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November 11, 2003 Conference Notes No Comments

The Morning Dish – Tuesday, November 11th

Let’s not forget to take a moment this morning to remember those United States servicemen and women that gave the ultimate sacrifice to preserve our way of life on this Veteran’s Day.

Hawk Down: 16th-ranked Saint Joseph’s will lose a piece of their starting frontcourt for the beginning of the season, as sophomore forward Dave Mallon suffered a stress fracture in his right foot. Mallon, a 29-game starter last season who averaged 1.6 points and 2 rebounds per game, injured his foot in practice on Friday, and an MRI on Sunday revealed the fracture of the third metatarsal. He’ll be in a walking cast for the next three weeks, minimum, and may miss as many a six weeks. This is a tough blow to the Hawks, as they face No. 12 Gonzaga Friday in the Coaches vs. Cancer Classic in New York.

New A-14: No it’s not a new aircraft to be used in the war on terror – it’s the new total of the Atlantic 10 Conference member institutions, as both Charlotte and Saint Louis have accepted invitations extended last week to join the conference. Yesterday, Charlotte formally announced their intention to move to the A-10, and Saint Louis will announce at a press conference later today. As part of the recent conference shuffle, both schools were left as the only non-football playing schools in the “new” Conference USA, and felt that a move to the A-10 would suit them better. Last week, the Big East took five C-USA members (Cincinnati, DePaul, Louisville, Marquette, and South Florida), and C-USA replaced them with WAC and MAC schools Central Florida, Marshall, Rice, SMU, and Tulsa. A-10 commissioner Linda Bruno told reporters that there is no initiative to re-name the conference, as there hasn’t been 10 members in the conference since 1990 (when Duquesne rejoined), and the conference just redid their logo.

New Baylor Lawsuit: The mother and stepfather of former Baylor basketball player Patrick Dennehy, murdered in June near the Waco campus, have hired an attorney and plan to sue Baylor University. This joins the wrongful death suit filed in August by Patrick Dennehy, Sr. against Baylor, former head coach Dave Bliss, and former AD Tom Stanton. Valerie and Brian Brabazon of Carson City, Nevada, have hired Dallas-based attorney Jim Skinner, and they will be filing a civil lawsuit against the school in the next few weeks. Dennehy was murdered in June, and his body was found in late July, following the arrest of former teammate and roommate Carlton Dotson, who pleaded innocent last week in Waco court. However, attorneys in the civil suit brought by Dennehy, Sr. have told the media the Dotson was not the real killer of Dennehy, though no other details have been released.

More Baylor Controversy: This time it has to do with Baylor’s Bear mascots. Animal-rights groups are up in arms against Baylor’s live mascot program, which has had more than 50 bears in the last 80 years. Though quiet the past few years, Baylor Bear mascot appearances Saturday at the football game and on a homecoming float have stoked the fire of controversy yet again. Apparently, the Baylor Chamber of Commerce, a student organization that oversees the bear mascot program, likes their bears smaller and young, and once they get too big, they are sent off to wildlife parks nationwide. The animal-rights group Showing Animals Respect and Kindness (ShARK) is pushing Baylor to stop the mascot program, citing a high turnover rate, substandard facilities, and inadequate care. Baylor recently unveiled Bear World, a habitat that meets many of the school’s critics’ recommendation, where current American Black Bear mascots Joy and Lady reside. New plans are in the works to expand the Bear World to provide even better care. ShARK cites past instances where the bears were mistreated, abused, and even fed Dr. Pepper for promotional purposes (Baylor has strong ties to the beverage maker). Joy and Lady are two of 14 non-domesticated mascots in the United States, which also includes LSU’s Mike V Bengal tiger, and North Alabama’s two African Lions, Leo III and Una. Not considered domestic is Big 12 rival Colorado’s Ralphie IV, an American bison donated by Ted Turner from his ranch in Montana. Colorado has had four buffalo mascots since 1966, each averaging 11 years on the job. Ralphie IV debuted in 1998.

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