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Letter: Golf course should be spared

To the editor,

My wife keeps asking, "Is this the last letter to the editor you're writing about the Ray Richards Golf Course?" Then, I read the Herald's editorial (Aug. 28: "HPC2 looms as definite UND need") wherein it joins the chorus of voices supporting UND in building a $35 million sports facility to satisfy the prerequisites of recruits for the football team.

The editorial specifically asks for the sale of the Ray Richards Golf Course, a contentious proposal brought forth by people with little or no regard for the wishes of the benefactor. Let's have a fire sale and to hell with the donor's wishes. And when the shiny new lure becomes obsolete in the future then move on to the Engelstad Arena.

I'm sure with appreciation of property values and fading memories, UND will be able to fetch a handsome ransom with which to build a shinier new lure to attract new transients, albeit ones with impeccable tastes, to wear our politically correct jerseys.

Pardon my ignorance, I thought we built institutions of higher education primarily to, well, to educate people. And, perhaps naively, I thought we respected the wishes of benefactors who include in their legacies, bequests meant to enhance their alma mater. I doubt that Mr. Richards thought his donation intended for many would someday be scrapped to satisfy the needs of a few.

Reading the Herald's editorial was like walking through a room filled with smoke and mirrors. The Herald provides a full page of explanations and justifications for downsizing their own operation. Rightfully so in today's world. However, in the same section, they encourage us to kickstart an expansion of the footprint of sports at UND. Seemingly, without the forethought of the cyclical nature of spiraling competition and the associated costs. All this while silently condoning the act of casting a blind eye toward a benefactor's wishes.

I have nothing against sports. But let them stand on their own merits. If you need $35 million to attract the top talent, then tap new sources of revenue. Don't rebury the dead with a new epitaph scrawled on the backside of an old tombstone.

Steve Sulland

Grand Forks

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