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Commentary: Bush could benefit UA athletics

Kyle Kensing
staff writer
By Kyle Kensing
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Thursday, January 20, 2005
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In Washington, D.C., today, George W. Bush will be sworn in as president in the 55th presidential inauguration, and UA sports could benefit in the next four years as a result.

How, you might ask?

It's very simple, really. In his 2004 State of the Union address, Bush called for Major League Baseball to reform its drug testing policy.

Lo and behold, league owners and the players' union have done just that, less than a year later.

Therefore, it is my belief that with fervent lobbying, wrongs can be righted for Arizona Athletics with help from the highest office in the land.

On the agenda:

Red Cross relief for the women's basketball team and Icecats

Injuries have hit Joan Bonvicini's women's basketball team hard early in Pacific 10 Conference play, with starters Shawntinice Polk and Jessica Arnold both forced to sit out key league games.

Polk and Arnold have returned to action, but not before losses at ASU, and in Arnold's case, against Stanford, the team's top two contenders in conference play.

Polk is Arizona's leading rebounder and an intimidating force in the middle. Her presence prevents opponents from laying back in a zone defense, thus opening the court for teammate and superb offensive presence Dee-Dee Wheeler.

Arnold's long-range shooting keeps defenses honest, spreading the floor for dribble penetration and low post entry.

For the UA to get back to the NCAA Tournament, it will need Polk and Arnold healthy, not to mention the rest of the Wildcat squad.

Thus, Mr. President, I urge you to urge Congress to grant the women's basketball team relief aid, so it may heal wounds quickly, and avoid future injuries on its path to postseason play.

Diplomatic immunity for Joy Hollingsworth

Staying with the women's basketball team, one of the team's most potent offensive weapons is relegated to the bench for the entirety of the season.

She is Joy Hollingsworth, a junior transfer from the University of San Francisco.

Hollingsworth averaged nearly 11 points per game for the Lady Dons a year ago, and was the talk of this year's season opening Red-Blue scrimmage, pouring in 21 points.

A backcourt of Hollingsworth and Wheeler would be a thing of beauty, but alas, NCAA regulations will keep the two from ever taking the floor together in Wildcat uniforms.

Rules prevent transfer athletes from playing for two semesters. In theory I agree with the rule, but in this case I object, because it affects a team I want to see win.

So, it is without a doubt in my mind that I ask you, Mr. President, to grant Hollingsworth diplomatic immunity and allow her to take the floor for the rest of the season.

Summons to appear before the Supreme Court for biased East Coast reporters

Let me begin by admitting I am biased to the UA. It's something I'll gladly admit.

Maybe that's why I'm irked every time I turn on ESPN and hear the likes of Jay Bilas and Dick Vitale rant and rave about East Coast basketball teams.

I understand their appreciation for Atlantic Coast Conference basketball.

It's good - nay, it's great. But announcers need not remind viewers every five seconds, and later claim they have no bias.

Never was East Coast bias more evident than in this week's "Big Man on Campus" poll in Sports Illustrated's On Campus magazine.

Despite a 54-point weekend and twice carrying UA to victory, Salim Stoudamire only received 16 percent of the vote (only enough for second place), while Wake Forest's Chris Paul ran away with well over 60 percent.

Paul had an outstanding week, but he wasn't as vital to his team's success as Stoudamire, and I argue that the media's representation of the two played a part in the voting.

Paul is the Golden Boy, anointed Player of the Year before the season even started, while Stoudamire's name is repeatedly (and unfairly) dragged through the mud.

Mr. President, I urge you to pull your executive strings and have media figures like Bilas and "Dickie V." summoned before the Supreme Court to defend their "non-bias" reporting while under oath. Oh, and while you're at it, could we get a gag order for ESPN 'Zona-haters Rick Majerus and Jimmy Dykes?

I thank you in advance, commander in chief.

Kyle Kensing is a journalism senior. He can be reached at

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