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Monday, July 18, 2005

Washington vehement in denial

Ex-women's coach calls report 'personal attack'

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Former Kansas University women's basketball coach Marian Washington is incensed over any implication she and assistant coach Lynette Woodard committed NCAA violations at KU.

"I am offended at what would be a personal attack on my integrity," Washington told the Journal-World on Sunday.

Washington said she and basketball Hall of Famer Woodard would today or Tuesday hold a news conference to discuss KU's self report of women's basketball violations to the NCAA.

The report indicated there were violations committed during Washington's years as KU coach.

"What is really disheartening to me," Washington said, "is this university has attacked someone who truly has been an ambassador for the university. (Woodard) is coming off her third Hall of Fame in three doggone years. To be treated like she is being treated ... somebody should be ashamed of themselves. Lynette is hurt by it; I am hurt by it."

In KU's self report released Friday, it was alleged Woodard and former assistant Tim Eatman twice provided transportation to a prospective student-athlete to take a standardized test.

"Lynette has absolutely nothing to do with any of this," Washington said. "To me, this is unbelievable. As somebody who has given 30-plus years to this university, I prided myself on always doing things the right way, what is right. I have never had this kind of questioning. I am personally offended by everything that has been questioned as I'm reading it. I have always been guided by our compliance office.

"There's no way in the world I would ever violate any NCAA rules. If 50 cents turned up, I'd turn it back. If there was an extra sandwich, I'd not allow players to eat it. For this to come out the way it has, questioning my program, I can't allow it to happen."

Hence the upcoming news conference, in which Woodard and Washington will address allegations.

"I am in the process of looking at each violation," Washington said, who indicated the news conference might even be in her driveway or backyard.

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