Wednesday, March 17, 1999

Tourney helping Miami's image


Controversies fade for while during March

BY KEVIN ALDRIDGE
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        OXFORD — The rush of positive news surrounding the Miami RedHawks' success in the NCAA Tournament comes at a good time for the university, Miami President James Garland said Tuesday.

        Miami has struggled this year with issues ranging from race relations to a ban on thong swimsuits at the campus natatorium.

        “It's good to talk about something positive,” Dr. Garland said. “The timing of this is very fortunate for us, because this is the season which many prospective students are weighing their college options.”

        University officials have been concerned that recent controversies might adversely affect the school's ability to recruit students. But Dr. Garland said he hopes the spotlight being cast on the men's basketball team will trigger more interest among potential college students.

        Miami has been thrust into the limelight during the past week thanks to the RedHawks' upsets of Washington on Friday and Utah on Sunday. The university won't make much money from the tournament appearances, but the exposure for the institution is a plus, administration officials said.

        “Interest is greatly en hanced,” said James McCoy, associate vice president for enrollment services. “If we were in the fall before the application deadline, we'd probably have an increase in applications.”

        Meanwhile, NCAA Tournament T-shirts are selling at campus-area shops. Big-screen TVs are being hauled into the campus student center. And students — fresh from spring break — are making travel plans, this time to St. Louis.

        The surging RedHawks, 24-7, will head there today to prepare for Friday's regional semifinal with defending national champion Kentucky. A 3:45 p.m. pep rally will be held in Millett Hall before the players leave.

        “People don't give us much of a chance,” said Chris Bausano, a RedHawks fan. “But if we made it this far, who knows?”

        Even Miami's top administrator isn't immune to a little March Madness.

        “I wouldn't miss this game for anything,” said Dr. Garland, who will be flying to St. Louis on Friday.

        “I don't want to jinx our team by speculating on the outcome, but I know we are going to put our hearts into it.”

       



Miami Stories
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- Tourney helping Miami's image
UK plans to gang up on Szczerbiak
MARCH MADNESS PAGE