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Column: Imus Must Go

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By TIM DAHLBERG
The Associated Press
Wednesday, April 11, 2007; 8:13 PM

-- Members of the Rutgers women's basketball team didn't need to come forward to make a certain talk show host look like a buffoon. Don Imus pretty much took care of that himself when he first passed judgment on them on his nationally syndicated radio show.

Until they did, though, there might still have been some who accepted the original characterization that this was a group of rough and tough young women who managed to get into college only because they could dribble a basketball.

Turns out one is a class valedictorian, another a future lawyer. Still another is a musical prodigy who can play classical compositions on the piano without sheet music.

As a group, they are students who happen to play basketball and play it well. So well that they gained the attention of Imus by playing in the national championship game.

He noticed that most of them are black players. He saw that some had tattoos.

So, like any good talk show host, he put one and one together and came up with three.

Now I'm not exactly sure what "nappy-headed hos" are, but my guess is there aren't many of them going to college, much less playing for the national championship. They're not studying for law school, or playing classical music on the piano.

They certainly weren't standing together Tuesday in matching red and black sweatsuits, some in tears, having to defend their honor at a time they should be celebrating a great accomplishment.

These were wounded young women.

They already had a lot of things in common before Imus opened his mouth. Now they have one more _ all have had a piece of their dignity stripped away just so a morning radio host could get a laugh.

"I achieved a lot, and unless they have given this name 'ho' a new definition, then that is not what I am," sophomore center Kia Vaughn said.

Just where Imus came up with the phrase may never be known, though a guess could be made that he was trying to show his street cred. It's laughable in itself that a talk show host eligible to draw Social Security was somehow trying to act hip, but there was nothing laughable about what he said.


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© 2007 The Associated Press

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