New Sport Coming

Frank Howard was an outstanding football player at Alabama, but better known as the head football coach at Clemson, where the "Bard of Barlow Bend" was very successful. He also served as Clemson's athletics director. And he once had a decision to make about adding a sport.

The late, great sportswriter and humorist, Lewis Grizzard, once described Clemson as nothing but "Auburn with a lake." And there is a nice lake at Clemson, one of the reasons a club crew team was begun.

The crew team went to Howard to see if crew could not be made an intercollegiate sport so that the athletics department would pay for the skulls and oars and travel expenses to competitions, not to mention athletics scholarships for the team members.

Howard said, "It will be a cold day in hell when we here at Clemson University pay for people to sit on their ass and go backwards."

But, of course, Howard didn't have to contend with Title IX issues, which mandate schools take the money from football and basketball that have a big fan base and earn revenue and use it to fund women's sports.

And so, Alabama Athletics Director Mal Moore will announce on Tuesday the addition of women's rowing as the Crimson Tide's 21st intercollegiate sport.

The search for a coach will begin immediately and the Crimson Tide will take to the water for the 2007 season.

Rowing will be the 12th women's sport and is the first to be added since softball in 1995-96. Football was the Tide's first varsity sport, in 1892, with baseball following in 1893.

Rowing is a spring sport with the NCAA Championship coming at the end of May, beginning of June. Cal was the 2005 NCAA Champion with Virginia, Brown, Ohio State and Princeton rounding out the top five.

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