EDITOR: Having played in the Gym Rats program and for Steve Azevedo's AAU team, I can wholeheartedly say that his coaching was filled with nothing but encouragement, passion and support.

I think this is a situation in which people are mistaking fervor and a style of coaching for mistreatment ("Maria Carrillo head coach resigns," Thursday). Santa Rosa is a community that needs leaders like Azevedo who dedicate their lives to youth programs and who create positive organizations for kids that teach them to find drive within themselves to achieve what they want.

It saddens me that parents are the ones preventing such an encouraging individual from contributing to the community and that the press is doing an irreverent job of reporting the situation. In respectable journalism, word choice and photographic evidence should be as specific to the situation and the time as possible; vague language such as "mistreating players" and "harassment" causes speculation, and the picture from three years ago against Maria Carrillo's long-standing rival is outdated. The community of Santa Rosa deserves and is better than this.


New York