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Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Tiger basketball camp report

Tiger basketball camp report
Saturday, November 1, 2008

In what can only be described as a bizarre clash of worlds, the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) put out a press release Thursday asking Tigers junior Pierre Henderson-Niles to become a vegetarian in his quest to lose weight.

In a letter addressed to the Memphis forward, who went from 350 to under 300 pounds this summer, PETA director Dan Shannon wrote that "losing those last 20 so or so pounds can be the toughest" and offered "assistance as you transition to a healthy, humane vegetarian diet."

Henderson-Niles presumably caught the attention of PETA through the series of documentary-style videos about the Tigers' program on Rivals.com.

PETA clearly seized on that story to further its political agenda. In the letter, Shannon wrote, "By going vegetarian, you'll save more than 100 animals a year from the horrors of the industrialized meat industry."

On Friday afternoon, Henderson-Niles said he had not heard anything about PETA, but the group probably shouldn't hold its breath waiting for a conversion.

"Once I lose these 15 more pounds, I can eat all the meat I want," he said.

NCAA to rule on Tigers

The Tigers expected to hear from the NCAA Eligibility Center this week on the status of freshman forwards Angel Garcia and Matt Simpkins, but Friday passed without a ruling.

"It looks like it will be Monday," coach John Calipari said. "We called to ask, 'Are you going to have something for us?' And they said no."

The NCAA grants a grace period of two weeks where a player can practice while his academic eligibility is under review.

-- Dan Wolken

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