Lesa Dennis' dilemma was Muslim custom vs. the rules of basketball. The 6-foot-3 freshman from Emmanuel College in Boston is an athlete and a Muslim. But while her religion says a woman's body must be covered, her sport says all players must dress alike.
According to the national rules interpreter, Dennis is the only female collegiate basketball player ever granted a rules exemption for religious reasons: In addition to the usual team jersey, she also is allowed to wear sweat pants and a scarf to cover her head.
For reasons of uniformity and safety, no jewelry or other adornments -- other than a headband or sweatband -- are usually permitted. But this is directly counter to what is written in the Koran, the holy book for Muslims.
"In the five years that I have been rules interpreter, this is the only exemption we have had due to religion," said June Courteau of the U.S. Girls and Women's basketball rules committee . . .
In Columbus, Ohio, a member of the Big Ten's rules compliance committee says Indiana University Coach Bob Knight should put up or shut up about his allegations of misconduct by other Big Ten basketball programs, the Columbus Dispatch reported.
Phyllis Bailey, associate athletic director at Ohio State, said the committee has not received any reports from Knight. "The committee requested earlier that if Mr. Knight had information regarding the charges he has been making, that it behooved him to report it to the conference office," she said. "And if he doesn't, he should cease talking about it."