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In 1905, there were 18 college football deaths and 159 players severely injured due to inadequate equipment and insufficient rules governing the game.

President Theodore Roosevelt threatened to abolish the sport by executive order, and colleges began dropping football — including Tempe Normal School, now Arizona State, from 1907-13.

So when Arizona became a state in 1912, the big men on campus were those playing basketball, baseball and track or all three. And there was women’s basketball at the Normal as far back as the late 1890s.

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