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Sports letters: Firing of Rob Spear at University of Idaho is surprising, devastating

Rob Spear, left, had his supporters while serving as Idaho’s athletic director. (Courtesy)
Rob Spear, left, had his supporters while serving as Idaho’s athletic director. (Courtesy)

The loss of Rob Spear as University of Idaho’s athletic director is surprising and devastating. His numerous accomplishments since being named AD in 2004 were reported by The S-R’s Peter Harriman Friday and will indeed be a very tough act for Idaho’s next AD to follow.

As sports editor of the then-Moscow Daily Idahonian back in the late 1960s covering both Idaho and WSU, I regularly contacted both schools’ athletic directors and did the same with Rob a few years ago when writing a part-time sports column for the Moscow-Pullman Daily News. He was always available to meet with me anytime and professionally provided any athletic department information I requested. I regularly saw firsthand how he immediately communicated with coaches, athletes, staff, Vandal alumni and anyone else needing his busy time.

Harriman also noted in his Friday story that five years ago UI “did not adequately inform campus administrators about significant changes to federal Title IX policies giving them wider latitude in investigating complaints about harassment that took place off campus.” Rob took UI athletic harassment claims very seriously, but in this case Title IX policies made departmental actions somewhat confusing and limited.

I feel Rob Spear was a victim of an Idaho State Board of Education “witch hunt” process and that the Vandals’ entire athletic department, its programs, fundraising abilities, alumni and fans will suffer the loss of someone I consider to have been an outstanding AD.

Jeff Clausen


PGA coverage missed mark

Receiving my Monday morning copy of The Spokesman-Review, I quickly turned to the sports section and found that Brooks Koepka won the PGA golf tournament. I had watched the tournament on TV, but all I saw was coverage of Tiger Woods. I thought I had the wrong program and was watching Tiger Woods highlights. Woods appeared to get about 80 percent of the TV coverage and the rest of the field had the remaining 20 percent. I understand that Adam Scott also played and except for a missed putt on the last hole would have been tied with Woods. I did not see much of Scott. I guess he was not as important to the TV talking heads. The camera work was excellent, but they missed some important events. One was when Woods finished and was about to enter a building and gave a nice kiss to some woman obviously waiting for him. Then her affectionate pat on Woods’ butt was another act worth of replay. I think a super slow motion of the pat would have been a good touch. No comment on either action was mentioned by the talking heads. It appears the over-the-top Woods coverage should have included that scene.

Ronald Garrett


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