column title:

(Chris-Crossing Sports)

by Chris Peña

Nobody thought the Houston Cougars could reclaim the Final Four glories of seasons gone by. But even last year, UH could be counted on to be competitive not only in the Southwest Conference but nationally.

Last year, the Cougars beat then No. 22 Louisville at Hofheinz Pavilion, and lost to the eventual national champion North Carolina 84-76 in Chapel Hill.

At least last year they were coming up short against good teams.

This year they're falling to feared powerhouse Stephen F. Austin and mighty Texas-San Antonio.

The departure of Pat Foster at the end of the 92-93 season was hard enough to swallow, but the loss of three seniors was an even more bitter medicine for first-year head coach Alvin Brooks to take.

When he looked at his team, he saw a gaping hole in the middle created by the departure of consensus SWC player of the year Bo Outlaw.

He also saw that the loss of second team all-SWC forward David Diaz left him without a consistent scoring threat.

Losing Derrick Smith did not make things any better. Smith provided valuable rebounding muscle for the Cougars with 5.2 per game.

Left with this shell of a team, Brooks knew he had plenty of work to accomplish and not nearly enough time to do it in.

Tim Moore, who had been trying to get into UH for the last two years, finally passed the right tests.

Tyrone Evans only played in three games last year due to a stress fracture in his left foot, but this year he was supposed to contribute the offense that the team desperately needed.

About the only thing certain for this year's team was the return of second-team all-SWC point guard Anthony Goldwire, and last year's SWC 3-point shooting percentage leader, Jessie Drain, would be back for another season.

But Brooks' arrival meant new roles for his star players.

He instituted a run-and-gun attack that was completely different than Foster's methodical set offense.

The new system, forced Goldwire to move from the point to the shooting-guard spot where he had never played in his life.

It also meant that Drain was going to have to carry a larger share of the scoring load, a task he didn't have to worry about in his sophomore season.

Most anybody who knew anything about UH basketball picked them to finish dead last in the conference, and so far only Southern Methodist has performed worse.

The team doesn't have enough

leadership. The only seniors are Goldwire and center Rafael Carrasco.

Carrasco was a role player to begin with and anybody who thought he would be a statistical leader was hopelessly dreaming.

Drain, who last year averaged 10.8 points and 4.2 rebounds per game last season has disappointed many who thought he would vastly improve on those stats. He is only averaging 10.4 points in conference play and his rebounding has not improved.

Evans has not been the top player Brooks wanted him to be. He is only scoring 5.2 points per game, far below expectations.

Goldwire has continued to play tremendous ball. He and Moore at least worry opposing coaches.

What has hurt the team the most this year, besides scoring, is rebounding.

Moore has been the only player consistently rebounding. His 9.9 rebounds per game are twice what any other player on the team. It just seems as if the big guys don't want to get the ball bad enough.

The problem is that this team does not yet know how to win.

You have to wonder if this system will really work like it did at Nevada-Las Vegas. Brooks is no Jerry Tarkanian and he doesn't have Greg Anthony, Stacey Augmon, and Larry Johnson on his team.

It's about time this team came together and realized that they have the players and talent to play well in the Southwest Conference.

Maybe coach Brooks should take another look at his own philosophy and reassess the team's style of play.

It would be really sad to endure this kind of hoop hell for a longer period of time than is truly necessary.






by Christian Messa

News Reporter

The UH Physical Plant is making a move toward environmental-friendliness.

Thirty percent of the Physical Plant vehicle fleet must be converted into more environment-friendly vehicles by Aug. 31 in accordance with Texas legislation.

Thomas Wray, director of operations and maintenance at the Physical Plant, said in addition to the 30 percent slated for conversion by August, half of the fleet will have to be converted into environmentally sound vehicles by Aug. 31, 1995. The Physical Plant fleet consists of about 80 vehicles.

Wray said the environmentally safer vehicles are gasoline-powered, but can also operate off propane or compressed natural gas, said Wray. "There's an alternative fuel in the works for diesel engines, but I don't know if anyone's done it yet," he said.

Texas Bill 740 has required, since Sept. 1, 1991, that state agencies with a fleet of over 15 vehicles buy or lease vehicles with alternative fuel capabilities, according to a State of Texas General Services Commission memorandum. Law enforcement agencies and emergency vehicles are exempt from the requirement.

The memo, released by Senior Buyer Cory Odstrcil of the Purchasing Office states waivers can be submitted by an agency to delay its compliance.

Wray said he will try to apply for some of these waivers because of a problem with the vehicles' cost-effectiveness.

It costs about $2,300 to convert a vehicle to propane usage, he said. For a compressed natural gas conversion, the cost is about $3,500.

Gasoline-powered vehicles are cheaper in terms of fuel costs, while the equivalent miles per gallon for alternative-fueled vehicles are lower in comparison to gas-powered vehicles.

That is why "for vehicles driven not much, it's not cost-effective," he said. The waiver dealing with cost-effectiveness must be renewed every two years.

Although the Physical Plant does not have a dual-fueled vehicle, Wray said there was no major difference in performance between a test vehicle and a gasoline-powered vehicle.

Bill Johnson, coordinator of building services for the University Center and UC-Satellite, said he agreed. Johnson said, "You can't tell the difference if you're not looking down at the switch." Workers at the UC use a propane-powered Ford truck, which has a switch to alternate between gasoline and propane fuel.

Parker Floyd, director of the Printing Plant, said the department uses a 1993 three-quarter ton GMC panel van to deliver printed material on campus. The van gets the equivalent of 18 to 20 miles per gallon, or almost a week's worth of deliveries for each tank of fuel. Liquified petroleum powers the van.

In addition to using cleaner burning fuels to reduce damage to the environment, increased alternative fuel usage should improve the Texas job market.

Rochelle Pemberton, a program administrator at the Texas Railroad Commission, said a grant from the United States Department of Labor will help in training laid-off military personnel to repair these alternative fuel engines. The $480,979 grant will be spread over an 18-month period, with training scheduled to begin in May. The program will be renewed if the training program is successful.

The concept of using dual-fueled vehicles appears in the Clean Air Act amendments of 1990.






by Michica N. Guillory

Daily Cougar Staff

Asked to trade a cardboard box for her backpack and fanny pack, a female student was robbed Sunday at 3:30 p.m. in the Art and Engineering Annex by a man claiming to have a gun. She was unharmed by the suspect.

The victim was seated alone in the ARA building when the suspect came in carrying a cardboard box. He approached her and threw the box at her saying, "You can hold that and I'll take that," according to UHPD reports.

After taking the student's belongings the man allegedly said,"If you scream or do anything, I will shoot you."

He then ran out of the building and, according to the police report, the victim said she heard a car start shortly thereafter.

The suspect is described as a black male in his early 20s with a light brown complexion, thin mustache and short, black hair.

He is about 5 feet 9 inches tall and 150 pounds with a thin build. He was wearing a purple shirt of a jersey-type material.

Though the man left the building on foot, a student saw a car leave lot 18A where the suspect may have gotten away in a vehicle. The car is described as a tan or light brown, four-door sedan and was seen heading toward Elgin.

Also, though the suspect said he had a weapon, none was displayed to the student, the report said.

Anyone with information is urged to call the campus police at 743—3333.






by Tanya Eiserer

Daily Cougar Staff

Monday's Students’ Association meeting went off this time without a hitch as senators passed three pieces of legislation, but the"logogate" controversy overshadowed part of the meeting.

Greg Propes, internal affairs chairman and a senator from the College of Social Sciences, delivered the committee's findings on "logogate."

The controversy erupted over the disclosure that SA had paid $150 to put SA logos on T-shirts for SA President Jason Fuller's fraternity, Sigma Phi Epsilon.

"I don't know that we are making a mountain out of a molehill, but it is definitely a conflict of interest," Propes said.

Hunter Jackson, a member of the internal affairs committee, said it is not right to prevent organizations from receiving SA funds just because Fuller is a member.

Fuller is a member of about 20 different organizations.

"Think of SA first. A lot of negative press has come out about SA," said Eric Bishop, a College of Education senator. "The whole thing has made SA look bad, but I believe that there was no conflict of interest."

Bishop asked that Fuller and Angie Milner, SA director of public relations, be left alone.

Stephanie Felts, an at-large senator, agreed "logogate" made SA look bad and said she wants a more thorough system of financial accountability.

Fuller and Milner still maintain there was not a conflict of interest involved.

After the Student Fee Advisory Committee completes its own probe of SA finances, SA funds will be released.

Steven Shorts, SA treasurer, said he and Fuller will meet with SFAC to "justify every dollar we spend."

"They will be putting their approval on everything we spend," Shorts said.

SFAC will complete its investigation by the end of the week.

Recent Senate meetings have been faced with quorum problems and a lack of organization, but this meeting saw a bill passed to correct the problem created by last year's speaker, Michelle Palmer, not signing legislation enacted by the 29th Senate.

In the bill, the Senate voted to accept all of the legislation passed by the previous Senate rather than going through the lengthy process of going before the University Hearing Board.

Coy Wheeler, the present speaker, after talking to several administrators, said they said this was the best way to quickly solve the problem with as little hassle as possible.

Senators also passed legislation allocating $1000 to set up the Textbook Resale Information Service.

Fuller and Senator Justin McMurtry of HFAC said they hope to have a pilot program with a director in charge by the summer.

The Senate, after some debate, consented to spending funds to allow Fuller to travel to Washington, D.C., to attend the Fifth National Conference on Student Diversity from March 3-5.

McMurtry questioned Fuller to find out if this trip would really have direct benefits for SA.

A friendly amendment was added to make sure Fuller gives a full report of the conference to the newly elected executive and legislative members.

Fuller plans to meet with seven U.S. representatives, including Craig Washington and Jack Fields, and U.S. senators, including Kay Bailey Hutchison and Phil Gramm, to bring UH's educational and financial needs to their attention.

"We are a school of 33,000 – it is incumbent upon this organization to have representation from this body to go," said Jackson, a senator representing the College of Business.






by Jennifer Silverman

Daily Cougar Staff

Diversity was the word repeated by Chancellor Alex Schilt at the University Planning and Policy meeting, Monday, in the University Hilton.

The meeting was comprised of the head of each college, except for the College of Law. The question that lingered in the air was, "What is the role of university in society?"

Schilt said the critical challenges facing the university were the need to "come to terms with what an institution is, listening, coming up with a set of priorities and diversity."

He said the board believed that we are "a city and a school at risk."

He said he wants to recruit African American and Hispanic students at both the graduate and undergraduate level, diversify the faculty and staff and diversify whom we do business with.

"As of December 23, 1993 the University of Houston was selected as one of 21 planning institutions selected out of 146 for the American Association of Colleges' curriculum and Faculty Development Network Grant titled American commitments: Diversity, Democracy and Liberal Learning.

This is a two-year planning and development grant for diversity that will include liberal arts colleges, comprehensiveness, and research institutions."

University of Houston President James Pickering has mentioned the importance of faculty involvement in ultimately having diversity become one of the defining characteristics and dimensions of UH.

He is very interested in the ideas and perceptions of this committee concerning ways to facilitate this process ,which he visualizes as taking place over the next few years."

At the meeting, Chancellor Schilt stressed the importance of undergraduate travel. He said that 80 percent of UH students travel abroad, but only to European countries, while 500,000 Japanese students travel to the United States.






by James Aldridge

Daily Cougar Staff

In an effort to stop the negative attitude towards public schools, the Metropolitan Volunteer Program and a new independent student organization called the Campus Movement are launching a project designed to reach underprivileged children.

The purpose of the education advocacy program is to "bring college students and the community together (and) to build a nation of education advocates," Alex Nett, Campus Movement student organizer said.

Currently, the Campus Movement is looking for college volunteers to help students in the areas of art, reading and writing. Nett, a junior, communications major, said that the organization wants to provide non-traditional role models for the students in these specific educational areas in order to broaden their horizons. Nett said she wants college students to help local children who do not come from a rich environment.

At their January open house, there were 35 people interested in volunteering. Nett said that a definite plus for students is to be enthusiastic and motivated.

"We're excited that a lot of people are excited," said Nett.

The organization is pleased with its progress thus far.

"I think the program will be successful because there's a lot of room for people to volunteer and do things in schools," Nett said.

Some of the projects the Campus Movement wants to include are reading aloud to the students, bringing children to the UH campus, a four-week Make-A-Book program, decorating a car for the art car parade, and showing children how to recycle.

In the Make-A-Book program each child, with the help of the volunteer, will write a story, illustrate it and finally have it printed and bound.

The art car project will only be done if the Campus Movement can find a car to decorate and is certain that the parade will come to Houston again this year. Nett said she contacted the parade organizers and has learned that the parade will come to Houston pending sponsorship.

The Campus Movement, still in its planning stages, has yet to determine which particular elementary school they will volunteer for. Organizers have been busy drafting proposals to principals hoping to pinpoint a pilot school.

The Campus Movement itself is an idea from Teach For America, a five-year-old New York-based national organization designed to draw non-education college graduates to teaching.

Nett said the competitive program Teach For America is "Like the peace corps for teachers."

Teach For America week is scheduled for April 9 through 16 during which time the corps members will come to campus.







by Louise Yearout

News Reporter

The excitement of Central America filled the Houston Room as Latin American singers, musicians and dancers, authentically-costumed, entertained a festive crowd for five hours Sunday afternoon.

More than 400 people from the Houston community delved into cultural sights and sounds of Central America at the Fourth Annual Arturo Monsanto Latin American Folk Festival.

The festival, established by Associate Professor of Spanish Carlos Monsanto in memory of his son, the late UH graduate Arturo Monsanto, has grown since its inception four years ago. This year, Mayor Bob Lanier recognized its importance by signing a proclamation that named Feb. 13—19, 1994, as Central American Cultural Awareness Week.

Monsanto said the festival is different this year because it focuses specifically on the Central American countries. Each year the festival's purpose is "to help raise (money for) scholarships for qualified Hispanic students and UH students studying Spanish, to focus on the positive aspects of Latin America, to bring Hispanics together through the universal language of art and to remember my son, Arturo, who loved his Latin American heritage," said Monsanto.

While the performers steamed up center stage, some attendees perused colorful and exotic native crafts, including jewelry, wood carvings and leather goods. Sponsoring consulates of Belize, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Honduras, Guatemala, Nicaragua and Panama provided the craft work. The consulates, Continental Airlines and several national airlines also provided tourist information for each country.

Native foods such as tamales and refried beans were served.

The Ballet Folklorico Hispano-Americano de Houston and other local performers, as well as performers from the Central American countries performed. Between performances Monsanto, who is legally blind, kept the music flowing by delighting everyone with his mastery of the electric keyboard. Stefan from Guatemala and Carlos Ricardo Corsi Huertas from Costa Rica commanded the crowd's attention with their singing. Huertas's feverish guitar playing brought shouts of approval from the crowd. Maria Gladys Canton Duke, who hails from El Salvador, captivated the audience as she sang. Her accompanist, Antonio Oliva, is the lead guitarist for El Salvador's top rock and jazz band, Fiebre Amarilla ("Yellow Fever"), she said.

Duke speaks as passionately as she sings. In an earlier interview, she said she did not begin performing her music until seven years ago, when she decided to use her it to help others. Duke is a wealthy coffee plantation owner and land developer.

During her formative years, her parents refused to let her perform, because it was not considered respectable. Now she uses her music to bring joy to others, and to raise money to help her people. She has also been instrumental in establishing medical programs and birth control education in her country. She said she was thrilled to perform at the festival.

Unfortunately, the sound system malfunctioned during some of the performances. After her performance Duke told the audience, "I love you, but I don't like the sound." Monsanto responded with,"You did it nicely! Next time we will have better sound."

Access Houston will broadcast the festival on Feb. 28 at 8 p.m. on E1, the education one cable channel (Warner channel 17 and TCI channel 39), said Tony Davila, an Access Houston producer.

Monsanto said he is grateful to his past and present students for their help with the festival. "My students have been exceptional with their time. It is very moving."

Plans for next year's festival will be made later this week. Monsanto is considering suggestions that the southernmost countries of South America or Spain be highlighted.






by Dan Scholl

Daily Cougar Staff

The men's and women's track teams were in Oklahoma City Friday and Saturday when they competed in the Oklahoma City Track Classic.

Sam Jefferson and Ubeja Anderson anchored the men with second place finishes in their respective events.

Jefferson tied his season best time in the 55-meters with a mark of 6.29 seconds. Anderson bettered his best with a 7.23 in the 55-meter hurdles.

The field events team had a good weekend, putting five people into the finals. Nathan Labus had a fourth place finish in the pole vault. He reached a height of 16 feet 6 inches, which bettered his season high by 11 inches.

On the women's side Dawn Burrell finished third, tying her fastest time this year in the 55-meter hurdles.

Drexel Long took fourth in the 400-meter dash with a time of 56.39. She also ran on the fifth place 4x400 relay team.

Two different Houston quarter-mile relay teams have provisionally qualified for the NCAA Indoor Championships.

<B>Swimmers dominate freestyle<P>

The Swimming team lost a Southwest Conference meet 143-119 at Rice Friday.

The Cougars had a free hand with the Owls in the freestyle events. The swimmers won all the freestyle distances except the 1000-yard event. Alexandra Heyns had firsts in the 200 and 100. She recorded a time of 1:52.04 in the 200 which set a pool record. Kristen de la Torre won the 50 and Suzanne Wingenter won the 500. The other wins came from Niki Clegg in the 100-yard breaststroke and the 400-yard medley relay.

<B>Tennis, Mormon style<P>

The Cougar tennis team spent the weekend in Utah when they played matches against No. 17 Bringham Young and Utah.

The stormin' Mormons of BYU (5-1) handed the Cougars a shutout, on Friday, as they swept straight sets in both doubles and singles for a 9-0 victory.

The Cougars (0-3) played Utah on the next day and faired a little better.

The final on Saturday was 5-4 and single sets were won by Cecilia Piedrahita, Kristen Paris, Amanda Barnett. The couple of Caty Sanchez and Barnett won in doubles.

Sam Houston State comes into town today for a 1:30 p.m. match at Chancellors Racquet Club and Fitness Club at 6535 Dumfries.






by Rosario Peña

Daily Cougar Staff

The place to be this month is 1600 Smith as country singer Brian Black kicks-off this spring season on Cullen Center stage and Texans begin the Texas Arts Celebration '94.

Tomorrow, Brian Black and his band will get the spring season rolling with a performance on the Cullen Center Stage, 1600 Smith Plaza downtown, 11:30 a.m.—12:30 p.m.

Although his brother Clint is better known, Brian has been making a name for himself headlining a sold out performance at the 63rd annual Southwest International Rodeo in El Paso, Texas.

He has also collaborated with James Healy and rising country singer Doug Supernaw and co-wrote "Must Be Hearing Things," now featured on radio.

Brian Black's performance is free and is accompanied by a picnic lunch.






Buying CDs is more than the box

by Tom Turner

Daily Cougar Staff


When was the last time you went and bought a new compact disc? Do you remember how much you paid for it? Unfortunately, in most cases you were ripped off, plain and simple.

On the one hand you can support the idea that it's all a business and for the consumer, you can either get run over or learn to move out of the way. Thus, many people continue to buy the same ridiculously overpriced compact discs, as the big-wigs of the industry cash in at your expense. On the other hand, there is the notion that we, as consumers, should in some way be able to control this overpricing of compact discs.

The average price for a new CD ranges from about $12-16 in the U.S. Considering how much it costs to actually make, package and distribute a compact disc, that seems awfully expensive.

The average cost for making a compact disc ranges from $2-4 for mass distributed works. The price of an album is a compilation of several smaller aspects, that many times are lost sight of. The material the music is recorded on, the inlay, the case, the producer, the manager and the Professor and Mary Ann, too.

So, now you may wonder, "So how much does it all add up to per disc or per tape?" You can add it all up on one hand, unless you throw in double albums and other exceptions, but we won't get into that.

Now, obviously there is a whole chain of pockets that must be filled before it ever makes its way back to the reason why the album was purchased (that's the band, in case anyone lost sight of that). In the end, from a monetary standpoint, the loser is the consumer and the industry is eating it up.

Now I'm sure that some may be saying, "Well so what, I can't do anything to control the price of music." Others may be saying, "Why don't you just shut up and deal with it." I will be the last person to say boycott all those big, bad record labels and their overpriced albums. Simply because in some way or another music is a part of all of our lives.

In the same breath, I will also say that I'll be the last one to just roll over and play stupid, when it's obvious that consumers are getting ripped off.

Many consumers subscribe to the idea that either buy it used, on sale or just don't buy it. This brings up another snag for the music industry in the distribution and sales of compact discs. The used compact disc market only makes up one percent of the $9 billion U.S. record industry.

Used compact discs sell for about $2-9. However, several record companies have kicked and screamed saying that's so unfair. Well, guess what guys, they can't take the same awful medicine that they put in front of their consumers.

These companies state that the sale of used compact discs deprives the artist of their royalties and reduces the profits of their organizations. In some cases, this may be true, but I'm sure that they make up for any such "losses" by overpricing concerts, merchandise and a whole slew of other things.

Since we're on the topic of record companies, another issue comes to mind. I'm sure we all remember back in April of last year when there was a wave of so-called environmentalism flooding through the music industry. Mainly I am speaking of the elimination of the compact disc long box for the more "environmentally friendly" jewel box. At the time, many people looked at this and thought, "Hey that's really great, they care about the environment too." Well, I hate to burst anyone's bubble, but the picture they painted sure isn't that pretty! It's all about money folks.

By doing away with the long box, the industry saved a great deal of money on packaging the compact discs. They were able to do away with all of the people who contributed in this packaging, so money went back to their already stuffed pockets.

After all is said and done, many music retailers argue that the compact discs were already overpriced on the wholesale level. With the "environmental" maneuver, the music industry simply sugar-coated the medicine this time. Companies will and have reaped huge profits and savings that will never come back to the pockets of the retailers or the consumers. As one store owner put it, it was all about profit not conservation.

No matter how favorably one tries to look at the music industry, the image is obliterated as soon as the record companies are introduced into the picture. Even though these are the groups who are able to mass produce the oh-so wonderful sounds of whatever happens to be "popular" at the time, they prey on the consumer at almost every angle.

The options left open to the consumer are slim at best. The only exceptions are the few, but growing, used compact disc stores and several technological advancements which in the near future may have those big-name companies begging for mercy.

Turner is a sophomore majoring in psychology.

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