In his Nov. 9 column {Sports}, Tony Kornheiser said former Redskin Dexter Manley should be reinstated to the National Football League.

Manley, who was caught using drugs three times, was banned for life. But Kornheiser said a provision that permits players to apply for reinstatement to the NFL after one year of banishment is evidence that life banishment shouldn't be for life at all, but only until the player proves he has gotten his act together. Kornheiser added, "the Redskins should welcome him back with open arms."

After his second drug offense, Manley knew that he faced banishment if he was caught using drugs again. Yet he chose to continue using drugs. Further, for Kornheiser to say that he would not be any more tempted whether he had a $500,000 a year job or was "selling shoes" was preposterous. To give a recovering addict almost unlimited resources, widespread attention and added physical stress is to distract him from his recovery in a way that most would find almost impossible to deal with.

As to the Redskins welcoming Manley back, he is a talented player. However, the Redskins don't depend on him now; they depended on him when he got caught, and he let them down -- despite a contract he signed that said he would not use drugs.

Finally, there is a more pressing reason not to reinstate Manley. Like it or not, professional athletes are role models for kids, and they let down their fans by setting unacceptable examples.

Kornheiser has written columns defending both Ben Johnson and Manley. Both athletes knew the risks of illegal drugs, yet neither had the discipline to control himself. Johnson, in one sense, was a bit more defensible -- at least he was trying to improve his performance as a runner. However, as long as drugs remain illegal, we can't be expected to look the other way when athletes are caught -- especially repeat offenders.

While I am pleased about Manley's year of "being clean," there is no longer a place for him in the NFL. -- Larry Anthony