Like the women activists who led that fight that went all the way to the United States Supreme Court in 1971 and was not resolved until ten years later, Virginia McLean and June West have plenty of both, as Memphians who have been following the riverfront and Overton Square stories know. McLean is head of Friends for Our Riverfront. West is executive director of Memphis Heritage. Like them or not, those are organizations to be reckoned with.
So who are they?
The book examines, among others, former Cincinnati coach (and Memphis arch rival) Bob Huggins. And the chapter titled "The NCAA: Cartel or Mafia?" should be irresistible to Tiger fans. A sample: "The NCAA's front business is amateurism" but its real business is "extortion."
"Bob Huggins is, himself, a national brand. And in many ways he made us a national brand too," says Bob Cavello, athletic director for business development at K-State, where Huggins coached for one year after leaving Cincinnati.
The University of Memphis gets fragged by Yost in the Huggins chapter: "Historically, K-State has been one of the leading public institutions in production of Marshall, Truman, and Rhodes scholars. In short, K-State was no Kentucky or Memphis, where basketball ranks first ahead of everything else, and bio lab is a distant third or fourth on the college president's list of top priorities."
The Tennessee Court of Appeals makes a whopper of an error in its decision this week on the funding for Memphis City Schools. If you do the math, it comes out to $75 million in school expenses, and that's an amount that should get members of the Memphis City Council doing some homework before raising anyone's taxes or forking over millions of dollars to MCS.
On the second page of its ruling, the court says MCS "serves approximately 112,000 students." No, it does not. According to MCS, the system serves "about 105,000" students. The Tennessee Report Card says the actual number is 104,829 students. School funding is determined by enrollment. The per-pupil funding (from all sources) for MCS is $10,394. Multiply that by 7,171 — the difference between the actual enrollment and the number the appeals court wrongly assumes to be accurate — and the result is approximately $75 million.
The Tennessee Court of Appeals ruled against the city of Memphis Wednesday. A day earlier, the Memphis City Council put off a vote on school funding pending direction from the court.
"We agree with the attorney general that the city is obligated to contribute to the funding of MCS as a local government," the court said in an opinion written by Judge David Farmer.