Volume 9, Issue 1 University of Houston
Houstonians offer support for Cougars
in Liberty Bowl
by KELSIE HAHN
A game ticket and round-trip bus transportation package to see the Cougars face off against the South Carolina Game Cocks at the Liberty Bowl in Memphis will cost $30 for the first 350 student reservations, the UH Athletics Department announced last week.
“It’s a wonderful opportunity for us,” Dave Maggard, athletics director, said. “I’m encouraging people to come if they possibly can and to show the Cougar colors -- we need that.”
Maggard said a strong showing at the Dec. 29 game would leave a positive, national impression about the school as a whole.
“It’s a game on national television, and we need to show people that this is a university that wants to do well at everything we’re doing,” he said.
The package includes transportation to and from Memphis and admission. The Liberty Bowl parade and game is available to students who were enrolled in Fall 2006 at UH. Hotel rooms are not included in the package, but students with package reservations will be directed to information on hotels specifically reserved for UH students.
Busses will leave at 9 a.m. Dec. 27 from Lot 12A and are expected to arrive in Memphis at 9 p.m. Interested students should visit the ticket office on the first floor of the Athletic/Alumni Center, or call (713) GO-COOGS for more information or to make reservations.
Packages at various prices are also available for UH alumni.
Spirit for UH’s recent championship and the coming bowl game has already begun to build at home. The city of Houston sponsored a rally Dec. 5 at City Hall in honor of the Cougars.
“We had asked them some time ago if they would get behind us, and they indicated that they would,” Maggard said. “I think they did a nice job for us.”
Associate Athletics Director Chris Burkhalter said the team and everyone involved were pleased with the attention from the city.
“It was such a rewarding experience to be honored by everybody,” he said. “We’ve been trying to emphasize to everyone here in Houston that ‘We’re your home team.’”
Mayor Bill White attended the rally to show his support for the team -- support he said is mirrored by all of Houston.
“The University of Houston means a lot to our city,” he said in a press release. “The high energy and good spirit generated by the hard work and excellent play of the team brings positive attention for the University and their appearance in the Liberty Bowl Dec. 29 gives us some extra holiday cheer.”
Burkhalter said Houston’s support means a good deal to not just the football team but to the Athletics Department and the University as a whole.
“Just to know that they’re behind you, just to know that win or lose that the city believes in you -- it’s a comforting feeling for everyone,” he said. “A good portion of those kids are from this area -- it’s a pleasant feeling to know you have the support of the town you’re in.”
Burkhalter added that UH athletics isn’t the only thing on the rise.
“The University is making strides with each day,” he said. “It’s not just athletics -- it’s the University as a whole.”
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