Letters to the editor for Oct. 16

How you can help MSU reach an FBS conference

Missouri State students and alumni have long been unhappy being stuck in the Missouri Valley Conference. Just look at the extremely active forums of Missouri State’s page on 247Sports.com, where you will find constant dreamers longing for a school of our size to move onward and upward.

Much of this centers around football. MSU basketball, baseball and so on playing in a smaller, less-renowned D-I conference has never been ideal, but at least we can win conference championships and go on to compete for NCAA national titles. We have the chance to battle at the highest level. With football, we’re FCS and have no such opportunity. Bears fans want to step up to the FBS.

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And the administration is starting to feel the vibe. In August, athletics director Kyle Moats told the Springfield News-Leader, “We’re happy in the Valley” but wanted to have everything in place so that “if we ever got the offer, we'd be ready to go.” Ten years ago, you would have only gotten the first part of that quote.

A move to FBS is no pipe dream. Since 2000, 33 FCS schools have advanced: Massachusetts, Old Dominion, Appalachian State, Georgia Southern, and more. Before that were the likes of Boise State, Connecticut, Boston and Marshall. Geographically, Missouri State is well-positioned to join the Sun Belt Conference, Conference USA or the American Athletic Conference. While a Power 5 conference like the Big 12 or SEC won’t happen, at least for another century or two, MSU has good opportunities for advancement now.

But the university and its supporters must take crucial steps to encourage the necessary invite. We need, as Moats pointed out, upgrades to Plaster Stadium. We need to keep improving the fan experience. Supporters must keep donating through the Missouri State Foundation site and MSU’s GiveCampus page. We need to attend games of all sports, no matter how the season is going. The NCAA has attendance requirements for FBS schools, though enforcement does not appear strict these days. More importantly, studies show higher attendance increases the odds of victory. And if you can’t make a game, stream it on ESPN+, watch it on TV, etc. Show broadcasters you love the content. Do the little things to help enrollment, too. Buy a car decal, wear MSU gear, post on social media. It’s small acts carried out by tens of thousands of people that change the world.

The arguments against ditching The Valley have never outweighed the potential benefits. Bigger conferences can mean bigger costs, yes. Some wouldn’t want to see MSU fail in a bigger conference. This is all short-sighted thinking. The SBC, CUSA or AAC is a gateway to a more excited fanbase, broader national exposure, a higher profile, increased revenue from enrollment and attendance gains, and so on. We’ll have good years and off years, but we already know we can compete at the highest level of any sport if we have the right pieces in place. University advancement is an upward spiral, but you have to start spinning. When MSU sports regularly play Navy, Rice, SMU or App State, you’ll be glad you did.


Garrett S. Griffin is a writer, a graduate student at Missouri State University, and earned a bachelor’s degree from MSU in 2011.

New Planned Parenthood clinic in Rolla

Now more than ever, the women (and men) of Missouri need the health services of Planned Parenthood. During my 29-year career as a breast radiologist, many patients were referred to me after a breast lump was detected during a physical exam at their local Planned Parenthood. A lot of my patients’ abnormalities could have gone undetected had it not been for the life-saving interventions they received at Planned Parenthood. The new Planned Parenthood clinic in Rolla will provide much-needed reproductive health care, including counseling and contraception, STI testing and treatment, physical exams and vasectomies. While the Missouri state government continues to try to limit our health care options and rights, Planned Parenthood is forging ahead to care for all of us, including our most vulnerable.

Tracy Roberts, M.D., Rogersville


Our American democracy is in a crisis

I am writing this because I am very concerned about our American democracy. What happened on Jan. 6 2021, at our nation's capital.

I saw this man on my TV yell out loud in our nation's capital hallway and say we need more patriots up here. When I heard that from that man, I felt like someone ran a big knife through my heart.

Real patriots don't kill men in blue for protecting our American democracy. Real patriots don't damage our nation's capitol — the People's House.

Real patriots don't try keep a person in office after this person gets voted out of office by "We the People." All the lawmakers in the People's House were elected by "We the People."


We may not like everyone in our nation's capital. Bottom line, they were elected by "We the People." This is our American democracy. I am not writing this to upset anyone. We Americans must come together before we lose our American democracy.

Wayne Jones, Mountain Grove

Vote no on constitutional amendment No. 3

Our present constitution was adopted in 1945. It has been amended 119 times. Medical use marijuana and all its business and regulation aspects were approved by voters about three years ago. Its benefit to Missouri citizens in numbers and magnitude is unclear and undocumented to this time.


Amendment 3 was printed in the News-Leader on October 7, 2022. It contains about 25,000 new words! This effectively precludes most all citizens from reading it. Only financial interests know its details. It approaches the total words of all previous amendments! It cannot be corrected except by future such difficult and costly amendments which protects it further.

For these reasons, apart from any imagined social benefit, it must be defeated and sent to the legislature for future detailed consideration.

I join the Missouri State Medical Association in opposition. Vote no on No. 3.

Roy Holand, M.D., former state representative, Springfield

This article originally appeared on Springfield News-Leader: This week's letters to the editor