Union treated Coach Audino disgracefully

*Union treated Coach Audino disgracefully *Invest more to help smokers kick habit *Schalmont girls o

Union treated Coach Audino disgracefully

I am a graduate of the class of 2000 from Union College. I was a captain of the football team and enjoyed much success. After playing college ball at a community college and a Division II program, I transferred home to play for the best head coach I have ever played for.

I am writing this letter in regard to the “retirement” of Coach John Audino, the former head coach of Union College football. After 24 years of literal blood, sweat and tears, the most successful coach in the school’s history “retires?” I beg to differ. This is a man who spent countless hours, day and night, thinking about Union College football. His offseason was spent traveling the country recruiting for the program that he loved. His work ethic and desire to win was second to no one. He cared so much for the players and had so much pride in the program, he wouldn’t just walk away.

Coach Audino was Union football as much as Union football was him. It extended to his family in a way I had never experienced. They were at every game cheering more than any fan. In fact, they led most of the cheers. To have it all end is truly heart-breaking — heart-breaking for football alums, the community, Coach Audino and for his family.

The administration at Union College should be ashamed of itself for what it allowed to happen. To take a man’s legacy and tarnish it like this after 24 years is wrong. This was a man who gave so much to the school, not just a flash in the pan. The winningest coach in the school’s history does not deserve to go out like this.

Granted, the last few seasons have not been traditional Union football. But the fact of the matter is Coach Audino was up against a strict administration that in my opinion did not want football to succeed. This is a football program that has not seen its budget increase in years. A separate Grid Iron Club was formed to provide more than supplemental fundraising for the football program. Union College was winning a national title in hockey. Meanwhile football was sliding.

Other Division III rivals are promoting football, ie. RPI; with state-of-the-art facilities and an administration (including the athletic director) that is backing the program. Union football had always been a storied program and suddenly things were changing. It has nothing to do with Coach Audino; the man is still an excellent coach. Union College was a powerhouse that teams feared, and now those teams are beating Union. The academic standards of the schools that are beating Union are as high or higher; somehow they are both recruiting student athletes and winning football games.

During Coach Audino’s tenure, Union College football was one of the premier programs in the country, and prior to the last three years, Coach Audino was one of the winningest coaches in college football.

In my opinion, due to the lack of support from admissions, financial aid and the athletic director, the football program has declined to the point where it is now. Coach John Audino “retires.” Coach Audino, the best head football coach I have ever played for, should not have “retired.” He should have been carried off the field.

E.C. Stumpf


Invest more to help smokers kick habit

With 2016 right around the corner, I’d like to urge smokers and tobacco users to seriously consider making New Year’s resolutions to lose the habit and quit tobacco. If I can do it, then anyone can quit.

I began smoking on and off around the age of 14. I quit “cold turkey” two years ago with the help of Reality Check/Advancing Tobacco Free Communities in Delaware, Otsego and Schoharie counties. I am forever grateful.

Did you know that tobacco use is still the largest preventable cause of disease and premature death in the United States? About 28,200 deaths a year are caused by smoking. By quitting, you will be taking an important step toward a healthier life. I have no doubt it has surely improved my quality of life. As I did, I know that 90 percent of adult smokers started smoking before they were 18 years old. I can’t plead enough with youth to dismiss the idea of starting the smoking habit.

I was astounded to learn that New York taxpayers pay more than $8 billion annually in tobacco-related healthcare costs. Big Tobacco spends $20 to market its deadly products for every $1 the states spend to fight tobacco. About $39 million is currently allocated to tobacco control, and that’s just pennies on the dollar that are invested to help New Yorkers quit and to keep youth from smoking.

New York State tobacco control programs such as Reality Check/Advancing Tobacco Free Communities Delaware, Otsego and Schoharie counties save lives and money to taxpayers and the government.

I’d like to see the New York State Bureau of Tobacco Control receive additional funds and resources to allocate to programs like Reality Check/Advancing Tobacco Free Communities so more people in New York state — and particularly Delaware, Otsego and Schoharie counties — could be reached.

Christopher W. Tague


Schalmont girls owed greater recognition

Really? Schalmont girls soccer became the state of New York small school champions in 2015 and got nary a mention in your sports images of 2015.

What does one have to do to rate being on that page?

Frank O’Connor


Don’t forget to credit Keen Ice for Travers

Without a doubt, the upset of Triple Crown winner American Pharoah in the Travers Stake race this summer was a top story for our area (and nationally).

However, I think a mention should have been made (and credit given) to the winner: Keen Ice.

Jeanie Bunnecke


In 2016, resolve to make healthy choices

Once again, it’s time for New Year’s resolutions, particularly those to improve our diet and exercise routine.

Although gun violence and traffic accidents remain the leading causes of death among young people, the most dangerous weapon for the rest of us is still our fork.

Well over a million of us are killed each year by high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease, stroke, cancer, and other chronic diseases linked to our meat-based diet.

But times are changing. According to a recent Gallup poll, 22 percent of American consumers are avoiding meat and 12 percent are avoiding dairy products. Supermarket chains, along with Target and Wal-Mart, offer a growing selection of delicious and healthy plant-based meats and dairy products. Animal meat consumption has dropped by 8 percent in the past decade.

Hundreds of school, college, hospital and corporate cafeterias have embraced Meatless Monday and vegan meals. Fast-food chains like Chipotle, Panera, Subway, Taco Bell, and White Castle are rolling out vegan options.

Let’s make this New Year’s resolution about exploring the rich variety of plant-based entrees, lunch meats, cheeses, ice creams, and milks, as well as the more traditional green and yellow veggies. The Internet offers tons of recipes and transition tips.

Simon Deutsche


Don’t erase our racist past from textbooks

Re Dec. 18 letter, “Confederate flag a reflection of history”: Michael Decker discussed his love and admiration of the Confederate flag and how we should not attempt to erase, alter or remove any part of it from our past or present for that matter.

Mr. Decker, maybe you should go talk to the state of Texas about removing, altering an erasing history from our kids’ textbooks. New school history textbooks, which most states including New York purchase from Texas, are downplaying and even omitting slavery’s role in the Civil War, omitting the KKK and removingany reference to Jim Crow laws.

A lot of white Southerners have grown up believing that the Confederate struggle was somehow a noble cause rather than a war in defense of a horrific institution that enslaved millions of human beings. Now the textbooks in schools are being changed to reflect that “noble cause.” Apparently, Mr. Decker, you are with the Southern believers.

The Confederate flag flew over and represented that death and destruction, which you and others want to keep waving.

Just so you know, Mr. Decker, the flag that represented Hitler’s Germany is banned in Germany, and so should the waving of the Confederate flag in our country. However, the true history involving that flag should not be removed from our kids’ history books.

Now that’s history you can fight for Mr. Decker, not the waving of the racist, divisive Confederate flag.

Diane Hombach



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