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February 14, 2003 Conference Notes No Comments



The Morning Dish – Friday, February 14th, 2003

by Jon Gonzalez



Not even a little woman’s intuition could make a difference for Tennessee State. But at least Teresa Phillips gets to walk away from her coaching career with the men’s team with only one loss.

Phillips, filling in for suspended head coach Hosea Lewis, made history as the first woman in Division I to coach a men’s team. However, the school’s athletic director could not make even more history by winning as the Tigers lost their 17th straight game, 71-56, to Austin Peay on Thursday night. Despite the loss, the Tigers did play one of their better games of the season leading on four separate occasions in the first half. But Austin Peay would eventually go on a 17-0 run to close out the first 20 minutes of play and led 38-22 at halftime. The Governor’s lead would hold up for the remainder of the contest. Just nine days earlier, TSU lost to Austin Peay on its home court by 25 points.

After the game, Phillips said that this would be it for her coaching career at Tennessee State. Phillips will return to her role as athletic director and interim coach Hosea Lewis will return to the bench. Maybe if this was an elite program in the situation Tennessee State is currently in, the AD would stick around a few more games. But after all, this is Tennessee State (2-21, 0-12). But while Phillips’ coaching career may be over, she will still be around the team for the remainder of the season. Assistant coach Chris Graves and several players asked Phillips to continue to help at practice after the team played with more energy than it had the whole season. Phillips agreed. In a season in which the Tigers have a suffered through, maybe the team needs a motherly influence around?

Tennessee State might have played better with Teresa Phillips at the helm, but sadly, the history made on Thursday night will likely have no effect on the future of women in men’s sports. The Tigers knew the coaching experiment would only last one game, so the players acted as if it was no big deal. But what if Phillips named herself coach for the whole season? Then what? The apprehensiveness of TSU players to accept a woman coach on a full time basis was best exemplified by guard Roshaun Bowens. Bowens said: “Knowing it was one game versus the whole season is a different story. I’m not sure about the recruiting and whether players would want to come and play for a woman.” Bowens is right and his sentiments are probably felt by a majority of male basketball players in this country, high school, college and pro.

Given the society in which we live, it is hard to blame men for not wanting to have a woman coach them. It is what they are taught, it is what they see. Our athletic social structure is based on the idea that men are dominant in athletics and women can use the fields and courts when the men are done. When a radio sports host uses an hour of his show talking about the NBA and five minutes ridiculing the WNBA, you know equality in sports does not exist. A female kicking in a men’s football game is turned into a side show. A female goaltender is hockey is treated the same way. And when word comes that a female football league is on the way, all you hear are men chuckling. Seems like the closest a woman will get to a men’s field on a consistent basis is through sideline reporting.

Likely, there will come a day when a woman will coach a men’s team, but that day is a long time from now. For this to take place, hundreds of years of history will have to reverse itself and the underlying male sexism regarding females in sport will have to disappear. The real tragedy is that Teresa Phillips, even with 19 years of coaching experience under her belt, was put in a situation to coach only because of a bench-clearing brawl that left the male head coach suspended.

Side Dishes

No.17 Deacs Exorcise No.9 Devils: Six years and 14 games. That is how long it was since Wake Forest defeated Duke until Thursday night, when the Demon Deacons used two overtimes to upend the Blue Devils 94-80. Wake Forest (17-3, 7-2) essentially did in the Devils with defense, holding Duke (16-4, 6-4) to a 31.5 shooting percentage. The game went into the initial overtime after Duke guard Chris Duhon inexplicably heaved up a three-pointer with 12.6 seconds left and Wake guard Justin Gray followed suit, jacking up a three with about 5 seconds to play. Have those guys ever heard of holding the ball for one last decent shot? Wake then had a chance to win in the first overtime, but could not put the ball in the hole despite three short-range attempts with 4.8 seconds left. The second overtime was another story as the Deacons eventually turned the game into a runaway. Vytas Daneluis led Wake with 20 points. With the win, Wake takes over first place in the ACC. Chris Duhon scored 23 points for Duke, who lost its fourth straight ACC road game.

Cats Paste Bruins: Why UCLA even showed up to the McKale Center on Thursday night is anybody’s guess. The “Bad News Bears” shouldn’t have even bothered. No. 1 Arizona (19-2, 11-1) used a 21-0 run within a five minute span to dismantle UCLA (5-15, 2-9) 106-70. Five Arizona players scored in double figures including Hassan Adams, who scored a game-high 18 points. For the Bruins, it was their ninth consecutive league loss and another strike against coach Steve Lavin (as if he didn’t have enough strikes against him already).

Rough Sailing: No. 23 Cal’s Joe Shipp scored 20 points as the host Golden Bears used a shoddy performance to hold off Washington State, 63-53 on Thursday night. The Golden Bears (17-4, 10-2) were far from perfect, committing many mental errors and not rebounding well, but that didn’t stop them from winning their 16th straight game at home to stay perfect at Haas Pavilion this season Washington State (5-16, 0-12) used a deliberate offense to keep the game close, but still could not avoid losing its 12th straight game and staying winless in the Pac-10. Thomas Kelati led the Cougars with 12 points. Cal closed out the contest scoring the game’s last nine points.

Barnes Big In Win: Stanford guard Julius Barnes scored 21 of his game-high 29 points in the second half as No.24 Stanford held off Washington 78-69 on Thursday night. Barnes, who usually starts at point guard, scored most of his points from the shooting guard position. Stanford (18-6, 9-3) came out of the gate smoking and led Washington (8-13, 3-9) 28-16 after 12 minutes of play. But the Huskies would fight back and get back into the game. The game was tied at 52 with less than 10 minutes left to play, but Stanford would then go on a 15-2 run that did in the Huskies. The loss was U Dub’s 10th straight at Maples Pavilion. Doug Wrenn led Washington with 23 points.

Fairfield snapped Manhattan’s Division I leading 15 game winning streak 70-68. Deng Gai led Fairfield with 14 points.

Mike Hood made two free throws with 1.3 seconds left as UC Irvine defeated Utah State 59-58.

Ex-Coach May Sue: Former Western New Mexico coach Joe Mondragon says he will sue his former employers for wrongful termination if he is not given a chance to tell his side of the story in a hearing. Mondragon was fired after he berated all six of the team’s black players and allegedly used a racial slur. Mondragon claims he did nothing wrong and did not discriminate any of the players.

A Day For Knight: Lubbock mayor Marc McDougal announced Thursday that Saturday will be Bob Knight Day as the Red Raiders host Oklahoma. The day is in commemoration of Knight’s 800th win.

Michigan Date Set: The NCAA announced Thursday that the school will appear before an eight-person committee today in Coral Gables. The NCAA will then take six to eight weeks to decide if Michigan’s self-imposed sanctions were enough. Michigan, of course, levied the sanctions on itself after various infractions by the school were uncovered.

Tonight’s Menu

♥ Heavy slate of Ivy League action on tap as Columbia is at Harvard, Cornell is at Dartmouth, Yale is at Penn and Brown is at Princeton. All games tip-off between 7 and 7:30 p.m.

♥ BYU looks to improve its NCAA tournament standing as the Cougars take on UNLV at 10:30 p.m. eastern time.

♥ One match-up in the southern United States as Campbell squares off against Gardner Webb at 8 p.m.

If you have a reason too, have a happy Valentines Day. If you don’t, just remember, Valentines Day is yet another Hallmark holiday created to make loads of money. So keep that in mind. All right, I am out. Take care.

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