by Andy Alford

Daily Cougar Staff

The University of Houston is consulting with the UH General Counsel's Office on the legality and feasibility of performing criminal background checks on residents, said Ahmad Kashani, director of Housing.

The issue of performing background checks came to light after a UH student was allegedly kidnapped by his former roommate, a three-time convicted felon who was living in Moody Towers.

Currently, UH does not have a policy in place that checks into residents' criminal backgrounds. At that time, Andy Kahn of the mayor's Crime Victims Office argued that dorm applications should ask for a person's criminal history.

RHA President Shirley Hollingsworth said she worries about the expense of performing the checks and about the rights of privacy with student records.

Kahn argued, however, that checks would not be illegal, but would simply be UH policy.

Amy Casteñeda, a lawyer with the General Counsel's Office, said she has concerns about background checks also.

"A decision has not been made yet. Our office is looking into the legal implications and the practical issues," she said.

Casteñeda's concerns stem from the fact that a check will only bring up a criminal record in the county in which the offense occurred.

"So then are we going to ask students to list every county they have ever lived in? What's to say they have disclosed everything? There are some real practical issues that we need to consider," she added.

Kashani said his office is trying to make the dorms safer by "reviewing the policies concerning dorm security."

"We are consulting the Residence Halls Association and other student groups," he said.

Hollingsworth said RHA, Residential Life and the Office of Student Affairs are considering card-entry systems for the Quadrangle and Cougar Place, along with further security measures for Moody Towers.

Casteñeda added, "One thing that should be stressed is that students take part in their own safety. You cannot forget to protect yourself."






by James Aldridge

News Reporter

Ever wonder where the money from the computer-use and library fees goes?

Dana Rooks, assistant director for Public Services and Administration at M.D. Anderson Library, said it goes toward the installation and upkeep of the library's electronic resources.

With this steady supply of funds, the library will replace its antiquated on-line catalog and maintain the usage of 126 network and full-text CD-ROM data base workstations for the research needs of UH students and faculty.

The current on-line system will be replaced at the end of the semester. "It will be a dramatic system change. It's a difference of 12 years. It will have key-word searching and other features that the old GEAC (on-line catalog) can't do," Rooks said.

The new system will cost a little more than $1 million, and the library will be paying for it in installments with computer-use funds. "It (the money) is what really helped the GEAC get replaced," Rooks said.

The On-line Catalog is the computer system that catalogs the library's books, journal titles and reference materials.

Four years ago, the Students' Association voted to increase the computer-use fee by $10 to directly supply the library with computer resources.

From this allocation, $500,000 a year is appropriated for the purchase of new machines in the library's Electronic Publications Center and the licensing of 58 academic data bases and six Houston-area on-line catalogs.

The library has also received a total of $300,000 in grant money from the M.D. Anderson Foundation and the Fondren Foundation in the last three years.

With this money, the library bought the 126 CD-ROM workstations, paid for the infrastructure and paid licensing fees for the data bases, Rooks said.

"The EPC represents a partnership (with the library and the students). The students have provided the funds, and the library provides what they need," Rooks said. "Maybe we need to put up a sign like on the highway that says 'Your Tax Dollars at Work,' " she added.

The number of full-text machines went to 16 from eight, costing the library $100,000.

At the beginning of the semester, the number of CD-ROM network computers in the EPC jumped to 110 from 40.

Also, the library purchased two new data bases: Mosaic, which allows access to the World Wide Web, and Social Work Abstracts.

The money for these machines was not spent in vain, though. On one typical day in the library's first-floor Red Wing, only 30 machines were not in use. On Saturdays and Sundays, almost every machine is used.

One reason for the activity of the library is that the printing on its General, Business and Social Sciences Full-Text machines is now free.

These machines print entire articles from electronic images on compact discs. The network data bases do not contain whole articles, but indexes citations to journal articles, much like printed indexes.

Before March 3, these machines required a 7 cent-per-page Copicard charge. The only full-text machines that will retain their Copicard charges are the library's engineering machines. These still require a Copicard because the library does not have the software to network them.

Rooks said there are two reasons why the printing is free for the full-text machines:

•to provide a service to the students

•to create a cost-benefit to the library

When the library uses Copicard machines, it has to supply each computer with one reader and printer, and these debit machines are expensive, she said.

When the library purchased more computers, the number of debit machines would have had to increase. The money collected from the printing would have only marginally covered the cost of the Copicard machines.

As a result, charging patrons for printing would not have been cost-effective, Rooks said.





by Kevin Patton

Daily Cougar Staff

The higher-education funding formula, a fractious Houston legislative delegation and the inability of the UH System to do grass-roots lobbying have combined to make UH legislative policies "fundamentally flawed," said Richard Murray, professor of political science.

"Long-term, I don't think we've done a particularly good job on the legislative front," he said.

"Part of that problem is the structure of the System. It's kind of like an hourglass: (UH students, faculty and alumni) are on one side; the narrow part is the System, which controls the flow of information; then on the other side is the Legislature, the Higher Education Coordinating Board and the public constituency.

"This process makes it difficult to connect the basic constituencies of the university," Murray said.

He added that the System is cut off from being able to do what he called "grass-roots" lobbying: getting direct input easily from the thousands who go to school here, the thousands who graduated, faculty and staff.

He said the System operation is fundamentally flawed because the structure limits UH's political impact. "And that's going to be true no matter who the personalities are," he said.

But more than just the structure of the System, he said, UH has had some bad breaks, mostly due to the funding formula.

The formula, through which Texas universities receive funding, is based on enrollment numbers and credit-hour totals.

UH has more upper-division students than freshman or sophomore students. It costs more to educate an upper-division section than a 300-student introductory course. The formula does not take into account the dilemma of UH, where the average student takes six years to complete a degree and is 25 years old.

The University of Texas and Texas A&M boast large freshman classes of students who pursue standard four-year degrees.

"Defenders of the system say we've got these problems with the enrollments and so forth, and the Higher Education Coordinating Board rules don't work to our benefit," Murray added.

"Well, my response is that those rules were written by human beings, and they can be rewritten if the rules don't work well with our interests. My particular concern is that, long-term, we need to change both the formulas to reflect the reality of this institution," he said.

To compound the already complex fight for state funds, Texas has de-emphasized higher education.

"Basically, the state is not going to put more money into higher education, and so we have what is called a zero-sum game, and the various institutions are contending.

"Even with some special exemptions, we've been getting less money, and we're looking this year – even though the Legislature is giving us some slack on some of the rules – at getting less money than we got last biennium," Murray said.

"With inflation figured in, that's a lot less money, but the first time the state is out of money, I think we're up a creek without a paddle," he added.

Murray is referring to holds-harmless money, funds that were originally cut due to formula funding, but given back to lessen the losses. This biennium, UH received $14 million in holds harmless money to keep UH funding only $200,000 below the 1993 biennium.

In response to how the internal struggle between UH and the System is affecting the fight for dollars, Murray said, "The System leadership feels under fire, under extreme pressure and is concerned about maintaining their own position, so there is something of a defensiveness there.

"The conflict between UH and the System has broken out into the open; there's a lot more tension, and one of the reactions to this kind of physical confrontation is a bunker mentality.

"It makes it more difficult to recognize that we ought to do things differently. Relations are clearly strained between the campus and the System, and between this campus and the other campuses.

"Things really aren't working well. It's hard enough to be effective in the legislative process when everybody is on the same page. We're not.

"Ultimately, the regents have to take charge, even if that means knocking heads," he said.

<B> Richard Murray is a noted political scientist and a member of the Coalition for Excellence, a faculty group challenging the System's leadership. He is also a political adviser to Mayor Bob Lanier. The Daily Cougar asked Murray to evaluate the UH System's legislative performance. <P>





by Shahida Amin

News Reporter

Henry Bell has one major goal in mind for his presidency: to make SA more accessible to students.

"I feel all of these (SA) positions are workers for the students," Bell said. "The president of SA is a representative of the students. You have to be out there, talking to people to see how you can help them."

According to Bell, SA has the potential to be the most powerful organization in the university, but the key lies in student involvement.

"If you can get lots of students involved, you can make changes," he said. "It's a lot easier to get things rectified if you represent a great deal of students. The more support you get for it, the more SA can do."

As president, Bell said he plans to involve the student body in SA by establishing regular meetings with members of organizations on campus and by continuing programs like SA Table Talks, which this year's administration has featured.

"What we would be doing is piggybacking on those ideas," he said. "I'm a firm believer that if something is working, there is no reason to fix it. Just improve on things that work."

One of the lines that appears in the People's Party campaign literature, however, states, "We are fed up with an inept Students' Association."

"I think it's ironic that an officer in SA who's scarcely attended half the scheduled committee meetings, clearly fumbled on the one attempted task of assembling the Cougar Card (which is the primary cause for its delay in release) and organized his platform around the 'ineptness' of SA chooses to ride the coattails of a successful administration," said Steve Shortt, former SA director of finance.

Bell declined to offer detailed solutions to the promises he made in his platform. In a letter to the editor of The Daily Cougar, Ashley Gillespie, campaign manager and party chairman of the Peoples' Party, wrote, "As a strategy, the Peoples' Party has intentionally avoided printing on our literature campaign 'solutions' to student concerns as some parties have opted. Based on what we have observed in the past, these 'solutions' often do not come to fruition because of one thing or another."

Bell, however, did mention that in order to improve student services, he hopes to set up a system in which students who have complaints can be heard by administrators.

To improve the parking situation, Bell said he has worked with SA President Angie Milner in talking to Metro about setting up a shuttle service to the university.

In addition, he said he hopes to make the library more efficient to students by setting up a review to see how student service fees are used.

Bell said his major achievement as vice president was co-authoring the legislation to cut spending in SA. In addition, he also helped with the Cougar Card, planned the food fair, sat on the Student Needs Assessment Committee and worked with the Academic Honesty Policy Task Force.

According to Social Sciences Sen. Clarissa Peterson, SA minutes indicate Bell has missed seven out of 14 meetings this year.






by Shahida Amin

News Reporter

Giovanni Garibay has a simple approach to getting the job done as president: "Go in there, set goals, have them posted where everybody can see them, be responsible for them and have a plan of how you're going to reach these goals."

Even before elections, not only were goals set and posted, but plans were made to reach each one, Garibay said.

In order to secure financial aid, Garibay said he is trying to form a coalition group in the U.S. capital with graduates from UH.

"We know people in Washington," he said. "We've built a data base with people like Jason Fuller."

Garibay said he has also spoken to Andrew (Skip) Szilagyi Jr., associate vice president for planning and executive associate to the president, about improving the upkeep and maintenance of UH buildings.

"He has some ideas, but I noticed one thing: He didn't have student input," Garibay said. "It's just us taking the time. They seem really willing to work with students."

In the quest to find realistic, affordable solutions to the parking situation, SA Sens. Andrea Rachiele and Clarissa Peterson (who both ran with Garibay on the C.L.A.S.S. ticket) and Sen. Justin McMurtry sponsored a pilot program for which the Senate approved $1,000 Wednesday night.

In addition, Garibay said he has also appointed students to the Parking and Transportation Committee to look into getting an HOV lane directly to the university.

"We want to push for carpooling because I feel like that is the biggest thing I can see helping the parking problem," he said.

Garibay said he plans to improve the academic advising in colleges by forming a select committee to review individual colleges in order to make advising more student-friendly.

As president, Garibay said he hopes to run SA less like a political arena and more like a business.

"If SA was a business right now, it would be losing money," he said. "I would get rid of the cliques and run it efficiently. We have obstacles, and we should face them as a team. (I would) delegate a lot of authority to the senators so they can become involved."

As business senator this year, Garibay has served as chairman of the University Administration and Finance Committee and has sat on the University Planning and Policy Council and the Organizations Board. In addition, he also sponsored a bill asking the university to build more accessible entrances for disabled students; co-authored and sponsored a bill that would reallocate more money each year to the University Center for improvements; and authored and sponsored a bill to allow students, faculty and administrators to sit on traffic court. Garibay has also worked with the Hindu Student Council to try to form Hindi classes.

According to Social Sciences Sen. Clarissa Peterson, SA minutes indicate Garibay has missed three out of 14 Senate meetings this year.






by Jeff Holderfield and

Richard C. Kroger

Daily Cougar Staff

The omen of the dark and dreary evening Friday was there for all to see, but no one noticed.

The Houston Cougars (12-9) baseball team suffered through blackouts, a lack of hitting and some inconsistent pitching in losing a three-game set 2-1 to the Northwestern State Demons (12-5) this weekend at the new Cougar Field.

The nightcap of Saturday's doubleheader was a disaster at the plate for Houston as Northwestern starting pitcher Jonathon Black (3-0) one-hit the Cougars en route to a 2-0 Demons victory.

The game was marred by Houston's falling asleep in the batter's box.

A Tom Maleski sharp double in the first inning turned out to be the only hit of the ballgame for the Cougars.

Demons pitcher Jonathon Black shut down the offense the rest of the way, giving up just the one hit and one walk to blanket Houston.

"We should have lost both of those games," Noble said, referring to the offensive output of his team in the doubleheader. "We have just got to find some hitting. It seemed we were lacking intensity out there.

"Four hits over 14 innings of play is not going to do it. We just did not compete hard and weren't in attack-mode at all today," he added.

The other three Cougars hits came during game one Saturday when Houston won 2-1 behind a come-from-behind sixth-inning rally.

Jon McDonald (2-0) opened on the mound for the Cougars and shut down the Demons, giving up one run and only three hits in a seven-inning complete game.

"I was a little nervous before the game, but once I started pitching, I felt good and was able to keep the ball down," McDonald said.

The offensive production for the Cougars began in the sixth with Northwestern holding a slim 1-0 lead.

Maleski began the inning by drawing a walk. Outfielder Carlos Perez then followed with a line drive into left field.

Designated hitter Jason Farrow followed with another single, scoring Maleski, bringing up shortstop Jason Smiga.

Desperately needing a hit to take the lead, Smiga bounced a tapper to Demons second baseman Chad Tannehill, who bobbled the ball, allowing the eventual game-winning run to score.

The first game Friday night was delayed 58 minutes when the lights at the field wouldn't come on for the 7 p.m. start.

The game should have been rescheduled, but it wasn't.

Houston blew a three-run lead in the ninth inning to lose to the Demons (12-5) 9-8 in front of the 324 who sat through the blackout.

The Demons, however, did strike first Friday by capitalizing on early control problems from Hamilton, taking a 1-0 lead in their half of the first.

However, Cougars Geoffrey Tomlinson and Tom Maleski both blasted home runs in the bottom of the first and gave Houston a 2-1 lead.

It was the second consecutive game in which Maleski had hit a home run in the first inning.

The Cougars then took a comfortable 6-2 lead in the fourth when Carlos Perez hit the first-ever new Cougar Field grand slam off Northwestern's Roger Dulin.

Going into the ninth inning, the Cougars needed three outs to claim an 8-5 victory, but it didn't happen.

The Cougars' relief staff gave up four runs as Northwestern took a 9-8 lead into the last half-inning of the ballgame. The Demons held on.

"We had a poor effort from our pitching staff," said Houston head coach Rayner Noble. "We were letting pitches get up in the strike zone. We just didn't compete at all today."






by William German

Daily Cougar Staff

Although Houston's Tim Moore was passed over for the Southwest Conference Classic All-Tournament Team Saturday, it remains to be seen whether he will pass over his remaining year of NCAA eligibility.

Moore has spoken of trying his luck in the 1995 NBA draft, a move that would leave UH bereft of its leading scorer, rebounder and shotblocker in the regular and postseason.

The junior forward had said he would discuss the subject after Houston's season ended. With Friday's 94-79 semifinal loss to Texas Tech, that time arrived.

"I haven't really thought about (the decision) yet, because I feel if I would think about something like that, it'd distract me from my game," Moore said Friday. "It has nothing to do with (the tournament)."

Moore did not indicate a clear understanding of all the draft's nuances, but said he will sit down with head coach Alvin Brooks soon to learn all his options.

A rule he seemed to have thought over some was the NCAA regulation, which permits underclassmen to return to school if taken too low in the draft to suit them.

"Of course I think (draft positioning) would be important, because if I was in the draft and I don't like my position where I'm taken, of course I'll come back," he said.

Last year's second-rounders Charles Claxton of Georgia and Voshon Lenard of Minnesota used the rule to their advantage in the first year of its inception by returning to college. Both have played full seasons.

"I'm not in a big rush," said Moore, who also led his team in steals during the regular season with 46, about his decision-making timetable.

Self-described at 6-6 and listed at 215 pounds, Moore has been the Cougars' only consistent inside threat since joining the team in 1993-94. In his 49-game career at Houston, he has averaged 19.1 points and 9.7 rebounds a game while shooting .502 from the floor.

He has also boosted his shot-blocking numbers to three a game this season from 0.8 a game last year. Should that be a sign of how adaptable his athleticism is, he may be able to make the transition to guard if he is forced to play at that position in the NBA.

In this year's SWC Classic, Moore scored 19 points and grabbed 15 rebounds in the 80-77 victory over Texas Christian, followed by 21 and 11 against Texas Tech. He shot .536 in the two games and blocked a combined seven shots.

Moore came to Houston in December of 1993 after spending time at Lee College in Baytown, Houston Community College and Mississippi Gulf Coast Junior College. He graduated from Milby High School in 1992.







by William German

Daily Cougar Staff

DALLAS -- It was the matchup Southwest Conference purists had been waiting for, and for roughly two hours and 15 minutes Saturday, the Texas Longhorns and Texas Tech Red Raiders didn't disappoint.

The No. 1-seeded Longhorns triumphed over the No. 2 seed Raiders Saturday in the Dr Pepper SWC Postseason Classic finale, a game that will long be remembered by all present.

The final score, 107-104 in overtime, couldn't possibly reflect the effort left on the floor after Tech forward Jason Sasser's final 3-point attempt bounced over the backboard as the buzzer sounded.

"It was one of the best games I've ever seen or been involved with," said Texas head basketball coach Tom Penders, a 23-year veteran. "At points, I thought I was a spectator; at other times, I was deeply involved."

The all-important stat for Texas (22-6 overall, 13-3 SWC), a team reputed to live and die by its 3-point shooting, may have been just that – treys. Texas hit 12-of-20 from outside 19 feet, nine inches. The 12 threes in one game were a tournament record.

Longhorn forward Reggie Freeman, who was 6-of-7 from beyond the arc, said, "They just backed off me because of last night (2-of-10 performance against Rice Friday). I guess they saw that game and decided I couldn't hit a thing."

But it was a 3-point shot from UT freshman Brandy Perryman that tied the game 92-92 in regulation. Perryman swished his shot from the corner with 14 seconds remaining, setting up the overtime.

"Coach Penders didn't design the play for me," a modest Perryman said. "It was, 'Four 3-point shooters out there; whoever's open, take the shot.' "

Freeman, who finished with 24 points, sported one of his team's freshly cut-down nets atop his head at the postgame press conference. For once, that was a fitting tradition.

Penders' team ripped the nets at a blistering 64.1 percent clip. The Horns didn't miss a shot, either field goal or free throw, in the extra period, in which 6-of-6 foul shooting held off a late Tech rally.

Terrence Rencher, named the Classic's Most Valuable Player, scored a game-high 31 on 13-of-23 shooting, adding seven assists and six steals in 45 minutes. He was also involved in one of the game's most controversial plays.

After Tech (20-9, 13-4 SWC) got the ball across midcourt and called timeout following Perryman's clutch shot, the inbounds play went to forward Mark Davis. He was stripped by Rencher on an attempted turn-around from the free-throw line as time expired.

Well, it wouldn't be an SWC game without a controversial call, or non-call in this case, in the last few minutes.

"I'd like for (Davis) to have had a chance to shoot free throws, and I'd like players to decide games, but a foul is a foul, whether it occurs in the first five minutes or the last five," said Tech head coach James Dickey.

"The official didn't call a foul."

Rencher's perspective: "They had run that play many times, and he had made an unbelievable shot (to give Tech an 82-75 lead earlier). I had to gamble."

For Rencher and Texas, the gamble paid off.






by William German

Daily Cougar Staff

DALLAS -- The Houston Cougars experienced quite a reversal of fortune at this year's Dr Pepper Southwest Conference Postseason Classic.

In Thursday's first-round 80-77 victory over Texas Christian, Houston played inside threat Kurt Thomas and his team to a draw on the boards. The Cougars outrebounded TCU 54-43 in the game, 19-11 on the offensive end.

The next day's matchup against second-seed Texas Tech proved different, however. The Raiders controlled the caroms Friday, getting 42 to UH's total of 33.

Offensively, Tech got too many second chances.

"We knew that to win this game, we needed to win the battle of the boards," head coach Alvin Brooks said afterwards. "It was a pretty physical game, and they were able to get a lot of offensive putbacks."

Sparingly-used reserve forward Gionet Cooper, who entered the game when starting center Darvin Ham picked up two quick fouls in the first half, led the Raiders with 10 boards, seven offensive.

The big key was the first half, in which UH was outshot 50 percent to 42.3 and beat on the offensive glass 12-3. Tech also hit four of 10 3-pointers, compared to only 1-of-5 shooting for Houston. All that added up to a first-half deficit of 46-27.

"We rebounded the ball extremely well," said Raiders head coach James Dickey. "I thought our defense was good early. When you hold a team that's capable of scoring as many points as Houston is to 27 at halftime, I was pleased with our defense."

It was over quickly. After Tim Moore (21 points, 11 rebounds) tied the game at 5-5 on a three-point play, Tech went on a 14-0 run, buoyed by 10 points from All-SWC Classic forward Jason Sasser.

Houston finished the season at 9-19 overall, one win better than last year's mark. The Cougars were 6-10 in the SWC.







by Jason Paul Ramírez

Daily Cougar Staff

DALLAS -- Connie Robinson took her time.

But then again, she had to if the Texas Tech forward was going to continue to successfully come back from a near season-ending injury on Feb. 8.

As her six-foot baseline jumper swished through the net with 7:11 left to play in the first half, the result was a 37-11 lead over Houston in Friday's semifinal action of Dallas' Dr Pepper Southwest Conference Postseason Classic.

However, the smiles on the Tech bench that followed were the last smirks to be shown on the Lady Raiders' faces for quite a while.

Over the next 10:24, Houston outscored Tech, No. 6 in the country, 37-15 as it cut the 37-11 Raiders advantage down to 52-48 with 16:47 left to play following 15-foot right-corner jumper by Cougars forward Pat Luckey.

Much of this run came courtesy of a 25-6 spurt with Tech holding a 46-23 lead at the 3:22 mark before halftime.

"Pat was really getting it going at that point (13 points in the run)," said Cougars guard Tanda Rucker, who also added two 3-pointers during the stretch.

"We turned up our defensive intensity and made them make some bad passes."

But the prospect of Houston coming all the way back was not to be.

With the Raiders holding a still-surmountable 60-54 lead with 13:05 left, the Cougars went the next 9:03 without scoring a single point, as Tech went on a 17-0 run to go up 77-54 and eventually win 90-69.

"The game was a lot more interesting than it should have been," said Tech coach Marsha Sharp, whose victory was the 300th of her career. "We lost our composure a little bit, but made the shots down the stretch to win the game."

Said Houston coach Jessie Kenlaw: "We were getting good looks at the basket, but the shots just weren't falling."

The Cougars ended up shooting 39 percent to 49.3 for the Raiders.

All-SWC guard Stacey Johnson was limited to 3-of-10 shooting while six of her 12 points came at the free-throw line.

"We had several lapses and spurts," Kenlaw said. "In the end, we just didn't have enough ammunition to keep up with a team like Tech."

It didn't help Houston's case much that SWC Player of the Year and Classic Most Outstanding Player Michi Atkins torched the Cougars for 27 points and went 6-of-6 from the field in the second half.

"I was getting open, so I shot," said Atkins, who averaged 26.3 points in the three games vs. Houston this year, all Tech victories.

Following Friday's battle with the Cougars, Tech faced Southern Methodist in the finals of the Classic and came away 84-62 victors.

The Raiders (30-3) will now move on to face Tulane in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.

As for Houston, its season ended with an often inconsistent 14-14 record and a non-postseason bid.

"We knew we needed to win this tournament (in Dallas) if we were to qualify for any postseason chances," Kenlaw said. "It was do-or-die for us and we didn't take care of business like we wanted to."






by Jason Paul Ramírez

Daily Cougar Staff

Sunday, Houston coach Jessie Kenlaw waited by the phone.

But she never got the call she was waiting for.

Following the Cougars' 90-69 semifinal loss to No. 6 Texas Tech in the Dr Pepper Southwest Conference Postseason Classic in Dallas Friday, Kenlaw and the rest of the Cougars wondered if their 14-14 record would be good enough to grant them a bid into at least the Women's National Invitational Tournament.

When that inviting phone call never arrived, Kenlaw said she wasn't surprised.

"With the way we ended the season, I wasn't expecting us to get in," Kenlaw said. "I actually think we would have been blessed had we gotten in."

When Texas A&M (18-9) didn't receive a bid into the NCAA Tournament, it left the Aggies as the only logical choice to represent the SWC in the NWIT.

However, had the Aggies made the NCAA's, a SWC bid might have been awarded to Texas, which finished at 12-16 and had the worst season in its history.

"Texas has the fan support, and we're not in that position," Kenlaw said. "The NIT is the type of tournament that places a little more emphasis on money for fan attraction reasons."

The Cougars lost four of their last five games to fall from grace, in which they had previously won seven of eight and were in second place in the SWC. A 93-77 loss to Baylor (13-14) in Hofheinz Pavilion Feb. 22 probably hurt their chances more than anything else.





by Jason Paul Ramírez

Daily Cougar Staff

DALLAS -- Southern Methodist coach Rhonda Rompola said she swore she was not in Dallas.

Of the 8,522 in attendance at Reunion Arena for Saturday's women's final of the Dr Pepper Southwest Conference Postseason Classic, probably 8,000 of those were rooting for No. 6 Texas Tech, as the Lady Raiders met second-seeded Classic competitor SMU for an automatic bid into the NCAA Tournament.

The crowd, no doubt, worked to Tech's advantage as it stormed into the NCAA's by taking an 84-62 victory.

"Somebody said it was a national holiday in Lubbock today," Rompola said. "It must have been because I think all of Lubbock was here."

But had this game been played in the quiet confines of, say, the SMU school library, it is highly doubtful the outcome would have been any different.

The Mustangs (20-9, 11-6 in the SWC) were out of it from the get-go. Tech (30-3, 16-1) began the game with a 9-0 run before taking a commanding 25-9 lead at the 10:57 mark of the first half on an eight-foot baseline jumper by all-tournament team member Melinda White.

"Tech came out loose because they've been here before," Rompola said. "We were tight and tentative and just couldn't get out of the hole we had created for ourselves."

SMU, playing in its first SWC Classic final and 18th in the country in scoring (81.2 points per game), was limited to 23 first-half points and 31.3 percent shooting from the floor on the afternoon.

"We talked about doing the job on the defensive end as well as the offensive end," said Tech coach Marsha Sharp. "We got a lot of steals and things."

The Mustangs committed 28 turnovers, nearly 11 above their season average (17.3).

And on the offensive end, Tech kept getting consistent play from guard Noel Johnson (13 points), forward Tabitha Truesdale (19) and Classic Most Outstanding Player Michi Atkins (18).

Though SMU guard Jennifer McLaughlin won a spot on the all-tournament team, the 5-9 junior was held to just 10 points and a horrific 2-of-12 shooting performance.

Nevertheless, SMU was still able to land into the NCAA Tournament as well. The Mustangs, seeded 10th in the Western region, will face seventh seed Southern Mississippi.

"I don't think there's a team in the country that plays harder than SMU," Sharp said. "They are already at the point now where they can get into the tournament off a loss and not have to worry about getting a low seed."

So are the Raiders.

Tech was seeded second in the Mideast region and will host its own sub region in Lubbock, where the Raiders can advance into the tourney's Sweet 16 with two victories in Lubbock Municipal Coliseum.

Tech will tip off the tournament by hosting Tulane, seeded 15th in the Mideast.






by Lady Oliver

Daily Cougar Staff

Former Phi Slamma Jamma and World Champion basketball player Hakeem Olajuwon is now a co-owner of World Class Waters in partnership with entrepreneur Brad Cornell.

Cornell founded the company in 1994 and has been affiliated with the bottled water industry since 1989, as customized bottled water deliverer for special events, former founder and president of Nevada City Mountain Spring Water and managing partner of Oasis Company.

As president and chief executive officer, Cornell will oversee day-to-day operations.

Olajuwon will be actively involved in the management of the company with executive decision-making responsibilities as chairman of the board.

In his March 1 announcement, Olajuwon said he became a partner in the company because bottled water is a product he believes in. "I am offered many business opportunities, but this was a natural," Olajuwon said.

"All I drink is water. I believe in its goodness." This "goodness" is essential to life, he said.

Did you know that the average adult's body weight is 55 to 75 percent water? That's about 10 to 12 gallons.

Olajuwon, who majored in business technology here at the University of Houston, said he hopes the new venture will give him the opportunity to use his business skills and creativity in a fast-growing industry.

World Class Waters "is already believed to be one of the largest custom label bottled water companies in the United States, and the market continues to expand," Cornell said.

According to Cornell,the $3.5 billion bottled water industry in the United States currently supports more than 700 brands of bottled water with maturing profit margins for national label brands. Yet opportunities in the private labeling of bottled water for wholesale and specialty event retail customers are relatively unexplored.

World Class Waters has developed a marketing strategy that ideally positions them to capture an even larger share in this emerging market.

Financial projections call for them to increase their sales volume by 500 percent in the first year.

World Class Waters supply bottled water to the hospitality and special event industries (like the Live Stock Show and Rodeo) for resale under private custom labels. Others include Holiday Inn, Guest Quarters Suite Hotels and several of Texas' Universities, including UH.

The company currently markets the water under the brand name of Pure Texas, which is available to consumers at Randall's food markets and numerous other retail outlets.

To commemorate the new relationship with Olajuwon, the company is introducing a new retail brand of water under the player's private reserve label, Hakeem Olajuwon H2O.

It becomes available to consumers in mid-March at local Houston retailers.

In addition to Olajuwon's label, World Class Waters will also market a brand called World Class Waters under licensing agreements with regional sports celebrities nationwide.

The source of this bottled spring water is Indian Springs, which is located in Franklin County, Texas. That's about 60 miles north of Tyler, near Paris, Texas.

This natural spring water contains no chlorine, sodium or other chemicals. It has been voted by an independent taste-testing panel as the best in its category every year since 1988. The judgement is based on taste, clarity and aroma.

These may seem like stringent guidelines, compared to the regulation of tap water. Most tap water has chlorine added to it, which can cause a chemical taste.

Tap water, particularly found in homes with older plumbing systems, may also contain lead, a harmful metal.

Bottled water is regulated by the Food and Drug Administration and comes in many varieties. The most common types are mineral water, purified water, sparkling water, well water and spring water, which World Class Waters markets.

"I hope I can help raise public awareness of the important health benefits of drinking natural spring water. Water cleanses the body and soul. I would like to encourage people to drink more of it," Olajuwon said.

Bottled water is the only beverage he consumes. He drinks more than a gallon a day.

Olajuwon is keenly aware of his influence as a role model for young people, and is committed to conducting his business in a way that sets a good example.

"This is a first-class company in every way. I am proud to be associated with it," Olajuwon said.





Willem Dafoe plays T.S. Eliot, and Miranda Richardson, who was nominated for an Academy Award, plays his wife Viv in <I>Tom & Viv<P>.

Photo courtesy of Miramax Films

<I>Tom and Viv<P>

Stars: Willem Dafoe, Miranda Richardson

Director: Brian Gilbert


by A. Colin Tangeman

Daily Cougar Staff

"Behind every great man there is a great woman," a litany that might have been ascribed to the tumultuous first marriage of poet Thomas Stearns Eliot to the troubled but brilliant Vivienne Haigh-Wood.

The story of Eliot and Wood's relationship contains some inherently tragic and moving qualities that could have made the film about their life together, <I>Tom and Viv<P>, a poignant character study.

Unfortunately, I left the theater with the uneasy feeling of having a rug pulled out from under me.

According to screenwriter Michael Hastings, who adapted the script from his own play, T.S. Eliot was a self-serving masochist who used his disturbed wife's mental illness as a fulcrum for his tortured poetry. The condition that Eliot's wife, Viv, (played with compelling intensity by Miranda Richardson) actually suffered from was a simple hormonal imbalance that is easily curable today. Sadly, early 20th century doctors diagnosed Viv with the absurd malaise of "moral insanity," and prescribed for her a host of addictive and ineffectual medicines that ultimately did more harm than good.

Consequently, the couple's liaison was plagued by Viv's manic depressive episodes that slowly strangled the marriage and threatened Eliot's much desired acceptance by the British literati.

Eliot is played magnificently by Willem Dafoe, who, as a casting choice, might at first seem rather ill-chosen. However, if anyone has ever heard a recording of Eliot, or read anything about his famously reserved character, then it becomes obvious that Dafoe went to impeccable lengths to breathe life into Eliot's austere personality.

But Dafoe's performance in <I>Tom and Viv<P> is not enough to give the film the tragic sensibility it so desires. Hobbling this intention is the fact that the director spends almost the entire film repetitively cataloging Viv's runaway dementia and building a fallacious sympathy for Tom's ultimate decision to have her committed. From the start of the film, the director wants us to feel for Eliot. But by the close of the film, we find that Eliot hasn't bothered to visit his wife in 10 years, and Viv has conveniently taken on the airs of a free spirit who has been tragically locked away by those she trusted. Suddenly, we are expected to despise the man who has held our sympathy for the past 100 minutes. The real culprit in this film is the system, the fate or the ignorance of the medical community. Certainly, Eliot deserves blame -- he used his wife as a source for his poetry, and he placed too much value on being accepted -- but he does not deserve the damnation the director credits him with.

Dafoe and Richardson are the best things about <I>Tom and Viv<P>, and for their performances it's almost worth the ticket price to go and see. But director Gilbert's flair for the overstated, and his conspicuous manipulation of his audience's feelings seriously flaws a story that has tragic and substantiative potential.







The Murmurs will be promoting their self-titled debut Wednesday at the Urban Art Bar when they open for Bush.

Photo by David Jensen/MCA

by Joey Guerra

Daily Cougar Staff

Listening to the self-titled debut CD from Heather Grody and Leisha Hailey, The Murmurs, is like discovering a wonderful secret. The songs pass in a whisper, but they echo in your mind long after the album is finished.

Don't be put off by the aggressiveness of "You Suck," the first single by this duo from New York's East Village. This pair of 22-year-old musicians possess an extraordinary quality for writing heartfelt odes to life, love and the trials of relationships.

"Carry Me Home" and "Mission" are two tracks dealing with the fears and obstacles encountered during a lifetime. The songs have an almost beautiful sadness to them, and consist of quiet musings like "Leftover dreams forgotten/ Misplaced thoughts and empty spaces/ Waiting to be filled and found." The girlish vocals of Grody and Hailey are charming, and technically, they bear a striking resemblance to Wilson Phillips, that pre-packaged trio who harmonized beautifully but lacked any real charisma.

Luckily, The Murmurs are well-stocked in the charisma department. "Basically" and "Bad Mood" shine with excellent musical accompaniment and acoustic guitar by The Murmurs themselves. Grody and Hailey sing about having no regrets for leading the life you choose. The songs are crisp and catchy, and the music can only be categorized as acoustic with definite folk influences.

It only gets better as the duo swirls around in a world of cellos, oboes and mandolins. One of the best tracks is "Untouchable," a poignant dedication to that one unattainable love. While the message is sad (loving someone you can't have is like being "trapped in a room full of wonderful colors"), the song will surely relate to almost everyone.

Before you cry your eyes out, rest assured there are a few songs that might make you smile. "Neverending" and "Ticket To Zen" are joyous cries to life and its memorable moments. Grody and Hailey sound deliriously happy and keep the syncopated rhythm upbeat the whole way through.

Also sure to make you chuckle is "Bumblebee," probably the strangest song on the album. More pondering occurs, but The Murmurs keep the tone light by buzzing like bees at regular intervals.

According to Grody, The Murmurs are "just human and open-minded." They are also extremely talented. As far as debut albums go, this one is near perfect. See The Murmurs for yourself when these lovely ladies buzz into the Urban Art Bar Wednesday at 10 p.m.






by Stephen Stelmak

Daily Cougar Staff

Even though Austin's Pocket Fisherman is energetic and lively, the band has little to say. Its newest release, <I>Future Gods of Rock<P>, is a rough journey into the local music scene.

The first song, "Everything is Boring to Me," sets the tone for the album. The self-centered bellyaching lyrics are accentuated by the whiny voice of lead singer Cris Burns. From there, the album can only improve, and fortunately it does.

Despite a lack of polish in the vocals, the guitarist, Snoopy, provides a solid base of power chords, backed by an enthusiastic drummer and bassist. One must pass "Pot Mountain" and "Go Out Smoking" before getting to the first song in which the band uses the lead singer's bratty energy to form a strange but entertaining tune. It seems like Pocket Fisherman is at its best when it isn't trying to make a point. The bratty "Go Go Saddam Hussein" is simplistic and mindless, but full of zip.

Pocket Fisherman does a good job instilling the energy of a live show onto the album, but includes little variety. Thankfully, most of the songs are short -- about two minutes long. "Intellectuals Rocking for Women" and "Punk Jesus" have interesting names, but the titles are more colorful than the songs themselves.

Instead of buying the album to hear the unrefined , unpolished, energetic and peppy Pocket Fisherman, spend the money to see the band perform live. The experience might be worth the money, but the album is not.

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