun. That's not the case. Simply receiving mental health treatment would not have shown up in a firearms background check.

CORNISH: Now to your letters. Last week, our co-host Robert Siegel talked with Donna Shalala, president of the University of Miami, about whether college athletes should be paid, given how much money college sports generate. Shalala argued that while it's true that some schools make money...

DONNA SHALALA: Most of the football programs in this country, Division I, don't make money, may make enough to pay for the football program, but we use those resources to pay for all of our sports programs which don't make money.

CORNISH: Listener William Proeobsting of Corvallis, Oregon, thought the interview was excellent, but also wished we would have raised some bigger questions. He asks: What if we demanded the same amount of time and effort on academics from students that we demand of athletes in sports, the same level of performance? Proeobsting goes on: One can only dream about squaring academic effort with athletic effort.

BLOCK: And we end on a letter from one listener to another. Last week, we read a letter from listener Martha Williams of Houston. She wrote in to say she enjoyed one of my chats about the origins of some unusual Texas place names, and she asked about one more, Woman Hollering Creek. Well, we were stumped. But listener Cheri Riddle, who lives near Woman Hollering Creek, wrote in with an explanation. She writes that, according to local legend, when the area was being settled, a group of Comanche Indians attacked a homestead and stole the children. Their mother ran down the creek crying for her children. She can still be heard calling for her children along the banks of the creek.

CORNISH: Thank you, Martha, for the question and Cheri for the answer. Whether it's a Q or an A, please keep the comments coming. Go to npr.org and click on contact.

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BLOCK: You are listening to ALL THINGS CONSIDERED.

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