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By D Magazine |


The emphasis on youth sports here in image-conscious Piano can be alarming even to a newly transplanted Northeast-erner like myself. Our family was quickly exposed to a winning-is-everything attitude, the coaches that teach it and the ’’braying jackasses” {Shropshire’s term) that become immersed in it. This is why I read Mike Shropshire’s portrayal of Jim Mof-fett, in “Sugar & Spice.. .and 4.8 Rebounds Per Game” [April], with so much pleasure.

My 10-year-old daughter had the good fortune of being placed on Moffett’s fourth-grade Magic team last season. Moffett’s approach to team building has to do with teaching basketball fundamentals and commitment to improving skills. His emphasis on the human elements of competition will service the development of these young girls far beyond a basketball game in a stuffy gym in east Piano. The Piano YMCA youth basketball program is better for encouraging Moffett-like coaches to become involved. Thank you for choosing to do a story on a positive role model associated with youth sports.




YOUR ARTICLE [“A PARENT’S GUIDE TO Special-Needs Schools,” March] is a timely subject for parents seeking an educational program which will meet the needs of the child with language-learning differences. Mary Candace Evans did a fine job in mentioning the majority of special private schools here.

I do have a major concern, though. Ms. Evans, who conducted a brief telephone interview with me, states that Oak Hill is a “structured, stay-in-your-seat kind of place.” I did not say that to Ms. Evans. My definition of astructured environment is far different from hers. At Oak Hill Academy, structure implies a predictable daily schedule, order within the “prepared environment” and sequential learning experiences. Oak Hill Academy provides a comprehensive educational program with emphasis on individualization of the curriculum while utilizing mulli-sensory, interactive learning materials and methodology. The younger students at Oak Hill enjoy a freedom of movement and the opportunity to choose work within the structured environment.

Thank you for this article on special-needs schools. I would only encourage any journalist who is writing about a school or other institution to visit the site and do a more in-depth study of the subject.


Executive Director,

Oak Hill Academy

AS A PARENT OF A CHILD WHO WAS KICKED out of Shelton, you should know there are many dissatisfied parents who have had children there. Our 6-year-old son had been at Shelton for two years when we were told he was unable to learn and perhaps we should consider Notre Dame for him. Most interesting, after Ryan failed a trial of Ritalin, he was proclaimed unteachable. He was not allowed to participate in many activities outside the classroom, such as computer lab and gym, as punishment for not following directions.

The happy ending to our story is that we were fortunate to find the Vanguard Prep School, where Ryan has excelled academically, socially and emotionally, thanks to a director and staff who are willing to be flexible in their teaching style. They also welcome help from outside therapists, which greatly enhances a student’s opportunity for success.



My daughter attends Glen Lakes Academy and is flourishing. I sent a copy of your article to Bill Clinton, recommended he consult with these great LD and ADHD/ADD schools in Dallas, and apply their magic to the public school system- which at this time just doesn’t “get it” when it comes to educating these LD and ADHD/ADD kids.




Having recently moved to the Dallas area, I have watched with amusement the media frenzy surrounding the soap opera known as the Dallas Cowboys. Coming from New York I certainly understand media frenzies, but I have never witnessed anything like this.

Regarding your March story, “How I Got the Hook,” I cannot draw any conclusions about who is “right” or “wrong,” but there does appear to be blame on both sides. Nevertheless, 1 must take issue with a couple of points made in the article.

First, Hansen makes the point that “(Bob) Costas and other baseball announcers are hired at the discretion of Major League Baseball.” This is patently not true. I have worked for 12 years in the sports television business, including four years as a lawyer for NBC Sports and four years as a producer for Major League Baseball.

With rare exception, all announcers serve at the discretion of the television network that employs them, not the leagues that they cover. This is certainly true of Bob Costas. Contrary to Hansen’s belief, anyone who knows Costas knows that he speaks his mind in whatever capacity he is working.

Second, for Hansen to say that his different broadcasting roles over the past few years do not present a conflict of interest is disingenuous. Broadcasters must avoid even the appearance of a conflict of interest, which in this situation is obvious.

Third, although this article was a first-person account by Hansen, I believe it is a very questionable journalistic practice for D Magazine not to obtain any comment from the other parties involved, most notably Jerry Jones and Barry Switzer.



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