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Boys Town 

HOW FAR WE HAVE TO GO

On Feb. 2, Michelle Campbell arrived at St. Mary's Academy in Kansas to referee a boys' basketball game. The two-year officiating veteran was scheduled to call her first boys game. However, the former college player was sent home because the school didn't want a woman refereeing boys.

Darin Putthoff, who was scheduled to officiate the game with Campbell-both walked out after being told of the situation-reported that a St. Mary's official told him that having a woman in a position of authority over boys was against the school's beliefs.

In a statement-the school had declined interviews-St. Mary's offered: "Our school aims to instill in our boys the proper respect for women and girls. Teaching our boys to treat ladies with deference, we cannot place them in an aggressive athletic competition where they are forced to play inhibited by their concern about running into a female referee." Campbell is a career police officer.

"It was a sad day for the kids," Campbell told ESPN. "If they're like any other teenagers, all they want to do is play ball."


OH, MARIA

Admittedly, Maria Sharapova is a pretty face. But unlike Anna Kournikova, she is one of the top players of this generation, notching her 18th career title at the Qatar Open. Sharapova has won three majors, capturing the Australian Open this season to complement her 2006 U.S. Open crown and 2004 Wimbledon title.

SHAQ ATTACK

Talk about chewing the burning end of a firecracker, Phoenix Suns President of Operations and General Manager Steve Kerr sealed his mouth around an M-80 with the blockbuster deal to acquire 36-year old Shaquille O'Neal. Unfortunately, for Kerr, the success of the deal is simple. Win the NBA title-brilliance. Falter in the playoffs-buffoon patrol. Even the former University of Arizona guard acknowledged the stakes. "If it works I'm a genius. If it doesn't I'm a moron."

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