Over the years, tradition-rich Kyle Field hasn't been kind to the Cougars.

Amid the Corps of Cadets, the "Spirit of Aggieland" and the deafening 12th Man, Houston has managed just one win in College Station. That victory came in 1979 when the Cougars won the Southwest Conference. On its hallowed home turf, Texas A&M holds an 11-1-2 advantage over Houston.

The Cougars (2-4, 1-2 in the SWC) are looking to change all of that on Saturday when they battle the 13th-ranked Aggies (4-1, 2-0 in the SWC) at 2 p.m. in College Station. The Cougars have a formidable task at hand though, because they usually have trouble in front of large, noisy road crowds.

Since UH calls its plays at the line of scrimmage instead of huddling, a rowdy enemy crowd can be a major disruptive force. The key for Houston is getting an early lead to take the crowd out of the game.

"That (crowd noise) does become a factor as the game progresses on if you're behind and having to catch up," said Head Coach John Jenkins.

Jenkins said the Cougars had A&M on the ropes for much of the 1987 game at Kyle, and "it was a quiet crowd." He said the 12th Man played a big factor the 1989 game which Houston lost 17-13.

Cougar defensive tackle James Bevil said before the '89 game the Cougars tried to simulate the crowd noise at practice by blasting the Aggie fight song through loudspeakers.

"At game time it was a whole lot louder," Bevil said.

The noise doesn't just bother the offense, it causes problems for the defense too.

"On defense, the crowd can get so loud you can't hear the line signals," Bevil said.

Should UH overcome the crowd factor, there's still the Bucky Richardson factor to contend with.

The senior quarterback from Baton Rouge, La., has always been known as a good runner, but this season he's begun getting rave reviews for his passing too.

"He got the ball downfield against Baylor, in tight coverage at times. It was probably the most diversified look I've ever seen from him ... and he's certainly a threat we've got to deal with," Jenkins said.

Texas A&M Head Coach R.C. Slocum said, "In terms of everything Bucky does, from his actual performances and his leadership on our team, he's a heck of a guy and a heck of a player, and I wouldn't trade him for anybody."

The Aggies have shown a strong rushing attack with redshirt freshman tailback Greg Hill leading the way with a 126.2 yards-per-game average.

Defensively, A&M sports one of the best secondaries around, led by senior cornerback Kevin Smith. The linebacking duo of Marcus Buckley and Quentin Coryatt should also apply major heat on Houston's quarterback.

A big plus for the Cougars is the return of quarterback David Klingler, and receivers John Brown III and Tracy Good to the lineup. All three sat out the SMU game.








It's been said the difference between the good teams and bad teams is that when the good ones play bad they still win.

After winning ugly against the Rice Owls 3-0 Wednesday night in Hofheinz, the Cougars can only hope the old adage applies to them.

Overall, the Cougars committed 41 total errors and let Rice back into games that by all rights should have been over quickly. The netters blew a 12-5 lead in game one and an 11-7 advantage in game two before rallying to win both by scores of 15-11 and 16-14.

"I think our experienced players were too loose and overconfident and that feeling went over to the younger players," Head Coach Bill Walton said after the match.

But the failure to go for the jugular is nothing new to the volleyballers. Twice they let Texas comeback against them last week when they dropped the match in three straight.

The volleyballers are going to have to find the killer instinct in time to take on No. 17-ranked Texas Tech next Wednesday night in Hofheniz. The Cougars were swept in their last match against the Red Raiders earlier this month and are still looking for a win against a ranked team.

The Rice match was not without its high points though, as it presented Walton with a perfect opportunity to give his bench players some quality time.

Freshman Lilly Denoon started all three games for the first time in her career. The little young lady from Pasadena responded with a solid .266 hitting percentage with four tough digs and five blocks.

"Her aptitude for the game is excellent, but she needs some experience. She took her start tonight as an opportunity and ran with it," Walton said.

Junior college transfer Edwina Ammonds put the final touches on game three with two thunderous kills that probably are still echoing in the minds of Owl defenders. Both spikes brought the UH bench, which by this time had been loaded with first team players, to its feet.

The Cougars upped their record to 14-7 on the year, much better than last year's 11-10 at this time, and that team wound up winning a major post-season tournament, the Women's Invitational College Volleyball Tournament.

But with only a 3-2 conference record, upcoming rematches against UT and Tech are critical for the netters to have a shot at their ultimate goal, sitting pretty in the NCAA's.

To do that, they'll have to start winning pretty too.








Question: What's a good movie that Nancy Reagan would really hate for thinking little boys and girls and college students and adults to see?

Answer: Drugstore Cowboy.

Why: Because, and this is the egregiously horrible part of it all, the film features people who actually enjoy using drugs.

OH MY GOD! JUST SAY NO! They can't portray things like that on film in this hysteria-riddled country can they?

Yes, they can. And Gus Van Sant did.

At its core, that is what Drugstore Cowboy is all about. Matt Dillon and Kelly Lynch play a couple of junkies who kick around the Pacific Northwest knocking off drugstores to support their habits.

Set in 1971 and based on a true story, Van Sant's movie provides a stark antithesis to the notions of flower power and tuning in, turning on and dropping out. Lynch and Dillon's portrayals of Bob and Diane reflect an entirely different perspective of the world of the drug addict. Their's is no cultural revolution, but neither are they foul or horrible or crazed beyond belief. They are average and they like getting high.

What makes Van Sant's narrative so powerful is the fact that the movie never loses focus. There are a smattering of scenes where the cinematography turns to the surreal to convey the detached euphoria of a junk fix, but they are short an integral to the theme. Overall, the tone avoids those pitfalls of laziness: sentimentality and melodrama.

Scenes are well-crafted, moving quickly and effectively, with little wasted dialogue or action and Van Sant credits his audience with some semblance of intelligence, leaving plenty of things unsaid throughout the film.

When Van Sant is ready to tie some things up toward the end of the film, he does so with a deft touch.

He brings in the presence of William S. Borroughs, author of the stirring novel, Junky, as the life-long druggie preist, Father Tom.

When Tom sees Bob coming out of his methadone treatment program we get to see two sides of the junky coin. The old preist is still using. The young kid is trying to clean up. But neither of them are there to condemn.

Ultimately, Van Sant utilizes these two characters to pontificate a case on drugs and those who use them. But I'm not going to tell you what he says. Rent the movie and see for yourself.








My Own Private Idaho is not just a song by the B-52s, it's the title of Gus Van Sant's latest motion picture.

The film stars two of Hollywood's hottest young actors, River Phoenix and Keanu Reeves, in roles that may become the most controversial of their careers. The reason: They are male prostitutes.

The actors have taken a bold step in accepting the parts.

Phoenix plays Mike Waters, a narcoleptic street hustler who has an all- encompassing dream of finding his mother. Mike has no home. He lives hand-to-mouth and sleeps anywhere he falls.

Reeves plays Scott Favor, rebel son of the mayor of Portland, Ore. Unlike Mike, Scott lives the life of a hustler simply to irritate his family. Mike has no choice.

Van Sant keys on family as a main theme in the film. The writer-director surrogates a traditional family unit with a collage of vagrant characters.

Bob Pigeon (played by William Richert) steps in as Scott's "street father." Scott has a real father, but he adopts Bob as his street teacher. However, their relationship could be viewed as incestuous.

The "family" congregates in an abandoned building in a run-down area of Portland. There they stand around trash-can fires and drink from a common jug to keep warm.

Bob leads the family in a thieving trip to garner money. Everyone in the group dresses in long robes with hoods for the confrontation. The thieves set upon a group of unsuspecting people under a bridge, and steal a box full of money. Scott and Mike then double cross the others by appearing disguised and stealing the loot.

Mike and Scott return to the lair the next day and pester Bob with questions about the previous night's raid. Bob then tells a story that grows larger and more outrageous, faster than a fish-story.

Love is another central theme in Van Sant's street-life film.

Mike reveals his love to Scott during their journey to find Mike's mother. Scott gently rebukes him by saying that "guys can't love guys," but allows Mike to fall asleep in his arms.

The movie is peppered with twisted Shakespearean language. Van Sant encorporates many lines and monologues from Shakespeare's plays Henry IV, Part One and Henry IV, Part Two into the film. The characters of Fallstaff and Prince Hal are reflected in Van Sant's Bob and Scott.

In one scene, Bob asks Scott what the time is. "What do you care?" replies Scott, "You wouldn't even look at a clock unless hours were lines of coke, dials looked like the signs of gay bars and time itself was a fair hustler in black leather."

Mike is the central character in this film. His troubles are the vehicle moving the story along. When he has an attack of narcolepsy, his dreams are always of his mother. Van Sant uses grainy home movies to illustrate Mike's dream scenes. The only sounds in the scenes are of Mike speaking about his mother.

Mike's quest propels the two to Rome. They travel to a small farmhouse outside the city to find her. Mike makes no discoveries there, but Scott does.

Scott falls in love with the Italian girl who lives in the house. He then leaves Mike and returns to Portland to claim his inheritance.

When Mike returns, without finding his mother, he finds that Scott has abandoned him and everyone else.

The film reels in the artistic capabilities of Van Sant.

Brightly-colored screens are interjected into the film to describe the location of the action. The screens contrast with the mundane colors of the action in the film. The colors of the movie seem to be under a constant cloud.

Van Sant throws in a scene of Scott and Mike on covers of male magazines, and they start talking to one another. During the conversation, other covers start talking too. The scene is a bit useless -- but unusual.

Van Sant uses time-lapse photography to cause clouds to stream over the Idaho landscape. He then follows the image with salmon swimming upstream, only he angled the camera so that the fish seem to be swimming horizontally.

A large wooden house is dropped and crashes to the ground early in the show. Why? To say that Mike's world would one day crash? Maybe.

The sex scenes are made to look like stills, only they are not. It seems that Van Sant had the actors stand in front of the camera frozen in various positions for a few seconds then he edited the scenes together. The end result looks like a slide show.

My Own Private Idaho is an artistic film that is not obnoxious. It may seem a little weird at times, but overall the acting is good, and a thin storyline is there.

Van Sant fans will enjoy this one, and Phoenix and Reeves fans should remain loyal.









While Texas A&M is having difficulty integrating different units of its corps of cadets, UH is breaking ground with the first female sergeant major in its history.

During the past month, a female cadet who applied to enter A&M's Parsons' Mounted Cavalry, filed assault against five male members of the elite unit, making numerous charges against the cadets.

But on Monday of this week, the woman retracted her earlier charges.

"The young woman met (on Monday) with university officials and said that the claimed assaults, beating and abduction, never happened," said Bob Wiatt, A&M's director of Security and University Police. "She has not given us any reason for her actions."

Bill Pursley, a `91 A&M graduate and former corps member said the corps had difficulty incorporating female members into their units.

"A major problem of the A&M corps is that it was not integrated for a long time," Pursley said. "All outfits are integrated now, but when females entered these units what wasn't considered hazing before now, becomes hazing."

But UH's top ROTC unit has avoided the gender segregation problems of its A&M counterparts. The campus ROTC unit was established in 1948.

Most ROTC programs have a Ranger Challenge team that competes in tough, physical intercollegiate events, and UH is no exception. Maj. Will Dominguez said there are six female members in UH's 21-member challenge team.

"Here we have outstanding female cadets. They don't get any breaks because they're females," said Cadet Jason Helm, a sophomore majoring in political science. "We have more females (6) on the Ranger Challenge team than any other school."

Dawn Levack, UH's first female seargent major, served three years of active duty before entering the university on an ROTC scholarship. She was the first female to successfully complete air assault school on the first try at Oklahoma's Camp Gruber.

"You still have to work twice as hard and twice as long to equal the man, and you still don't look half as good," Levack said.

ROTC intentionally pushes people hard to build physical endurance, a large part of military training, Levack said. Pushing individuals to their physical limits occur daily in the U.S. military, and are almost necessary in the university to properly prepare the students for active duty, Levack said.

"In cases of sexual harassment, you have to suck it up and drive on," Levack said. "That's what it is being a woman in a man's army."

Although the A&M woman's motivation for the false charges aren't known, Pursley said the female dropout rate from the A&M corps is very high.









UH is the only major Texas college to show an increase in the enrollment of blacks for the Fall 1991 semester, unlike other major state universities, of which four of the five largest have registered a decline.

Meanwhile, the state's historically black colleges are reporting dramatic increases in enrollment.

University of Texas President William Cunningham said he is concerned traditional black universities may be attracting students who might otherwise attend integrated institutions.

"We're finding that black students are looking toward black colleges and universities," Cunningham said. "That speaks well of those fine institutions, but it may intensify the challenges to universities in attracting larger numbers of black students."

Wayne Sigler, assistant vice president of enrollment at UH, said the university is currently meeting the challenge to create a more diverse campus. Sigler said the entire school, including the president, the administration, the faculty and the student body contribute to the campus' success in its integration efforts.

"We've been working very hard with our outreach efforts, with our mail campaign, with our visits to high schools and with our scholarship programs to attract more minorities to UH," Sigler said.

He said economics may play a large role in UH's ability to attract greater numbers of minority students.

"While UH is not cheap by any means, it is certainly one of the more affordable institutions in the state," Sigler said.

Also, organizations like the Black Student Union, the Council of Ethnic Organizations, the African-American Studies Program and the many fraternities and sororities on campus have also aided the effort to attract minorities, Sigler said.

Of the state's major universities, black enrollment for the fall declined by 81 at the University of North Texas, by 72 at Texas A&M and by 15 at Texas Tech. At UT, where black enrollment is only 1,800 of its nearly 50,000 students, 22 less black students are attending this semester.

Texas Southern University and Prairie View A&M University both showed large increases in enrollment for the fall. TSU's enrollment increased by 800 students, making it the second largest traditionally black university in the state. Prairie View's enrollment is up 600 students this fall.

Community colleges are also attracting a large number of black applicants. The American Council on Education reports that 46 percent of all black students, nationally, are enrolled in a community college. The Houston Community College reports that 7,948 students, or 22 percent of its 36,533 students this fall, are black.

Black enrollment increased by 72 students at UH, bringing the number of blacks attending the university to 2,711 out of 33,593 total students. Currently, blacks account for 8 percent of UH's total enrollment.

UH also has a substantial Hispanic population, with 3,350 students of Latin-American decent currently enrolled. Hispanics account for about 10 percent of UH's total enrollment.

Asians are the second largest ethnic group at UH, with an enrollment of 3,222 students, about 9.6 percent of the UH student population. All other ethnic groups at UH combine to make up about 7 percent of the total enrollment.









Physics professor Simon Moss and Edward Hirsch of UH's Creative Writing Program sat across the aisle from each other Wednesday.

They were spectators joined by the words of one man -- Miroslav Holub, both a scientist and a poet.

Holub, visiting the United States from Czechoslovakia, spoke from experience about the connections of poetry and science before almost 40 students and faculty. The event was co-sponsored by the College of Natural Science and Math and the Creative Writing Program.

Widely proclaimed as one of the greatest poets alive today, Holub is the chief research immunologist at the Institute for Clinical and Experimental Medicine in Prague and science advisor to Czech President Vaclev Havel.

Joining the disciplines of poetry and science proved as natural as his childhood education, Holub said.

"As a school kid, we studied math, and Czech, and physics and art, and we didn't feel something strange about going from one to the other from hour to hour," Holub said. "No school kid ever encountered the two-culture problem."

In his own work within the two cultures, Holub has published 16 books of poetry and five of prose and essays. His works have been translated into 15 languages.

"The reason I started to do both is as obscure to me as anything else," Holub said. "I always have the feeling of the magician with two heads.

"But, I am a biologist when I am doing my work and am immersed in this," Holub said. "And, I am a poet when I am doing that and am immersed in it.

"I don't believe we are as much scientists and poets more than we are passersby or fathers and so on."

Despite being separated when working, the worlds of poetry and science are not so different for Holub.

"So what really divides both the biologist and poet?" Holub asked. "Nothing that is inborn. It's what conditions us into the group -- a group mentality."

Beneath the mentality, Holub said poetry and science were connected in many ways.

Among the connections, Holub said morality underlies the practice of science.

"True. Science as an abstract notion is morally neutral," Holub said. "But not in practice. The practical life must stem from some grain of moral education.

"Science is not to cheat, but to obtain a universal objective," Holub said. "Truth is not just inside, but among us."

In 1971, Holub had to leave the Czechoslovakian Academy of Science after signing a dissident manifesto.

Speaking of his life in formerly communist Czechoslovakia, Holub said science builds a moral code of conduct capable of destroying the demons that would hide the truth.

"The Marxist-Leninist demon infested all the sciences," Holub said. "You had to quote Marx, Lenin or Russians. You had to have this to have your paper accepted.

"Science, to be itself, got rid of the demons."

Ridding the demons is perhaps most apparent in Holub's own success as an immunologist.

Branded a non-person throughout the 1970s, Holub continued working at the medical institute where he is today.

For those who are more people than scientists or poets, Holub quoted Henry Fonda in Reginald Rose's Twelve Angry Men.

"Remember when Henry Fonda says, `I was just not sure,'" Holub said. "Learn to ask questions, but don't expect to get any answers."


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