Lieberman-Cline sees the future it's Swoopes

April 05, 1993|By Milton Kent | Milton Kent,Staff Writer

ATLANTA -- Nancy Lieberman-Cline, one of the legends of women's basketball in her days at Old Dominion in the late 1970s, called yesterday's national championship game between Texas Tech and Ohio State for the NCAA Radio Network.

She saw history, as Texas Tech's Sheryl Swoopes scored 47 points -- a championship-game record for men or women -- to lead the Red Raiders over the Buckeyes, 84-82.

Lieberman-Cline praised the 6-foot senior.

"She's an unbelievable player. She's just taken the history of the game to the next level," said Lieberman-Cline. "I told Annie [CBS analyst and former UCLA great Ann Meyers] we'd better watch out or she'll come right over here and take our spots."

Swoopes, who set 10 NCAA women's tournament records, has expressed an interest in playing professionally overseas.

"Her biggest problem is going to be the taxes and all of the relatives coming out of the woodwork wanting her to buy stuff," said Lieberman-Cline.

A TV deal of their own

Judith Holland, chairwoman of the Division I women's basketball committee, hopes to have a separate women's tournament television contract by the time the NCAA's current television contract with CBS runs out in 1997, if not sooner.

Though the contract is due to run out in 1997, there is a renegotiation window after the 1995 season.

NB "There is always a chance that when this thing [women's tourna

ment] grows, one of the networks may see it as something they would really like to have," said Holland, UCLA senior associate athletic director.

Holland said the committee also will study a request of the Women's Basketball Coaches Association to seed all teams invited to the tournament next year, rather than continue the formula by which 16 teams are seeded but only eight nationally.

"We [the committee] don't see as much women's basketball as we'd like," she said. "When you see a lot, you're in a better position to judge who's 64th and who's No. 1. We still don't see enough on television to see how the teams are playing."

Another set of eyes

The coordinator of women's officials said she wouldn't be

surprised to see a number of conferences add a third official next season.

Marcy Weston, associate athletic director at Central Michigan University, said the improving talent and increased contact in women's basketball dictates more officials to call off-the-ball activity.

"The top 10 officials have trouble keeping covering all the action in front of them and off-the-ball action, too," said Weston.

The NCAA Rules Committee has given women's conferences the option to play with two or three officials for years, but many have opted for two, citing the expense.

"It will cost a few dollars more, but basketball has the biggest budget and it's the biggest women's sport," said Weston.

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