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Sports on the air

CBS dogs it in not dealing with Burk at Masters

By JOHN COTEY
© St. Petersburg Times
published April 18, 2003

CBS Sports, which televised the Masters last weekend, stuck to its plan of ignoring Martha Burk, head of the National Council of Women's Organizations, and avoiding the topic of Augusta National's all-male membership.

Criticized by some as being Augusta National's lap dog when it comes to golf coverage, CBS did not make its primary talent available for pretournament interviews, and when it did make some available it did so only with the understanding that no questions on Saturday's protest be asked.

Considering how much sports television talking heads enjoy pontificating, the decision reeked. After all, this was a national story, maybe the story at the Masters, and CBS usually doesn't hesitate to, for example, let announcers go off on the NCAA basketball selection committee or some other major issue.

Sticking its head in the sand on the sports telecast (CBS had said it was sending a news division to the scene), whether you agreed with Burk or not, looked cowardly.

If CBS had done what it should have, addressing the gender bias issue head-on and covering it like it would anything else, it would have shown it is no one's lap dog.

MATT IS BACK: Sunshine executive producer Ned Tate has lured former coach Matt Guokas into the booth for Orlando Magic playoff games, which begin at 12:30 Sunday. Guokas will be the third man in the booth with David Steele and Jack "Goose" Givens.

The Magic game won't be on Sunshine in the Tampa Bay area for fear it may cut into the Lightning-Washington broadcast, which begins at 3.

Sunshine will broadcast the Lightning games tonight, Sunday and Tuesday, if a game 7 is necessary.

EIGHT SECONDS: Peyton Manning earns $86.81 per second; Shaquille O'Neal $33.88. Saturday at 4 p.m. on NBC, Chris Shivers hopes to obliterate those marks.

The 2000 Professional Bull Riding world champion will try to stay on Little Yellow Jacket for eight seconds to earn $1-million. The PBR Bud Light Million Dollar Bounty is being billed as the richest eight seconds in sports. If he hangs on, Shivers will earn about $125,000 per second.

DON'T MISS: PBS, which does some fine sports programming that goes largely unnoticed, will present the story of unlikely horse racing champion Seabiscuit at 9 p.m. Monday.

Part of the American Experience history series, the hourlong show is based on Laura Hillenbrand's outstanding book on Seabiscuit. It will show archival footage of Seabiscuit's major races..

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