The NCAA has announced a ban on certain kinds of pyramids. But John Wooden needn't worry. His "Pyramid of Success" is fine. Cheerleading pyramids are the problem.
The big ones, as well as basket tosses, have been prohibited during the men's and women's NCAA basketball tournaments after an incident last week in which Southern Illinois cheerleader Kristi Yamaoka was injured in a fall.
Yamaoka later learned she had a concussion and a cracked neck vertebra. Yet she clearly hadn't lost the school spirit, even as she was carried off the court. While strapped to a stretcher, she did a cheer with her arms.
Trivia time: In 1974, UCLA's string of national championships ended at seven when the Bruins lost to North Carolina State in the Final Four. Who did North Carolina State defeat for the title that year?
This is dangerous too: After Gonzaga defeated Loyola Marymount, 68-67, in last week's West Coast Conference tournament championship game, Gonzaga students hoisted Adam Morrison. "I don't want to sound arrogant," Morrison told reporters, "but whoever dropped me would probably get killed in Spokane."
A timely snowstorm: As noted in this space recently, in 1948 Wooden was prepared to accept a coaching job offer from Minnesota but didn't get a call at the specified time, so he accepted a job offer from UCLA.
Reader Steve Gordon of Long Beach pointed out that the reason no one from Minnesota called was because a snowstorm knocked out phone service. Wooden confirmed that was the case, and that when phone service was restored, he did get a call from Minnesota. But by then, he had committed to UCLA.
Coaching is coaching: Red Auerbach, asked by TNT's John Thompson if he could coach in the NBA today, said: "If you give me a new pair of legs. The game hasn't changed that much. The ball is still the same size."
Trash talking good anytime: Reggie Bush told NFL Network's Rich Eisen that he is a trash talker. "Do you talk to linebackers and everybody?" Eisen asked.
"Cornerbacks, defensive linemen, everybody," Bush said.
"As you pass them by, or after the game?" Eisen asked.
Bush: "A little bit of both."
An open net: Randy Hill of Foxsports.com, on how the U.S. was able to rally after trailing, 8-0, to Canada in the World Baseball Classic last week and lose only 8-6: "The Canadians pulled their goalie."
Looking back: On this day in 1966, in the last race of his 40-year career, Johnny Longden won the San Juan Capistrano Handicap at Santa Anita aboard George Royal. He retired with a then-record 6,032 victories.
Trivia answer: Marquette.
And finally: The Charlotte Bobcats sell the first two seats on their bench, so referee Bill Kennedy apparently thought one of the men sitting in them was an assistant coach during a game last week against Golden State. Kennedy had to rescind a technical foul he called on the fan he thought was a coach.
\o7Larry Stewart can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.