Clemson University

Purnell pushes for health care reform

WASHINGTON - NCAA basketball coaches who are sometimes rivals on the court came united to Capitol Hill on Tuesday to push for quick approval of health care reform.

"Now is the time to press full court," Notre Dame Coach Mike Brey told about 200 American Cancer Society activists and others, adding, "And foul a little bit."

Georgetown University Coach John Thompson III countered that Brey's team knows more than a little bit about fouling.

"They do it all the time," he said, laughing.

Both men were joined by fellow coaches Ed DeChellis of Penn State, Oliver Purnell of Clemson and Tubby Smith of Minnesota.

They are among hundreds of members of Coaches v. Cancer, a group of college basketball coaches who have worked with the cancer society to help raise $50 million to help in the fight against cancer.

The event, co-sponsored by Minnesota Democratic Sens. Al Franken and Amy Klobuchar, was a push to guarantee health coverage for all, regardless of preexisting conditions, and require minimal or no deductibles for cancer-screening procedures.