This week’s spotlight comment comes from a reader who identified him- or herself as “an outsider” and chimed in on the story that announced the return of collegiate rowing to the Navesink River after several decades absence.

Dan Edwards, who organized the event, and others took a boatload of heat in the comments on that story. Many of the 30 (and counting) posted were critical of a program change in Rumson that commenters thought was unfair to Fair Haven’s teenaged rowers.

While “outsider’s” comment appears to tend tilt toward those who are critical of Edwards, we’re not taking sides by highlighting it. Rather, we respect that instead of making an ad hominem attack on the individual or individuals who made a decision, the author instead sought to call attention to those affected by the decision.

Here it is:

I have watched with great interest the blogging on both sides of this issue.  The one comment that resonates most strongly with me involves the kids. The [incredibly] last-minute decision to drop Fair Haven rowers from the Rumson Rec program was extremely hurtful to the FH rowers.  They almost lost the opportunity to compete in the fall, a prime recruiting season.  Happily, Navesink River Rowing was able to accommodate most of these Fair Haven rowers, even though they had to switch rowing styles from sweep to sculling.  Whatever the reason for the late decision to exclude Fair Haven residents from the Rumson Rec fall program, it was most hurtful to the most innocent: the young people who get up early in the morning to pursue a sport they love–and that may, in fact, help them get into the colleges of choice with potentially some scholarship money.  I hope the adults involved don’t lose sight of those they represent: a group of highly motivated, highly focused teens who want only to row shells on a river and enjoy competing.