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Corporate involvement mars college innocence

Thanks to columnist Mike DiMauro for his piercing column, "The end of the innocence as UConn women's basketball goes corporate," (Dec. 2). He reflects on the destructiveness of young college athletes being co-opted by corporations looking to make money on their rising images.

Women athletes should have the opportunity to earn money through their talent and hard work when they are pros. But young college girls should be educated, prepared for the struggles of professional sports, and given time to mature and develop their values. Geno Auriemma and Chris Dailey coach them, not only to be successful athletes, but to be responsible, contributing people — not just showpieces.

And what does earned wealth and commercial status do to the students’ relationships with their teammates? How can they have sufficient time to develop their athletic skills and get a college education while corporate sponsors are demanding their time?

I have always loved that UConn's freshmen girls come to the university with dreams of being trained to become the best athletes and how they bond with and support their teammates. Yes, they come as innocents and graduate as women of substance and contributing members of society. What will happen under their new corporate dominance?

Phyllis Ross



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