NO PLACE LIKE HOME FOR FOOTBALL COACH KIM HELTON

by Jason Paul Ramirez

Daily Cougar Staff

Sometimes it is best to go with your heart.

Needless to say, for new University of Houston head football coach Kim Helton, Houston is where the heart is.

"Houston is a great city that is surrounded by a great suburb of the flavor of things I like to do," Helton says.

Helton has been an offensive coach in the National Football League for 11 years before accepting the UH coaching position.

His coaching experience includes stints with the Tampa Bay Bucaneers, the Houston Oilers, Los Angeles Raiders and the Miami Dolphins.

After his involvement with other teams in other cities, Helton said he is thrilled to be able to call Houston home again.

"I'm fortunate that Bill Carr has given me the opportunity to rebuild a football program that I think can be very successful."

However, Helton admits that he has not yet seen any game film on the Cougars but is eager to get involved again with the "total college atmosphere."

"I like college because if a player that I coached were to ever become successful, I could say and stand proud that I helped make that player become what he is."

One player that Helton could be boasting about in the future could be quarterback Jimmy Klingler.

Helton has thus far been unable to evaluate his talents in great detail.

"I have not watched Klingler on film," Helton said. "In my mind he does possess some of the tools that one needs to win. But about the only thing I know is that he is the starting quarterback until he proves otherwise."

Helton also adds that the Cougars will eventually get away from strictly employing the Run-and-Shoot offense, but will still be a pass-oriented offense none-theless.

"We will be a four wide-out team in initial and on third down," Helton said. "We will be a three-wide, one-tight end, and one-back team. And we will be a two-back, two-wide team."

The offense is just one of the many changes that Helton hopes will take place for the Cougars next season.

"The physical changes that need to take place are my abilities to have discipline on the football field," he said. "The attitude and image of this program is what I will fix immediately."

Helton said that study hall will be mandatory for all those players whose grade point average is under 2.0. Any player who misses the required study hall is expected to show up at 4:30 a.m. for an early-morning jog with Helton himself.

"Anyone who misses that has put themselves in jeopardy of not being on this football team." Helton said.

Helton said he believes that this particular strict style will help his players to be responsible and thus reflect on their overall performance on the football field.

"We are going to be proud," Helton said. "I want my guys to be honest, hard-nosed and classy football players."

The word "classy" was what many people familiar with college football thought the Cougars lacked during the coaching regime of John Jenkins.

After a successful 10-1 season in 1990, the Cougars suffered through a miserable 4-7 season in 1991, a year in which they were picked by most to seriously contend for a national championship. They followed that with another 4-7 campaign in 1992.

Jenkins' tactics on the football field, in which many claimed he intentionally "ran up the score" on opponents, often led opposing coaches to get the last laugh.

"I don't know what kind of person John Jenkins was," Helton said. "All I knew about him was what I saw on the field professionally. Other than that I have no idea about what his coaching philosophy was."

Nevertheless, Helton insisted that it is important that the football program move on and develop the winning attitude they once possessed.

"For us to be successful, we have to win the Southwest Conference and then the national championship," Helton said. "That is the bottom line. We are not going to be satisfied with ‘good enough’ or ‘we almost beat Texas.’ "

When asked if the Cougars would win the national championship, Helton responded positively. "I believe that we will," he said.

And that comes straight from the heart.

 

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SA REMODELS BUDGET, OFFICE AREA

by Rivka Gewirtz

Daily Cougar Staff

While the UH administration cuts jobs and eliminates classes, the Students' Association voted Monday night to use their excess student service fees to renovate their offices and start a full scale marketing campaign that includes tee-shirts, posters, cups and brochures.

SA budget amendments which will allow the redistribution of thousands of dollars in student fees passed 7-2 on the senate floor without committee review. Nine of the 19 summer session senators were present to vote on the amendment.

SA is completely funded by student service fees equalling $93,595.

Student Association President, Jason Fuller introduced SA bill #30004, which asked to move around $7,000 dollars in the remaining 1992-93 budget. The redistributed funds would be taken from parts of the budget that do not need money and given to parts that are lacking in fees. The bill also asks permission to spend a major portion of a carry forward fund. The fund is remaining money from the past two years that accumulated from unspent allocations and the non-compensation of executive cabinet members.

Executives do not get paid if they receive under a 2.5 average or if they are not full time students. The carry forward fund contains $16, 562.

The extra money will also be used to pay back any part of SA's budget which is presently over spent. SA's presidential inauguration, which was supposed to cost $1,000, but turned into a $2,316.60 affair, is now being paid back by the carry forward fund.

According to Fuller's bill, SA's office will get a "fresh new look" for a price that is not yet estimated. $2500 will go toward a marketing campaign meant to further involve students in SA.

"These offices have not been touched since the UC (university center) has been built. Last year there were wires hanging out that did not meet ADA standards," said Fuller

"We are going to add a partition and some carpeting. It will make it easier for students to work. It will also make the office a place where people want to come," he said.

At a time when SA presidential election voter turnout was 900 students out of 33,000, Fuller believes brochures and SA memorabilia will help incoming students become more involved in SA.

"We want to make sure we are inclusive of all students," said Fuller.

One of the opposing senators believes SA can become more student "inclusive" without spending large sums of money.

"The best marketing for SA is not spending money on advertising, but rather spending time with constituents," said Justin McMurtry, a senator for the College of Humanities Fine Arts and Communications.

"To have a more comfortable office would be nice if there was no cost involved, but there is. The vast majority of students don't even know where the office is," he said.

In response to the criticism of the bill, Fuller said, "I didn't really have to show this revised budget to the senate at all."

According to Director of Finance Hilary Harmon, Fuller has a strict check and balance system. She said every time Fuller writes a check, the money must be approved by two members of Campus Activities and Dean of Students William Munson.

Despite the "strict check and balance system", funds can be transferred by Accounts Payable without any student-elected officials knowing.

"If we need $70 to fix a computer and there is only $50 dollars left in the equipment account, than Accounts Payable will immediately transfer the funds from somewhere else," said Harmon

"It is true; this entire amendment could have happened without the senate knowing at all. He went through the proper channels anyway," she said.

Student Fees Advisory Committee, Munson and Trevino all recommended the redistribution without analyzing the actual numbers.

"I permitted the redistribution. Other units have in the past gone ahead and used carry forward plans for good priorities," said Munson.

Director of Campus Activities, Consuelo Trevino said she approved the redistribution without seeing the redistribution numbers, but did ask for estimations on how much the remodeling would cost. She added that any money spent would have to pass through her first.

There is some question as to why the excess money is not set aside so that SA can ask for less money in the next fiscal year.

Last year's presidential candidate, Cipriano Romero, insisted that using carry forward funds as excess money was "fiscally irresponsible." He said that if he were president, he would keep the excess $16,000 and ask for that much less from SFAC for the next fiscal year.

Director of SFAC Rodger Peters said this tactic would not work.

"It is good business practices for businesses to save their extra money for uncontrollable expenses," said Peters

However, he added, the possibility of UH using the excess funds exists. "If the extra money is just sitting in a fund, it’s tempting for administration to grab it up," he said.

 

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UH IN SPACE?

SHUTTLE CREW READY FOR TAKEOFF

by Kristine Fahrenholz

Daily Cougar Staff

If all goes well, UH’s Space Vacuum Epitaxy Center's research will really take off this November - on the space shuttle.

The Space Vacuum Epitaxy Center’s special project, the Wake Shield Facility, was unveiled Tuesday and is ready for the STS-60 shuttle mission Nov.10.

The Wake Shield Facility, located near Ellington Field, will be transported to Cape Canaveral, Florida July 1.

The Wake Shield Facility, is a free-flying object that will be extended by the arm of the shuttle.

The main objective of the mission is to grow ultra pure thin film materials in the almost perfect vacuum of space.

A perfect vacuum environment, which is needed for the thin film material growth, is almost impossible on earth, which is why the Wake Shield Facility was developed. The thin film will be used as a superconducting material for computers.

"The idea is to put America in a more competitive position in relation to high speed electronics and technology, " said Mick Owens, the assistant director for administration at the SVEC.

If the experiment is successful, computers could become 'supercomputers' with machines running eight times faster, said Alex Ignatiev, the director of the SVEC.

After the eight days in flight, the materials that were grown on the mission will be extracted, Owens said.

Then sections of the wafers will be sent to places like Texas Instruments to find out if the theories were correct about developing a pure superconducting wafer, or thin film, in space, he added.

There will be at least three more flights and then subsequent flights each year with the experiments growing increasingly complex, Owens said.

The Wake Shield Facility will extend about 40 miles from the shuttle because the Wake Shield Facility, cannot be contaminated in order for the thin film materials to grow.

"The whole process of growing the thin film materials is computer controlled, " Owens said.

"(Control of the project) is principally from the ground, " Ignatiev said.

The SVEC, part of UH’s College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics, was chartered by NASA in 1986.

The Wake Shield Facility, cost $12.5 million. The original estimated cost was at $50 million to $100 million.

Six of the seven astronauts attended the unveiling of the Wake Shield Facility. They are undergoing intensive training for the mission.

Russian Cosmonaut Sergei Krikalev, a mission specialist, will be on board the shuttle.

"This is very interesting for me, " said Krikalev. "Not only the hardware, but preparing for the spaceflight also," he said.

The crew consists of Charles Bolden, commander; Ken Reightler, pilot; Jan Davis, Ron Sega, Franklin Chang-Diaz and Sergei Krikalev, mission specialists.

 

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ATHLETICS PLAGUED BY DEBT, LOW ATTENDANCE, OVERSPENDING

by Robert L. Arnold

Daily Cougar Staff

The athletic department's goal of being financially self-sufficient in five years by increasing ticket sales and corporate sponsorship may be thwarted by debt, low attendance of games, and over-spending.

The athletic department finally saw a positive ending balance in fiscal year 1992, after being in debt for the past 10 years, but the department expects to have a negative balance again at the end of fiscal year 1993.

The positive balance in fiscal 1992 was due mainly to the John and Rebecca Moore contribution of $25 million to the athletic department for the building of the Athletic/Alumni Center.

When the building of the center was postponed for one year because of over-budgeting, the money was placed in an endowment fund to earn enough interest to cover the unexpected increase.

According to the athletic department's general ledger for 1992, a transfer of $1.7 million was taken from the interest made on the endowment fund.

This transfer of funds, plus higher revenues than the previous year, wiped out the $2.1 million debt.

Athletic's general ledger for fiscal 1993, as of June 15, is predicting a tentative debt of $3.2 million at the end of the fiscal year.

William Carr, UH athletic director, said the main sources of revenue are the football and basketball teams, both of which are in debt at this time.

The football program is currently running a debt of $194,301, a jump from a debt of $67,000 in May, and the basketball program is "in the red" by $37,883.

Some of the football program's expenditures, according to the June 15 ledger, are as follows:

• Alcoholic Beverages - $1050.

• Uniforms - $105,804.

• Travel for recruiting - $86,846.

• Travel for scouting opponents’ teams- $4,505.

• Tuition, fees, books, and room and board for one year, per student on scholarship - $8,294 - a total of $705,000 for the 85 students on scholarship in the football program.

In addition to these costs, the athletic department's current revenues are $3 million less than they were in fiscal 1992.

Roland Sparks, business manager for the athletic department, said if the department does become self-sufficient they will no longer need to take the 34 percent of student fees they currently receive.

This amount of student service fees given to the athletic department totaled $2 million in both fiscal 1992 and 1993. The amount for 1995 is projected to be $2.4 million.

Carr said one of the main goals to become self-sufficient is to have an average attendance of 40,000 at all home-football games.

The aspiration of having one percent of the population of greater Houston come watch the Cougars play is very optimistic, as the average attendance for the past three years has been in the low 20,000 range.

"It will probably take a year to see if this plan is going to work, but we will have somewhat of a clearer idea at the end of football season," said Sparks.

 

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RICE MOVIES EXPOSE FOLLIES OF POLITICIANS

by Frank San Miguel

Daily Cougar Staff

This summer the Rice Media Center tosses a Molotov cocktail with the Houston premiere of three political films covering thought control, political imagery as humor and a dark agenda within military intervention.

Last weekend, <I>Manufacturing Consent: Noam Chomsky and the Media<P> chronicled the life of the linguist, media critic and eighth most-cited author in academic humanities journals. At 64, Chomsky has dissected, like no one else, the American mindset and agents of social control.

<I>Consent’s<P> first segment, the 95-minute "Thought Control in a Democratic Society," is centered around Chomsky’s most provocative theory: In democratic countries, where force is used less as coercion, the populace is subject to more subtle forms of ideological control.

Such subtleties by government, media, academia and business "manufacture consent" and tacit approval of oppressive actions taken in support of ideals.

Fluff media like talk shows, Chomsky posits, are mass entertainment. Their task is to marginalize the public by distracting them from decision making – a duty intended for elites – and making them passive with an unreal value system.

In the 70-minute closing, "Activating Dissent," Chomsky says the key is defending ourselves against propaganda: "Propaganda is to a democracy what violence is to a dictatorship."

The documentary is peppered with Chomsky’s detractors. Tom Wolfe calls the theories "the most absolute rubbish I’ve ever heard." A parade of others–New York Times writers, professors, authors and more–savage the linguist. Still, the film will leave many talking and thinking.

Following the weighty <I>Consent<P>, the second in the series gives us a lighter look at politics. <I>Feed<P> makes its Houston premiere June 24 and 25.

Borrowing its name from video parlance, the film poses the question: which is more foolish–the public or private personas of politicians? Hard to tell with <I>Feed<P>, which documents the 1992 presidential campaign, its contenders and pretenders and the love-hate relationship between politicos and television.

Directors Kevin Rafferty and James Ridgeway pieced their film together from 29 hours of satellite dish "feeds" and footage of the New Hampshire primary to present 76 minutes of pure gems – most of which happened when the candidates didn’t think people were watching.

"This is the real thing – this isn’t Dana Carvey," mumbles George Bush to his crew. Jerry Brown picks a fight over whether his tie is straight. Ross Perot fires off tasteless jokes and roars with laughter.

Other segments are stranger. Pat Buchanan waves off Orthodox Jews holding up signs reading "Pat=Nazi." Hillary Clinton shakes hands with a homeless drunk, thanking him for supporting her husband’s campaign. Bush booster Arnold Schwarzenegger at a rally refers to the Democratic contenders as "girly-men."

Campaign stops show the candidates’ quick reflexes. Paul Tsongas estimates $1.79 to a hostile constituent who asks if he knows how much a gallon of milk costs. Clinton flinches when someone asks how many abortions he’s responsible for. On the other hand, anti-abortion Buchanan dashes off when a woman asks why he has no children.

<I>Feed<P> is one of the rare glimpses into politicians’ humanity as well as their inhumanity.

Wrapping up the series, Barbara Trent’s Academy Award-winning <I>The Panama Deception<P> premieres July 24 and 25, offering a riveting indictment of the Bush administration’s oft-forgotten Central American conflict.

Gruesome footage and survivors’ stories show the shattered lives of Panamanians as American invaders return home. Much of the footage makes it to screen for the first time, making <I>The Panama Deception<P> one of the first documentaries to escape military censors’ gaze.

Trent pulls no punches in detailing Bush’s links with Manuel Noriega when the ex-prez was director of the CIA. Rather than a hated enemy, Noriega was a Bush ally until the raid.

Operation Just Cause, argues Trent, was not a battle to free Panamanians nor to rid the world of a drug dealer. Rather, it was intended to install a regime receptive to negotiating the Canal treaty, ceding American control of the critical inlet in 1999.

<I>The Panama Deception<P> won this year’s Academy Award for Best Documentary.

 

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SHEEP BLEAT TO BEAT; RECORD TRULY BAAAAD

by Manuel Esparza

Daily Cougar Staff

Sheep On Drugs are here and they’re just what the world needs - another techno duo more skilled in hype than in making music. Where would we be without these musical messiahs out to save our faith and make a buck at the same time?

Are they really the saviours they tout themselves to be? It says so in their bio and the Sheep On Drugs wouldn’t lie to us. Duncan (vocals) and Lee (guitar, samples) formed Sheep in late 1991, had three top-10 UK singles on the Indie chart in 1992, and have released <I>Greatest Hits<P>, their debut album, stateside.

The album is one solid hour of generic dance music with a three-minute bonus track of bleating sheep. The only difference between this track and the other 10 is the lack of a drum machine.

The tracks are bald tires over-inflated with hot air lyrics that must have been lifted off a bathroom stall. Duncan chants, due to his lack of singing skills (read ‘He can’t carry a tune’) and tries to foist that off as his style.

The amazing thing about Sheep is how they are exactly what they claim not to be. The drum machine seems to have been left in the metronome mode, while the samples Lee uses to decorate the cuts are as daring as ordering vanilla ice cream.

Their attempts at originality are undermined by their use of formula. The songs are approximately five and a half minutes each, with a dance music beat that allows DJs to splice in other material and just a few extraneous noises to distinguish between songs.

The word content lets the band posture as the hip young sage types, but it's the same material that pop music has been pushing for more than 20 years.

Sheep On Drugs really should be praised for one fact: They hood-winked some record exec into thinking that they had talent.

 

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NEGATIVE IMAGES TO BE FOUGHT

LAWYERS COULD GET BOOST FROM BAR ATTEMPT AT DISPELLING MYTHS

by Rafe Wooley

Daily Cougar Staff

Lawyers can win settlements, keep clients out of jail and even intimidate a debt collector

Yet most people still hate them.

That's why the American Bar Association wants to change negative perceptions about lawyers.

The ABA is planning a new public relations campaign designed to improve the relationship between lawyers and the public and to emphasize the positive aspects of the profession.

The attempt to change the negative perceptions of lawyers is a good idea, says UH law Professor Richard Alderman.

Alderman, also known as Channel 13's "The People's Lawyer," says it is possible a public relations campaign can help change the public's negative perceptions.

"It certainly wouldn't hurt," Alderman says. "For example, I offer free advice on television. I give away thousands of wills, too. I think television can be a great public relations tool for lawyers."

The ABA's public relations campaign may include producing television programs that offer practical advice on how to choose a lawyer," said Michael T. Scanlon, the ABA's media expert.

"It is important that the ABA develops better communication with the public. We need to rebuild the public's trust," Scanlon said.

Scanlon admits good public relations alone won't give lawyers a more positive image.

"Many improvements must be made within the legal system itself," Scanlon says. "Unethical lawyers are one of the biggest problems, and states need to open up their processes for judging them."

Cayhan Parsi, a UH law student, says a public relations campaign will be an exercise in futility.

"Most people have already formed their opinions about lawyers from movies and more television ads aren't going to change their minds," Parsi says.

He says the negative perceptions are probably not going to change a student's mind about entering law school.

"Before I got into law school, I had an uninformed opinion about lawyers and the legal system. I think this is true for most people," Parsi says.

He says many of the public's negative perceptions stem from lawyers who are only concerned about large settlements and not about the people involved.

Law Center Associate Dean Laura Rothstein says lawyers could benefit from positive publicity.

"The profession isn't perfect, we have a lot of bad apples, but we also have a lot of good attorneys who have a social conscience," Rothstein says.

She says Alderman is an example of how lawyers can effectively use the media to improve relations with the public.

"In the 60s and 70s, most people liked lawyers because they thought they could do good things for the public," Rothstein says.

She says it is important to remember that all professions have a share of unethical practitioners and despite what many think, the law profession is not disproportionately represented by unethical people.

 

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MEMORIES OF PEOPLE IN BONDAGE LIVES

by Brian Kehinde

Daily Cougar Staff

Not all of the slaves had knowledge of their freedom after President Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation.

This summer, Houston echoes that history.

Juneteenth is the name of a cultural freedom festival being celebrated throughout the week and on the weekend of the 19th and 20th.

The main attraction of the festival will be a parade on Saturday. It will officially begin downtown at 10 a.m. It will be followed by entertainment at the Miller Outdoor Theatre at noon.

There will be free soft drinks served and plenty of barbecue.

Because slavery was a major influence of contemporary soul, blues, and gospel music, many performers will celebrate that tradition.

From noon to midnight, all visitors and sightseers can view a wide range of talent on the theatre stage and in the park, including the distinctive 100 boys Mormon choir. Mayor Bob Lanier and several dignitaries will kick off the official program at 3 p.m.

Claudette Sims, of SHAPE Community Center, says, "It is celebrated here in Texas because the Confederate Army would not release the slaves from bondage until two and a half years after Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation.

"The army had to be forced to do so by President Johnson when he sent Union troops down to Galveston island, led by then Commander in Chief Gordon Granger. After seeing how quickly they were outnumbered and realizing they no longer had any ground to stand on or a higher power to turn to, the Confederates finally surrendered."

Basically, Juneteenth is a celebration of the permanent end to all slavery in this country and serves this country well as a way to remember the hardships and tragedy of slavery..

Juneteenth is a milestone formed by an important time in history -- a time when equality and freedom were only dreams.

 

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BLOOM'S DAY IMMORTALIZES

IRELAND'S MODERN ULYSSES

by Shane Patrick Boyle

Contributing Writer

March 17 isn't the only holy day the Irish keep.

Another date of near-religious importance is June 16 -- Bloom's Day.

This date commemorates James Joyce's famous experimental novel <I>Ulysses<P>, which was published in 1922 and set on June, 16, 1904 in honor of Joyce's first meeting with Nora, who would share the rest of his life with him.

<I>Ulysses<P>, like T.S. Eliot's <I>The Wasteland<P>, is an experiment in combining archaic and modern literary styles and enough allusions to keep scholars occupied 100 years.

The novel consists of episodes of Dublin life in allegorical contrasts to corresponding episodes in the legend of Odysseus, also known as Ulysses.

Protagonist Leopold Bloom, whose life is traced for one 24 hour period, is promoted by Joyce as a modern Ulysses -- off, not on his daily routine, but a quest.

But Bloom falls significantly short of heroic expectations, and his wife, Molly -- the mouse left at home all day while the cat's away -- is not exactly the faithful Penelope who waited for Ulysses all the years he was gone.

All the details about June 16, 1904 are as accurate as Joyce could possibly portray them after literally years of exhaustingly precise research. He even mapped out the paths of every character for the entire day, checking the length of time required to get from one point to the next, and made notes of what times characters crossed paths.

Today in Dublin, plaques at various locations proclaim fictional events that occurred on the site on that fateful day in 1904. These plaques often include the time.

Every year, tourists flock to Dublin to follow in Bloom's footsteps on Bloom's Day. In other parts of the world, public readings of the entire book -- a non-stop 18-hour task -- are staged to observe the holiday, such as the one Diverseworks hosted on June 12 (since the book's length makes it more conducive for reading on a weekend day).

But Joyce's writings have not always been so well received. When he first tried to get <I>Ulysses<P> published, no publishing house would touch it. The first printing was self-published and paid for by the Shakespeare and Company book store in Paris, a popular hangout for modernist writers staying in Paris including Ernest Hemingway and Gertrude Stein.

<I>Ulysses<P> was banned in the United States, Canada, and most of Europe at various times because of its experimental style, profanity, portrayal of sex, and graphic description of bodily functions. It was even burned in Ireland because of its unflattering portrayal of the Irish.

But today, almost 90 years after the original Bloom's Day, Joyce is recognized world-wide as one of the most important novelists of the early 20th century.

 

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WICHITA'S DREIFORT CAPTURES

TOP BASEBALL HONORS AT BANQUET

by Patti Warner

Daily Cougar Staff

Texas Longhorn star Brooks Kieschnick came to Houston over the weekend in hopes of going 4-for-4 in post season awards.

However, he will have to settle for three of the first four Player of the Year awards after Wichita State's version of Kieschnick snuck in as the winner of the R.E. "Bob" Smith award Monday night.

Darren Dreifort, whose 10-1 pitching record and 23 home runs helped lead the Shockers to the College World Series final, surprised even himself as the winner.

"I am certainly surprised," Dreifort said. "When people asked why I was coming to Houston, I told them I was coming for a dinner."

The Los Angeles Dodgers, who selected Dreifort as the second pick in the first round, will most likely look at his 110 strikeouts in 93 innings and turn him into a full-time pitcher.

Longhorn coach Cliff Gustafson was on hand to make a plea in Kieschnick's defense.

"We have been very blessed to have Brooks Kieschnick the last three years," Gustafson said. "Thank you," he added, gesturing upward.

Kieschnick said he is anxious to start his pro career as the first-round pick by the Chicago Cubs. Draft analysts have questioned the Cubs' choice, saying Kieschnick shouldn't have gone so high.

"I want to prove that I am a good baseball player," he said.

Texas A&M star Jeff Granger was another finalist for the award. He too was a first round pick and is expected to sign with the Kansas City Royals.

"Jeff Granger has done a lot for Texas A&M as well as the College Station community," Aggie coach Mark Johnson said. "We are very proud that he wore our uniform."

The fourth finalist was Louisiana State's second baseman Todd Walker, who finished the season as the College World Series' Most Outstanding Player.

Walker, only a sophomore, was destined for greatness.

"We kind of knew he was going to be a star when he took his nerf bat and knocked the Christmas tree ornaments off the tree," Donna Walker told the crowd about her son.

Past recipients of the Smith award include San Diego Padres' pitcher Andy Benes and Baltimore Orioles' pitcher Ben McDonald.

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