3/26 Letters to the editor

ENMU coach’s dismissal unjustifiable
Eastern New Mexico University’s decision to not renew Coach Dan Buzard’s contract is baseless.

Athletic Director Mike Maguire said the women’s basketball program has had a poor record and needs a “kick start.” Let’s look at Buzard’s program the past four years:

• In June of 2002, he was hired too late to do quality recruiting. The Zias went 7-20, a two-game improvement over the previous year.

• In 2003-2004, the Zias were picked to finish last in the Lone Star Conference South, but they led the conference most of the year and finished tied for second. Buzard was named the LSC South Coach of the Year.

• In 2004, Buzard was diagnosed with cancer and didn’t coach or recruit during the 2004-05 season while battling for his life.

• He returned this season and the team started out 6-1 while averaging 80 points a game. After five of their top seven players went down with season-ending injuries, the Zias still nearly beat 17th-ranked West Texas A&M University. They did beat 22nd-ranked Angelo State. Opposing coaches were impressed with the Zias’ success in the face of so many injuries.

Could ENMU President Steven Gamble run the university as well if he had to do without five of its top seven departments?

The women’s basketball team (47-63 in four years under Buzard) is not the university’s only losing sports program of late. The men’s basketball team is 21-34 the past two seasons. The baseball team is 76-121-1 in the past four years.

And don’t forget, Maguire’s first four years as volleyball coach also produced a losing record (61-69).

Is Coach Buzard held to a different standard or are these other coaches’ jobs in jeopardy too?

A great injustice has been done Coach Buzard by the athletic director and university president.

Wade Fraze
Portales

Iraq war serves government interests
I am saddened every time I hear someone say the brave U.S. soldiers in Iraq are fighting to “protect our freedom” in the United States.

The soldiers are to be admired because they are doing exactly what they were asked to do, which is to go to a war zone and fight for U.S. interests. The tragedy is that it is not our freedom they are fighting for. Iraq was never a threat to the freedom of the U.S. in any way. No Iraqi was involved in the Sept. 11 attacks; Osama bin Laden has no affiliation with Iraq.

The threat to the freedom of the United States is right here in our own country. The Patriot Act is a direct attack on the Bill of Rights. President Bush’s unwarranted surveillance of U.S. citizens is a direct threat to personal freedom.

I contend that the greatest threat of all to our freedom is voter apathy and lack of attention to the issues. As our citizens refuse to read, think for themselves, or vote, such legislation as the Patriot Act gets passed and our freedoms diminish.

The brave soldiers are in Iraq doing the job they were sent there to do. It is not our freedom they are protecting, however. They are fighting for the interests of a government that is diminishing our freedoms here at home. The sadness overwhelms me.

Geni Flores
Portales