The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas on May 14, 1995 · Page 34
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The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas · Page 34

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Sunday, May 14, 1995
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D2 Sunday, May 14,1995 The Salina Journal I5ig 12 officials to debate key issues this week Revenue distribution will be one key issue By DOUG TUCKER The Associated Press KEYSTONE, Colo. — How much is $40 million divided by 12? Smart people from high-profile universities have spent several months agonizing over the question that will eventually define the nature of the Big 12 Conference. They hope to arrive at an answer during a series of meetings this week in Keystone, Colo. "I don't think there's any question that revenue distribution is the key issue at this time," said Kansas athletic director Bob Frederick, a member of the revenue- distribution committee. Officials from all 12 schools will meet today through Thursday in their first full Frederick gathering since the new super conference was formed. Faculty representatives, athletic directors and primary womens administrators will receive reports from transition teams on a variety of issues besides revenue distribution. Still to be resolved are such things as academic eligibility standards, football and basketball scheduling, divisional alignments and a football championship game. Their hope is to arrive at final recommendations this week for approval by the 12 CEOs, who meet in Austin, Texas, in June. But on the eve of the long-anticipated Keystone meetings, Frederick was not sure how close his committee was at finding a way to share the tens of millions that will flow in annually from a variety of sources when the Big 12 begins compe- Big 12 meetings tition in 1996-97. "Let's just say I'm hopeful," Frederick said. "We need to come to some conclusion here pretty quickly. We can't tarry too long." The problem lies in the fact different schools have different strengths and some will put more money into the kitty than others. The new conference, the Big Eight plus Southwest Conference holdovers Texas, Texas T6ch, Texas A&M and Baylor, has already signed $100 million football television contracts, the biggest in collegiate history. Revenues from football television, the NCAA basketball tournament, bowl games, ticket sales and other sources are broadly projected to range between $36 million and $40 million per year. "You have two extremes in revenue sharing," Frederick said. "You take all the money everybody gets and divide it equally. That's one end. At the other end, everybody keeps what they make. "What we're trying to do is find some place in between those two extremes that everybody can live with." Closely linked to the decision on revenue distribution is a playoff game between the proposed North arid South divisions of the-Big 12. The expected alignment would put the four Texas schools along with Oklahoma and Oklahoma State in the South Division and Kansas, souri, Nebraska, Colorado, Kansas State and Iowa State in the North. A football championship game, possibly rotating between Dallas and Kansas City, could net as much as $7 million, according to some projections. | Big 12 football coaches have not been unanimously in favor of a conferencfe playoff, but the idea seemed to be picking up support among administrators. ' "It is a very good bet that we'll come up with a recommendation to go forwara with (a football playoff)," said one sourc^ who requested anonymity. ;j "Everybody is going to make morf money than ever before," said the source "And they have the opportunity with ere ative scheduling and improving program!; to make even more money. Are there bat ties to be fought? You bet. But at the en< of these meetings, 90 percent of the peoph will walk away enamored with the eriq result." '« Rejuvenated rolling at GTE ? By The Associated Press CBS golf analyst Ben Wright (center) is surrounded by media before the third round of the LPGA Championship on Saturday. LPGA commissioner defends lesbians Mechem says lesbians have not hampered tour By Tho Associated Press WILMINGTON, Del. — The LPGA commissioner denies that lesbians have hampered the success of the women's tour, calling such charges "absurd and ugly." Charles Mechem Jr. held a news conference Saturday to respond to reported comments by CBS golf analyst Ben Wright, who was quoted as saying "lesbians in the sport hurt women's golf." "I'm sad because the charge is demonstrably untrue and I'm angry because it's an unfair attack — a cheap shot — at a group of talented professional women," Mechem said. Wright denied making the statement, reported in The News Journal of Wilmington. CBS supported the announcer and kept him in the broadcast booth Saturday during the third round of the LPGA Championship. During the broadcast, Wright read a statement denying that he made negative comments about women's golf. "Much has been said and written about disparaging comments attributed to me which are not only totally inaccurate but extremely distasteful," Wright said. "It is a pity these remarks have detracted from the focus of the McDonald's LPGA Championship, which kas perenially raised so many millions of dollars for needy children." "It is an absurd and ugly charge, that lesbianism is stunting the growth of the LPGA Tour." , , '. — Charles Mechem Jr. .LPGA commissioner Mechem didn't call for Wright's ouster, saying he didn't know if the analyst actually made the remarks. "Quite obviously, if he made the remarks attributed to him, it's inappropriate for him to broadcast an LPGA event," Mechem said. "If he did not make the alleged remarks — as he stouk ly maintains — then it would be terribly unfair and prematurely judgmental for us to insist that he be replaced." Wright was also quoted as saying women don't play as well as men because their "boobs" hamper their backswing. He denied saying that, too, insisting he was merely relating a story by Hall of Famer JoAnne Carner and never used the word "boobs." Mechem admitted he may never know whether Wright made the comments. But he felt compelled to dispel the concept that the game has had trouble drawing fans and sponsors because of lesbianism. "It is an absurd and ugly charge, that lesbianism is'stunting the growth of the LPGA Tour," •he said. "The absurdity of this charge both saddens and angers me." Mechem said the sexual preference of women on the tour is a "private and personal matter," and accusations of lesbianism are merely "a way of demeaning or trivializing their performance and accomplishments." The story received heavy play in newspapers throughout the country, with several columnists calling for Wright's firing. The story was featured on the front page of some papers, including the New York Post, which used the headline "The Boob On The Tube." Mechem, in the middle of his fifth and final year as commissioner, said the women's game continues to grow in terms of sponsorship and fan interest. "We talked to thousands of people ... in not one single interview was (lesbianism) raised," he said. "I'm not suggesting that this issue wasn't on some people's minds, but it wasn't the issue that defines the LGPA Tour." Wright, meanwhile, issued a terse denial that he ever made derogatory statements about the tour to reporter Valerie Helmbreck. "At no time during our conversation did I say that: 'When it gets to the corporate level, that's not going to fly' in connection with lesbianism or any other subject," Wright said in a written statement. "'Not going to fly' is not a phrase I use, but I do recall that Ms. Helmbreck used it when she asked me to comment on the sponsorship issue." Davies takes 1-shot lead in Championship By The Associated Press WILMINGTON, Del. — Per- F haps on the final day of the LP- GA Championship, the focus will be entirely on what happens on the golf course. Saturday, however, Laura Davies had to share the spotlight with CBS analyst Ben Wright mm^mi^——mm and LPGA • pfk A commission- LI*taA er Charles Mechem Jr. Davies, the defending champion, shot a 2-under-par 69 to take a one-stroke lead over Kelly Robbins entering the final round of the $1.2 million tournament. Davies had five birdies, four on the back nine, for an 8-under 205 total after three trips over the 6,386-yard DuPont Country Club course. Her late charge was blunted by a double-bogey on 18. Robbins, who held the lead after each of the first two rounds, shot a 72. Patty Sheehan also The Associated Press LPGA Championship leader Laura Davies chips onto the fifth green en route to a 69 Saturday. had a 72 for a 207. Ah yes, the golf. Davies had 10 pars, a bogey and a par over the first 12 holes before making her move with birdies on Nos. 13 and 14. She parred 15, then added two more birdies before falling back to the field on 18 after pulling her second shot into the rough. "It's a shame about that double-bogey, but I played the hole sensibly. It just didn't work out," Davies said. "A three^shot lead sounds nice, but then everyone would think I should win. This takes the pressure off." Robbins had two bogeys on the front nine, then went three over for the day with a bogey on 15 before reeling off two straight pars to move into second. Davies and Robbins, two of the longest hitters in the game, will be paired in the final round for a second straight week. They finished in a second- place tie last Sunday in the Sara Lee Classic. "We'll just have some fun again," Davies said. "I'll be out South African has three-stroke lead By The Associated Press IRVING, Texas — A minor record escaped Ernie Els, but the lead did not. And the rejuvenated U.S. Open champion, fresh after a three-week break, is confident the title in the $1.3 million GTE-Byron Nelson Classic will not escape him, either. "I have to be confident," Els said Saturday after following up a second-round 61 with a third-round 5- under-par 65. "I haven't played this well in a •••••••«••••••• long time. It's ' playing well • • ' again. It's nice to be back on track." For a while in the muggy heat of north Texas, he was on track to match the PGA Tour scoring record of 125 for 'consecutive rounds. , After two-putting for birdie-4 on the 16th hole at the TPC at Four Seasons, Els needed only to par in to tie the record set by Gay Brewer in 1967 and since matched by Ron Streck and Blaine McCallister. But he pulled his tee shot into a bunker on the par 3 17th and failed to get up and down. It was his first bogey in 42 holes. Despite that little lapse, the rangy South African who holds the U.S. Open title completed 54 holes in 195, 15-under-par and three in front of the pack. "If Ernie plays a good round tomorrow, he'll be very, very hard to catch," said Glen Day, the first- round leader. That is Els' plan. "I've just got to play a decent round tomorrow," he said. "I've just got to keep it together." He could get some help from the weather. The hot wind dried out the greens. The Associated Press Ernie Els watches his drive off the 15th tee during the third round of the Nelson Classic. "They're starting to get hard,' 1 Els said. "If the wind keeps on' blowing, it could make it very difficult for anyone to shoot a really low score tomorrow." That, of course, is very much in" his favor. • Robin Freeman, who has the unenviable distinction of being the only two-time winner of medalist honors in the tour's qualifying school, was second alone at 198 after shooting 68. Freeman, not yet a winner in a, five-year tour career, led the qualifying school in 1988 and 1993. He 1 ' lost his playing rights due to lack of.. performance in the 1988 season; was off the tour for four years, then" led the school again. "It's not something you want to^ brag about," he said. "Usually;' '( when you win it once, you don't., have to go back again." ?£> Fuzzy Zoeller, the 43-year-olo*"* veteran who had four runner-up fin** ishes last year, and Day were next at 199. Zoeller shot 64 despite someJ ? chronic back problems. Trevino, Archer top Cadillac leaderboard there watching her with the rest of the gallery." Sheehan had a wild round, opening with a par before bogeying No. 2 and getting a double- bogey on 3. She rallied with birdies on Nos. 5, 7 and 9 to take the lead at the turn, then got four straight pars before sinking a 4-foot birdie putt on 14 to move eight under. But she bogeyed 15 and 17 and failed to break par for the first time this week. Still, Sheehan has a good shot at winning her fourth LPGA Championship and salvage a horrid season in which she has not finished better than 22nd in seven events. "Compared to what I've been doing, I'm very pleased to be in the hunt and have a chance to win another LPGA Championship, " she said. Dottie Mochrie had a 71 for a 208, tied with Marianne Morris, who had a 70. The Associated Press CLIFTON, N.J. — Seven months after neck surgery, Lee Trevino may finally have his golf game back. Even more importantly, he's going into the final round of a Senior PGA Tour event with a legitimate chance to win again. Trevino and George Archer each shot 6-under-par 66s Saturday to jump to the top of a star-studded leader board after two rounds of the Cadillac NFL Golf Classic. Archer grabbed a one-shot advantage over Trevino by posting the best back nine on the tour this year, ••••••MBHWHHM a 6-under-par <•_ . .,30, which co- SenlOrS ' . incidentally : • • * was a stroke better than Trevino on the back. Still, Trevino wasn't disappointed after playing what he called his best round of the year to put himself into contention for his first win since July. He had surgery on a bulging disc in October. "I'm not going to go into tomorrow's round with a hell of a lot of confidence, but it could happen," said Trevino, who has 24 wins on the senior tour. "I won't dwell on it. If it's there, it's there. If not, at least I had a shot, which is a lot better than I've had the past few weeks. I've been teeing off two hours before the last group and that's not a hell of a good feeling." Archer, winner of 16 senior events, scoffed at Trevino's so- called lack of confidence. The Associated I George Archer waves to thi* crowd after sinking a birdie puttf- on the 18th green. .;:» "That's a crock," Archer said. "You don't win as many tournaments as Lee Trevino without rising to the occasion." Actually, Archer and Trevino will have to beat a lot of people who know how to win. Eleven players were within four shots of Arciher's 9- B ' under-par 135. Dave Stockton, the leading money winner the past two years, and Isao Aoki were two shots off the pace and one ahead of first-round leader Bob Murphy, defending champion Ray Floyd, Larry Ziegler and Al 'Geiberger. Bob Charles, Rocky Thompson and Don Bies were four back. .s> r

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