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Letter: Bad taste remains after course closure

To the editor,

Now that the final chapter has been written regarding the carcass of the Ray Richards Golf Course, Miss Kitty can open the bar while the dust settles, and the scavengers come to pick up the remains of the golf course. Marshal Kennedy's team of sharpshooters has done shot up another donor's bequest. Move along folks, nothing here to see.

Next year I expect the vision Mr. Richards had for the university will be but a level field ready for whatever a developer envisions. The memory of Ray Richards will fade and be forgotten. The agreement signed by Mr. Richards and then-President Starcher, stating the land be used as a golf course, really meant nothing to the current administration since the deed transferring ownership to the university did not include a restriction indicating that the land was to be used as a golf course. This was back when a man's word meant something. A handshake was as good as a contract.

Had the university come out two years ago when the state's budget crunch mandated a cut within all entities and said the sale of the golf course would extend the life of the golf team, it might have been a bit more palatable.

But, in today's parlance, the optics of the decision leaves a bad taste in a lot of people's mouth. The valuation of $8 million came from somewhere and using almost half of that for an indoor sports facility only adds to the nasty optics of the entire affair. It's almost like watching a pauper lying on a gurney with a gaping head wound waiting for a candy striper to tend to him while a Daddy Warbucks strolls by with a team of medical experts attending to his inflamed hangnail. It just ain't right.

I hope I'm around when the university has control over the Ralph Engelstad Arena and they test the waters for interest in bidding on the naming rights of the arena. Why, that income might build an entire indoor driving range with change to install a moat around the president's residence.

Steve Sulland

Grand Forks

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