We Talk About UNO, The Saints and Tulane University, But What About Xavier?

By Gregory Moore
Updated: September 6, 2005

Xavier University of Louisiana

SAN ANTONIO — The stories may not make the national news these days but I was wondering about the students over at Xavier University and how they are faring from their ordeal.

For those who aren�t familiar, Xavier University, not to be confused with the Xavier University located in Cincinnati, Ohio, had to be evacuated as well as students from Tulane and the University of New Orleans.

Many of these students are in other schools like LSU and the like but Xavier finds itself in a precarious situation as about 1,000 students are at Grambling and others are scattered.

It�s something that probably nobody in the sports world really thought about because there are so many HBCU schools that are extending their arms and helping where they can in this effort.

But I just couldn�t remember whether I heard or read from the national theater whether the United Negro College Fund, the NAACP and/or the Congressional Black Caucus have mobilized any forces of substantial strength to help these displaced students.

And as I scour the Internet looking for odds and ends, what is next for this university. Can the traditions and services be saved as monies become tight and resources become scare? It�s a question that was on my mind and maybe somebody can answer it for me.

UNO BEING PILLAGED UNO�s head basketball coach, Monte Towe, said his program is under siege and that junior colleges are contacting his players in lieu of what happened with Hurricane Katrina. If this is the case, and quite honestly I wouldn�t doubt it for one moment, then Myles Brand better step in and put a halt to this quick by contacting the governing body of junior college athletics and let them know that such actions will not be tolerated.

“We’re a member of the NCAA,” Towe said in published reports. “We’re not Duke, but we’re the University of New Orleans and they need to make sure a member organization is taken care of. Our women’s basketball team is going through the same thing. It’s disgusting, people trying to kick someone while they’re down.”

I can�t argue the fact. As a matter of fact I look at Towe�s situation just like the Baylor situation a few years ago. The difference is that this program has no NCAA violations but it is under tremendous stress to succeed because of a natural disaster. The NCAA needs to protect UNO because it is a member organization and it could do so with just the mere stroke of the pen.

Let�s hope that the junior college coaches and schools have a little more decorum than what Coach Towe is suggesting. It would be a sad day in college athletics if his accusations, as unfounded as they may seem, turn out to have some validity to them.

As ruthless as college sports is, no one should discount these accusations and everyone involved at that level should be diligently making sure that the University of New Orleans, as well as other schools affected by Hurricane Katrina, are helped to maintain a semblance of normalcy during these trying times.


As I was skimming through various story sources this weekend, I came across a small story in the Los Angeles Times in which the mother of Northwestern football player Rashidi Wheeler is still fighting to have her say in court. Michelle Will has been denied by the Illinois Appellate Court and her lawyer, Denison Weaver has told the paper that he will continue to fight for his client.

If you will recall, Wheeler died two years ago during unsupervised workouts. At the time many had said that the Northwestern football player died from using products that had Ephedrine in them. Will sued the school and an earlier this summer the school decided to settle the case for $16 million dollars. Well Will doesn�t want the money. She is saying that the courts aren�t hearing her voice.

Now I have great empathy for Ms. Will for what she may be going through because I may never understand the pain of losing a child. However this pomp and circumstance to fight a judgment that you have won is getting on the side straight stupidity. What voice does she want heard by a court?

If her lawyer is that blindsided by the 34% that he would be getting from that $16 million to advise his client that she has won her fight, then maybe he needs to be disbarred from practice. The bottom line is this: there is no court in this land or in any other land on this side of God that will give Ms. Will what she wants.

What she wants is for the school to admit their negligence and they are not going to do that. Northwestern is not going subject itself to an open ended lawsuit by other parents who think their children may have been �misused�, abused and neglected on a playing field by the university. That is not going to happen and she needs to realize that fact.

If she doesn�t want the $16 million, then donate her part of the settlement to the victims of Katrina or something where the money will do some good. Better still she needs to take the money before creditors start zeroing in on it to pay off any debts she may owe.

This charade for justice needs to stop and stop now because three young men deserve a future with that money even if their mother does not.

JaMARCUS RUSSELL DESERVES A GOOD SAMARITAN AWARD There are probably a hundred or so stories like JaMarcus Russell�s but none are as �fabled� as his. Russell, a quarterback at LSU, housed twenty people in his apartment including R&B legend Fats Domino. The story of Russell playing an errand boy for two days shouldn�t be surprising as there have been hundreds of people who have done the same thing for the thousands who have been displaced by Mother Nature�s fury.

For Russell this is something that definitely should be on his list of accomplishments this season. For Domino and his family, this should serve as just confirmation that despite all the craziness that is going on in the Big Easy with looters and thugs trying to kill rescuers, there are some good people out there. JaMarcus Russell is just one of a long list of individuals out there doing their part.


The U.S. Open ends on Sept. 11th and wouldn�t it be a heck of a story if Yonkers, NY native James Blake is matched up against Andre Agassi? Blake, once known for his dreadlocks, has burst onto the sports pages during this year�s tournament as one of the perennial favorites now.

With the U.S. Open pitting Serena and Venus against each other during the drawing, the best battle to watch probably would be a Las Vegas guy going up against a Yonkers guy. The ratings would definitely be off the roof and even if Blake just makes it to the semi-final round, don�t think he�ll be a flash in the pants.

This rising star is here to stay in men�s tennis and maybe, just maybe he can help rectify the men�s game and play to the legend that Arthur Ashe did during his time. Blake has the talent and he definitely can live up to the hype.