SI Vault
Edited by Barbara La Fontaine
October 03, 1977
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October 03, 1977


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Last August an Oklahoma City girl attacked in court the rules by which girls' high school basketball is still played in Oklahoma, Texas, Arkansas and Tennessee—three forwards on one side of the center line, three guards on the back side, no crossing over. The forwards do all the shooting; for guards, the game is tedious beyond words. But the Oklahoma girl's complaint was that it was more than just tedious. She argued that her position as guard precluded any chance of a college scholarship or a future professional career because both the colleges and pros play five-on-five on a full court. At the end of last month affidavits were presented in the matter, and the ACLU asked Federal Judge Ralph Thompson, who had previously ruled that he had no jurisdiction in the matter, to reconsider his decision.

Cathy Rush, coach of the 1976 Olympic women's basketball team, said that "little or no consideration was given to girls who had played half-court basketball when the Olympic team was picked." Jerry Zancanelli, coach of Colorado's team, said half-court ball "definitely puts the players behind in individual skills." Lark Birdsong, the women's coach at the University of Iowa, stated flatly, "I do not recruit guards, ever." Robert C. Serfass, associate professor of physical education at the University of Minnesota, said, "There are no psychological or medical data available which would preclude either sex from playing full-court basketball."

Finally, Sylvia Marks-Barnett, ACLU attorney, citing the absence of any "half-court" girls on the Olympic team, or on the 1975 Pan-American team, said that she didn't expect Judge Thompson to reverse his ruling because of these affidavits. "The main thing I wanted," she said, "was to get them in the record for the appeal."


It sounded like a great idea. The White House has too many squirrels, while the squirrel population of Wrightwood, Calif. has been decimated by a tick infestation. The answer seemed obvious, so Congressman James Lloyd (D. Calif.) announced that he was going to have a bunch of the White House squirrels transferred to Wrightwood.

But the operation fell through. "The repopulation of the Wrightwood area will have to be done with friendly native squirrels," Lloyd says—because the California State Department of Health has reported that the D.C. squirrels are too aggressive.


Gambler Frank (Lefty) Rosenthal is the host of a new TV talk show, taped in Las Vegas' Stardust Casino at 7:30 p.m. on Saturdays and revealed to the rest of Las Vegas at 11. On the show's opening night several weeks ago, among those present was Frank Sinatra. Sinatra held forth on a subject dear to his heart, the harshness of the punishment laid on UNLV Basketball Coach Jerry Tarkanian (SCORECARD, Sept. 19) and urged the citizenry of Las Vegas to start a petition to the NCAA.

Last Saturday Rosenthal got into his plan to have his guest pick the winners of half a dozen of Sunday's pro football games, and Sinatra again led off. These were his choices:

San Diego +3 over Kansas City; Dallas—13� over New York; Chicago +3 over St. Louis; Pittsburgh +2 over Oakland; Los Angeles—10 over Philadelphia; Miami—3� over San Francisco.

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