UT Tyler to Host University of New Orleans Basketball
September 6, 2005

The University of Texas at Tyler will host the University of New Orleans men's and women's basketball teams under an agreement reached by UT Tyler President Dr. Rod Mabry and UNO Chancellor Dr. Tim Ryan, both schools announced today.

"Hurricane Katrina is arguably our nation's worst natural disaster. We have all seen the horror and felt the need to help," said Mabry. "In addition to the Red Cross shelter on our campus and the late registrations we have granted many displaced students from Tulane and Xavier, we are pleased to also provide accommodations for UNO student-athletes."

UNO, a member of the NCAA Division 1 Sun Belt Conference, will play its home games at UT Tyler and its student-athletes will be enrolled and take classes at UT Tyler as transient/visiting students. UNO student-athletes will begin enrolling at UT Tyler as soon as today.

"We are glad that we are able to assist UNO in their time of need," said UT Tyler athletics director Dr. Howard Patterson. "Besides hosting UNO's games, we will also be providing office space and support for the UNO coaching staff and administrative personnel."

Continued Patterson, "There are some conflicts with both universities having home games on the same date, but we will work those out and for the Saturday games, we will play triple-headers."

"We are extremely gratified by the kindness shown us by UT Tyler in our time of need," said UNO athletics director Jim Miller. "This unfortunate event should convince all college athletics administrators of the truth in the passage 'except by the grace of God go I.' It could happen to any of us, and each of us in college athletics need to be prepared, both with our own contingency plans and to help those in need."

Miller continued, "Dr. Kathy Keene, our (UNO) assistant athletic director for student-athlete eligibility & development, will be on site during this time to work with our coaches to supervise our student-athletes. I know that our student-athletes appreciate the kindness of the UT Tyler and the people of Tyler, and that they will be exemplary representatives of our program."

The UNO campus fared better physically that much of the surrounding area in New Orleans and UNO officials are hopeful that they can resume operations as soon as possible. It is unclear whether the infrastructure in New Orleans can support the return of their sports programs, but UNO officials would like to return the basketball teams to New Orleans as soon as possible.


MEDIA NOTE: Please direct all inquiries to the UT Tyler Sports Information Office at (903) 565-5559. Communication with UNO staff is sporadic due to telephone outages, etc. and most of their staff is focused on important relief efforts.


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