To the editor:

Former Madison Cubs star Willie Humes has done a sterling job of coaching the Madison Lady Cubs for the past several years, but according to your sports article in Friday's edition, he seems to be getting short shrift from the school system when it comes to appreciation and, more importantly, compensation.

Humes told The Madison Courier that he is receiving only the coach's stipend for his in-season coaching, and no compensation for his work with the team during the summer. He has sought assistance from the school system so that he and his wife can relocate to Madison from Columbus.

Humes has compiled a fine record in his years helming the Lady Cubs. He is a Madison guy, having grown up here and having been a star player for the Cubs back in the 1960s. Of all the basketball players from Jefferson County that I have seen perform in games, Willie Humes was the best, all-around. In his two years in college at Idaho State, he was the nation's leading scorer. And he has given ample proof in the last three years that he is a fine coach, as well as having been a first-rate player.

It appears to me that Coach Humes deserves a better deal than he's being given by the school system. The athletic director declined to comment, so we don't know if there is any "rest of the story." But it would be a shame for us to lose a fine coach and a "home-town guy" because the school board couldn't find some additional compensation for him, that he appears to deserve.

After all, they plan to spend $40 million on a building program. Surely there is enough left over to say "Thanks for everything" to a good coach.

Wayne Engle