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Morning Briefing

This Recruiting Trip Is Profitable for Coach

December 20, 1987

Leo McClure, associate head basketball coach at Southeastern Louisiana, went on a recruiting trip last week and came back with a prize--literally.

Scouting a prospect at Delgado Community College in New Orleans, he decided to enter a halftime shooting contest sponsored by an insurance company.

To win the prize, the shooter had to make a layup, a three-pointer from the top of the key, a three-pointer from the wing and a shot from half court, all within 35 seconds.

McClure made them all, with 10 seconds to spare, and won $10,000.

McClure is a former guard at Southeastern Louisiana where he set a school record 10 years ago--but not for shooting. It was for assists.

"I walked in the gym the other day to try from halfcourt again," McClure said. "I missed the whole goal."

Golf pro Gardner Dickinson, on the limberness of 75-year-old Sam Snead: "Sam was born warmed up. If you cut him, 3-in-1 oil would come out."

Now-it-can-be-told Dept.: Notre Dame basketball Coach Digger Phelps, who got his nickname digging graves at his father's mortuary, said that one year a high school coach asked him to help him in a summer league.

Phelps: "I said, 'Yeah, but you have to teach me all the things.' So in between funerals, I'm out on the playground running through all these offensive and defensive situations. I liked it.

"Then I got nervous about going to embalming school, so I decided to go back to school and get a master's degree in business education and try coaching."

Add Digger: As for his mortuary job, he said, "There were certain advantages. For instance, while I was dating my wife I sent her flowers every day."

Trivia Time: What do punters Dale Hatcher of the Rams and Harry Newsome of the Pittsburgh Steelers have in common? (Answer below.)

Readers have called in the following additions to Saturday's list of former Express players in the NFL: Defensive end Lee Williams and kicker Vince Abbott of San Diego, linebacker David Howard and cornerback Wymon Henderson of Minnesota and kicker Tony Zendejas of Houston.

Shouldn't Don Klosterman take a belated bow? He was the Express general manager.

Chicago Bears quarterback Mike Tomczak, who had four passes picked off Monday night at San Francisco, now is being called Lotto by teammates.

Reason: The Illinois lottery is called Pick Four.

Ben Johnson holds all the records, but San Francisco quarterback Steve Young says, "The fastest human in the world when the ball is in the air is Jerry Rice."

Trivia Answer: They were teammates at Cheraw (S.C.) High School.

Quotebook

Jeff Ruby, manager of the Waterfront bar in Covington, Ky. where two fights involving Cincinnati Bengal players have broken out recently: "All I know is that the hardest hits the Bengals have made all year are at my bar."

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