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Monday, November 30, 1998
Houston, Texas
Volume 64, Issue 68

Ed De La Garza's Readers Speak

Staff Editorial

About the Cougar

Letters To The Editor

Working hard to form a losing tradition?

To the editor:

The "Good ol' Boy System" is alive and well in the UH administration. Kim Helton has found some way to kiss the right people's butts long enough to save his job and his $300,000 salary for yet another season. I hope he invests it wisely.

We all expected him to be fired after this year's losing season. Now it is time for another person to pack his bags: Chet Gladchuk, the athletics director, for his lack of common sense and a backbone to stand up to alumni.

The news of Helton's return was so startling that it was the lead story of most newscasts and even made the front page of the sports section. His own players I have personally spoken to say he needs to go, but they knew his connections would keep him around. So which assistant coaches are going to be fired and blamed for this year's miserable season, coach?

Is next year the "break-out year" Helton has been talking about? We were told it was this year -- or was it the year before? I am sorry, coach Helton, but everyone is good at something, and being a Division I coach is not your talent. The only bowl you have a chance at participating in the future is the one in your lap full of popcorn as you watch next year's bowl games on television.

Helton is 17-49-1 during his six-year stint at this university. Yes, the program may have been in "disarray" when he arrived, but with another 3-8 season under his belt, it remains in that condition. He needs three near-perfect seasons in a row just to be at .500. The graduation rates and academics have increased, but good coaches make this happen while winning most of their games.

What is wrong with this university? It should cut its losses and buy out his contract. Why he was given such a long one to begin with blows my mind. I could understand it if he won a national championship in 1996, but I never thought making it to one bowl was such a big deal.

There are plenty of big-name coaches without jobs who would bring this program some national exposure, wins, revenue and big-name prospects. Pick up the phone and call Lou Holtz or Bowden. We all see what bringing in Drexler has done for the basketball program.

Yes, you may have to go deeper into the red to bring in a new experienced coach, but it will pay off in the long run.

Jonathan O'Neal
junior, political science

March a mile

To the editor:

D. Ryan Monceaux's comments about the UH marching band in his column "The best and worst of a disappointing season" (Sports, Nov. 23) were insulting, to say the least.

How dare he slight the hours of hard work and dedication put in by every member of the organization? It is obvious he is speaking from ignorance. If he actually knew about bands, he would be aware that the University of North Texas band, made up mostly, or entirely, of music majors, is one of the best college marching bands in the nation. It should also be noted that Army's "ragamuffin" band was made up of professional musicians.

It is questionable whether Mr. Monceaux was even present at the Army game. He seems to think the Army band marched better than the UH band, even though Army did not do a marching show here. While everyone is entitled to his own opinion, I ask you, Mr. Monceaux, to try marching a mile in our shoes before you insult our fine band.

Amy Kitmacher 
freshman, music education

A little support goes a long way

To the editor:

I can't express my disappointment in D. Ryan Monceaux. His column on Nov. 23 showed just how little school spirit is left at UH. And do you know where it all is? The Cougar Band.

Mr. Monceaux, who just transferred here from LSU and is now supposed to be the UH sports god, spoke very poorly of the Cougar Band. He compared us to a "ragamuffin squad" from Army. Well, it just so happens that, while it might have looked ragamuffin, that was a group of professional army musicians. He said they kicked our ass on and off the field -- but they never took the field.

Nobody in the Cougar Marching Bad believes that we're the best in the country. But we work hard to support the Cougars at every game, win or lose. A little support from people like Mr. Monceaux would be nice.

And, by the way, I dare anybody to find a basketball band better than Cougar Brass in the entire country ... anywhere. We take great pride in the Coogs, and we're at every game cheering and playing during a 9-20 season.

Before there were Bleacher Creatures, there was Cougar Brass. There is Cougar Brass. There will always be Cougar Brass supporting the Coogs.

Chris Foster
junior, music education
Cougar Band librarian

Stop the band-bashing

To the editor:

Sports writers amaze me! They constantly look at the entertainment aspect of any game in relation to the competition happening on the field.

In D. Ryan Monceaux's column examining the best and worst of the season (Sports, Nov. 23), he compared the Cougar Marching Band to other bands throughout the season.

Let's look at them:

Army's band: played in the stands only; didn't even put on a

halftime performance or a pre-game performance on the field like the Cougar Band did. (Gee, that would seem to put us over them.)

North Texas' band: Incredible performance by the UNT Band. Let me make a fact known to you that you obviously are unaware of, Mr. Monceaux: UNT is one of the largest music performance schools in the country (it is possibly the largest jazz performance school in the world). By contrast, the UH music school is known primarily for its music education training. Therefore, the UNT band should perform better. It's made up of performance majors.

Every school from Cal to Tennessee didn't show up at the games held here.

Here's another fact obviously not known to you. The bands <I>do not<P> compete against each other. In fact, we are generally cooperating during games because we alternate turns playing during time-outs, halftime, etc.

People who write columns such as Monceaux's frequently take so much time to complain about every little aspect of their school and then yearn for the programs that other schools have. He might take a lesson from Chet Gladchuk: he's trying to rebuild all the aspects of the football games (ticket sales, box seats, pre-game activities, etc.) as he rebuilds other aspects of the Athletics program.

Monceaux should try finding the good points of his school before he goes around bashing it, since anyone can do that!

Robert Meaux
graduate teaching assistant, UH Marching Band
alumnus ('88, '97)

Letters Policy: Letters to the editor are welcome from any member of the UH community. Letters should be typed and must include the authoris name, classification and major (or affiliation with the University if not a student) and a working telephone number. Anonymous letters will not be published. Letters should focus on issues, not personalities. 

Bring letters to Room 151, Communication for personal delivery, or fax to (713) 743-5384, attention: Letters to the Editor; e-mail to; or send via U.S. mail to Letters to the Editor, University of Houston, The Daily Cougar, Room 151 Communication, Houston, TX 77204-4071.

Letters may be edited for clarity, language and space. Some letters may be published only on The Daily Cougar Online and not in the print edition of the Cougar. Letters will be run at the editoris discretion. Call (713) 743-5360 for more information.


Rohith Nandagiri's "On the Front Ro" column Wednesday stated that scholarship athletes can contact other schools about joining their teams without violating NCAA rules. In fact, an athlete must obtain a release from his or her school before contacting another school. The Daily Cougar regrets this error.


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