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Billionaires team up for Major League Soccer push in Nashville. My first question is: Just how much of a handout for a new stadium will the billionaires need?

The billionaire class of entrepreneurs call it a “free market” because they want everything for free. How about they build their own stadium with their own money? I’m fairly confident in saying if it comes down to using their money for a Nashville stadium, Nashville will become an untenable market. If Tennesseans are concerned about welfare for the poor, then let’s become concerned about welfare for the rich as well.

Oh, my wild guess for a stadium will cost $400 million.

Richard Knutson, Antioch 37013

I was a walk-on kicker during Ara Parseghian’s coaching career at the University of Notre Dame. He never called it simply Notre Dame. He always used the more formal “University of Notre Dame.”

He coached the kickers as well as the team as a whole. For that reason I was in direct, daily contact with him.

I have never met a better man.

I was the lowest on the list of walk-ons, yet he treated me exactly the same as the All-Americans. The strongest word I ever heard him utter was “donkey.” He always pronounced it “dunkey.” If you screwed up you were a “dunkey,” as in, “McCarthy, you dunkey!”

All the other star players got called the same name.

Despite my status, I was warmly welcomed and well treated by coaches, players and managers. That warmth baffled me until I realized that Coach Parseghian had propagated his values and standards completely through the football program. He turned promising student-athletes into outstanding young men.

Terry McCarthy, Hermitage 37076

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I read with great interest Sunday’s (Aug. 6, 2017) point-counterpoint columns regarding young workers, Tennessee Promise and the HOPE scholarship.

In addressing the need for more skilled workers, U.S. Rep. Steve Cohen quoted professor Eric Hanushek as saying, we need more young workers “with general cognitive skills that give workers the ability to adapt to new circumstances and new jobs.”

Tennessee Promise’s approach is like waiting to treat cancer until stage four rather than preventing it. The time to build these skills is prior to graduation from high school. Our efforts must be directed at improving our schools.

Writer Vrondelia Chandler tells us that poverty, dysfunctional families and chaotic, violent neighborhoods are obstacles to success and create failing schools. Yet, Newsweek’s 2015 list of the nation’s best high schools noted that 20 of the 500 best schools had more than 50 percent of their students living in poverty.

Even more enlightening was Hollis F. Price Middle College High School in Memphis. This school has the worst poverty rate at 80.9 percent, a 100 percent graduation rate, 100 percent of its students college bound, and 77.4 percent “college-ready.”

What secret does this school have? Can other schools emulate its success?

It is time to replicate their success. For when schools graduate kids like those from Hollis F. Price, both Tennessee Promise and HOPE scholarships will be successful.

Parnell Donahue, Brentwood 37027

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