Coffee, cuts & football

“I’m so happy that it’s a new year that you can’t believe it,” football coach Kevin Sumlin said on Thursday. | Tap Nguyen/The Daily Cougar

In a breakfast sponsored by the Bauer College Alumni Association on Thursday, UH football coach Kevin Sumlin said that the football season has begun for him and his team and he’s ready to start the new season.

Early Thursday morning was the first practice for the team this year.

Sumlin said he looks forward for the upcoming season after a not-so-good season last year.

“I probably celebrated New Year’s Eve more than anybody. I’m so happy that it’s a new year that you can’t believe it,” Sumlin said.

For the upcoming season, the team will have its games televised on Fox Sports. Sumlin was happy with the new deal because of the way Fox Sports, and especially Fox Sports Houston, has treated the Cougars lately.

All games scheduled for this season will all be on Saturdays.

Sumlin also said that the NCAA made a great decision on letting quarterback Case Keenum play again.

“Case Keenum is everything that is right about college football,” Sumlin said. “He’s everything that is right about the University of Houston.”

Keenum, who is now in graduate school, is recovering from a knee injury that prevented him from playing for most of last season.

At the event, Welcome Wilson, a member of the UH Board of Regents, spoke about the way Tier One has impacted the University and the goals that the University still has to achieve.

The Carnegie Foundation is only one of three agencies that rank universities; the other two are the Center for Measuring University Performance and the Association of American Universities.

The objective is to be ranked Tier One by all three, Wilson said, who also chairs UH’s ‘Tier One Initiative.”

Focus is now on the other two agencies and factors that help in receiving recognition from those agencies, such as having “Tier One faculty, a Tier One student body, a nicely recognized library, and so forth,” Wilson said.

Wilson also talked about the budget crisis that the University is facing. According to him, UH has been asked to cut $80 million from its budget.

More than 100 people have been laid-off at the UH system and about 200 more people will be fired, Wilson said.

“I’d like to say that we are going to get up and do it. We are going to work to see that we are not going to get cut more than any other agency in the state, but we are part of this state team, and we are going to see the cuts made,” he said.

Wilson also urged the alumni to contact their legislators to prevent more budget cuts to the University.

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