As a 1964 graduate of St. John’s College High School, I was saddened by reading the March 20 Sports article “At St. John’s, baseball policy causes turmoil”:

The St. John’s administration should be roundly criticized not only for allowing but also defending the mandatory offseason requirement established by Coach Mark Gibbs that players must play on his private offseason travel team. Aside from the financial burden on the families, it must also be very disruptive to family life, while also sending the wrong message to the student athletes regarding the relative importance of sports.

It was telling that the other Washington Catholic Athletic Conference schools mentioned in the article do not permit such mandatory offseason requirements. Rather than contesting the lawsuit, the appropriate action is for the St. John’s administration to order the termination of this requirement in its baseball program.   

Bill Tracy, Springfield

As one of the 40 families St. John’s baseball coach Mark Gibbs was looking out for, we are grateful to him for not giving in to a few parents who knew the significant commitment required of a St. John’s baseball player, went off on their own anyway and then cried foul when they were held accountable. Those parents chose a difficult and effective way to teach their sons that choices in life come with consequences.

Great coaches such as Mr. Gibbs are role models for our student athletes to learn from and emulate. The success of the St. John’s baseball program is a direct result of Mr. Gibbs’s tireless efforts, preparation, demand for excellence and unwavering principles.

“Pay-for-play” is a buzz phrase in today’s culture. It has zero relevance to the St. John’s baseball program. 

David A. Schauer, Washington