TURNER SHOOTS DOWN FALCON

by Tom Turner

Daily Cougar Staff

Have you ever noticed a few things around you and realized that these are usually the things that are overlooked daily in our lives? This is the fundamental concept Billy Falcon attempts to capture on his latest release, <I>Letters From A Paper Ship<P>.

<I>Letters From A Paper Ship<P> is the second release for Falcon. His debut was <I>Pretty Blue World<P> on PolyGram Records. The 11-track album has a fairly full range of different songs; from straight rock to slow, ballad-like songs.

The overall sound on the latest release is structured from acoustic guitar and straightforward rhythms. This creates an almost folk-rock type of sound evident in most of the tracks. In a way, much of the music has a resemblance to some of the work done by the BoDeans, but not quite as good.

On <I>Ship<P>, Falcon is able to put together a few catchy tracks. Some of these include "Wonder Years," "Lovebirds," "Drinks and Jewelry" and "Paper Ship." These tend to be the only truly original tracks on the album.

Unfortunately for Falcon, every so often, he tends to come across as a Bon Jovi impersonator. Not a good idea. This is evident on tracks such as "Cold Hard World" and "I Like How It Feels." Also, "Don't Want Any" sounds very much like some of the more recent work done by Phil Collins, but it's still a fairly decent song.

On <I>Ship<P>, Falcon leads the group's many members with his vocals and acoustics. Other musicians on the album include Danny Torroll, guitar; Byron House, bass; and Eddie Bayers, drums. The list goes on and on of other musicians who contributed something or another to the musical work done on the album.

Billy Falcon's release is basically a collection of mediocre tracks that don't really provide much of an ear-grabber. With a few tracks that cause a little spark, Falcon doesn't seem to have quite enough to keep the fire burning on this album.

 

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LIBERAL ARTS GRADS MUST RACK PAVEMENT

by Meagan McGovern

Special to the Cougar

Three months after University of Houston engineering majors march to "Pomp and Circumstance" in caps and gowns and pick up their diplomas, 92 percent of them have a job offer.

But of those who majored in humanities and fine arts, only 42 percent had been offered full-time work.

But that's not reason enough for prospective liberal arts majors to be discouraged, according to David Small, who runs UH's Career Planning and Placement Center.

"The first criteria should not be whether or not there's a job immediately available," Small said. "The most important thing a graduate should look for is job satisfaction."

There may be little satisfaction, however, for the 58 percent of liberal arts majors, who, more than 90 days after graduation, are still looking for work – often while fending off creditors who want the recent grads to pay off student loans.

The major students had in college is still the most important aspect as to whether or not a student will find a job right away, said Small, but in the long run, liberal arts majors do just as well as other majors in their careers –it's just getting started that's rough.

"We get requests from employers for business majors, accounting majors, chemical engineers. No one comes in and says, 'We need a philosopher in our office – can we have a social science major, please?' "

But, Small says, liberal arts majors do well once they get hired – and compared with other schools in the state, UH graduates have a better chance of actually landing that job.

"Our students are older, they're better prepared for a real job and we have a bigger minority population here. If an employer is trying to increase diversity within their company, they'll come here. We have a 10 percent black population. The University of Texas has only 4 percent. Employers are more likely to find what they're looking for here," Small said.

But among the 402 colleges and universities monitored by the College Placement Council in Bethlehem, Pa., job offers to graduating seniors still remain well below their pre-recession peaks –even for science and engineering majors.

Offers from the aerospace industry have plunged from 7.4 percent of the offers students received five years ago to 1.4 percent in 1993.

Offers by oil companies, traditionally a big employer of Houston grads, fell from 9.4 percent to 2.1 percent and by drug companies from 5.2 percent to 3.9 percent.

Even the time-honored tradition of going back to school, getting a Ph.D. and teaching is no longer infallible – of Princeton's crop of new Ph.D.s this year, 13 percent ended up unemployed as of late August, compared with 5 percent a year earlier.

There are options, however, to help avoid a bleak outlook upon graduation. There seems to be a consensus among employers everywhere – there are always jobs for good people.

"I'll hire someone I don't have the budget for, someone I didn't plan on, if I know they're good,"

said Robert Ackerley, a local business owner, who was on campus recently interviewing soon-to-be graduates.

"Any employee who will be loyal and trustworthy is a good bet – regardless of major, grade point average or even experience," he said.

Small agrees. "If a student loves his major, has some experience with it in college and loves what he'll do when he gets out of school, then he'll make a great employee. And that's what people are looking for."

Once former UH students are actually into the work force, the outlook does improve.

UH grads receive, on average, a slightly higher starting salary than the national average – in a city that ranks below average for the cost of living – all in all, a good incentive to keep looking for the perfect job – for however long after graduation it takes.

 

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PROFS RAKING IT IN, DATA SAY

Daily Cougar Staff Reports

Professors have the highest salaries and competitive fringe-benefit packages compared with other professions, as indicated in a profile of full-time faculty members based on information culled by the American Association of University Professors.

Figures for the 1993-94 school year cover 334,365 professors at institutions with academic ranks. Professors, who account for 36.3 percent of the ranked faculty, have a nationwide average salary of $61,100, with fringe benefits totalling $14,900. Of those ranked as professor, 96.7 percent have tenure.

A slight variance in figures exists between the associate and assistant professors. Associate professors make, on average, $45,400 annually and garner $11,900 in fringe benefits. Assistant professors make an average of $37,800, and receive $10,000 in fringe benefits. The major divergence, however, occurs in proportions of faculty ranked at these two levels who have tenure: Although 83.7 percent of associate professors have tenure, only 16 percent of assistant professors have tenure.

Instructors, lecturers and those faculty members not ranked account for 6.1 percent, 2.3 percent and 1 percent of the 334,365 faculty members, respectively; they make $28,700, $31,400 and $34,900, respectively, and procure fringe benefits totalling $7,900, $8,600 and $9,100, respectively. Of the latter three faculty levels, 5.6 percent of the instructors, 2.4 percent of lecturers and 19.6 percent of nonranked faculty members have tenure.

"The average salary for full-time Texas faculty is $60,000. The average for all faculty in Texas is $43,000," said Charles Zucker, president of the Texas Faculty Association.

Professors' salaries are often much less than people with the same level of education who are practicing in their given fields, Zucker added. He said an engineering professor commonly makes thousands of dollars less than a practicing engineer. Zucker said some professors do consulting work to keep up financially with people in their fields.

According to the U.S. Department of Education, faculty in Texas make about $5,000 less than their counterparts in such states as New York, New Jersey, Georgia, Florida, North Carolina and Ohio.

 

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PROFS RAKING IT IN, DATA SAY

Daily Cougar Staff Reports

Professors have the highest salaries and competitive fringe-benefit packages compared with other professions, as indicated in a profile of full-time faculty members based on information culled by the American Association of University Professors.

Figures for the 1993-94 school year cover 334,365 professors at institutions with academic ranks. Professors, who account for 36.3 percent of the ranked faculty, have a nationwide average salary of $61,100, with fringe benefits totalling $14,900. Of those ranked as professor, 96.7 percent have tenure.

A slight variance in figures exists between the associate and assistant professors. Associate professors make, on average, $45,400 annually and garner $11,900 in fringe benefits. Assistant professors make an average of $37,800, and receive $10,000 in fringe benefits. The major divergence, however, occurs in proportions of faculty ranked at these two levels who have tenure: Although 83.7 percent of associate professors have tenure, only 16 percent of assistant professors have tenure.

Instructors, lecturers and those faculty members not ranked account for 6.1 percent, 2.3 percent and 1 percent of the 334,365 faculty members, respectively; they make $28,700, $31,400 and $34,900, respectively, and procure fringe benefits totalling $7,900, $8,600 and $9,100, respectively. Of the latter three faculty levels, 5.6 percent of the instructors, 2.4 percent of lecturers and 19.6 percent of nonranked faculty members have tenure.

"The average salary for full-time Texas faculty is $60,000. The average for all faculty in Texas is $43,000," said Charles Zucker, president of the Texas Faculty Association.

Professors' salaries are often much less than people with the same level of education who are practicing in their given fields, Zucker added. He said an engineering professor commonly makes thousands of dollars less than a practicing engineer. Zucker said some professors do consulting work to keep up financially with people in their fields.

According to the U.S. Department of Education, faculty in Texas make about $5,000 less than their counterparts in such states as New York, New Jersey, Georgia, Florida, North Carolina and Ohio.

 

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MAN'S BEST ('RIBBIT') FRIEND

by James Aldridge

Daily Cougar Staff

Not long ago, the most common pets were dogs. In parks and beaches, man's best friend ran and barked and chased frisbees and its own tail. Although dogs are still popular, more and more people are buying exotic pets.

Instead of the feel of a shaggy, wet-nosed creature slobbering in your face, people prefer the feel of dry scales or wet, green skin.

Denise de la Cruz, a junior international business major, has a White Dumpy tree frog she keeps in an aquarium, feeding it crickets. When her frog is not eating, it uses its suction cup fingers to stick to the sides of the glass just like a UH parking sticker in the car window.

"The salesperson there showed him to us and he looked so cute and lonely, and I wanted to give him a home," de la Cruz said.

Since de la Cruz lives in the residence halls, and large pets are not allowed, she bought a terrarium.

"I like to look into the terrarium and just look at the waterfall. It's like a little escape. Some people like to read, but I like to enjoy nature, so to speak," she said.

De la Cruz said she likes the way her frog crawls. She takes him out of his cage and lets him walk on her arms and sit on her shoulder.

A sophomore psychology major who lives in the dorms has a boa constrictor, which has become a popular creature to buy.

She said two people used to keep the snake in their dorms, but they couldn't properly take care of it.

"She (the snake) didn't have anywhere to live. She was homeless," the owner said.

Because it's a violation of dorm policy to have a snake in the rooms, she asked that her name not be mentioned.

The snake's name is Janine. "She's easy to keep. She eats white rats."

The only problem is that the owner doesn't like rats. "I take the whole box and drop the box in the cage. The rat comes out and gets eaten," she said.

The best part of having a snake, she said, was that "Janine just lives in the dorms. She's been living here for two years."

At Petland in the Galleria, tarantulas, scorpions, ferrets, chinchillas, monitors (a large species of lizard) as well as snakes are some of the more exotic pets sold.

"We sell a good mix of everything," said Tamara Gray, Petland manager.

However, the store mainly sells more small animals, such as mice, rats or fish. People who usually come into the store to buy the spiders or snakes are hobbyists or people who specifically want to buy something exotic, Gray said.

Tarantulas can cost $30 or more and boa constrictors can cost over $89.

Petland sells about one to two snakes a week, along with an occasional scorpion. Gray said people buy scorpions to use as a conversational piece.

However, she said about half of the people who come into Petland are afraid of the snakes or spiders.

 

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ANIMAL RIGHTS IRE

by James Aldridge

Daily Cougar Staff

In the last few years, animal research has been under fire from animal rights activists demanding new regulations for the treatment of lab animals.

The National Academy of Sciences is currently revising its standards after years of lobbying and terrorism from groups like the Animal Liberation Front.

Some of the recommendations activists want include housing animals in cages that resemble their natural environments, eliminating unnecessary pain for lab animals, increasing the sizes of cages for primates and dogs, and requiring researchers to submit some sort of justification for using animals for each study.

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, an organization that frequently speaks on behalf of ALF, said the animal liberation group was responsible for ransacking and torching the Michigan State University mink research facility in 1992. This attack caused nearly $125,000 in damages and a loss of 30 years of research. ALF members broke into the facility, and poured acid on and set fire to equipment, destroying files and disks.

It is because of attacks like this that Congress passed stricter laws concerning research center violence. Former President Bush signed into law legislation making it a federal crime to cause damage to research facilities. The law limits prosecution to damages of at least $25,000.

But property isn't the only thing that is damaged. The researchers themselves have been physically harmed as well.

Tom Butler, chairman of the laboratory medicine department of the Southwest Foundation for Biomedical Research in San Antonio, has received bomb threats.

Southwest uses baboons to test herpes vaccines, tumor medications and AIDS treatments. The facility was the site for the first test ape, which was injected with human HIV in 1983. Since then, Southwest has experimented with 20 AIDS vaccines, including one that is being used to experiment on humans today.

Dr. Roy Henrickson, a researcher at the University of California, Berkeley, now works in fear. Because of the violence against the Michigan State facility, his office is protected with bullet-proof glass and sophisticated surveillance equipment.

In two years, 569 criminal acts have been committed by animal rights advocates.

The leader of ALF granted an anonymous interview with People magazine on Jan. 18, 1993. She described seeing primates locked in small cages with exposed wounds and missing fingers, a macaque monkey whose eyes were sewn shut for a sight-deprivation study and a cat that had a brain-wave recorder bolted to its head.

Despite activists' actions, many people still support animal research.

Senior biology major Lan Vo said, "It's better that we use animals, (and) there should be no regulations to some extent. It (animal research) is for our whole society – not just one person," she said.

The Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals often lobbies in support of animal rights issues. To contact the SPCA, call 869-8227. The Houston Animal Rights Team at 811 Westheimer can be contacted at 522-5131.

 

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NOBLE INSPIRED THE GREAT ONES

by Jason Luther

Contributing Writer

New Houston baseball coach and former All-American hurler Rayner Noble never won a single game in the big leagues, much less the Cy Young Award. But Noble may have done something no other pitcher in the history of the game can claim.

Noble played amateur baseball on two different levels with two different Cy Young recipients – Roger Clemens and Doug Drabek, an impressive feat in itself, considering there have been but 51 different winners of the award for baseball's most outstanding pitcher.

If you don't find that impressive, however, consider this; in both cases, Noble was the more heralded of the hurlers. Noble and Clemens, a three-time Cy Young recipient, joined forces in the late 1970s as members of the Spring Woods high school pitching staff.

Noble was 13-1, while also serving as one of the Tigers' top hitters as the team advanced to the state quarterfinals in 1979.

Noble is unassuming in his reflections on his high school career with Clemens.

"I wasn't even the ace of that staff," he said. "I was ahead of Roger, but I was the No. 2 starter. Can you believe he was the No. 3 guy?"

However, "The Rocket" himself said Noble's versatility had much to do with the team's success.

"Rayner was a <I>complete<P> baseball player," Clemens said. "He was a great teammate; by far the best all-around athlete on the team."

Noble did assume the role of staff ace in the early '80s as he joined Drabek and the Cougars well before the current Houston Astros ace won his Cy with the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1990.

While Drabek was carving his name into the Cougar record books as one of the school's best hurlers, Noble was asserting himself as perhaps the premier athlete in Cougar baseball history.

In 1983, Noble became one of only three Cougar first-team All-American selections and the school's first SWC Player of the Year with a 1.32 ERA.

Noble was drafted in the fifth round of the 1983 draft as a senior, six rounds ahead of Drabek, a junior.

As with high school, Noble's collegiate prowess extended well beyond the boundaries of the mound.

A collegiate career .300 hitter, Noble's on-base percentage of .473 was a record at the time and now ranks second in UH history. His 128 walks still tops the Cougar charts.

"Rayner could do it all," Drabek said. "He played the outfield and could hit, as well as being a great pitcher."

Noble, again, reflects modestly.

"In college, Doug was every bit as good if not better than me, I just had a dream season in 1983. Everything went right for me that year."

After college, the careers of each of the three young pitchers veered in distinctively different directions.

After just a few minor league seasons, nagging arm injuries prompted Noble to reassess the direction his career was taking. He decided to walk away from professional ball and pursue a career in coaching.

Though Noble often dreams of what he might have accomplished in the major leagues, he has no regrets.

"I used to think about what would've happened had I given it one more year," he said. "But not any more. I love coaching. I'd like to help <I>develop<P> some Cy Young winners."

At least two people believe Noble can achieve his goal.

"Rayner is a great communicator," Clemens says. "He has the ability to be a successful coach on any level," Drabek agrees. "With the wide range of experience Noble possesses and his ties to the school, Rayner seems the perfect fit. He's been a winner on every level he has played or coached at."

In the aluminum world of collegiate baseball, winning is often dictated by strong pitching, which is built by success in recruiting wars. Given Noble's history with good pitching staffs, he should already have an arm up on his peers.

 

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DREAMS OF 1984

Olajuwon vs. Ewing: NBA Finals rematch NCAA championship

 

by William German

Daily Cougar Staff

As the tension before the tip-off for tonight's Rockets-Knicks game increases, so do the comparisons to a similar matchup that took place at the Kingdome in 1984.

That year, Houston faced Georgetown in the NCAA championship game. It was the second straight year the Cougars would lose college basketball's biggest contest, falling by a score of 84-75.

"I was disappointed (in '83) but confident we could come back and win again," Olajuwon said of the back-to-back losses. "I was happy just to play in that many championship games."

The two centers in that game will be the same two facing each other tonight at the Summit. But Patrick Ewing and Hakeem Olajuwon have both come a long way since they last met for all the marbles.

Olajuwon won the NBA's Most Valuable Player and Defensive Player of the Year awards for the 1993-94 season. He has averaged over 30 points a game for the Rockets in the playoffs during their trip to the Finals.

Ewing and the Knicks have had less success in the playoffs thus far. New York scored a playoff-record-low 68 points against Indiana in Game 3 before triumphing in seven games.

Since being drafted No. 1 overall by the Rockets in 1984, Olajuwon has averaged 24 points, 12.5 rebounds and 3.7 blocks a game. His career has matched Ewing's (23.8 ppg, 9.4 rpg, 2.9 bpg) fairly closely.

In the last couple of years, though, Olajuwon has pulled strongly ahead, finishing behind Charles Barkley two years ago and first this season in the MVP voting.

Olajuwon outscored Ewing in the championship game 15-10, but that hasn't been enough to quell his flame over the years. Olajuwon has averaged 26.1 ppg to Ewing's 21.9 when the Rockets and Knicks have played.

In two games against Ewing this year, Olajuwon has averaged 33 points to Ewing's 12.

"So much has developed," Olajuwon said. "It (the '84 championship game) was 10-11 years ago, but it seems like yesterday."

The road to the NBA Finals has not been easy for Olajuwon or the Rockets. Two games into the Phoenix series, the media had labeled Houston "Choke City" after the Rockets blew large leads to lose both games.

Getting to the '84 Final Four and beyond wasn't nearly as much of a challenge, Olajuwon said.

"We were just competing against one another," he said. "We were not even worried about the opponent because practice was tougher than the game."

It shouldn't be as easy against the Knicks.

Apparently, the media are not the only ones interested in memories.

Georgetown coach John Thompson, who has tutored such pivotmen as Ewing, Alonzo Mourning and Dikembe Mutombo, was at a recent Knick playoff game. Thompson came on the floor to tell Ewing to "kick some ass."

Olajuwon attributes much of his success to his coach at UH, the legendary Guy V. Lewis.

"He (Lewis) is a great motivator," Olajuwon said. "He only requires the best – nothing but your best. So it makes you work extra hard just to play for him."

Tonight, the glory days of college should be the farthest thing from Olajuwon's or Ewing's mind.

 

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TO ROCKETS: FORGET PAST

City's first championship still hangs in balance

by William German

Daily Cougar Staff

I'm sure that by now, you have probably read enough stories about the UH-Georgetown rematch – I'm sorry, I mean the NBA Finals – that start tonight.

Patrick vs. Hakeem II has got this campus and this city worked up into a frenzy.

But I'm getting an uneasy feeling here.

I know this is Houston, after all. I know we don't have a lot of championships to look back on. I know we have to take what we can get as far as sports lore goes in this city.

It just doesn't give me goosebumps to think about 1984.

The Cougars took it on the chin in that contest 84-75, just in case you've forgotten. But that wasn't the real heart-breaker.

In 1983's championship game, Lorenzo Charles of North Carolina State grabbed a shot that looked like Reggie Miller's final effort against New York and slammed it home for a one-point decision.

That game, in my opinion, was this city's last real chance for a championship team. Nothing against the Astros, Oilers and definitely not the Rockets, but the Cougars should have won that game, no ifs, ands or buts.

Certainly, the same thing could be said about the upcoming Rockets-Knicks series. When you think about it, the Knicks are really just a slower, worse version of the Rockets.

The Knicks' offense is run through and built around their center, like the Rockets'.

They rely heavily on their inconsistent guards, Derek Harper and John Starks, for a perimeter game, like the Rockets do.

Their power forward, Charles Oakley, is not the most talented offensive player, but makes up for it with solid defense and rebounding. Sounds like Otis Thorpe.

The Knicks have a "small" forward, Charles Smith, with considerable ability, who doesn't look for his shot enough. The Rockets' Robert Horry almost got traded for the same reasons.

New York depends on its bench, featuring Anthony Mason, Hubert Davis and others the same way all championship teams do. Of course, so do the Rockets.

What are the differences? Well, one is that the Rockets have more than just a center. Hakeem Olajuwon has been MVP the last two seasons, only they didn't give him the award last year.

In the backcourt, Vernon Maxwell is every bit as good as Starks. Kenny Smith has been red-hot in the postseason from three-point land, making him more of a threat than Harper.

Thorpe and Oakley are almost the same player, except Thorpe can run the break and throw those long inbounds passes.

And Horry has come through in playoff games more than Smith, who seems to look for a foul after every missed shot.

I figure Elie and Cassell can compete with any two bench players in the league, not that they will have to to beat the Knicks.

I don't really want to criticize Patrick Ewing, but I think it's pretty obvious which center from that '84 matchup has more left. Ewing had a game against Indiana in which he went 0-for-10 from the floor, 1-for-2 from the line.

One point on Rik Smits? Olajuwon couldn't have a nightmare that bad.

Head-to-head, the Rockets have manhandled the Knicks this year, although they have played only two games.

So having analyzed all possible angles, it should be a five-to-six-game mop-up for the Rockets. Vegas has them at 2-to-1 favorites.

OK, now for the skeptic's angle. Unlike the oddsmakers, I haven't forgotten where the Rockets play their home games.

Do I really have to say all this? 35-3. Jerry Sichting. Mets. Is it really possible that this city could have a clutch instead of a choke for a municipal car part?

Everything except the choke factor is working in the Rockets' favor. But it is a big factor, one that is in danger of ruling this city for years if the latest contender can't come through.

Other teams in other cities with more history can at least point to moldy, old banners and pennants for inspiration. None of Houston's teams has been around long enough to get over this.

Oh yeah. You're going to tell me about the Aeros and the AFL champion Oilers. Try a league that still exists.

It's impossible to think that this could keep going on, that the only tradition Houston could establish in sports would be that of gagging.

Maybe that's why going back to the Phi Slama Jama days bothers me so much. Because as great as those teams were, they didn't give us fair-weather fans what we want.

A winner. Just one winner.

People from other geographical areas don't understand this concept, don't understand why we boo our teams when they blow a 20-point lead with 10 minutes to go. The teams aren't crazy about the lack of support either, and they've made that known.

So win. Convert all of us dime-a-dozen critics to die-hard fans.

Believe me, no one would like more than me to say "But we won it in ..." when people talk about the deplorable state of the Houston sports scene. It's just impossible to do that now.

If you've stuck with me this far (and it has been some journey), maybe you'll want to hear what I think about Spike Lee.

Why do you think he pays for those front-row seats: to taunt the players or because he just couldn't see the game from anywhere else? Spike is just upset because Jaleel White beat him out for those "I love this game" spots.

Blaming a fan for what Reggie Miller does is ridiculous. Lee has been at <I>every<P> game, waving his towel, screaming at the players, making pointless bets, whatever. Miller just got hot once.

If the Rockets lose, they'll have no one to blame but themselves.

Remember that when your mind produces unpleasant images of Mason slamming a Starks air-ball to win the seventh game.

 

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UH'S LARSSON ALL-AMERICAN BOY

Cougar Sports Service

Senior golfer Dean Larsson was named Honorable Mention All-American Monday by the Golf Coaches Association of America.

This award completed a season that saw Larsson win consensus All-Southwest Conference honors in addition to two individual titles.

He won the International Intercollegiate Invitational in February with a three-day total of 211, five under par.

He also finished first in the NCAA Central Regional in May with a six-under 207. That finish led the team to the NCAA Championships.

There he shot the low round for the Cougars, an even-par 144 over the two days, but failed to make the cut.

He also led the team in strokes per game with a 73.5 average.

The last Cougar to be named All-American was Zoran Zorkic in 1989.

Larsson became the 45th Cougar to be named All-American, and the list of All-American awards at UH now totals 65. The golf team also lays claim to 16 national titles.

 

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NEW SID NAMED

Cougar Sports Service

Another new face joined the UH athletic program Tuesday as Donna Turner was named the new assistant athletic director for Sports Information.

The 35-year-old has spent most of her career in Florida. For the last five years, she has been with the sports information department at Florida State.

Turner's biggest challenge came last year, when she served as the primary football media contact for the Seminoles. The task of pushing Charlie Ward for the Heisman Trophy fell on her shoulders.

She has also worked in baseball, serving as media director for four NCAA Regional Tournaments.

Turner, holder of a masters in sports administration from Ohio University, has also held posts at Iowa State, Ohio and Florida, all in the athletics arena.

She is the second Florida product hired by ex-Gator and current UH athletic director Bill Carr in the last year.

Kim Helton, a 1970 Florida graduate, was hired in May of 1993 as head football coach. Turner graduated from Florida State in 1985.

The new UH SID will have some large shoes to fill. Ted Nance, who announced his retirement May 27, had served in that role for over 30 years.

 

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GOLF TEAM ENDS ON FRINGE

Larsson, NCAAs offset surprise resignation, up-and-down season

by Daniel Scholl

Daily Cougar Staff

The Houston golf team in 1994 had what at best could be called a season full of turmoil.

The year saw the team make three coaching changes, hit a mid-season slump and forge a run for its 17th national title.

The Cougars started the season under the direction of Keith Fergus. He was starting his eighth year as head coach. During his tenure at UH, he led the Cougars to a national finish of 13th in 1992.

The finish marked the first time since 1989 the Cougars had reached the NCAA Championships. The performance earned Fergus Southwest Conference Coach of the Year.

This season, things seemed to be going on a similar path for Fergus' team.

The Cougars were ranked in the top 20 going into the season. They had a second-place finish in the International Intercollegiate Tournament, held in Monterrey, Mexico, Feb. 10-12.

Then on March 9, two days before the Golf Digest Collegiate Invitational, Fergus unexpectedly resigned as head coach.

"I have some other options that I want to pursue, which include playing competitively and also some golf-course designing," he said in a released statement. "Since I don't feel that I can give my full time to the team ... I have decided to resign."

With that, the Cougars were left without a leader.

In stepped former assistant athletic director Rookie Dickenson, who was named interim coach and headed up the team by the time it competed that weekend.

The team apparently had trouble adjusting to the new coach as it finished 13th at the Golf Digest Collegiate Invitational.

The spin continued as the team placed last at the Morris Williams Intercollegiate the following week.

Then things turned around.

The Cougars finished strong coming into the SWC Championships, placing third at the Border Olympics and winning the All-American International Intercollegiate with a score of 870.

At the SWC tournament, the Cougars finished third and earned a spot in post-season play. They were also rewarded with their third and final coach of the season.

Mike Dirks was hired earlier in the season, but had to finish the year with Tulane. He arrived in time to take the Cougars to Oklahoma City for the NCAA Central Regional Championships.

Just as he did most of the season, senior Dean Larsson led the team in Oklahoma, winning the tournament with a three-day 207.

The team finished seventh and earned a spot in the NCAA Championships.

The Cougars finished 19th in the 30-team field. They missed the cut for the final round, shooting 589 over the first two days. Only the top 15 teams advanced to the final round.

The season ended with Larsson being named Honorable Mention All-American on Monday.

 

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AFRICA: THE SERENGETI

Stars: The Serengeti

Director: George Casey

by Jenalia Moreno

Daily Cougar Staff

From the first scene, which opens with a roll of thunder, <I>Africa: The Serengeti<P> captivates the audience and holds their attention for its full 45 minutes that few other IMAX productions have been able to do. With its six-story screen and surround-sound, this film takes the audience on an African safari many people can only dream of.

James Earl Jones, of <I>Roots<P> fame, narrates the film, and his deep voice resonates through the theater. He begins and ends the film by saying, "There is a place on Earth where it is still the morning of life and the great herds still run free."

Those great herds are the wildebeests, which number over one and a half million in Africa. The wildebeest is described in the film as an animal assembled by a committee from spare parts.

<I>The Serengeti<P> takes the viewer on an eight-month, 500-mile journey across the Serengeti plains. During the dry season, the wildebeests, accompanied by gazelles and zebras, migrate north, searching for grass and water. This great migration takes place between the two East African countries of Tanzania and Kenya.

With the aid of a convex lens, the film makes the procession of over two million animals appear as if they are travelling across the globe. This herd of wildebeests encounter many dangers, including threats from hungry lions.

Despite these dangers, the wildebeests struggle on, following their instincts in search of the ancient promise of water.

The film shows how the food chain operates when an animal is killed on the Serengeti. Animals such as vultures, jackals and lion cubs wait their turn to share even a morsel of a dying wildebeest. "On the Serengeti, death fuels life ... and nothing is wasted," Jones comments.

Director George Casey did not seem to want to make the film too bloody and violent. However, he wanted to present an honest portrayal of the Serengeti, where each animal must fend for itself and no remorse is felt by carnivores, who must kill their prey to survive.

As the wildebeests confront obstacles, such as lions, alligators and a river they must cross that is overflowing from recent rains, the audience cheers these ungainly animals on.

Although the central characters in the film are the wildebeests, other animals are featured, including baboons, giraffes, elephants and monkeys. The film has an array of animal trivia such as, lions mate every 25 minutes without eating for up to four days. However, they usually spend 20 hours a day resting.

Nothing is left out of this documentary on the Serengeti. It also includes an aerial shot of Olduvai Gorge, a famous archaeological site. The oldest human fossils have been found here and date back almost 2 million years ago. Today, the Maasai people live in Ngorongoro, near Olduvai Gorge.

The Maasai people believe God gave them all the cattle in the world. The Maasai, like the wildebeests, are nomadics who migrate, searching for water for their cattle. The film depicted the people singing and dancing on the dusty plains of the Serengeti.

From the cinematography to the African musical productions, this film takes the viewer to Serengeti National Park, where the world still exists as it did in the beginning. This film is not something that should be seen on the Discovery Channel; it only reaches its full potential in an IMAX theater.

<I>Africa: The Serengeti<P> is showing daily at the Houston Museum of Natural Science until June 30. Admission is $5 for adults and $3 for members. Call 639-IMAX for more information.

 

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SOUNDS OF FREEDOM

While blamed for plenty, music's positivity helps, too

by Scott Sparks

At times, music has been blamed for everything from the corruption of morals to promoting murder. Music is often the scapegoat for others' inability to take responsibility for their own actions. But music can make a positive difference; just ask <B>Nelson Mandela<P>.

June 11, 1988, will be remembered musically for the Nelson Mandela 70th Birthday Bash held in London's Wembley Stadium. Ten hours of music from such stars as <B>Sting, Whitney Houston, Peter Gabriel, Dire Straits<P> and <B>Tracy Chapman<P> brought the plight of Nelson Mandela to the whole world. Many now believe that the Artists Against Apartheid movement, the movement that created the "Birthday Bash," brought attention to questions about the "white rule" in predominantly black South Africa.

In the six years that have followed, Mandela was released from nearly 30 years of imprisonment and has been elected president in South Africa's first free elections. Music can help make a positive difference.

• • • • •

<I>Miscellaneous<P>: If you get on the "information superhighway," at least you'll have some tunes for the road trip. <B>Bob Dylan<P> and <B>Yes<P> each have independent projects coming out on CD-ROM in the coming weeks. . . . The reason <B>Ace of Base<P> will not tour this year is twofold. One, they want to go back into the studio this year and record another album so that their concerts will have more "meat."

Secondly, when they do hit the tour circuit, they want to be able to put on a quality show. The band isn't ready to make the jump from club group to Summit-size venues just yet . . . . <B>The Eagles<P> sold over 30,000 tickets the first Saturday the tickets went on sale for their Rice stadium show, scheduled for July 2. Also, the band will play solo hits from <B>Don Henley, Glenn Frey<P> and <B>Joe Walsh<P> . . . . 16 unreleased tracks from the late, great <B>Marvin Gaye<P> will wind up in record stores by the end of June . . . . <B>Helmet<P> should have a new disc out before July . . . . You heard right. <B>Pearl Jam<P> is set to release another CD soon. Real soon. Kinda unusual in this day and age. Artists of their stature usually take two years between records, not 10 months, but Pearl Jam believes that if <B>Kiss<P> can do it in the late '70s, they can, too. I agree.

Happy Birthdays This Week:

<B>Prince<P>, 36; <B>Tom Jones<P>, 54; <B>Nick Rhodes<P> (Duran Duran), 32; <B>Mick Hucknall<P> (Simply Red), 34; <B>Boz Scaggs<P>, 50; <B>Frank Beard<P> (ZZ Top), 45; and <B>Donny Van Zandt<P> (.38 Special), 42.

Sparks is a Houston disc jockey for radio station 104.1 FM KRBE.

 

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PICKERING SAYS SALARY CUTS POSSIBLE

by Tanya Eiserer

Daily Cougar Staff

UH President James Pickering said UH would most likely receive funding at its "current level for the next biennium," but the university must be prepared for any scenario.

Pickering said in a May 12 memorandum that in a worst-case scenario, if UH's state funding was decreased by $7 million to $8 million, the university would have to implement a "broad-based reduction, which could impact salaries."

"We are not at this moment in the midst of a financial crisis, we are not planning cutbacks, rollbacks, salary adjustments or program downsizing," he said.

Pickering released the memorandum in response to a story that appeared in the Houston Chronicle that discussed the UH funding situation.

Pickering was quoted as saying that the university could save $1.4 million for every 1 percent cut from the salaries of faculty and staff.

"I'd be surprised if there were across-the-board cuts in salaries. Pickering made it quite clear that that would be a last resort," said Ernst Leiss, Faculty Senate president.

Sources within the administration said it is too early to speculate on how far the cuts will go or what steps might have to be taken to adjust to the situation.

Wendy Adair, a spokesperson for the UH System office, said projected numbers will not be available until the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board meets again in July to finalize formulas.

"Nothing's going on. We are just getting in the process of submitting a Legislative Appropriation Request," said Skip Szilagyi, associate vice president for planning.

Szilagyi said an LAR details UH's funding needs for the next legislative biennium.

Szilagyi said it will be at the very earliest September before university officials will know how much funding the university will be allocated.

Other state universities like the University of Texas will probably face a much larger cut, Szilagyi said.

"We are trying to anticipate. We do not want to end up with a surprise six or eight months from now," Szilagyi said.

During the last legislative biennium, UH was faced with a $20 million cut in funding, but after some legislative wrangling by Houston representatives, the cut was pared down to $8.5 million.

During the last session, UH's cut was reduced due to a "hold harmless" clause that was enacted because the university was losing significantly more than other Texas universities, said state Rep. Garnet Coleman, D-Houston, in a Daily Cougar article last year.

Glenn Aumann, the outgoing provost, was quoted in the same article as saying that "UH could face full budget cuts in the next biennium because the hold-harmless will not be granted again."

"There is a pie and the pie has not gotten bigger. We know we are going to bleed, we just do not know how much," said Students' Association President Angie Milner.

With the state Legislature determining base funding for the next biennium, enrollment will have a causal effect on the level of funding the university receives.

Enrollment has declined from 33,607 in 1991 to 32,129 in 1993.

"We need to get enrollment close to 33,000 to maintain our current funding," Szilagyi said. "We have to pay attention to enrollment since we are a formula-driven state."

The amount of funding UH will receive in this legislative biennium will depend largely on what enrollment figures are for the 1994-95 school year.

Szilagyi compared UH to the baseball field in the film, <I>Field of Dreams<P>. "For many years, we were like a field of dreams: We were here, and they would come," he said. "It's not that way anymore. We need to provide a customer-service environment."

Szilagyi said the university has been trying to improve customer service partly through changes in admissions and registration.

Pickering told the deans that the colleges and departments must do what they can to increase enrollment and retention.

"We are being proactive, up-front and aggressive in our planning to ensure that we have adequate funding ... If we do nothing, we may well face significant budget reductions in the future," Pickering said.

After the last legislative session, the university embarked on a reshaping plan designed to minimize the impact of any future cuts.

The idea behind reshaping was to eliminate any needless "fat" from the system. The plan proposed to cut 120 positions and six academic programs.

 

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