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Letters to Sports: Big Ten defection by UCLA, USC infuriates readers

USC defensive lineman Christian Rector tries to get past UCLA offensive lineman Sean Rhyan.
USC defensive lineman Christian Rector tries to get past UCLA offensive lineman Sean Rhyan. The Trojans and Bruins sports programs will be getting out of the Pac-12 for the Big Ten in 2024.
(Associated Press)

Thanks UCLA/USC — for nothing. Thanks for leaving us out of the loop. Thanks for being greedy and not caring for your partners. We will remember that when we next meet. We look forward to meeting you on New Year’s Day in the Rose Bowl, so that we can give you a proper “thank you.”

From a longtime Cal alum and Pac-12 supporter.

Terry Feigenbaum
Los Angeles

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I have been a UCLA fan since the days of Red Sanders. That said, I need to borrow Dylan Hernández’s doom and gloom baton for a moment. UCLA football is barely competitive in the Pac-12. The move to the Big Ten means the program will be mediocre (.500) at best. That will be the price for getting the athletic department out of the red.

Dave Snyder
Grand Terrace

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Oh, good. The one thing missing from the rich heritage of USC football, with games dating back to 1888, is snow.

Steve Ross
Carmel-by-the-Sea

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With players being paid, universities have to follow the money, and UCLA and USC are making a smart move by leaving the Pac-12 for the Big Ten Conference.

The fact that the Pac-12 was caught completely off guard by USC’s and UCLA’s decision to move to the Big Ten tells you all you need to know about how incompetent the leadership of a once grand conference has become.

Harriet Ottaviano
Hillsboro

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The Big Ten , which has 14 teams, has long been misnamed and should change it to the Sweet Sixteen.

Jack Wishard
Los Angeles

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The almighty dollar wins again, USC and UCLA join the LIV Tour.

Kevin Flynn
Simi Valley

No option at all

Forty-seven million. Yes, you are seeing that correctly. That’s how much Russell Westbrook decided to opt-in for. Like he would test the free agent market instead? I don’t fault any player for taking these crazy amounts. Who wouldn’t take it? The Clippers are signing a guy who got paid $31 million last season. To stay home! The owners can do this because our addiction to sports is not deterred by the ever escalating costs to watch or attend. Somewhere along the way we all decided that really the only thing our spending would go on unchecked is for sports. Not schools or charities or faith. We have truly lost our compass.

Jeff Heister
Chatsworth

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With Westbrook exercising the final year of his contract for $47 million, the Lakers have become the Titanic, with Westbrook their iceberg.

Vaughn Hardenberg
Westwood

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I, too, was shocked to see Russell Westbrook exercise his player option for a paltry $47 million.

David Marshall
Santa Monica

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What exactly has Russell Westbrook done to deserve the types of personal insults directed at him by Times Sports columnists such as Dylan Hernández? Calling Westbrook “cement-headed” in his column on Sunday arguing that the Lakers should acquire Kyrie Irving of all people is just plain mean and wrong. Criticizing Westbrook’s play is one thing — but calling him a “cement head” is criticizing his intellect, and there is no place for that in The Times. Westbrook deserves an apology.

George Legg
Rolling Hills Estates

Dodgers blues

Was Freddie Freeman banished to life in a dungeon, to roam the desert alone for eternity? No, he was paid millions to play in a beautiful ballpark, in mostly perfect weather, before great crowds each and every game. Oh, and for a perennial contender. I think he needs to apologize to his current teammates for making them feel like second-class citizens compared to his beloved Braves.

Steve Briseno
Mission Viejo

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Talk of Freddie Freeman’s celebrated divorce from the Braves just won’t die, despite the Dodgers first baseman’s campaign to paint himself as the victim.

OK, we understand, you were forced to sign a $162,000,000 contract, move from a city you liked to play a game … so now put on your big boy pants and learn to deal with it.

Rob Vance
Susanville

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Clayton Kershaw, your “second fiddle” remarks are embarrassing.

I’m guessing with all your time on the IL again, you had nothing better to do but bash Freeman, the guy who plays every day, and a fan base that showed nothing but love and support for someone that gave them 12 great years. This should be applauded not criticized.

In a day and age when families of pro athletes can’t go to visiting venues with being verbally and physically harassed, your criticism of how they supported Freeman and his obvious love of the Braves organization and fan base shows your complete lack of leadership.

George Sagadencky
Encino

Not so angelic

An important part of my sports enjoyment demands the participants display sportsmanship at all times. Without sportsmanship there are no sports … just large mindless thugs who think they are impressing their peers or fans.

The last thing the world needs right now is to watch a bunch of “professional” baseball players fight in the middle of a baseball field in front of children. How does a parent explain to their baseball idolizing children that it is not appropriate to fight over a sporting event when the children see their favorite baseball idols acting like thugs?

Anyone can act like a thug. A thug is not a tough guy. A true “tough guy” would try to impress his peers and fans by hitting a walk-off home run with two outs in the bottom of the ninth when the other team throws a baseball at their best player. The lack of discipline and sportsmanship displayed by the Angels and the Seattle Mariners may be an indicator as to why these teams are more than 10 games out of first place.

Russell D. Beecher
Canyon Lake

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Benches clear for the Angels and Mariners after pitcher Andrew Wantz hits Seattle’s Jesse Winker with a pitch during the Angels’ 2-1 win Sunday.

So at the Angels game last Sunday, the movie “West Side Story” was shown as the Angels and Mariners became the Jets and Sharks. Perhaps they should have shown the ending of “The Naked Gun” where after the brawl all the players embrace and resolve their issues in a professional manner. How are we supposed to stem the rising tide of violence and teach our children how to act like a civilized society instead of barbarians when things like this happen.

Craig London
Woodland Hills

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Looks like firing Joe Maddon was not the Angel solution. Just kicked the inept can down the street.

Lee Ables
Palm Desert

A good run

Are you kidding me. Sydney McLaughlin breaks the world record in the 400-meter hurdles and it’s on Page 8. What happened to track and field in Southern California? Where are the Coliseum and Compton relays, the great Bush area track events at UCLA. Now everything good about track and field is in Eugene, Ore. No way television replaces being there in person. Pay some respect to a great run by Sydney.

David Simon
North Hollywood

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The Los Angeles Times welcomes expressions of all views. Letters should be brief and become the property of The Times. They may be edited and republished in any format. Each must include a valid mailing address and telephone number. Pseudonyms will not be used.

Email: sports@latimes.com


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