Mailbox: Empathy for K'Vaughan Pope, plus more debate about loud music

Brian White
Columbus Dispatch | USA TODAY NETWORK

Open letter to The Ohio State University: A young man, involved in a major college sport, which may have given him the road to academics that could change his entire life, made a mistake. He is in his teens, or perhaps 20 years old. Yes, he made a mistake but it was on national television.  

It seems that OSU removed him from the team, primarily, not that he just made a mistake, but because the school is more concerned about its public opinion than the future of a young man. Mistakes must be corrected and appropriate penalties applied.  However, is it necessary to end a young man's life opportunity of playing in a high-level football team? Wouldn't it be the kind thing to take him aside, keep him on the sidelines, and teach him how to handle stress?

In light of his very positive statement of apology to all, I ask you to reconsider your decision to let him go — period.

Bill Hood, Columbus

Bill: I certainly wondered which way Ryan Day would go on this issue. The old-school football coach would have dismissed him on the spot. But Day seems a bit different and has great interest in the mental health of his players, so I'm guessing the sleepless night he had after the Akron game had something to do with how he would affect Pope's life. But in the end he made a stand and made clear that in his eyes a big line was crossed.

Brian: I'm in total agreement with the fans that wrote in regarding the music being played over the sound system at the 'Shoe. I don't care if they chose to play Lawrence Welk. The decibel level is just too darn high, too frequent and takes away from the atmosphere of what college games should be about — let's hear the band! The people that wrote in correctly noted the playing of music over the loud speaker system during timeouts but it (the music) was also played while the game was going on in between snaps. Bottom line for me: way too much unnecessary and overly loud noise.

David Sheets, Sedona, Arizona

Dear Brian: This is Dave Stock the architect — not the Dave Stock in last Sunday's Mailbox. I don't want people thinking I'm the guy who hates loud music or OSU football games at the stadium. I've been playing in a band half my life. I love loud music! In fact, if they turn the music down, I won't be able to hear it with this constant ringing in my head from playing drums all these years. I also love TBDBITL!!! So, play it LOUD and PROUD!!!

Dave Stock, Columbus

David, Dave: I'm amazed at how the issue of loud music has remained a hot topic among fans for weeks now. I'm also puzzled at how every email I've received on the subject for The Mailbox has been written by someone named Dave or David.

Brian: My guess is most CBJ fans will disagree with Patrick Laine’s self-assessment that he has nothing to prove. With the acquisition of Laine, Jackets fans were treated to a player who didn’t skate, didn’t go after pucks, didn’t exert himself, and made clear he did not care to play on the CBJ. He didn’t even stand with his teammates during the national anthem. In short he was a spoiled diva and he had a bad year because he wanted to.

One thing I have learned in 66 years of Columbus sports fandom is that local fans appreciate players who bust their rear ends even more than they revere players with raw talent. That is why Atkinson, Foligno, Calvert, Shelly, Boll and a host of others endeared themselves to CBJ fans. Unlike New York or LA, being a fashion plate doesn’t cut it here.  Laine does indeed have a lot to prove to CBJ fans — that he is willing to work hard every shift and sacrifice himself and give his all for the team. His teammates deserve that and we ticket holders deserve that.

Brent Rosenthal, Columbus

Brent: You're right. Effort beats out star power in Columbus. John Tortorella tried to change Laine and was not successful. The two clearly didn't mesh, and Laine made that clear in an interview in Finland. I'm guessing that if Brad Larsen doesn't have the touch to get more out Laine, plenty of jeers will rain down at Nationwide Arena.

Have more comments, questions? Reach out to me at bwhite1@dispatch.com.

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