Columnist Ellis Henican just doesn't get it when he complains that college athletes are unpaid ["The NCAA's real madness," News, March 23].

Ninety percent, probably more, will never earn a dollar with a basketball in their hands. A much larger percentage would never have attended a quality university without hands on a basketball, never would have received the key that opens the door to a life of opportunity. Not all of life's riches involve rectangles of paper with dead presidents on them.

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While it is true that some college coaches make large salaries, those schools participating also profit in the form of a wider spectrum of athletics and finer facilities, including academic facilities.

Jim McConville, Shirley