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NCAA decision angers NCBA

Article

Denver -A decision by the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) to stop using leather basketballs was condemned by the National Cattlemen's Beef Association (NCBA).

Denver -A decision by the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) to stop using leather basketballs was condemned by the National Cattlemen's Beef Association (NCBA).

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) recently announcedthat, after discussions with the NCAA, leather basketballs would no longerbe used at NCAA championships at each divisional level. In a letter to CedricDempsey, president of the NCAA, National Cattlemen's Beef Association PresidentWythe Willey asked the NCAA to explain its relationship with PETA and howPETA influenced the decision to stop using leather basketballs.

The letter pointed out that PETA, an activist organization that opposesuniversity animal-model research, has openly supported terrorist organizationsthat break into university research laboratories to destroy vital biomedicalresearch programs and just last year instituted a campaign that encouragedcollege students to drink beer instead of milk. Its ultimate objective isno use of animals by humans for any purpose.

In a letter dated May 7, 2002, widely circulated by PETA, the NCAA thankedPETA for providing information regarding the merits of doing away with leatherbasketballs and for "working cooperatively with our staff to achievethe desired result." The letter was sent under the signatures of thedirectors of Division I men's and women's basketball championships, GregoryA. Shaheen and Sue Donohoe.

Willey, a cattle producer from Cedar Rapids, Iowa, said in his responseletter that those who make their living in the cattle business "wouldlike you to explain NCAA's relationship with PETA and, in particular, howPETA influenced the decision to stop using leather basketballs. Leatheris a high-quality product that is humanely produced."

Land grant colleges that serve agriculture are an important part of theNCAA's membership. The NCBA encourages cattle producers to contact theirlocal land-grant university to voice their concerns about this NCAA decision.

In addition, says NCBA, producers can contact the NCAA at The NationalCollegiate Athletic Association, 700 W. Washington St., P.O. Box 6222, Indianapolis,IN 46206-6222, phone (317) 917-6222, FAX (317) 917-6888, e-mail MelissaCaito at MCaito-@ncaa.org.

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