Sept. 6, 2005
DALLAS, Texas - In an unprecedented arrangement, Tulane University will spread its student-athletes across five campuses in Louisiana and Texas this fall as they continue to represent the Green Wave while their home city of New Orleans recovers from the devastating effects of Hurricane Katrina.
The Tulane football team will enroll at Louisiana Tech University in Ruston, La. while four teams - men's basketball, women's swimming and diving, women's volleyball and women's soccer - will attend Texas A&M University in College Station, La. The Green Wave baseball and women's basketball squads will make their homes in Lubbock, Texas thanks to the hospitality of Texas Tech University, while Conference USA schools Rice and SMU will admit the Tulane men's and women's tennis (Rice) and men's and women's golf (SMU) programs, respectively. Tulane's cross country teams will not run this fall.
"I can't say enough about the tremendous outpouring of support we have received from every single person we have spoken to over the last several days, not only from these five schools, but from other schools we contacted and our conference office," said Tulane Athletic Director Rick Dickson. "Our priority was to continue to provide a high quality academic and athletic experience for our athletes. This plan could not have come together without their help."
The Green Wave's new hosts have provided Tulane student-athletes enrollment, housing and meal services. Students will be admitted to school under the tuition and enrollment agreement worked out by Tulane President Dr. Scott Cowen last week, wherein Tulane students may attend one of hundreds of schools that are members of nine leading higher education associations.
Tulane student-athletes will begin arriving on the four campuses where classes have already started on Tuesday, while the 88 members of the football squad - who have been in Dallas since last Tuesday night - will travel to Ruston on Sunday. Classes do not begin at Louisiana Tech, which is on the quarter system, until Monday, Sept. 12.
"To date, our focus has been on providing opportunities for our student-athletes to study, compete, practice and play this fall," Dickson said. "With school having already started in most places, we felt a sense of urgency to get this part of the plan accomplished first. Now we will go to work on the other pieces."
After its students and coaches make their way to their new locales, Tulane will work with its new partners to identify and schedule practice and playing facilities. Schools have also offered other assistance, from meeting rooms at Louisiana Tech for the Green Wave football team, to working space in their facilities for Tulane support staff such as athletic trainers, academic counselors and administrators.
"I have shared with our coaches that Tulane Athletics has been given a role and a mission. That is `Carry the Torch, Be the Face, Represent the Name, of Tulane University'," Dickson said. "We have to carry the message, to Tulanians especially, but also to the whole country, that an institution as valuable as a 170-year-old university and a culture as rich and vibrant as ours in New Orleans, will not and cannot be erased by this disaster."