Archive for Saturday, February 10, 2001

Coach defended

February 10, 2001


To the editor:

What kind of a man will kick a woman when she is down? Chuck Woodling, the LJW sports editor. It was a sad day for the staff of your sports department when Mr. Woodling had his article "Down season not typical for Jayhawks' women's team" published on Feb. 2. To spew forth his poison about the opinions of Coach Washington's critics, he gave her exposure on page 1C. Thank goodness, she did not read the article before the Texas game in Austin, where they beat Coach Conrad (762 lifetime wins) and her team for the fourth time in a row, in front of over 6,000 fans with a weakened KU team. How is that for coaching skills?

Why would anyone want to deny Coach Washington a salary that ranks in the lower half of all Big 12 women's team coaches? Because she has labored for most of her 28 years under severe conditions in an environment where people could not fathom the validity of women's sports? Do people understand what work was like for an African-American coach during the decades when non-white people were merely tolerated? Yet, she remained loyal to KU? Has he no shame?

Lest people believes these times are over, let me inform them that I witnessed one of the most severe racist remarks when our team left the Iowa State court last year after winning there, too. Do people understand what kind of discussions are necessary between the black coach and her team to get her young players back on an even keel? Not to mention the coaches own pain in this situation? This season, one of the outstanding past players refused to go to Iowa State because she still was hurting from the experience last year.

Fans and members of the media have described Coach Washington as having class. Class in the face of great obstacles. Mr. Woodling could learn from that. I am disappointed that he felt the need to hurt Coach Washington during one of the most challenging seasons.

Renate R. Mai-Dalton,


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