NCWO might ask Augusta members to resign

Updated: January 2, 2003, 4:25 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

Martha Burk, chairwoman of the National Council of Women's Organizations, will meet with her board early next week as the group continues its attempt to persuade Augusta National Golf Club to admit female members before the 2003 Masters in April, according to a story in Wednesday's Washington Post.

She told the newspaper that one option is to challenge current members to resign from the club, which has never had a female member. Burk said the group would target those members who have told her they are working "from the inside" to achieve change.

"We could issue a direct challenge for them to resign," Burk told the Post. "We've been hearing from people like (U.S. Olympics Committee president) Lloyd Ward that they're working on our behalf from the inside. But it may be time to say, 'Look, whatever you're doing, nothing has changed,' and they ought to resign."

Thomas Wyman, the former head of CBS who resigned from the club last month because of the all-male policy, said at the time there were 50 to 75 members among the total of 300 who had favored admitting women.

"I wish it would be settled," Burk said. "I'd love to see it settled because it's going to be settled eventually anyway. If we have to mount protests, then we will do it. It just seems like such a tremendous amount of wasted resources on both sides for a policy that won't hold up anyway. ... What I wish is that they would see that the endgame has to be them opening their membership. They need to take the high road and just do it."

A spokesman for Augusta National said the club would not comment on Burk's remarks.

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