RED RAIDERS KNOCK COOGS OUT OF TOURNEY
by Adam King
Daily Cougar Staff
DALLAS -- Houston's entry into the NCAA Tournament was supposed to be automatic.
Sixth-seeded Texas Tech had only to lay down and let the No. 3 seed Cougars take what was rightfully theirs -- a second consecutive Southwest Conference championship and the conference's automatic bid.
But the Red Raiders didn't see it that way.
In fact, Tech's 88-76 victory Sunday at Reunion Arena in Dallas not only delivered the Red Raiders, 18-11, into the 64-team show, but it convinced the NCAA Tournament selection committee to keep Houston, 21-8, out.
Instead, the committee elected to go with 20-7 Southern Methodist, the SWC regular season champion and top seed in the tournament. This, despite SMU failing to advance past the first round when they fell to eighth-seeded Texas Christian, 76-75, Friday.
Houston will instead join Rice in the poor man's post-season, the National Invitation Tournament. Texas-El Paso hosts UH Friday night. Rice heads for Wisconsin Wednesday.
"We're not the best team in the country by any means," said Houston head coach Pat Foster. "Today, there are a lot of teams that have been upset in their tourney finals."
Prior to the NCAA selection announcement, Foster alluded to the notion that his team might have already sewn up a berth.
"We've played with a lot of pressure in the last few weeks, and today, maybe a little of that pressure was off," he said. "We just didn't respond the way that I thought we might.
"We didn't have the incentive that Tech did to win."
But what the NCAA committee members wouldn't do for Houston in the boardroom, the Cougars couldn't do on the court.
Tech took a game-high 26-point lead with 13:22 remaining in the second half on two Will Flemons free throws and was never seriously threatened again.
Anthony Goldwire, who shot an uncharacteristic 30 percent from the field for the tourney, sank a three-pointer with one minute to play, bringing the Cougars to within 10 at 83-73.
But it was too late for a Houston squad that saw its star center and all-tournament selection, Bo Outlaw, sit on the bench with one foul for a 10-minute stretch in the first half. When Outlaw was on the floor, he was effective, contributing 17 points, 13 rebounds and four blocked shots.
The Red Raiders capitalized on Outlaw's absence with a 20-13 run, working the ball inside for easy layups and airing it out from the three-point line.
"My main goal is to attack the basket," said Flemons, who registered his 18th double-double of the season with 21 points and 16 rebounds. "When he (Outlaw) went out earlier in the game, we got the ball in."
"Texas Tech handled our pressure, and we were impressed with the way they kept holding us off with that late run," Foster said.
But when you have the inside-outside play of tournament MVP Lance Hughes, breaking the press becomes secondary.
Hughes burned the Cougars regularly. He hit 11-of-14 field goals including 3-of-5 from three-point land. His 27 points led all scorers, and he added five rebounds and four assists to the effort.
"Personal awards weren't really that important to me," Hughes said.
"It meant more to me for us to win the tournament, but I wouldn't reject an award like that," he added jokingly.
With Outlaw out, Foster gave his bench some significant minutes, but it failed to produce.
Rafael Carrasco, Lloyd Wiles, Jermaine Johnson and Darrell Grayson were a combined 4-of-17 from the field. Grayson provided the most punch, albeit in garbage time, with seven points in six minutes of play.
BURN-OUT STRIKES FACULTY
by Mindi King
If you think <I>you're <P> stressed-out, try to retain a positive outlook while facing 400 pairs of expectant eyes three times a day, Ph.D. work that indefinitely remains on the back-burner and a research grant that was denied yet again.
Teacher burn-out is affecting a majority of UH faculty, said Anthony Dworkin, a sociology professor and department chair. Dworkin, an author of two books and numerous articles on the subject in public schools, said burn-out is also prevalent at higher levels of education.
Burn-out is both a psychological and sociological phenomenon, he said. Psychologically, burn-out is a result of stress and is remedied by strategies such as meditation, he added.
The sociological view concentrates on organizational factors in work settings which produce a sense of alienation, where the professor feels his or her efforts are meaningless and is powerless to make changes, he said.
"In many cases, teachers are frustrated and sad, not because they could care less, but because they care too much, but feel helpless," Dworkin said.
UH faculty are facing overloaded schedules, a lack of praise or rewards by peers and superiors, and threats of more work and less pay by the state, he added.
Burn-out is especially high in the humanities because professors face large introductory classes, where a number of the students are filling a requirement and are "indifferent" to the subject matter, he said.
Harrell Rodgers, dean of the College of Social Sciences, said, "There is no way we can provide small introductory-level classes when there are approximately 900 professors and 33,000 students at UH."
Every professor is required by the university to post office hours and to make themselves available to students as much as possible, he added. However, Rodgers contends burn-out among professors at UH is rarely a problem because the majority of professors love to teach.
Larry Williams, a part-time biology professor and undergraduate advisor, said although he is in his sixth year teaching Biology 1310 and 1320 and averages 300 to 400 students per class, he does not feel meaningless, nor does he discern burn-out among his peers.
There is some frustration when teaching a large introductory class because topics are limited and classes are large, but this does not necessarily constitute a problem for those who enjoy what they are doing, he said, adding that if a student feels a professor is burnt-out, he or she should make every effort to communicate with that teacher.
"We are all consumers, and if you don't get what you paid for, you should do something about it," Williams said.
Richard Kasschau, a professor of psychology, said students tend to take advantage of office hours when they like a class or professor, rather than when they have a problem. It often takes an outside opinion to realize a shortcoming in your teaching, he said.
Kasschau teaches two sections of Psychology 1300 and averages 480 students per class.
"I love teaching and have avoided burn-out for 28 consecutive years," he said. He feels teaching assistants play a key role in keeping the class fresh by relieving much of the stress and providing students with other sources of contact. Having national psychologists periodically visit the class also helps by introducing new ideas and offering new perspectives to improve his teaching, he added.
Professors who feel their classes are stagnant should try teaching a different course or invite colleagues to critique a class and make suggestions, he said. Faculty exchange programs between universities would also benefit faculty by teachers learning new ideas at other institutions.
Rodgers said if students have concerns after talking to a professor, they should talk to the department chair and then the dean.
Students fill out evaluations at the conclusion of each course, and those ratings and comments often identify a means of self-improvement for the professor, he said.
In addition to student evaluations, the faculty within the college evaluate each other annually, Rodgers said, but it is not a campus-wide policy. He said there is a need for a faculty development center at UH, where faculty could discuss issues, share similar concerns and realize ways to improve the colleges. This would require additional funds that are not available now due to budget restraints, he said.
Dworkin said money is the underlying culprit. Students and faculty need to vote and make their legislators aware of the need for more funding for higher education, he said.
LAW MANDATES ATHLETIC FAIR PLAY
by Christine Law
Football, baseball and basketball -- the mere mention of these sports brings to mind images of men in uniforms competing for a win. Soon, however, because of a push for equality in sports, these images may change.
The plays in this new game of equality have been slow but sure. Since 1972, women have had legal support to stand as athletic equals to men in college sports.
Title IX, the gender-equity legislation enacted within the Education Amendments of 1972, was passed with the main purpose of enforcing gender equity in intercollegiate athletics.
However, UH's administration and Athletic Department have been one step ahead in the game all along.
Sue Garrison, UH's women's athletic director from 1947 to 1980, was quoted in the Houston Post just before her retirement as saying that an interest in women's athletics has always existed at UH.
Garrison envisioned an exciting future for women in athletics at the university, but said she wasn't willing to give all the credit to Title IX.
Indeed, the accomplishments and abilities of women athletes at UH have been noticed, and much time and effort on the part of the administration and athletic staff have aided women in advancing toward gender equity.
This university, along with other colleges and universities, is dealing with the gender equity issue in its own way. Bill McGillis, UH's interim athletic director since mid-November of last year, said that compliance with Title IX is still a national problem, however.
"Until recently, within the last couple of years, I do not think there has been enforcement of Title IX," McGillis said. McGillis noted some progress in women's athletics, but stated there was a lot more to be done.
"We realize that our university needs to continue to progress," McGillis said, "but I believe we're closer to compliance than a lot of institutions across the country."
Compliance and enforcement begin with the establishment of an equal number of athletic teams for men and women.
Presently, UH complies in this area. Seven men's sports and seven women's sports teams exist. McGillis believes the administration would like to further increase the number of opportunities available to women. "The administration is committed to women's athletics and recognizes that we need to make opportunities available," McGillis added.
Progress nationally toward the full enforcement of Title IX has been slow, but has sped up recently. McGillis noted two reasons for the slow progression.
First, barriers still need to be knocked down -- the historical image of women as athletes and the resistance to change, he said. McGillis expressed optimism, however, noting that the nation has seen much more understanding now than 10, 20 or even five years ago.
The second reason for the slow progress is funding. The problem is finding ways to fund the increased opportunities for women.
According to McGillis, the only ways to compensate for the disparity between the number of men and women athletes are the addition of more women's sports or the reduction of opportunities available to men. McGillis added that many men and women are opposed to the latter; therefore, the first solution is more favorable.
Ways to market and promote women's teams must be found, said McGillis, in order to generate the revenue for more women's sports, through attendance at games, funding, etc.
One of the ways people have proposed that universities fund more athletic opportunities for women is through a national championship football game. Presently, a national championship exists in every sport except football.
Richard Schultz, the executive director of the National Collegiate Athletic Association, has estimated that a national football championship could earn between $50 million and $60 million. This revenue, said McGillis, could be used specifically to fund increased athletic opportunities for women.
The funds would be used for scholarships, coaching staffs, operating budgets and athletic facilities.
McGillis believes the sports UH would most likely consider adding at some point in the future for women would be soccer, softball, golf and gymnastics.
"We have a difficult time supporting seven men's and seven women's sports right now. Increasing the number of sports will be a tremendous financial burden on our department, but in order to achieve gender equity, it's something we're going to have to do," McGillis said.
"We need to educate the general public about how exciting women's athletics are," he added. "We have to find a way to increase awareness, promote it and help generate, at the grass roots level, more support."
In response to this issue and challenge, McGillis said he and the university administration are committed to finding ways to enhance the number of opportunities for women.
In the national arena, the NCAA has formed the NCAA Gender Equity Task Force. The main goal of the group is to provide ideas to help the association become more active in furthering gender equity.
The group is in charge of developing creative mechanisms to assist NCAA members (1050 national four-year colleges, universities and affiliated organizations) in providing fully equal opportunities for male and female student-athletes.
Co-chairwoman of the task force, chairwoman of the NCAA's Committee on Women's Athletics and assistant commissioner of the Big 10 Conference Phyllis Howlett stated three of the task force's objectives: to define gender equity, to ensure that policies promote compliance and to provide suggestions on how to comply with Title IX.
Howlett said the task force will embrace the increased opportunities for women. "If one can use history as a guide to the future, we will definitely see more competitiveness for females."
The NCAA Gender Equity Task Force will present a report to all members of the NCAA by this June.
Similarly, at some point in the near future, McGillis said he or the next athletic director will probably provide a report to UH President James Pickering as to where UH is, relative to compliance with Title IX.
In the Post interview, Garrison said, "Now a woman doesn't have to be a tomboy to play basketball, or on golf teams, or run track. UH became aware that the rest of the world considers women's athletics important and equal with men's athletics."
RICE OWLS SWEEP THREE-GAME SERIES FROM COOGS
by Ryan Carssow
Daily Cougar Staff
The Houston Cougars started conference play colder than recent Houston weather against Rice this weekend.
The Owls, 22-2 (3-0), swept Houston, 19-7 (0-3), in both schools' opening three-game Southwest Conference series.
Because of cold and rain, Friday's game was moved to Sunday, creating a second day double-header.
Starter Wade Williams gave up only two runs in pitching all six innings of the seven-inning first game but events beyond his control left Williams with the 2-1 loss.
In the second game, Matt Beech threw 168 pitches in an eight inning 4-1 losing effort.
Beech walked 12 and struck out 11, both Cougar season highs and career highs for Beech.
"You take some away from them and give 'em some," Beech said. "You can't win like that."
Beech's only trouble came in the third inning when he gave up a double to David Brooks, and walked Jose Cruz Jr. and Donald Aslaksen to load the bases.
All three runners scored.
"I lost a lot of concentration," Beech said. "I gave up three runs they shouldn't have ever had."
In the first two games of the series, Houston lost because of the men in blue -- the Owls' blue and the traditional blue of the umpires.
Rice made the Cougars feel blue in the first game with a 20- hit, 17-run explosion that swelled the ERAs of starter Jeff Wright and three Houston relievers, leaving UH with a 17-4 loss.
Brian Hamilton, who struck out all four batters he faced in closing out the massacre, was the only UH pitcher to maintain his dignity or his pre-game ERA.
Mental mistakes by the Cougars and questionable calls by the umpires led to defeat in the series' second game. Rice scored its first run on an obvious first inning Williams balk.
In the seventh, with Houston mounting a comeback from a 1-0 deficit, Jason McDonald bunted and was tagged out by Rice first baseman Kennedy Glasscock. While trying to avoid the tag McDonald tripped up Glasscock, knocking the ball out of his hand.
McDonald was correctly called out, but umpire Tim Henderson also called interference on the play, forcing pinch runner Joe Betters to return to first.
"Well they can always make something up to sound good," McDonald said. "We were taught in Juco to dive and roll in that situation."
Betters ended up scoring despite having to advance five bases, but the Cougars might have scored twice if not for the umpire's call.
Rice took advantage of the umpire's call in the bottom of the inning when Chris Boni knocked in Jason Choate for the winning run.
MENTAL MISTAKES HURT COUGARS
by Patti Warner
Daily Cougar Staff
Although the scoreboard only flashed 'E' three times for Houston this weekend, the Cougars made several costly mental errors to open conference play with three losses to cross-town rival Rice.
"I guess the word is weird," Houston coach Bragg Stockton said. "We don't play well here for some reason."
Although the Owls made their share of fielding errors (nine), it was the mental mistakes that cost the Cougars.
Saturday's 17-4 debacle was not as close as it appeared. Errors by first baseman Kirk Taylor and shortstop Jason McDonald in a six-run fifth inning were what kept Rice alive.
"I am disappointed in my returning starters," Stockton said. "These guys were supposed to get the big hits and they didn't."
Houston starter Wade Williams did everything but field all nine positions during Sunday's first game.
Williams threw a complete game and gave up only two runs. One came off his own balk in the first inning, but it was the second run that drove the knife deeper into the Cougars' wounds.
After Phil Lewis tied the game in the seventh inning, Rice left fielder Jason Choate led off the bottom of the inning with a double.
Owl third baseman Dana Davis tried to get out with a sacrifice bunt. Williams turned to throw Davis out at first, but second baseman J.J. Matzke failed to cover first base and Davis was safe. Rice second baseman Chris Boni then lined a single up the middle to score Choate with the winning run.
"It's not good," Williams said. "But I probably should have walked the guy to try for a double play."
Stockton, however, was not quite as forgiving. He was quick to put the blame where it belonged.
"We wasted a brilliant pitching appearance by Wade Williams," Stockton said. "We squandered too many opportunities."
The Cougars stranded eight base runners in the first game and 19 in the double header Sunday.
Houston travels to Texas next weekend to take on the top-ranked Longhorns. Then the Cougars host the No. 6 Aggies the next weekend.
"People say we can't win the big games and we don't deserve to be ranked," a dejected Williams said. "Maybe they're right, but maybe we'll bounce back."
If the Cougars can improve their fundamentals, then they should bounce back and play respectable the rest of the way.
If not, then last season's seventh place conference finish could be more than just a faint memory.
SWC POST-SEASON CLASSIC FULL OF SURPRISES AND HOOPLA
by Heather Ellis
Daily Cougar Staff
DALLAS -- From the blow of the first tip-off whistle, players, fans and even the media were in store for what became anything but just another day on the hardwood at the Southwest Conference tournament.
The Twilight Zone it wasn't, even though there were definitely new dimensions explored throughout the tournament.
Both the men's and women's Red Raider teams left their marks on the SWC history books.
Sir Lance Hughes and his band of Raiders cleaned Reunion Arena, taking the SWC championship with them for booty. The Houston Cougars, third seed in the tournament, were blown away by Tech's offensive power, 88-76.
They extended their season by at least one game, gaining an NCAA bid to play St. Johns March 18.
"I said coming in here, nothing would surprise me during this tournament. Any team was capable of winning this thing. There wasn't a big gap between the top teams and the ones at the other end," said Tech coach James Dickey.
To no one's surprise, the Lady Raiders, led by Sheryl Swoopes, captured the women's SWC honors by defeating the Texas Longhorns 78-71.
The Swooperstar that she is, Sheryl scored a career-high 53 points in Reunion Arena, surpassing the great Boston Celtic Larry Bird in points scored in Reunion Arena.
The Raiders win landed them a second-place seed in the West region where they play Montana State.
Out of the countless conferences across the nation, 15 No. 1 seeds were knocked out in the first round.
The SWC was no different. However, being from Texas where everything is done bigger, if not always better, not only did the first seed SMU lose 76-75 to the eighth seeded TCU, the second seeded Rice Owls fell 81-76 to the hapless seventh seeded Texas Longhorns.
The victory over Rice was short-lived for the Texas Longhorns. In a season plagued with injured players and academic probation for various players, the Longhorns were dealt another blow.
Guard B.J. Tyler, who missed 14 of the regular season games for Texas, was found ineligible by the SWC to play in the semifinal game against Houston. Texas lost the contest 50-58. The reason for Tyler's ineligibility was not disclosed.
Everyone, including coach Tom Penders, was surprised by the announcement.
"I didn't know Tyler wasn't playing until I reached the arena," Penders said. "I can't speak on the matter, but we wouldn't change anything because of it."
Texas Tech player Allen Austin was also found ineligible to play in the tournament for undisclosed reasons.
The SWC officials extended their power in more ways one.
In the tournament opener between the Cougars and the Aggies, more action took place on the sidelines than on the court.
A&M radio broadcaster Dave South was ejected by Bryan Stout, a SWC official during the game for making a choke signal to the official.
The official took a strong offense to the signal and had South removed on the spot, while South was broadcasting.
It caused quite a stir among the media on press row and made some question why the official was watching the stands, instead of the game.
That was just the beginning of inconsistent officiating.
The whistle blew enough during the Cougars-Aggies game,that the court sounded like a teapot.
During the game four technical fouls were called. The first was on the Aggie bench, the second was on coach Tony Barone, the third was on Brett Murray and the fourth was on Jermaine Johnson. In addition to the technicals, Anthony Goldwire was ejected for a flagrant foul.
Four Aggie players fouled out of the game and the usually foul happy Cougars suffered only 10 fouls as opposed to A&M's 24.
The next two days were much of the same, with yo-yo officiating, making fans and players wonder about the calls on the floor.
In the 18 years of the SWC basketball tournament, this was called by many as one of the most surprising.
As one member of the media said, "We should always expect the unexpected."
UFO ABDUCTEE TELLS TALE TO PARAMOUNT
by Deborah Hensel
Daily Cougar Staff
No one wanted to believe Travis Walton's claim that he had been taken by a UFO.
First, authorities wanted to charge his buddies with murder. Then, when Walton appeared after being missing for five days, people in Snowflake, Arizona, called it a hoax.
Now, Paramount Pictures revives the story of his incredible and terrifying ordeal in <i>Fire in the Sky<p>, which opened Friday.
It's hardly a story about a close encounter with a friendly extraterrestrial; however, despite the alien element, screenwriter and co-producer Tracy Torme says he wanted to do the film to explore the human aspect of the event.
"It's an interesting story of how people deal with extreme circumstances," said D.B. Sweeney, who plays Walton in the film.
"These guys have had a living hell since this incident. You're talking 17 years of walking around with people looking at you, pointing fingers at you, not believing you," said co-star Robert Patrick, whose best-known role was the terminator disguised as a cop in <i>Terminator II: Judgment Day<p>.
The film also stars veteran actor James Garner as a state investigator and Henry Thomas, who played Elliott in <i>E. T.: The Extra-Terrestrial<p>.
As Walton tells it today, 17 years later, he and six of his logging buddies were working in the woods of northeastern Arizona on Nov. 5, 1975.
That evening, as they loaded up their chainsaws and headed home, the loggers saw a light coming through the trees.
"When we got around the thicket, we saw a disk hovering near the road, a distinct physical object," Walton said.
Somebody screamed, "It's a spacecraft," he added.
When you're in the woods and see a wild animal, it's only for a split second, he said. Walton expected this strange sighting to be that brief, so he got out of the truck for a closer look.
The sound from the craft got louder, and the craft started to rock, so Walton took cover behind some bushes. The other guys started yelling for him to get back in the truck.
"Just as I raised up, I was hit," Walton said. "I felt a blow like an electric shock. I went numb and blacked out."
The others later said the impact of the lightning bolt from the craft knocked Walton 10 feet into the air. They panicked. Someone yelled, "It got him; he's dead! Let's get out of here!" And they left him.
Walton, who has undergone regressive hypnosis, said he doesn't <i>want<p> to remember everything that happened during the five days he was missing, but said it was a very physical experience.
"There was no dreamlike quality to this. Nothing supernatural, just very frightening," he added.
"For a while, I just couldn't talk about it. I'd start to tell it, and I'd break down," Walton said. "It's been tough, really tough. For a while, it was touch and go. My grip on reality was severely challenged."
When someone purports to have been abducted by aliens with marshmallowy white skin, it's understandable that the general public might question his grip on reality.
Yet six other people corroborated Walton's story of the craft, traces of radiation were recorded at the site in the woods, and Walton and the crew have passed more than one lie-detector test since 1975.
Unlike other abductees who have claimed repeated visitations, Walton says his was an accidental encounter, a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
"I really have a <i>need <p> to believe that," he said. During a telephone interview arranged by Paramount, Walton was soft-spoken, sincere and sounded slightly anguished about remembering details.
Aboard the craft, Walton says the most frightening thing about the beings was "the way they seemed to look right through me."
If there was any attempt at communication, Walton said he wasn't receptive.
"I was pretty hysterical," he said. "I was screaming and babbling."
Moviegoers will get a chance to see why he was so terrified.
"The creatures in this movie make E. T. look like Play-Doh," said Sweeney, who previously appeared in <i>Memphis Belle <p> and <i>The Cutting Edge<p>. "The aliens <i>rock <p> in this movie. It's going to scare the hell out of people."
Walton said he gradually quit having nightmares about the incident.
"I worked at it -- I willed it out of my mind," he said.
According to a 1990 Gallup survey, one in seven Americans said they have seen a UFO, and 46 percent believe there are beings "somewhat like ourselves," living on other planets in the universe.
Prominent people who claim to have seen UFOs include former U.S. presidents Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan, former astronaut Gordon Cooper, boxing champion Muhammad Ali and deceased Beatle John Lennon.
Even Patrick, who portrays Walton's buddy, Mike Rogers, recalls seeing a UFO hovering over a Boston suburb when he was in second grade.
But notable people who claim to have been <i>abducted <p> are almost non-existent. One of the most controversial cases is that of best-selling horror novelist Whitley Strieber, who wrote <i>Communion <p>, a non-fiction account of his experience, later made into a movie starring Christopher Walken.
Abduction stories have been primarily fodder for the tabloid press, making it difficult for serious scientists to bring any credibility to the topic.
Nevertheless, in many abduction stories, descriptions of the beings are eerily similar. Theories of <i>why <p> aliens have been coming are mind-numbing.
One hypothesis that Torme says he could accept is that the aliens are a dying race visiting Earth to collect genetic material to strengthen their own species.
Torme has become something of an expert on UFO sightings and abductions due to his involvement with two TV projects, <i>Intruders <p> and <i>UFO: Cover-Up Live<p>. Torme says he can't subscribe to the government conspiracy theory promoted by most UFO-logists.
"The secret is there is no secret," he said. "There is no one great truth to cover up."
The government, Torme said, probably doesn't know much more about the phenomenon now than it knew 45 years ago, when then-President Harry S. Truman supposedly appointed a "top secret" committee to study the phenomenon.
After looking at numerous abduction cases, Torme said he's very selective about which ones he believes. According to him, Walton's story is very credible.
What adds to Walton's credibility is his early resistance to publicity. For 10 years, he went without a phone to avoid answering questions about the ordeal.
Now that the film is being released, Walton says he has quite a bit of apprehension about the effect it will have on his life.
"My hope in agreeing to do the film is that it will allow people to experience what we did that night," Walton said. "Maybe it will open some minds."