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Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Marchiony: Report not meant to offend

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Kansas University's athletic department did not mean to offend former women's basketball coach Marian Washington or former assistant Lynette Woodard by the self report of NCAA violations sent to the NCAA last week, KU associate AD Jim Marchiony said Tuesday.

"There have been no better representatives of the University of Kansas than those two on several different levels. Marian is literally one of the great pioneers in sports," Marchiony said. "We were blessed to have her at KU for three decades.

"Lynette is one of the great basketball players of all time. She played with class and is a great ambassador for the university."

According to KU's report, Washington's program committed violations which resulted in imposing in-house penalties.

Washington's name never was mentioned in KU's report. The report did say Woodard and assistant Tim Eatman provided transportation to a prospective player to take a standardized test, though the player in question never implicated Woodard.

"We will never believe Lynette Woodard or Marian Washington would knowingly break an NCAA rule," Marchiony said.

"By this process we've agreed to as an NCAA member we have to report to the NCAA what is in this report. We did it with an independent agency to make sure there was no bias. The fact an individual Tim Eatman indicated that one of our assistant coaches did something (drove recruit to testing site) they had to put it in the report and we had to give it to the NCAA."

Woodard is planning to make a statement or hold a news conference to discuss the issue. She is being advised by her lawyer, which has led to speculation that Woodard was considering suing the university.

Washington had no comment on why Woodard was speaking with her attorney. Attempts to reach Woodard have been unsuccessful.

One source close to the situation said Woodard "is in a state of shock. She is so disheartened by all this (being mentioned in report). She can't allow something like this to tarnish her name."

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