To the editor:

Yes, Darren, you are entitled your opinion about President Shalala’s decision to accept Willie Williams (The Hurricane, Aug. 31), but I think you may be well off base. I agree that 11 arrests are ludicrous; however, there may be other circumstances for Williams’ acceptance to this University.

One expects that a story written by a journalist has been researched satisfactorily. True, your commentary was just your opinion, but even an opinion should be based on fact. Too often, journalists resort to fabrication, plagiarism and sensationalism, as evidenced in some of the more respected newspapers today.

President Shalala was privileged to information in Williams’ personal file that is not available to the general public. From that information, the officials of the University of Miami’s Admissions Office saw it fit to accept this young man. I know from my personal experience years ago that a lot of weight is placed on letters of recommendation that a prospective student has submitted as part of the application process. I sat in the office of a department chair as he ridiculed my grades as an undergraduate. However, when he read letters of recommendation, the department chair, just as President Shalala has done with Williams, accepted me into the program I wanted to pursue with conditions that I had to meet in order to maintain my enrollment in said program.

Don’t get caught up in the sensationalism of the press. Investigate the matter and give Williams a break. Talk to the young man and those who have guided him and see why they have hope for Williams as an individual and not just as an athlete. The courts of this land and this University did, why can’t you?

Edgar DeGuzman