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Volume 23 No. 23
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Letters to the Editor

Virginia’s title run also a top story for 2019

I enjoyed reading about the sports business stories that caught your interest halfway through 2019 (Forum, July 15-21 issue). I know it’s impossible to include everything, but as a UVA alum and diehard Tony Bennett fan, I was surprised their championship run failed to make your list.

I am blatantly biased, but I think when it comes time to teach my kids about redemption, I’ll be pointing them at UVA’s story rather than Tiger’s (and I root for Tiger, nothing against him at all). I just have so much admiration for how Tony Bennett led his student athletes through what was probably the most humiliating loss in the history of college sports. There were no excuses — just class, humility and resolve. 

To overcome that loss (and the ridicule, taunts and mocking at every away game, on social media, etc.) by turning around and winning the program’s first national championship the very next season — and without the five-star recruits and one-and-dones of Duke, Kentucky, and many other blue-blood programs), to me, that was the ultimate redemption story.

All while running a squeaky clean program devoid of the cheating and bribery and scandal that’s come to define college basketball. OK, disgruntled UVA fan rant over!

On a serious note, I love SBJ and I hope our paths cross in the near future.

Al Lucia
New York

 

Atkins remembered for her kindness and leadership

This letter is in response to the Forum column (“Marketing execs reflect on legacy of Kristi Atkins”) that appeared in our June 24-30 edition.

Thanks for the tribute to Kristi. When I was coming up the ISC ranks, Kristi was taking the ultimate risk of setting up her own shop with AIM. While I did a few deals with her, it was her grace and style I most appreciated. Most of the time we’d sit in a motor home and tell stories with her AIM girls laughing till our sides hurt, and then get on a golf cart and go tour the grounds laughing even more. Kristi was so genuine. Even when she’d call with tough news like a sponsor not renewing, she did it with such good style that had me admiring her leadership even more.

Her legacy is the people she inspired, connected with and showed by example that being kind is honorable leadership.

Rob Butcher
Swim Across America
Charlotte

Questions about OPED guidelines or letters to the editor? Email editor Jake Kyler at jkyler@sportsbusinessjournal.com