Caitlin Clark passes Lynette Woodard’s AIAW large school scoring record


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After scoring 33 points in Iowa’s 108-60 win over Minnesota on Wednesday night, pushing her career total to 3,650, Caitlin Clark has officially passed former Kansas Jayhawk Lynette Woodard (3,649 points), the AIAW large-school leading scorer, in the college basketball scoring ranks.

Much attention had been given to Clark as she chased former Washington guard Kelsey Plum’s NCAA Division I scoring record (passing it on February 15), however, there was much scrutiny around this record chase as Woodard’s total was still higher. However, the NCAA doesn’t recognize Woodard’s scoring record in its own record books because she played at Kansas from 1978-81, just before the NCAA accepted women’s athletics in 1982. Starting in the late 60s and before 1982, female collegiate athletes participated in the Association for Intercollegiate Athletics for Women (AIAW), a separate entity that governed championships in 19 different women’s sports during its existence.

While the NCAA has included non-NCAA stats in its totals and records in some areas, it has not for women’s college basketball players who played during the AIAW days. For example, the NCAA includes championships for college football that pre-date the NCAA’s creation in 1910 and it also recognizes individual coaching accomplishments from the AIAW era. Earlier this season, Stanford coach Tara VanDerveer passed former Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski in total wins with 1,203 (she now sits at 1,210), however, 42 of her wins came at Idaho during the AIAW era and those wins are counted toward VanDerveer’s NCAA-record win total.

“I think the overall record by Lynette Woodard is THE RECORD,” VanDerveer wrote in an email to The Wall Street Journal earlier this month.

Woodard was honored at Kansas this past weekend and said on the ESPN broadcast that she wanted to congratulate Clark on the eventual scoring accomplishment, exclaiming, “Welcome to the party,” and that she also wanted the accomplishments of herself and her fellow AIAW athletes to be included in the NCAA history and record books. “I want the NCAA governing body to know that they should respect the players, they should respect the history — include us and our accomplishments,” Woodard said. “This is the era of diversity, equity and inclusion. They should include us. We deserve it.”

“Caitlin is having a wonderful, sensational career, and when there is a high tide, all boats float,” Woodard also told The Washington Post. “There are so many things she is making people aware of, and I think it’s a great thing. But I just hope that if the call letters ever changed on ‘NCAA,’ her records might be blended.”

Woodard’s scoring mark — she averaged 26 points per game during her career — is especially notable because she did so before the introduction of the 3-point line. At Kansas she was a four-time All-American and became the first woman to have her jersey retired. She’s a member of both the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall and the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame.

With one more game in the regular season — against No. 2 Ohio State at home on Sunday — Clark is now 17 points behind former LSU player Pete Maravich (3,667), the NCAA men’s all-time leading scorer, and 411 points behind former Francis Marion University player Pearl Moore (4,061), the AIAW small-school leading scorer.

Required reading

(Photo: Matt Krohn / USA Today)

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Alexandra Williams
Alexandra Williams
Alexandra Williams is a writer and editor. Angeles. She writes about politics, art, and culture for LinkDaddy News.

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