To the Editor:
Collin Gutman’s column, “The ‘U’ must be partly to blame for Taylor’s death” (11/29), contains a major error that warrants a correction.
Gutman insinuates that Sean Taylor was likely involved in some type of illegal activity leading up to his death. He states, “Why else wouldn’t Taylor have called the police when someone broke into his house and left a knife on his pillow a week ago?” This claim is factually inaccurate. A Miami Herald article from Nov. 27 explicitly mentions that Taylor had reported the prior incident, and that it was being investigated. The article, titled “Family grieves, cops seek clues in Taylor’s death,” states that, “The work had been submitted to Miami-Dade’s lab but had yet to be processed because residential burglaries usually don’t take priority. After Taylor’s death, however, the lab work will be done immediately, said Miami-Dade Detective Robert Williams, a spokesman.”
In addition, in Gutman’s attempt to criticize the University of Miami for its atmosphere that turns “warriors into thugs,” he omits some important facts.
Within the past two years, UM has taken significant steps to attempt to repair the image of its football program. Former head coach Larry Coker was fired after six seasons (in which he won 80% of his games, 3 conference titles, and an NCAA title), due largely to the negative press from incidents like the Florida International brawl, the recruitment of Willie Williams, and the 7th Floor Crew.
Current head coach Randy Shannon has made improving the team’s image a point of emphasis. For instance, Shannon removed player names from the back of jerseys, as a way of em≠phasizing team unity. Gutman should be pleased with this development, seeing as how he writes that, “[Miami] players now retain the ‘me first’ mentality without the winning tradition.”
In total, Gutman’s piece was sloppily researched, and a very disappointing attempt to address the issues surrounding Taylor’s death.
Kopchick is a 2006 graduate of Yale College.