Fired USC coach Stanley proud of 'her' newest All-America

April 02, 1994|By Milton Kent | Milton Kent,Sun Staff Writer

RICHMOND, Va. -- As Marianne Stanley and Lisa Leslie walked among the posters of past Kodak All-America teams, it was hard to tell who was prouder of Leslie's honor.

Stanley coached Leslie for three years at Southern California before she was fired last summer while attempting to get a three-year contract and higher salary.

The two embraced warmly when Leslie was named to the 10-player team yesterday.

"She's like a daughter to me, as all my players are," said Stanley, who coached Old Dominion to three national championships before going to Penn and then USC. "I'm thrilled for her because she's worked hard for this honor."

Stanley declined, on the advice of her attorney, to comment on her lawsuit against USC for reinstatement. She has remained out of public view for most of the past year, and has had minimal contact with her former players, coming to see them play once and leaving before she could be noticed.

Stanley has become a symbol of the struggle of many women's coaches for increased pay and security.

"I'm glad to be here. I wouldn't be anywhere else," said Stanley. "My colleagues have been very supportive and have wished me well."

Kodak All-Americans

Leslie was joined by nine other first-time selections on the Kodak team, including Clemson forward Jessica Barr, the Atlantic Coast Conference Player of the Year and the first Clemson player to receive Kodak honors.

Also named in voting conducted among the Women's Basketball Coaches Association were senior forward Janice Felder of Southern Mississippi, Alabama junior guard Niesa Johnson, junior forward Rebecca Lobo of Connecticut, Tennessee junior forward Nikki McCray, junior point guard Andrea Nagy of Florida International, North Carolina senior guard Tonya Sampson, Minnesota senior forward/center Carol Ann Schudlick and UCLA senior forward/center Natalie Williams, who was also a volleyball All-America.

Another pair of eyes

Purdue coach Lin Dunn and Louisiana Tech coach Leon Barmore were skeptical of the merits of having three-member officiating crews.

But after watching this year's tournament, where only two-member crews have been working, Barmore and Dunn have become converts.

"I realized in our very first [tournament] game that some calls were being missed," said Dunn, whose Big Ten Conference worked with three officials. "The two officials, even though they're good and are in great shape, can't keep up with 18- and 19-year-olds who are super athletes."

Linda Bruno, Division I basketball committee chair, said at least half of the 32 women's conferences must use a third official for it to be approved for the tournament. This season, when use of a third official was optional, and six leagues, including the ACC, approved using the bigger crew.

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