FORT WORTH, NOV. 21 -- A board member of the Miss Texas Pageant resigned today, assailing the Miss America Pageant's director and casting racial aspersions on the contest's selection process.

B. Don Magness ended his 30-year association with the Texas beauty show in response to what he labeled "blackmail" by Leonard Horn, director of the Miss America Pageant.

Horn said in a letter this week that no Miss Texas would participate in the national competition unless the Texas board jettisoned Magness, who resigned under pressure as pageant director last summer. He retained his board seat, however.

In stepping down, the portly, popular and flamboyant Magness raised questions about Horn and his role in the selection of the last two Miss Americas, both black.

He quoted Horn as saying another black winner would cause "deep trouble" with sponsors and television ratings.

He said Horn had told him before the 1989 Miss America Pageant it was time for a minority winner. Debbye Turner, who's black, won the title.

"I'm not saying he rigged the '89 contest," Magness said. "I'm just saying what he said. And it turned out that way."

Horn would not take calls from reporters Wednesday, but the national pageant director said in a statement that Magness's comments revealed why the pageant moved against him Tuesday.

"I am not going to dignify Mr. Magness's statement with any comment except to say that his comments are again confirmation of why the Miss America Organization does not want B. Don Magness involved in our program any longer," he said.

Magness also quoted from a July 20 article in the New York Times that mentioned the possibility of a lawyer winning the Miss America crown. Marjorie Vincent, Miss Illinois, was a second-year law student at the time and also a summer law associate at Richard Nixon's old New York law firm.

The article said Horn disputed "the notion that lawyers might feel queasy about having one of their own as Miss America" and indicated that such a choice would enhance the legal profession.

On the basis of that article, Magness said, he told a reporter before the 1990 pageant that if Miss Texas did not win the national title, Miss Illinois would. Vincent, who's black, won the 1991 crown in September.

"A lucky guess," said Magness, refusing to comment further on the Times article, his own prediction and Vincent's selection.

Magness came under fire last summer after Life magazine ran a photograph showing him in a bubble bath smoking a big cigar and quoting him as yelling, "Come on in, sluts!" to a group of Miss Texas contestants.

"I apologize for the 40th time for the Life magazine article," Magness said Wednesday. "I obviously regret doing it. I still would like some day to see somebody write a fair pageant story. It hasn't been done yet."

That article touched off other criticism of Magness and his pageant activities and brought Horn to Fort Worth in October during a two-month investigation of the Magness affair.

"He said he didn't need to be in Texas," Magness recalled, quoting Horn as saying: " 'I've got problems of my own. I've got my second straight black Miss America.' "

According to Magness, Horn said if it happens again, " 'I'll be in deep trouble with our sponsors and our {television} ratings.' "

As far as his own troubles, Magness said he had the votes to retain his board position but added, "I would never do anything to cause the competition to be removed from Fort Worth."

Horn's letter, he said, was "a form of blackmail."