To the Editor:
I realize that as sports editor, it is Josh Kinder’s prerogative to state his opinions. I will make a few comments for your consideration regarding his recent column, “Romero’s case makes K-State look like a bully.”
Mr. Kinder assures the reader that Leti Romero could have gone anywhere to play basketball. He acknowledges that letters of intent (LOI) signed by all athletes receiving scholarships have stipulations regarding transferring to another school. The athlete is well aware that this “contract,” when signed, is making a commitment to the school and not to the coach. For a student-athlete to think the rules should not apply to her or that if applied, it would constitute “blackmail,” is simply inappropriate. Others might consider the requirements of the LOI ridiculous, but they exist as part of the NCAA process that both athletes and the schools they select must follow.
My granddaughter signed a letter of intent to swim collegiately next year. She and her parents discussed this very topic and all understood that by signing the LOI, she was signing with the school and not with the coaching staff.
As things happen sometimes, the coach has announced in the last few weeks that she will be leaving the school. My granddaughter, although disappointed, recognized together with her parents that she had signed with the school and not with the coach, so there was no doubt about honoring her commitment to the school.
Ms. Romero, her family and others who may have or are advising her are responsible for her choice, not K-State. K-State simply offered her the opportunity to play basketball, and in exchange she received a scholarship to fund her education — something only a small number of students are fortunate enough to get. However unlikely she and her advisors thought a coaching change might happen, it did.
She chose, as stated in Mr. Kinder’s column, to “take her fight into the public forum.” It would seem the only reason for doing so would be to “blackmail” K-State, the very school she chose to attend that she might play basketball and further her education in the United States. Could it be that Ms. Romero is being used by members of the previous coaching staff to foster ill will toward K-State as revenge for the coaching change?
We all try to make the best decisions we can in life and sometimes we get disappointed. It is time for Ms. Romero to understand that following the rules or conditions relating to her letter of intent at K-State is not “blackmail” by K-State, but simply expecting that she follow the same rules as other athletes in the same situation. K-State is not bullying her. She has other options, as has been reported in your newspaper. It seems time for Ms. Romero to take responsibility for her decisions and to go forward with what she wants to do at this juncture and stop trying to manipulate public opinion in her favor via the media.