Talking Points: Eugene is TrackTown

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What's the buzz from the world of sports? Here are some items that will have people talking:

1

Forgive our Northwest-centric viewpoint, but why is there any debate about future sites for the U.S. Olympic Track and Field Trials?

Anybody who has been in Eugene for part of the past week — or was there four years ago — can attest to the magical atmosphere that permeates the Trials when they are in Track Town USA. Eugene loves its track, and even the sport's fans from other parts of the country concede to the greatness of Hayward Field.

Track fans like to wear T-shirts that say, "The only thing better than track … is field." In Eugene, they act like they mean it.

2

An email sent to Talking Points last week complained about sportswriters criticizing the Mariners while ignoring the fact that it is difficult to rebuild in baseball because the sport does not have a salary cap.

Well, that would be a fact … if it were true.

Sure, baseball doesn't have a salary cap, but nine different franchises have managed to win the World Series in the past 11 years. During that time, 14 clubs have appeared in the World Series. Baseball, in fact, has more parity than the NFL or the NBA.

Also, the Mariners' payroll the past couple of years has been right in the middle of the pack of MLB teams, yet their win-loss record has been near the bottom of the pack.

Sorry, but the Mariners' shortcomings are all of their own making.

3

Documents that came to light Saturday suggest that Joe Paterno played a role in Penn State covering up Jerry Sandusky's reign of terror on young boys.

Emails between school officials in 2001 show that they had developed a plan to alert authorities and confront Sandusky with allegations that he had been raping children, and that Paterno helped squash that plan.

We likely never will know the level of Paterno's complicity in the scandal. But one reaction seems beyond debate: Why does Penn State still have a statue of Paterno outside its football stadium?

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