NCAA ACCEPTS UH PROPOSAL ON INFRACTIONS

by Jason Paul Ramírez

and Daniel Scholl

Daily Cougar Staff

Administrators of the University of Houston and its football program had a little extra reason to give thanks during this past holiday weekend.

After an 18-month investigation by the NCAA, members of its Committee on Infractions ruled at its Nov. 11-13 meetings that the violations committed by the university's football program were only minor infractions and, thus, should not merit NCAA probation other than those proposed by UH.

This brings to an end questions surrounding the outcome of the 18-month-long investigation.

"Our concern was what were we going to say about our situation to these athletes that we had visited in their homes and recruited," UH head football coach Kim Helton said. "But it's a great relief to be able to say to the kids that this is nothing that prevents you from qualifying for a bowl game or gaining television exposure.

"All the things you had been hoping for are still there now. So (the NCAA's ruling) will definitely help recruiting."

The NCAA ruled that the university had only committed minor violations and that UH did not gain any significant recruiting or competitive advantage over other institutions during the 18-month period.

The violations occurred in the school's football program during the latter stages of former head coach John Jenkins' regime during the spring of 1993.

"We find it (a) great relief to have closure on this issue that has been with us my entire period here," UH athletic director Bill Carr said at a press conference Wednesday afternoon. "We didn't know what was going to happen, but we knew that we had a very thorough period of review."

The committee also commended the institution for taking the NCAA's summary disposition route to implement a self-imposed probation that is to last for a two-year period.

The summary disposition process, which is fairly new to the NCAA, allows a school and the NCAA enforcement staff, if they agree on the facts found during the investigation, to also agree on the proposed penalties and seek approval from the Committee on Infractions.

If the committee agrees with the proposals, the penalties will be upheld, but the committee can decide to seek harsher penalties. This is the first time the NCAA has excepted a school's findings.

"We (the UH administration) thought that because there was the finding of an extra benefit in the list of things we sent forward, we thought it would be perhaps classified as a major case," Carr said. "The Committee on Infractions disagreed, so the only disagreement we had was in our favor."

The extra-benefits rule, which is considered to be the most serious of the NCAA infractions, states no athlete shall receive any "benefit" which is not available to the average student.

The extra-benefits infraction stems from a report that former running back Ostell Miles allegedly received furniture from the UH football program.

The self-imposed penalties include: reducing the number of scholarships from 25 to 24 during the 1994-95 and 1995-96 school years; reducing the number of weekly practice hours from 20 to 18 during the 1995 football season; eliminating all required out-of-season conditioning activities during February 1995; and reducing the number of practice sessions during the 1995 spring practice period to 12 from 15.

 

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BROADWAY ACE STUART OSTROW TO TEACH ART OF MUSICALS

by Marlene Yarborough

Daily Cougar Staff

With a $60,000 price tag, the UH School of Theatre's wish has come true as Broadway producer Stuart Ostrow has agreed to head a laboratory for the development of new musicals.

Ostrow, winner of two Tony awards for Best Musical with <I>1776<P> and <I>M. Butterfly<P>, will join a list of national and UH notables, including director Jose Quintero and playwright Edward Albee.

The process of wooing Ostrow to UH began when he spoke on campus last April as part of the Inventive Minds Series.

Sidney Berger, director of the UH School of Theatre, said Ostrow was asked to join the school to promote more interest in musical theater.

Berger said the amount of money should not raise any eyebrows because it is completely in line with what other distinguished professors receive.

Berger said he sees Ostrow's presence as more than just a feather in UH's cap, but as a selling point for theater students and faculty deciding on a university.

"I see Ostrow's presence at UH as bringing forth enormous growth almost immediately. His being here will draw more students into the theater program as well as faculty from around the country. Ostrow will also be responsible for helping the department promote new musicals to possibly be produced on Broadway," he said.

Berger said Ostrow is excited about coming to Houston and about starting here what he started in the 1970s with musical theater labs in New York's St. Clements Church, Kennedy Center and Harvard University.

Ostrow established the Stuart Ostrow Foundation's Musical Theatre Lab, a nonprofit professional workshop for original musical theater. Since its inception, the lab has presented 19 new and experimental works like <I>Really Rosie<P> by Maurice Sendak and Carole King and <I>The Robber Bridegroom<P> by Alfred Uhry and Robert Waldman.

His production of David Hirson's <I>La Bete<P> won the Oliver Award for best comedy last year, and he was named Producer of the Year, 1993-94, by the National Alliance for Musical Theatre.

During his April lecture, Ostrow said theater needs to return to workshops. He said there needs to be a place where young writers can debate and challenge the difficulties of creating.

"We need to create a cradle, a place of origin and continuity, where first-time dramatists and songwriters are nurtured, and their original works are produced on and beyond broke," Ostrow said.

New creations are a necessity for theater so they can be nurtured at the college level, he added.

To explain the difficulties of producing, Ostrow recounted a ballet-musical, <I>Scratch<P>, which he produced in 1970. It had been a year since Bob Dylan's motorcycle accident, and he had been unable to write. Dylan went to Ostrow wanting to work on a production translating poetry from Archibald MacLeish.

After Dylan had finished two songs, one called "New Morning," Ostrow drove Dylan to MacLeish's house. Dylan never responded on dramatic problems of the show. Instead, he drank brandy as fast as he could, Ostrow said. By the time they had gotten to Act II, Dylan was asleep. "It was time to leave, and the only impression the celebrated folk singer had made was a nasty ring from his brandy glass on MacLeish's cherry table," he said.

That was the last time Ostrow saw Dylan. He tried to reach him, then a few weeks later, Ostrow got a call from the president of Columbia Records, Kyle Davis, who told Ostrow that Dylan's writer's block was gone, and that he was releasing a new album, <I>New Morning<P>.

Ostrow went forward with the production and did <I>Scratch<P> as a straight play. The play closed within a week.

"The point is, it could have worked, and it was worth the risk. We need more risky plays and writers. We need more dangerous propositions," Ostrow said.

"People will come to have their lives transformed in the dark, and you don't have to have a <I>Cats<P> to do it," Ostrow said. He said he feels this can be done by what the script says, and what you reveal about the audience's life. Until play content is changed, theater will not get the type of patronage it desires, he added.

Ostrow will teach as the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Chairman in Theatre, the school's first Distinguished Professor of Musical Theatre, beginning in the fall of 1995.

 

 

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VOLLEYBALLERS DROP TWO ON WEST COAST SWING

Cougar Sports Service

The volleyball team travelled to California to play in the Baden Blowout, where it faced Santa Barbara and Long Beach State, two top 10 teams.

The Cougars lost 3-1 to Santa Barbara Friday night by scores of 15-8, 11-15, 10-15 and 7-15. The match was a bit closer Saturday night in which they lost 3-0 to LBS 7-15, 14-16 and 12-15.

A contributing factor to the defeats may have been that superstar Lilly Denoon-Chester, who has led the team in kills all season, did not make the trip due to a stomach flu.

The Baden Blowout ended the Cougars' 1994 season, leaving them with a record of 24-6 and their first Southwest Conference Tournament title and regular-season championship. Denoon-Chester also received the All-Tournament award and is an All-America candidate. She should be back for the NCAA Tournament, the brackets for which were announced Sunday.

The Cougars are the No. 2 seed in the South Region and will play the winner of Stephen F. Austin vs. Clemson in the second round at Hofheinz Pavilion Dec. 3 or 4. The Cougars received a first-round bye.

Florida, the No. 3 seed, is the tentative sight for the regionals games. If Florida loses its first match, the regional site will be moved to Hofheinz.

<B>Men's basketball<P>

The men's basketball team beat James Madison 76-74 Friday night in Hofheinz Pavilion in the Cougars' (1-0) season opener.

The game came down to the wire as James Madison (0-1) was unable to get a shot off after getting the ball back with 14 seconds left in regulation.

Tim Moore led all scorers with 33 points. He also had seven boards. Newcomer Damon Jones was the second leading scorer for both teams with 22. The guard also had four assists.

Head coach Alvin Brooks was visibly excited about the win and the play of Moore and Jones.

"You can't say enough about what Tim does offensively," Brooks said. "There's no one that can cover Tim man-to-man at this level.

<B>Women's hoops<P>

The women's basketball team beat Detroit 81-80 Friday at Michigan State in the Felspauch/MSU Classic, starting its 1994-95 season with a victory.

The Cougars came from behind to pull out the win.

With 3:57 to go, the Cougars were down 62-74. They then scored eight unanswered points before Detroit (0-1) hit a free throw. The Cougars then scored nine more unanswered points and went up 81-77 with seven seconds left.

The Cougars Tanda Rucker and Jennifer Jones led the Cougars down the stretch, scoring all but three of the Cougars' last 23 points over the last eight minutes.

The Cougars turned around Saturday and dropped to 1-1 when they lost 91-72 to Michigan State (2-0).

Having only seven players on the roster, head coach Jessie Kenlaw said she felt fatigue was a factor in the loss.

 

 

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UH ENDS SEASON BUCKETLESS

by Jason Paul Ramírez

Daily Cougar Staff

Chuck Clements wasn't supposed to be out there, but he was.

When the Houston Cougar sophomore quarterback broke his hand in a 52-0 loss to the Ohio State Buckeyes Sept. 24, the original diagnosis was that Clements was to miss the remainder of the season.

However, after six weeks of healing and steady, encouraging rehabilitation, the 6-3, 184-pound signal-caller made his return Saturday in the Astrodome against Southwest Conference rival Rice in the annual Bayou Bucket Classic.

The only discouraging word, however, was that Clements could not bail his team out of a 31-13 defeat before 14,983 in Houston's (1-10 overall, 1-6 in the SWC) final game of the 1994 season.

Other than that, Clements looked as if he had never left. He completed 20 of 34 passes for a respectable 188 yards and a touchdown.

"I was real comfortable out there today," Clements said. "I had no problems with the hand."

Clements' touchdown toss happened on a drive that spanned over the third and fourth quarters with Rice (5-6, 4-3) leading 24-7. Clements was 4-of-5 on the drive and also added a seven-yard quarterback keeper before he found fullback Ryan Burton from nine yards out with 13:52 left to play.

"The quarterback's play today was by far the best part of the game," Houston head coach Kim Helton said. "I had planned on originally playing some of the seniors more today (because of Senior Day, normally the last home game of the year), but I left him in since he was really helping us move the football."

In Clements' five games of action this season, he finished the year having completed 91 of 162 pass attempts (56 percent) for 858 yards, three touchdowns and five interceptions.

"We're gonna try to regroup now and hit the weights," Clements said, regarding the Cougars' size disadvantage they suffered through this season as they gave up a school-record 2,794 rushing yards this year. "We're definitely gonna have a better team next year.

"The only thing positive that we could take out of this season was that we learned to hate losing," he said. "I hope Chuck and some of the other players get better before next year.

"But there is still a lot of work left to be done on this football team. Our next job now is to go out and find some of these young guys we have here some teammates (during recruiting)."

 

 

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THE <I>TREK<P> OF A NEW GENERATION

 

by Valérie C. Fouché

and Frank McGowan

Daily Cougar Staff

As <I>Star Trek<P> fans go, the gamut runs from die-hard (convention-goers – ears and all) to closet trekkers (those who know Kirk from Picard).

Like its audience, each television series is unique, attracting different fans for different reasons. But all are held together with the directive "... to boldly go where no one has gone before" (insert theme music here).

This time out, the <I>Trek<P> juggernaut boldly passes the torch to the next generation. The classic-<I>Trek<P> egomaniac, Capt. James T. Kirk (William Shatner), is back to give the helm (reluctantly) to Capt. Jean-Luc Picard (Patrick Stewart).

The story begins with Kirk grudgingly accepting retirement. He and his galactic cohorts Scotty (James Doohan) and Chekov (Walter Koenig) are attending the commissioning of the new Enterprise, the 1701-B.

The 1701-B crew, retired colleagues and a select group of media hounds are in attendance to take the newest addition from Starfleet out for a "quick spin around the block." Suddenly, a distress signal beckons the Enterprise, led by the inexperienced Capt. Helliman, who nervously attempts to rescue two ships from an energy ribbon called the Nexus, a nirvana where time does not exist and people experience total joy.

Alas, the retired captain is called upon to offer his experience; thus, in typical Kirk fashion, he seizes control of the situation. The 1701-B manages to rescue a handful of passengers, among them Guinan (Whoopi Goldberg) and Dr. Soran (Malcolm McDowell). But their rescue has a high price: Capt. Kirk dies – well, maybe.

Warp ahead 78 years to the realm of <I>The Next Generation<P>. The Enterprise-D answers a distress signal from a Federation observatory, and when they respond, the crew finds Soran among the survivors.

As it turns out, Soran is a mad scientist working with those lovely Klingons, the Duras sisters (Barbara March and Gwynyth Walsh). Guinan informs Picard of Soran's obsession with the Nexus, which would not be a problem except for the fact that he will likely destroy an inhabited planet in order to re-enter the energy ribbon.

While Picard and crew attempt to thwart Soran's evil plot, Lt. Cmdr. Data (Brent Spiner) decides it is high time to insert his experimental emotion chip. His timing may not be the best, however, when he finds that he cannot control the rush of overwhelming emotions.

Meanwhile, Picard follows Soran into the Nexus and finds an unexpected ally, Capt. Kirk (still alive after all). Kirk cannot pass up the chance to administer interstellar justice one more time (like a galactic T.J. Hooker).

The movie moves a bit slowly at first, and the plot is not up to <I>TNG<P>'s generally high standards. However, the special effects will no doubt keep you interested.

We can only hope that the future will offer <I>TNG<P> a new place on the big screen to boldly go where it hasn't already gone before.

Stars: Patrick Stewart, William Shatner

Director: David Carson

STARS: 3 1/2 out of 4

 

 

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