Those of us close to the Temple football program were dealt a tremendous blow last week with the news of Al Golden's eagerness to find another job just two years into his tenure at Temple.

Whether he gets the job at UCLA or not, the damage is already done. What do you tell this year's recruits who are six or so weeks from signing day? Do you tell them not to worry? The program will still prosper no matter who's coaching? How many of them will we lose? What do you tell the kids on the team? You don't have to be loyal to the program? Just do as I say, not as I do?

What do you tell the alumni, who have worked so hard to keep football at Temple and finally saw a light at the end of the tunnel? Do you tell them, don't worry, maintain your enthusiasm and keep volunteering your time and, oh, don't forget to send your money?

What do you tell the new president of Temple University, who is firmly in Al Golden's corner and a firm supporter of big-time football? Gee, Madam President, I got blinded by the money there for a minute.

And what does it say about our society where a contract isn't a contract? Could athletic director Bill Bradshaw have enforced the coach's four-year contract and not given permission for the interview? I just don't know.

Had Al Golden thought this through and not allowed his immaturity to get in the way, what he should have done was leak that he was offered an interview but turned it down and waited two years. That would have practically guaranteed him two more outstanding recruiting years and total loyalty from his players, the adults and the university.

None of us expected he would stay longer if he really developed a winning program. And if he truly built the winning program, there would certainly be no shortage of better offers.

Whatever the outcome, he owes everyone mentioned above an enormous, sincere apology.

Dave "Fizzy" Weinraub

Temple football 1959-61

Cherry Hill

Misguided Falcons

I am very pleased to know that the NFL has fined the five misguided Atlanta Falcons who used the Saints game to lobby for Michael Vick. They ingeniously displayed painted faces and an undershirt with "Free Michael Vick" on it.

Are these people aware of the facts that he is a confessed felon who bred dogs to fight, financially supported an illegal dogfighting arena and killed the dogs by various means that were unsuccessful in killing their opponents?

I fail to understand what the players expected to accomplish by their display. Do they think Vick is a martyr who has been wrongly convicted? Michael Vick is most assuredly not a martyr and does not deserve to be treated like one.

Tom Thompson

King of Prussia

Kudos to Westbrook

Last Sunday, watching the football game with my father, Brian Westbrook did something that [neither] I nor my father have ever seen before.

Westbrook took a knee at the 1-yard line.

Today, where the NFL is focused on the what-have-you-done-for-me-lately attitude, and where paychecks are determined by how many points you score, Westbrook turned down his chance for a touchdown and secured a win for the Eagles. His unselfish play is the reason the Eagles won this game. Day in and day out, Westbrook carries the load for this team and doesn't say a word about it.

He knows he is the reason the Eagles have six wins but doesn't speak of it. Never have I seen such a selfless player in Philly.

Iverson, take notes. T.O., too. Westbrook is the role model for Philly - and the superstar.

Marc Vallone

Collingswood