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5 Tex. J. Women & L. 281 (1995-1996)
Never an Idle Spectator

handle is hein.journals/tjwl5 and id is 305 raw text is: Texas Journal of Women and the Law
Volume 5
NEVER AN IDLE SPECTATOR
Jody Conradt*
The day Barbara Jordan left us, the Lady Longhorns basketball team
was facing a formidable opponent in Texas A&M. The game was crucial,
and many thought the odds were stacked against Texas, originally picked
to finish fourth in the conference race.
Though Barbara was not a participant in team sports to my knowledge,
she clearly understood competition, so much so that her presence at Lady
Longhorns games inspired our players and lent an absolute aura to the team
bench area, where BJ always had a seat.
Referees became accustomed to her cheerful bellowing, as did my
coaching staff. Barbara wanted to have fun, but she also wanted to win.
Upon hearing her inimitable voice, one always felt compelled to go join
something, and certainly, felt motivated to win.
University of Texas women athletes understood the privilege of having
Barbara Jordan as a supporter. When the fledgling Lady Longhorns
program was attempting to build in the early 1980s, her presence at games
helped influence an audience that perhaps was skeptical that women's
sports could be exciting and worthwhile viewing for fans. Barbara's
support gave women's athletics credibility when it needed it most.
On many occasions, she spent time with the student-athletes, either by
inviting them to her home for a party or participating in post-game
gatherings at the arena. Ever a fan, she would compliment their play, but
she also queried them about their academics and career goals. She cared
so much about the players as individuals and always stressed to them the
importance of their educational opportunities at the University of Texas.
When a former congresswoman inquires, So what do you plan to do
Head Coach of The University of Texas Women's Basketball team and Women's Athletic
Director. In her 19 years of service to U.T., she has been named National Coach of the Year three
times, guided the Lady Longhorns to a 34-0 mark en route to the NCAA title, and has been inducted
into the International Women's Sports Hall of Fame.

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