Spurred by a hassle over a holiday honoring Martin Luther King Jr., the Fiesta Bowl has firmed up its plans for a tribute to civil rights during halftime of the New Year's Day football game between Louisville and Alabama in Tempe, Ariz.
More than 800 singers, dancers and musicians will perform in a show Fiesta Bowl organizers describe as "the most ambitious and spirited halftime production in the history" of the game.
"We had planned as far back as this spring to do a tribute to the Bill of Rights. Civil rights would have been part of that," bowl spokesman Brent DeRaad said. "After the King holiday vote, we sat down and discussed it and decided to expand the show and to make a statement to the rest of the country."
Arizona voters defeated two proposals to create a paid King holiday in the Nov. 6 general election. One, which would have made room for King Day by dropping the state's paid Columbus Day holiday, was defeated by a 3-to-1 margin. The other, which would have kept Columbus Day and added King Day, lost by a margin of about 1 percent. . . .
Some leaders of Louisville's black community say a "60 Minutes" segment on CBS-TV didn't go far enough in examining the University of Louisville and its black athletes.
"In fact, it sort of let U of L off the hook," NAACP President Shelby Lanier said. "The data is clear. Education of black athletes is not a top priority at U of L."
The broadcast Sunday night reported on exploitation of black college athletes. Louisville and several other colleges were accused of subordinating athletes' education to revenue- producing sports.
Lanier, the Rev. Louis Coleman and the Rev. Robert Burks reiterated criticism of Louisville's athletic program during a news conference Monday. They also threatened to steer black students away from the school and to seek NCAA sanctions against the university if more black athletes don't wind up with degrees.
After the broadcast, Coach Denny Crum defended his school's programs to help athletes finish school after sports scholarships expire, and tutoring programs to help them maintain good grades.
University President Donald Swain said Sunday night that for the 1991-92 school year, athletes will have to start their junior and senior years with a C average to remain eligible. . . .
Five teenagers were arrested and charged with the robbery of Penn State football coach Joe Paterno's son and a female friend in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
Shari Critchley, 27, of Harrisburg, Pa., and Joseph "Jay" Paterno Jr., 22, were robbed about 2:15 a.m. Monday as they sat on the beach, police said. One youth pointed a weapon -- police found a pellet gun -- at Paterno and forced him to lie face down in the sand, police said. The youths took Paterno's wallet, Critchley's purse and a necklace she was wearing.
A police officer on surveillance saw the incident, called for backup, and the youths were stopped after they drove off. The victims' stolen valuables were recovered.
Paterno, a student at Virginia, is in Fort Lauderdale to watch Penn State play Florida State in the Blockbuster Bowl on Friday night. . . .
Connecticut basketball coach Jim Calhoun, apparently a victim of flu, was released from a Hartford hospital after two days of tests, all negative.