The merits of Virginia Tech’s proposal to sacrifice a national treasure (old-growth trees) on the altar of college sports [“Battle at Virginia Tech pits forest vs. football,” news article, April 9] are debatable. The question of whether to build a sports practice facility on the site of a forest doesn’t deserve a task force (shame on you, President Charles W. Steger), but it might merit a pitcher of beer. Or two.

What’s not debatable, however, is the contention by the article’s writer that “Virginia Tech football put Blacksburg on the map.” Fifty years ago, at age 10, I came to understand Virginia Polytechnic Institute as one of the most venerable agricultural and engineering schools in the world — a reputation it maintains.

Football is a bake sale meant to get a bit of attention and earn some pocket change. I am confident that respect for excellence and tradition will inspire the Tech community to rally the troops and kill the jocks’ selfish proposal to build a bauble to attract sweaty teenagers.

Herbert Root, Fairfax

So the Hokie players need an indoor practice field? I thought football players practiced and played in all kinds of weather. Isn’t that part of their training? Destroying an old-growth forest so that football players can practice without rain, heat, snow, etc., boggles my mind. Is this plan really about earning more money for Virginia Tech?

Emily M. Brown, Alexandria