Who needs improvement?
As the Cougars men's basketball team sits atop the Southwest Conference standings, the UH community is abuzz with talk about Cougars pride and UH making an impressive closing statement to the final season of the SWC. But no one has mentioned anything about giving head coach Alvin Brooks a new contract.
It's no secret that before the season started, UH Athletics Director Bill Carr told Brooks he would not be getting a new contract unless the team showed improvement.
Perhaps we should ask Carr to explain exactly what "improvement" means. Is it predicated on more wins, or more ticket sales, or more excitement or some elusive definition that only Carr understands?
Is it measured on the same scale as "improvement" for UH head football coach Kim Helton?
Helton's team won two games this year, one more than they won in the previous season. And the UH Board of Regents will be asked to extend Helton's contract at its Jan. 31 meeting.
So, on that scale, Brooks only needs to make sure his team finishes the season with at least 10 wins, just one win more than 1994-95's nine wins. With eight wins at this early point of the season, the Cougars will no doubt surpass last year's mark by several games.
Perhaps we will learn what Carr's mysterious definition of "improvement" is when he offers Brooks the new contract he obviously deserves.
Southwestern Bell wants to make everyone in the Houston area dial 10 digits for every local call. Although this simple change aroused no major opposition for more than a year, the state's Public Utility Commission, which regulates the telephone industry, suddenly delayed the change, only six weeks before it became a hard-and-fast rule.
The PUC's sudden change is due in no small part to irresponsible journalism by the Houston Chronicle. The Chronicle has been trumpeting the difficulty of memorizing 10 digits since the plan was first broached, and recently moved its complaints to the top of the front page. The one aspect they have neglected to mention is that the first three of those ten digits will be either 713 or 281.
Businesses complaining of having to change their stationery to reflect their new numbers are needlessly whining as well. They have had a year's notice of the plan, and their failure to take advantage of that is their own fault.
The 713 area code is out of phone numbers. It's that simple. Telecommunications experts agree that 10-digit dialing will be a reality everywhere as growth continues. Houstonians might as well grin and bear it now. Consider it the price of progress.