National Collegiate Athletic Association
The NCAA News - Briefly in the News
May 26, 1997
Emotions high with Texas bill
A state legislator is trying to push a bill through the Texas House of Representatives that would require student-athletes receiving athletically related aid to meet the same academic requirements as other students.
Rep. Ron Wilson of Houston wants to call attention to the contradictory admissions policies for college athletes and other students because of a federal court ruling that effectively has outlawed affirmative action in college admissions. As a result, Wilson says, the number of minority applicants to the University of Texas at Austin and Texas A&M University, College Station, has dropped significantly this year.
Under Wilson's proposal, state-supported colleges and universities in Texas would be prohibited from awarding scholarships to student-athletes unless their high-school grade-point averages were equal to or greater than those of regular students. To continue receiving scholarships, student-athletes would have to maintain a 2.850 grade-point average.
The rhetoric on the issue has been substantial.
"It would be a disaster if it passed," Texas men's basketball coach Tom Penders told members of a Senate committee considering the bill. "You might as well blow up the football field and the basketball courts and make parking lots out of them."
Wilson said Blacks currently are being admitted "to provide entertainment value."
"They are playing plantation politics," he said. "They are trying to figure out how to keep the darkies on the plantation in a civilized manner."
The bill was thought to be dead at one point, but Wilson -- a 20-year veteran of the Texas House -- used some parliamentary moves to get it back before the House, where it has passed once before.
Still, few people think the bill will become law.
"I'm not at all concerned about its chances of passing," said Penders, who added, "All I see is a political agenda for something else that would ruin a lot of opportunities for minority students. It looks like somebody got their left arm cut off (referring to the court decision).
"Do we want to cut off the right arm to make it equal?"
Gov. George W. Bush said, "I don't think it is necessarily the right signal to send. That bill is not going to pass."
Nevertheless, Wilson has continued to bomb away oratorically.
"The only thing I've heard from universities is somehow this will impede their abilities to field a competitive football or basketball team," he said. "Last time I checked, scholarship meant academic competence -- your ability to read and write, not your ability to run the 40 in 4.4 flat or leap 42 inches into the sky."
A tip of the hat goes to Pittsburg State University, which recently became only the second Division II men's program to send teams to the round of 16 in a single season in each of the three major team sports.
The Gorillas, making their first appearance in the Division II Baseball Championship, advanced to the Central region finals in baseball, where they lost May 17 to Central Missouri State University. The basketball team advanced to the Sweet Sixteen of the Division II championship in March before losing in the South Central regional finals. The Pittsburg State football team, a perennial power, qualified for the 16-team Division II Football Championship for a record eighth consecutive year.
The only other Division II institution to accomplish the feat? Jacksonville State University in 1989-90.
According to Pittsburg State research, only four Division II institutions have qualified all three of their major men's programs for NCAA postseason play in this decade: Jacksonville State, Edinboro University of Pennsylvania (1993-94), the University of Central Oklahoma (1996-97) and Pittsburg State.
With the recent hiring of Mora Kanim as women's volleyball coach, Kent State University has three Canadian natives among its head coaches. The others are head football coach Jim Corrigall and men's golf coach Herb Page.
All are from Ontario -- as is director of athletics Laing Kennedy.
Vickee Kazee-Hollifield, head women's softball coach at Carson-Newman College, recorded her 400th career victory April 5 when her Lady Eagles beat Wingate University in the second game of a double-header. In her 12th season at the school, the 1983 Carson-Newman graduate has never had a losing season.
Hartwick College men's lacrosse coach Rory Whipple picked up his 100th career win March 15, giving him a record of 100-54 in 10 seasons at the helm of the Hawks. He has a career college record of 131-108.
Norvell Lee, men's basketball coach at St. Augustine's College, won his 700th career game in leading the Falcons to their first Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association tournament championship February 28. Lee, who won 655 games as a high-school coach, is 48-37 in three years at St. Augustine's.
Weber State University men's and women's tennis coach Keith Cox received his 600th career win March 8 when the women's team defeated Southern Utah University. This year marks Cox's 23rd season as Weber State men's tennis coach and his 19th season as the women's head coach. The victory brought Cox's career total to 600-462.
Three Central Missouri State University coaches have recorded milestone victories. Baseball coach Brad Hill recorded his 100th career victory March 19, giving him a 100-26 record. He is in his third season at the school. Two days before Hill's milestone, women's softball coach Rhesa Sumrell earned her 300th win, giving her a 301-153 record in 10 seasons at Central Missouri State. Her career total is 509-321 in 22 seasons. And men's basketball coach Don Doucette won his 200th game February 5. He is in his first season at Central Missouri and his 15th as a head coach.
John "J. C." Cunningham, baseball coach at San Diego, earned his 800th career victory March 18. Cunningham has led San Diego to 16 winning seasons in 34 years at the helm and a career mark of 800-793-16.
Greg Marten, head baseball coach at Southeastern Louisiana University, won his 200th career game March 15, bringing his record to 201-150 in seven seasons at the university.
Bradley University's win March 25 in the National Invitation Tournament brought head men's basketball coach Jim Molinari to the 100-win plateau. After six seasons as head coach, Molinari's record is 100-78.
Eight-year Drexel University head baseball coach Don Maines recorded his 150th career victory March 19. Drexel's all-time leader in coaching victories, Maines directed the Dragon program to a school-record 32 wins in 1995.
Shepherd College men's basketball coach Denny Alexander picked up the 250th victory of his career February 3, giving him a 255-194 record in 16 years as head coach at Xavier (Louisiana) and Shepherd. Also, Shepherd's Wayne Riser became the first baseball coach at the school to reach 100 career wins March 21. Riser, in his seventh season at the school, is the most victorious coach in Shepherd baseball history with a 102-105-1 record.
Washington University (Missouri) women's tennis coach Lynn Stockman Imergoot earned her 300th career victory March 28, giving Imergoot a career record of 300-111 in 22 seasons at Washington.
Villanova University head football coach Andy Talley recorded his 100th career win October 5. After 16 seasons as a college coach, Talley's record stands at 104-68-2.