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This Sounds Like Rodman’s Kind of Drill

A coach who had boys wear women’s underwear during basketball practice is a target of protests by parents.

The panty drill has been used since early January during junior varsity workouts at Pardeeville (Wis.) High, Coach Mike Weinstock said, noting it’s curious parents didn’t complain until recently.

Coaches “were trying to loosen the kids up,” school Superintendent Wayne Edwards said. “They never meant any harm by it.”

Varsity senior Tony Griepentrog said a player who gets a rebound during practice can leave the court. The last one to grab a rebound has to wear the panties, adding that the panties “weren’t lacy or anything like that.”

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Whew, that’s good to know.

Trivia time: Who holds the NBA record for fouls in a season?

Nick’s night: Mike Littwin in the Rocky Mountain News, after Nick Van Exel scored 21 of his 23 points in the second half Wednesday as Denver upset Utah, 97-87:

“The Nuggets will go as far as Van Exel will take them this year. He’s that important. And he’s that unpredictable. What you know is that the Lakers cast Van Exel aside--read this slowly, maybe twice--in the name of stability.

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“After which they brought on, yes, Dennis Rodman. It’s enough to make a grown man weep.”

Come again? Nugget Coach Mike D’Antoni, on his team’s otherwise rough start: “We might not be big enough, but it’s the size of the dog in the fight or the fight of the size of the dog . . . whatever it is, we don’t got it.”

Trend setter? Steve Rosenbloom in the Chicago Tribune: “Florida’s top pitching prospect, A.J. Burnett, showed off a 95-mph fastball in spring training. Then he headed to the showers and showed off a couple of nipple rings.

“Manager John Boles said, ‘If he wins 20 games a year, I’ll wear one too.’ ”

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Obscure statistic: Woody Paige in the Denver Post: “ ‘Slick Willie’ Clinton--not to be confused with ‘Wee Willie’ Keeler, an old-time ballplayer--came to the Arizona Diamondbacks’ practice Thursday.

“Clinton is believed to be the first impeached, but still sitting, president ever to visit spring training, although major league baseball doesn’t keep such records.”

Let him jump: IOC executive board member Dick Pound, on why IOC President Juan Antonio Samaranch should not resign:

“What you don’t want to see when you’re in an airplane in the middle of a storm is the captain walking to the back with a parachute.”

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Trivia answer: Darryl Dawkins of New Jersey, 386 in 1983-84.

And finally: Greg Cote of the Miami Herald, writing from Jupiter, Fla.: “No way Mark McGwire hits 70 homers again. Why limit himself to that?

“ ‘No, he can hit 80,’ new teammate Carlos Baerga said.

“Later, McGwire smiled at that. ‘I dunno. Eighty! That’s funny to think. Eighty. I’d definitely retire after that.’ ”

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