Let's start by making this clear. LadySwish wishes to congratulate Rutgers coach C. Vivian Stringer for winning her 900th game. It is a marvelous accomplishment and one that will go down in the record books. Our problem, however, is the record books.
Some statistics count. Others are disregarded. We've harped on this before; let us harp again.
Old Dominion center Anne Donovan does not hold the NCAA record for shots blocked despite blocking 801 shots between the years 1979 and 1983. Baylor's Brittney Griner holds the mark with 712 swats given that Donovan recorded all but 427 of her blocks in AIAW play.
Those same record books recognize Stringer for 900 victories despite 144 of those coming at Cheyney State during, get this, AIAW play.
We'll say it again before anybody gets testy. We respect Stringer and Griner for their accomplishments. But we don't respect a system that slights some AIAW numbers and rewards others. We don't slight a league that crowned champions that include UCLA, Old Dominion, Louisiana Tech and Rutgers.
Stringer now join Pat Summitt, Jody Conradt and Sylvia Hatchell as coaches with at least 900 victories. We'd be remiss not to point out that 351 of Conradt's victories were in AIAW play. Hatchell collected 272 of her victories at Division II Francis Marion.
Again, not slighting anyone here, but why aren't Donovan's 801 blocks good enough to make her the No. 1 shot blocker to play the game?
We can't help but quote Lynette Woodard, who amassed an incredulous 3,649 points at Kansas between 1978 and 1981 but does not have her name in the NCAA record book. Jackie Stiles is ranked No. 1 for career scoring with 3,393 points.
Said Woodard, "Basketball did not start when the NCAA blessed it."
We couldn't have said it better.