Shaquille O'Neal's father says his son might decide to turn pro early if referees don't start calling flagrant fouls by Louisiana State University's opponents.
"I'm an educational fanatic," Phillip Harrison, O'Neal's father, said in an interview with the New Orleans Times-Picayune. "I want my son to graduate from college. But why should I have him stay in school and get hurt by some jealous coaches who don't have anybody who can guard him?"
Harrison said O'Neal, a starter the past two seasons, hasn't yet reached the point where he's ready to turn pro.
"No, because he's not a quitter or a crybaby," Harrison said. "If it was up to Shaquille, he wouldn't talk about it."
Harrison said he spoke with Southeastern Conference Supervisor of Officials John Guthrie following LSU's 82-79 loss to Mississippi State Wednesday night in Baton Rouge.
"We spoke about some things that were concerning me about my son's safety," Harrison said. "All you have to do is watch the games, and you can see it -- how they're pushing him in the back, hitting him in the crotch."
LSU Coach Dale Brown sent Guthrie a videotape of what Brown said were overlooked fouls and rough play directed at O'Neal, widely considered the top pro prospect in college basketball.
Guthrie said he did not want to comment on whether he thought Brown and Harrison had a legitimate complaint, although some SEC coaches have complained that O'Neal is pretty rough himself.
Guthrie did point out the latest SEC statistics that show not all the fouls directed at O'Neal have gone undetected. He has been to the free throw line more times than any other player in the SEC this season. . . .
The 22nd-ranked Navy wrestling team won seven of 10 matches, including the last four, en route to a 29-8 victory at perennial power Lehigh. The match was close after 158 pounds, the Midshipmen up 13-8. Then Navy reeled off four straight wins to seal its third straight success.
The key was the match's only pin, turned in by Rob Holmberg at 190. Navy is now 12-2 in dual action this season.