Shoal Creek's founder quits as board chairmanHall W...

Sports briefly

December 30, 1990

Shoal Creek's founder quits as board chairman

Hall W. Thompson, who touched off a national controversy when he said the all-white golf club he founded in Birmingham, Ala., would not be pressured into accepting black members, has resigned as chairman of Shoal Creek's board of directors.

The resignation occurred Wednesday night at a board meeting, said Tom Rast, who was elected board president at the meeting. Rast said Thompson will remain as chairman of the board's golf committee, which controls the golf course and grounds. It was not immediately clear why Thompson stepped down as chairman, although his company's contract to manage Shoal Creek expires tomorrow. Thompson was unavailable for comment.

Other board members said Thompson's resignation had nothing to do with the controversy that erupted in July after he told a local newspaper that the then-all-white club could not be forced to accept black members, The Birmingham News reported yesterday.

* Birmingham City Councilman William Bell, who started the controversy, says nothing was really accomplished by the furor over playing the 1990 PGA Championship at the all-white Shoal Creek course. Private golf clubs across the United States were encouraged to integrate after Bell openly questioned a city-paid ad promoting the tournament.

The PGA's Shoal Creek problem fizzled out when the club announced it would accept a black Birmingham businessman, Louis Willie, for membership.

"Locally, it has not made a difference, because the acceptance of a black was pure tokenism," Bell said. "The individual they brought in has no desire to be a full participant at Shoal Creek. It was just a sham placed upon the public to bring the tournament here."

Story of the year

James "Buster" Douglas' upset of Mike Tyson for the heavyweight boxing title was voted sports story of the year by member newspapers of The Associated Press, edging out the incarceration of Pete Rose. Douglas-Tyson and the Rose story each received 23 first-place votes, but the Tyson defeat totaled 647 points to 599 for Rose.

The World Series sweep by the Cincinnati Reds was third with eight first-place votes and 527 points, and the San Francisco 49ers' fourth Super Bowl victory was No. 4 with nine first-place votes and 520 points. The ouster of George Steinbrenner from baseball finished fifth with eight first-place votes and 484 points.

Pro football

To make room for running back Gerald Riggs and defensive lineman Tracy Rocker on the Washington Redskins roster, the team put running back Kelvin Bryant on the inactive list and waived defensive back Sidney Johnson.

Johnson, who suffered a concussion Dec. 22 against the Indianapolis Colts, is expected to be re-signed this week. The Redskins waived him as a roster move because he already had been declared out of today's game against the Buffalo Bills because of the concussion.

Rocker was activated because three of the team's defensive linemen, Eric Williams (arch), Markus Koch (knee) and Charles Mann (knee), are ailing. Riggs will replace Bryant, who injured a knee last week.

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