barrier she broke?
Thomas became the first woman to officiate a game involving a Division I-A
team, when she worked as a line judge in Memphis's home game against
Jacksonville State on Sept. 15. The 33-year-old pharmaceuticals sales rep and
mother of two has worked Mississippi high school games for 11 years but had
never done a college game. She was discovered by Conference USA's coordinator
of officials at an officiating clinic in June and is scheduled to work another
conference game this season.
Was she a jock
before becoming a zebra?
The first athlete at Pascagoula (Miss.) High to earn five varsity letters in
one sport (softball, which she began playing in eighth grade), the 5'11"
Thomas was also a hoops standout at the University of Mobile, finishing fourth
on the school's career steals list.
How'd she do in
her I-A debut?
Thomas made no controversial calls and drew praise from both coaches;
Jacksonville's Jack Crowe said she was "not uncomfortable around a football
or football players." Said Thomas, "I felt extra pressure because of
the media attention on the game. But as my supervisor told me, 'When the game
starts, it's just 60 minutes of football.' That's where my concentration