Readers Write (April 19): Condoleezza Rice, Mankato football, bicycling, trapping

  • Updated: April 18, 2014 - 6:52 PM

Former Secretary of State does not take responsibility for her actions.

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CONDOLEEZZA RICE

‘History will decide’ sounds like a cop-out

During her appearance on Thursday at the University of Minnesota, former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice stated that “history will decide” the appropriateness of her actions during the Bush administration. While we are waiting, what does her conscience say?

Vincent R. Hunt, Hudson, Wis.

• • •

Rice defends the record of the Bush administration by claiming “we kept the nation safe.” Apparently, it does not matter that the attacks of 9/11 — in which nearly 3,000 people died — occurred on her watch. Conservatives, it seems, count only the four Americans who died at Benghazi, when Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton were in power.

The invitation to Rice has been defended by many, including the Star Tribune, as a question of free speech. But by including her in a distinguished lecture series, the university honored a record that included an illegal, unjustified war and practices widely recognized as torture. That Rice profits handsomely from that record only adds to the disgrace.

Richard A. Virden, Plymouth

 

MANKATO FOOTBALL

Have some empathy for the players, too

When I read that Todd Hoffner was being reinstated as head football coach at Minnesota State University, Mankato, I wondered how the players felt about it. Those who have accused the players of “athletic arrogance” and of giving Hoffner a “slap in the face” for briefly refusing to practice clearly did not take time to look at the situation through their eyes.

Over the past two years, these players twice reached the pinnacle of their sport, participation in their national championship, under coach Aaron Keen. Keen has no doubt earned a tremendous amount of respect and, dare I say, even love from these young men. To learn through a news conference of Hoffner’s immediate reinstatement was akin to coming home from the store and finding out that your parents had moved away.

All of this could have been avoided had school administrators held a closed-door meeting with the team and the two coaches before making any announcement. This is just one more example of the institutional ineptitude exhibited throughout this entire situation.

Division II football players are not the spoiled and pampered athletes you read about at the major colleges. These truly are “student athletes” and shouldn’t be demonized for supporting Coach Keen.

Bob Adomaitis, Eden Prairie

• • •

These student-athletes have committed their nonacademic lives to this program for four years. Most of the junior and senior players have played for both coaches, and for them to take a public stand under these very unusual circumstances is notable. Perhaps they felt this was the only way they would be assured Coach Hoffner and the administration would listen to them. Perhaps their message was: “Coach, we went from being a good team to a great team. We have experienced a great coach, and we want you to be a great coach. We love the improved Maverick football so much that we are willing to risk public scrutiny to assure its excellence and integrity is not lost.”

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