How did Peter Gardere solve the University of Texas' quarterback controversy?

He beat Oklahoma for the third straight year.

He may not have thrown the winning touchdown in the last minutes as he did in 1989 and 1990, but he beat them nonetheless. And that alone is enough to keep him behind center, not to mention the fact he led the Longhorns to a conference championship last year.

After two straight losses to start the 1991 campaign, UT fans were getting impatient, and Gardere took the brunt of their anger.

It's come as no surprise to Gardere.

"Being in the position of quarterback, you're going to take a lot of criticism as it is," said Gardere, a former blue-chip prospect out of Houston Lee. "It comes with the territory. There've been some games where I feel I didn't play very well and I think I deserve some of the blame."

However, Gardere said there were other factors in the losses.

"Coach said he went through the first four or five game films and that 15 balls were dropped. It's something we've been working on -- nothing that we can't overcome."

The Texas fans are faithful, but they don't like to lose. After a 13-6 upset by Mississippi State at the hands of former Texas A&M coach Jackie Sherrill and a 14-10 loss to Auburn, they were getting impatient with Texas' inability to get the ball into the endzone.

After back-up quarterback Jimmy Saxton rushed for the only touchdown in the Auburn game, the controversy ignited with many fans wanting Saxton to start.

However the doubt seemed to motivate Gardere, as he threw for a season-high 103 yards with a touchdown and no interceptions against a much-improved Rice team. Saxon played one down. In the last three games, Gardere has played the duration.

Head Coach David McWilliams hasn't forgotten Gardere's performances in the big games.

"When I think of Peter, two things come to mind right away," McWilliams said."The first is `winner.' The second is `clutch player.'"

Gardere said he was never bothered by the fans' lack of confidence in him.

"I don't let the fans bother me," he said. "I'm not playing for the fans, I'm playing for the team."

Doubtless, Gardere will have to continue to prove himself to the Longhorn fans.

Saturday's game against Houston will be shown on ABC-TV throughout Texas, and Gardere's performance will be put under the microscope once again.

Gardere said he welcomes the challenge, especially of playing in his hometown.

"It's going to be a lot of fun to play at home," he said. "However, it's basically just the next game, and I'm going to play it that way."










As the bells tolled for Kathy Whitmire's mayoral era, a slew of former Whitmire supporters swung their allegiance to Bob Lanier's camp Thursday.

As reporters volleyed questions, probing why he would now value the support of those he previously criticized, Lanier staunchly defended his new followers.

Lanier fielded questioned about donations his new converts had made to Whitmire's campaign while working on active bids or contracts under negotiation before City Council. He refused to label his ethics-reform proposal prohibiting such activities as a criticism of his new supporters.

"I said I would pass an ethics rule that would make persons making such a bid (and campaign contributions) unethical in the future ... and for all persons seeking negotiated contracts.

"That's not to say that I have been critical of every lawyer or of every engineer that's made contributions. I don't hold people accountable for rules that didn't already exist," Lanier said.

While taking his defensive posture, Lanier admitted that if such an ethics-reform rule as the one he proposes were in effect, the nature of his past criticisms on his new supporters would make them highly questionable.

Lanier further praised the new support from Whitmire's camp.

"We think we're really having remarkable success in identifying our goals with the people of Houston, whether they supported us in the first primary or not, particularly those who supported Whitmire.

"I think the significant thing here is that Whitmire supporters are supporting me, and if we had agreed on every single issue, they would have supported me in the first primary."

Lanier also praised Whitmire for her decade of service to the city, adding that she is no longer an issue in the campaign.

"I think the campaign that we had is past. I don't propose to engage in any criticism of Kathy Whitmire," he said.

Lanier said he thought the Hispanic vote would be decisive in the runoff, which has been rescheduled for Dec. 7.

Lanier also denied that Sylvester Turner will receive the majority of Whitmire's past support.

"Our polls indicate that we'll split that vote 50-50," he said.

A total of 23 former Whitmire campaigners were present at the press conference, including L.S. Brown, Chairman of Whitmire's Hispanic Advisory Counsel, former city attorney Francis Coleman, Hispanic community representative Delores Guerrero and black community representative Jodie Jiles.










Former work-study employee Monica Lopez continues to claim the Office of Development fired her for complaining about the allocation of $25 million to the Athletic Department.

Lopez, a file clerk, was fired Oct. 31, one day after complaining to President Marguerite Ross Barnett's office about the large donation given to the athletics department. Lopez openly accused the university of firing her because of her position on the issue.

Susan Colter, assistant vice president of the Office of Development, said there was no connection between Lopez' complaint and her termination the following day.

Colter said Lopez was terminated because the office was trying to offset a $34,000 budget shortfall.

"The department is operating on budgetary constraints, and we realized that we didn't need a person to work in that particular position," Colter said.

But Don Fernandez, assistant director of Scholarships and Work Study, said in his six years in his present position he has never known a work-study employee at the university to be fired for budgetary reasons.

"This is the only case, that I am aware of, in which a work-study employee was fired because of budget cuts," Fernandez said. "When I read about the Lopez story in the Cougar, I was very surprised."

Fernandez said the work-study program is predominantly funded by the federal government, with the purpose of supplementing or replacing federal student aid. The Federal College Work-Study Program pays 70 percent of a work-study employee's salary. The remaining 30 percent is paid by individual campus departments.

Consequently, at $5 per hour, the Office of Development was only paying Lopez about $15 per week. Colter was unable to respond to why hers was the only department that decided to terminate work-study employees as a means of meeting budget restraints.

Colter also came under fire for hiring another work-study employee, one day after dismissing Lopez. Lopez said she felt it was "too big of a coincidence" that she complained on Wednesday, was fired on Thursday and was replaced on Friday.

Colter said Lopez' replacement was more highly trained and had greater office experience.

"We realized that we didn't need another person to do xeroxing and filing." Colter said. "The replacement was hired to do higher-level work than Monica was."

Lopez said she later learned her replacement was being paid 51 cents per hour more than she was.

Lopez said she and a group of friends called Barnett's office on Wednesday, Oct. 30, and left a message that they were dissatisfied with the way John Moore's $51 million gift was allocated. Lopez said she didn't feel that a gift of $25 million to a department that is "plagued with mismanagement" should go unchallenged.

The matter was referred to Dave Keith, vice president of External Affairs, who called Lopez into his office to discuss her complaints.

"He told me how misinformed I was on the status of the athletics department, and that I should feel lucky that I attend a university where the tuition rates are so low." Lopez said. "He also said that if it were up to him he would double tuition rates at UH."

Lopez said after she finished talking with Keith, she didn't think anything else of the matter. She said she was surprised when Yvette Adams, the office manager, called her in to tell her that she was being dismissed.

"She told me that the office was making cuts across the board, and that I shouldn't take it personally," Lopez said.

Colter said the exit interview went well and Monica showed little animosity.

"From what I understand, Monica said, `That's fine, I know of another place where I can be placed.'" Colter said. "I didn't know that she was going to have a hard time getting another position until I read it in the Cougar."

Colter said she is currently trying to place Lopez in another work-study position in another campus department.








Chopped vegetables, 35-mm film and roses make for a nice stew. Well, maybe not, but they will be served Friday and Saturday night for your entertainment by Sharon Wyrrick, artistic director of Full Circle Dance Company from Washington, D.C.

Wyrrick is one of six choreographers who will be doing the show Six Contemporary Choreographers, to be performed by the Several Dancers Core of Houston and Atlanta.

Local audiences will have an opportunity to experience the works of emerging independent choreographers from around the region.

Wyrrick's piece for the show, "From the Cutting Room Floor," is from her larger work, Story Board for an Anxious Journey, and concerns current social issues through an interdisciplinary medium of structured images, modern dance and spoken word.

Besides Wyrrick, there will be Cindy Carpenter who teaches at Sam Houston University, Andrea Ariel and Darla Johnson of Austin, Peggy Lamb of Dallas and Sara Draper of the St. John's School in Houston.

Performances begin at 8 p.m. on Nov. 8 and 9 at the Cullen Performance Hall on campus. Tickets will be available prior to the performance. Cost is $7 for general admission and $5 for senior citizens, artists and the unemployed, so bring your Official Artiste License or unpaid bills for the discount. It should be fun.









Houston free safety Kevin Batiste is an old man by college football standards, but he's just a rookie to the Cougars.

The 25-year-old freshman from Galveston Ball High School is playing football for the first time in six years. Batiste will be making his first appearance in the starting lineup when the Cougars take on the Texas Longhorns at 2:30 p.m. Saturday in the Astrodome.

"Funny, I don't feel like a freshman, but I'm still called a rookie," Batiste said. "The guys on the team tease me, but I have to remind them I'm the old man on the team."

Batiste has four years of eligibilty remaining. He decided to play for Houston because it was closer to his home. His friend and high school teammate Kimble Anders played here in 1987-89.

At first, Head Coach John Jenkins and Batiste could not decide where he would play. They discussed putting him in as a slot receiver or cornerback, but settled at the safety spot.

Batiste originally committed to play quarterback at Southern Methodist University in 1984, but because of the NCAA's death penalty on the Mustangs, he chose to play baseball.

Batiste said he believes he made the right decision, because it helped him mature.

"My maturity has helped a lot in playing the free safety position," he said. "I don't think I would have been able to do it as an 18-year-old because of the complexity of the system. I'm still learning and getting comfortable with Coach Ben Hurt's system."

The Toronto Blue Jays drafted Batiste in the second round of the June 1984 draft. In 1989, he was called up to Toronto from Class AA in Knoxville, Tenn. He played centerfield for the Blue Jays and batted .250. Batiste was predominately inserted for defensive purposes.

In December of '89, he was traded to the Atlanta Braves. He was assigned to the Class AA Greenville farm team. In Greenville, Batiste roomed with Brian Hunter, who played for the National League Champion Atlanta Braves. And in spring training he befriended Braves right fielder Dave Justice.

"I miss baseball a lot. I wish I could play both sports," Batiste said. "Perhaps, if I could have stayed with Toronto, I would still be playing. Toronto always played young players. I would have had a good chance."

The only regret Batiste has is a 1989 incident in the Oakland Airport when he was arrested for possession of a gun.

"I was immature," he said. "I should have never had that gun."

Now, the Cougars' elder statesman is starting over. He is adjusting to life as a college student, which may be hard for a man that has traveled throughout the United States and Canada.

"In baseball you had all that freedom," Batiste said. "It is hard knowing you have to study and prepare for a test or write a 600-word essay, but it is something you have to do. It's fun and I love it."

If Batiste uses his entire four years of eligiblity, he will be 28 years old when he enters the National Football League Amateur Draft.

Batiste said his age will work against him, but if he's not drafted he will tryout as a free agent.

Former Dallas Cowboys quarterback Roger Staubach and current All-Pro defensive lineman Pierce Holt of the San Francisco 49ers started their professional careers at 27.

The 6-foot-2-inch safety said he wants to be able to say he played both professional football and baseball.

The draft is a long time away. This Saturday, Batiste will be introduced to the bitter rivalry that is Texas and Houston.








Students and faculty in the Ceramics Department, who have been unable to use their gas kilns for more than one year, are the latest to join the list of those disgruntled with the Physical Plant.

The department has been negotiating with the Physical Plant to get the five kilns up and running since the summer of 1990. Meanwhile, many students feel their education has been slighted.

"We are losing valuable experience using kilns," complained graduate student Albert Howell.

Howell said the lack of facilities have caused him to consider leaving UH for another university. He said the year and a half spent without the kilns may limit his ability to get a job upon graduation.

"We have been promised a lot of things by the Physical Plant, and nothing has taken place," Ceramics Professor Huey Beckham said.

But Donald Green, an assistant director with the Physical Plant, said the responsibility for the delays in getting the kilns installed can be attributed to both the Physical Plant and the College of Humanities and Fine Arts.

Green said the initial estimate to install the kilns, $1,700, was too high and the figure could be cut. The project will be paid for with student lab fees, Beckham said.

It was not until late in spring of 1991 that talk of beginning the project surfaced. Ceramics Chair David Jacobs said the delays could be attributed to a variety of factors, but were mainly the result of miscommunication.

The Physical Plant presented the Ceramics Department with a list of requirements that needed to be met so work could be done during the summer break. Both sides agree the requirements were met. However, work did not begin during the summer.

With the summer break rapidly progressing, and no sign of work being done, Jacobs decided to call a meeting.

During the meeting, which was attended by the Safety Department but not the Physical Plant, questions about the kilns' safety were raised.

"They claimed they were unsound," Beckham said.

After reviewing a text by Fred Olsen, the kilns' manufacturer, the Safety Department was appeased and it looked as if, once again, the Physical Plant was prepared to begin work. However, there was one more detail to iron out.

Apparently, the installation required plumbing work, which would have to be contracted out to a private company.

Green said the plumbing was "a job that the UH plumbing staff was not interested in."

The past several weeks have been spent taking bids. The Physical Plant decided on Westbrook Contractors, a group currently working on two or three other projects on campus, Green said.

But Beckham is doubtful the Physical Plant ever took bids.

"I think they're just going with the person that has been doing work for them all along."

Now that the bids have been finalized, Green said they hope to have the kilns running within three weeks.

This news, however, may be a case of too little too late for some students.

"I've got another student who is leaving the program because of that," Beckham said.

Although members of the department are encouraged to hear the work will soon begin, the mood is one of guarded optimism.

"I'll feel better when I can actually go over there and see the steam rising from the kilns," Jacobs said.








It was supposed to be the Southwest Conference game of the year.

Houston and Texas would battle it out under the roof to decide the league championship. On Nov. 9, all the eyes of Texas would be focused on the Astrodome.

Dave Campbell, editor of Texas Football magazine wrote, "Mark your calendars now and mark them well. That delicious match-up...will provide us the Game of the Year in the 1991 SWC football chase for the checkered flag."

Alas, it wasn't meant to be.

Houston's Cotton Bowl hopes were shattered weeks ago because its offensive line has been unable to keep quarterback David Klingler protected. The Cougars' one-time national title dreams have turned into a 2-5 reality.

The storyline out of Austin isn't quite as dismal, but like the Cougars, the Longhorns also have not lived up to advanced billing. Unlike the Cougars, the Longhorns (4-3, 3-1 in the SWC) still have a shot at the title and a trip to the Cotton Bowl.

Now, Houston has been put in the role of spoiler. Beat Texas and the Horns are also dead in the water. No Cotton, and maybe no bowl at all considering Baylor and Texas A&M still dot their schedule.

Texas brings an unbalanced team into the Astrodome on Saturday. On defense, there are few teams in the country that can rival the Longhorns. They have given up only 70 points this season, averaging 10 points surrendered per contest.

But their offense has been dormant for most of the season, starting to show signs of life in only their last two games against SMU and Texas Tech. Texas beat SMU 34-0, and Tech 23-15.

Quarterback Peter Gardere has been inconsistent, throwing nine interceptions this season, compared to just seven all of last year. He has been the team scapegoat for the Longhorn faithful.

But Houston Head Coach John Jenkins is wary of the Texas offense, particularly Gardere. He said Gardere could have another big day against Houston, like he had last year, if the Cougars are unable to apply defensive pressure.

"Gardere's had some touchy moments throwing the ball this year," Jenkins said. "He had a big game against us last year, and that correlates to the little pass rush."

Jenkins said the Cougars must also be wary of Gardere's scrambling ability.

"Had it not been for his escape potential, it could have been a long day for the Longhorns last week against Texas Tech," Jenkins said.

Last year's freshman sensation Butch Hadnot, who has been slowed by injuries for much of the season, looked like his 1990-self last week against the Red Raiders. He rambled for 166 yards on 24 carries. Houston cannot allow him to run like he did against them last year, when he trampled the Cougars for 134 yards and three touchdowns.

When Houston has the ball, the story looks much like it has all year. If the line can't buy Klingler some time, the Cougars will be in serious trouble. Jenkins said while the offensive line continues to improve with each practice, it will have its hands full trying to slow Texas' impressive defensive line.

"Defensive end Shane Dronett may be the very best defensive lineman in the country," Jenkins said. "We'll probably run the ball a lot more to keep the defense honest."

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