Jackson sounds off on Augusta National
The Rev. Jesse Jackson plans to organize a protest at Augusta National Golf Club if it doesn't admit a female member before The Masters Tournament in April.
"It's an insult to all that America stands for, and the sponsors should not participate, and members should either change the situation or withdraw," Jackson said Friday. "And I think the PGA has a big obligation to take a stand."
Earlier this week, Augusta National chairman Hootie Johnson was adamant that a woman would not be among the private club's 300 members before The Masters, golf's most prestigious tournament. Johnson said the club may allow women membership, but not soon.
Claiming that Augusta is participating in "gender apartheid," Jackson said he and his Rainbow/PUSH Coalition would help organize a picket line in front of the club during The Masters. He said he also plans "mass education" that would include passing out leaflets and talking to sponsors, members, networks and golfers.
Augusta State wins exhibition
Augusta State junior Patrick Curran scored a game-high 19 points to lead the Jaguars to a 94-82 exhibition victory over the Akron Wingfoots on Friday night at the ASU Athletic Complex.
David Siebrands tallied 13 for Augusta State, and Jermale Wilkerson and Ben Butler chipped in 12 and 11 points, respectively.
Marty Dunham added 10 points and a game-high nine rebounds for the Jaguars. Mike Homik led Akron with 17.
Augusta State officially opens its season Friday at 8 p.m. in Jefferson City, Tenn., when it takes on Carson-Newman.
Hewitt reaches semifinals in China
Lleyton Hewitt has the No. 1 ranking. He also has a semifinal berth at the season-ending Masters Cup in Shanghai, China, thanks to Carlos Moya.
Hewitt, the defending champion in the eight-man tournament, advanced to the semis when Moya outlasted French Open champion Albert Costa 7-6 (7), 3-6, 6-4 on Friday night. If Costa had won, Hewitt's season would have been over.
The last semifinal spot went to Juan Carlos Ferrero, who defeated Jiri Novak 7-5, 6-3. The round-robin portion of the tournament ended when Switzerland's Roger Federer beat Thomas Johansson 6-3, 7-5. Johansson was an alternate for Andre Agassi, who withdrew from the tournament Thursday with a hip injury.
France, the defending champion, is seeking consecutive titles for the first time since 1932. The final will be played on clay courts in Paris from Nov. 29-Dec. 1.
Area colleges lose in PBC Tournament
Augusta State and USC Aiken were eliminated in the first round of the Peach Belt Conference Tournament at The Courthouse in Aiken on Friday.
Fifth-seeded UNC Pembroke upset fourth seed USC Aiken in five games - 24-30, 30-27, 14-30, 30-27, 15-7 - and faced North Florida in the semifinals late Friday. North Florida rolled past Lander 3-0 earlier in the day. The Lady Pacers finished 14-18.
No. 7 Augusta State finished the year 15-19 after it lost to No. 2 Armstrong Atlantic State 3-1 (30-28, 21-30, 30-25, 30-18). Armstrong Atlantic State earned a spot in the finals after it defeated USC Spartanburg 3-1 in the semifinals.
The Lady Pirates will face North Florida, who defeated UNC Pembroke 3-0. North Florida will make its sixth straight appearance in the finals today at 2 p.m.
Big Sky reprimands Sacramento State
The Big Sky Conference didn't exactly stick it to four Sacramento State defensive linemen who greased their jerseys for a game.
The players - Brad Osterhout, Bilal Watkins, Ben Fox and Eric Broden - were reprimanded Friday but can play against Weber State.
The players put on nonstick cooking spray during Sacramento State's 31-24 loss last weekend at Montana, ranked No. 1 in Division I-AA and the defending national champion.
Osterhout told the Sacramento Bee that he supplied a can of PAM to his teammates. He said he got the idea after seeing footage of former New York Giants and 49ers nose tackle Jim Burt on television.