© St. Petersburg Times, published January 12, 2003
ANAHEIM, Calif. -- Myles Brand foresees some dramatic changes on the horizon for intercollegiate sports, but the new NCAA president stresses that reforms will not be made hastily.
Addressing one of the many issues facing the NCAA, Brand said he feels punishment "should have teeth" for universities and colleges that are not providing proper academic opportunities to their student-athletes.
"But decisionmaking has to be evidence-based," Brand said Saturday. "We cannot deal with anecdote or feel-good means.
"If we're going to make a change that's going to affect people's lives, we have to take time to get the data. I don't mean forever; we have to make timely decisions."
Academics will be one of the main thrusts for Brand, the former president at Oregon and Indiana who is the first sitting university president to head the NCAA.
He said his primary goals for the NCAA are "sustaining and completing the academic reform movement and also being a forceful advocate for the positive values of intercollegiate athletics."
TITLE IX: NCAA vice president Judith Sweet told a seminar that women could lose $75-million to $188-million in scholarships, and nearly 1.5-million female athletes in high school and college could be left on the sideline. She based her numbers on what she called a "worst-case" scenario of proposals being considered by a federal commission reviewing the 1972 gender equity legislation that outlawed sex discrimination in any school that received federal funds.
When the U.S. Championships open Tuesday in Dallas, they will have an uncommonly strong field. Women's Olympic gold medalist Sarah Hughes, will compete. So will the hottest skater among the women this season, Sasha Cohen. Men's Olympic bronze medalist Tim Goebel, who won the 2001 U.S. title and was second to Todd Eldredge last January, will be on hand. Two-time American champion Michael Weiss is back, too. Yet the star of the show figures to be Michelle Kwan. The last five American championships were hers, and she has six total. Only Maribel Vinson Owen has outdone Kwan, with nine.
Lee Hyung-taik became the first South Korean winner in ATP Tour history, beating Juan Carlos Ferrero 4-6, 7-6 (8-6), 7-6 (7-4) in the adidas International in Sydney, Australia. Lee is the first qualifier to win an ATP event since Paul-Henri Mattieu won in Moscow during the European indoor season. Second-seeded Kim Clijsters won the women's title, beating sixth-seeded Lindsay Davenport 6-4, 6-3.
Stephan Eberharter won a downhill in Bormio, Italy, and regained the overall World Cup lead, a sign the Austrian has recovered from last month's knee injury. He finished in 1 minute, 59.27 seconds, 0.48 seconds ahead of teammate Michael Walchhofer.
SKI JUMP: Thomas Morgenstern won in Liberec, Czech Republic, for his first victory in a World Cup event. The 16-year-old had jumps of 131 meters in the first round and 129 in the second.
SPEED SKATING: American Jennifer Rodriguez won the women's 1,000 meters (1:14:48) in Kearns, Utah, in her return to the World Cup circuit. Canada's Jeremy Wotherspoon was a surprise double medalist, winning the 1,000 (1:07.89) and 500 (34.41), and Germany's Monique Garbrecht-Enfeldt was the women's 500 winner (37.50).
BOXING: Johnny Tapia was in critical condition at a Las Vegas hospital after falling at his home and losing consciousness hours after he was charged with possessing drug paraphernalia.
COLLEGES: The Florida women's swimming and diving team improved to 8-0 by defeating Texas 170-128 in Gainesville. ... The Gators gymnastics team finished third at the Super Six Challenge in Athens, Ga. Georgia won the meet with 197.325, and Florida had 196.575.
CYCLING: The world governing body cleared the way for Jan Ullrich to join Team Coast by agreeing to grant the team a license to compete in the sport's top events.
HORSE RACING: Standard Setter won the Golden Gate Derby -- the first Kentucky Derby prep of the year -- in Albany, Calif. The 17-1 shot finished the 1 1/16-mile test in 1:43.76 on a muddy track. Ozzie Cat was second and Pine for Java third.
OLYMPICS: U.S. Committee CEO Lloyd Ward's fate will be decided Monday when the executive committee reviews conflict-of-interest allegations. The Los Angeles Times reported Dec.30 that Ward passed along to another USOC official a proposal from his brother's company to sell power generators for use at the 2003 Pan American Games.
GREYHOUNDS: Lonesome Cry won the eight annual Puppy Preview at Derby Lane in St. Petersburg. Favorite Soitary Cal finished last in the field of eight. Ben Awhile was upset by BD's Bingo in the 41st annual All-Star Kennel Preview. Up next is the $85,000 Sprint Classic. Qualifying rounds begin Jan. 25.