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THE DAILY COUGAR

SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 24 , 2012

OVERTIME ®

COVER STORY //////////////////////

END OF AN ERA Cougars say goodbye to their historic home

//////////////////////// INSIDE

Cougars talk finale// 8

//////////////////////////////////////

Robertson’s impact on UH sports // 10

////////////////////////////////////////


2 \\  Saturday, November 24, 2012

The Daily Cougar

EDITOR’S NOTE

Cougars pay homage to home stadium

Run ‘til you’re pink in the face. And green. And orange. And blue. And purple. The super fun Graffiti Run will come to the University of Houston on Dec. 2!

Everyone has his or her own favorite memory at Robertson Stadium. After opening on Sept. 18, 1942, the stadium has hosted American Football League Championship games, an NCAA Track & Field Championship, countless concerts, and most importantly Andrew in our eyes ­— UH Pate football. Throughout the season, we had the unique experience and honor of covering the stadium during its final go-around. To provide a tribute worthy of UH’s home before the final game, we spoke with senior players, coaches and Beth Robertson — the daughter of Corbin J. Robertson, whom Robertson Stadium has been named for since 1980. Inside, you’ll find features ranging from the stadium’s top 10 UH football moments to who Robertson was and why both he and his family were so drawn to UH Athletics. Like so many fans that recount their memories of top 25 finishes, Southwest Conference Championships and the Heisman Trophy-winning season at the Astrodome, Robertson is equally as important in Cougar lore. When the program was on its deathbed following a winless 2001 season, it was remarkably resurrected by names like Art Briles and Kevin Kolb. Then came Case Keenum, who picked up where Kolb left off and a decade after a 0-11 season, led the Cougars to 11-0 in Heisman candidate-like style. Whether your fondest recollection of Robertson Stadium is a Saturday game day with family and friends, a record-breaking performance or something else, we hope this issue rekindles those memories and justly pays homage to the home of Cougars.

THE DAILY COUGAR

OVERTIME SECTION EDITORS Andrew Pate Christopher Shelton COPY EDITORS Aryan Baktash Samantha Wong COVER PHOTO Rebekah Stearns PRODUCTION Andres Garcia Farah Hasnie

ABOUT Overtime is produced by The Daily Cougar, the official student newspaper of the University of Houston. No part of the publication in print or online may be reproduced without the written consent of the Director of the Student Publications Department. To contact Student Publications, call (713) 743-5350. CONTACT Editorial 713-743-5360 Advertising 713-743-5340 Student Publications Room 7, UC Satellite University of Houston Houston, TX 77204-4015

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the official student newspaper of the university of houston since 1934

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Saturday, November 24, 2012  // 3

The Daily Cougar

Cougars prepare for two goodbyes UH will leave behind Conference USA, Robertson Stadium Andrew Pate Sports editor

When the Cougars say their final goodbye to Robertson Stadium today, they will also part ways with Conference USA, the University’s athletic home since 1996. The Cougars sit at 67-57 all-time in C-USA with seven of the losses coming from a winless 2001 season. The Cougars compiled two conference championship victories, one in their inaugural 1996 season and the other a decade later in 2006. Of the Cougars’ 67 wins conference, 40 have come since the 2006 season. Despite the losing record this season, the Cougars have appeared in five bowl games in the last seven seasons. On Dec. 7, the Big East Conference formally announced the addition of the Cougars. “Over the last 32 years, the Big East Conference has constantly evolved along with the landscape of college athletics,” said former Big East Commissioner John Marinatto. With rumors emerging regarding Rutgers potentially leaving for the Big 10 Conference, the Big East is still attempting to solidify its conference. Head coach Tony Levine said the rumors are the last thing on his mind. “My only focus is on this last game. The way conferences have been changing their members in the last couple of years nothing surprises me at this point,” Levine said. “As I find out more about our situation I will comment, but as of right now my thoughts are on Tulane and Saturday.” Athletics Director Mack Rhoades said change is a part of the process. “Transition is a part of college athletics and we have the utmost faith in President Williams and the search committee to bring in a dynamic new commissioner for our league.” The Cougars will be a part of the Big East’s Western Division which will include SMU, Boise State, Temple, San Diego State and Memphis for the 2013 season.

The Cougars finish their final season of C-USA against Tulane today. | Rebekah Stearns/The Daily Cougar

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4 \\  Saturday, November 24, 2012

The Daily Cougar

farewell,

Robertson Stadium We covered each Cougars football game and enjoyed every minute of it. Thanks for the memories,

THE DAILY COUGAR

the official student newspaper of the university of houston since 1934

Multi-use facility

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n 2006, Major League Soccer’s Houston Dynamo began playing its home games at Robertson Stadium. A video replay board and scoreboard were added at this time.

— Rebekah Stearns/The Daily Cougar

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Saturday, November 24, 2012  // 5

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THEBIGBOARD AP TOP 25 RK

TEAM

// College football at a glance C-USA

C-USA MATCHUPS RECORD

PTS

1 Notre Dame (60)

11-0

1500

2 Alabama

10-1

1399

3 Georgia

10-1

1316

4 Ohio State

11-0

5 Oregon

SATURDAY

NETWORK

TIME

UAB at UCF

FSN

11 a.m. CT

Tulsa at SMU

FX

11 a.m. CT

1292

Southern Miss at Memphis

CSS

3:30 p.m. CT

10-1

1246

Rice at UTEP

FCS

6 p.m. CT

6 Florida

10-1

1171

7 Kansas State

10-1

1064

8 LSU

9-2

1048

9 Texas A&M

9-2

1028

10 Florida State

10-1

1026

11 Stanford

9-2

991

12 Clemson

10-1

874

13 South Carolina

9-2

795

14 Oklahoma

8-2

734

15 UCLA

9-2

624

16 Oregon State

8-2

599

17 Nebraska

9-2

559

18 Texas

8-2

498

19 Louisville

9-1

362

20 Michigan

8-3

282

21 Rutgers 22 Oklahoma State 23 Kent State

9-1 7-3 10-1

265 240 155

24 Northern Illinois

10-1

144

25 Mississippi State

8-3

82

25 Utah State

9-2

82

Others receiving votes: Boise State 20, Northwestern 20, Washington 20, Arizona 13, USC 12, Tulsa 10, San Jose State 8, Fresno State 7, Louisiana Tech 4, Wisconsin 4, San Diego State 2, TCU 1, Iowa State 1, Baylor 1, Vanderbilt 1

TV GUIDE

W

L

W

L

UCF

6

1

8

3

East Carolina

6

1

7

4

Marshall

4

3

5

6

Memphis

3

4

3

8

UAB

2

5

3

8

Southern Miss

0

7

0

11

WEST

W

L

W

L

Tulsa

7

0

9

2

SMU

4

3

5

6

SATURDAY, OCT. 27

NETWORK

TIME (CT)

Houston

3

4

4

7

Georgia Tech at No. 3 Georgia

ESPN

11 a.m.

Rice

3

4

5

6

No. 21 Rutgers at Pittsburgh

ESPN2

11 a.m.

UTEP

2

5

3

8

No. 20 Michigan at Ohio State

ABC

11 a.m.

Tulane

2

5

2

9

Connecticut at No. 19 Louisville

ESPN3

11 a.m.

Illinois at Northwestern

BTN

11 a.m.

Indiana at Illinois Virginia at Virginia Tech Indiana at Purdue

BTN ESPNU BTN

11 a.m. 11 a.m. 11 a.m.

Kentucky at Tennessee

SEC Network

11:21 a.m.

Baylor vs. Texas Tech

FOX

1:30 p.m.

No. 4 Oregon at No. 16 Oregon State

Pac-12 Network

2 p.m.

Auburn at No. 2 Alabama

CBS

2:30 p.m.

No. 6 Florida at No. 10 Florida State

ABC

2:30 p.m.

No. 22 Oklahoma State at No. 14 OU

ESPN

2:30 p.m.

Michigan State at Minnesota

Big Ten Network

2:30 p.m.

Wisconsin at Penn State

ESPN2

2:30 p.m.

Air Force at Fresno State

NBC Sports Network

2:30 p.m.

No. 11 Stanford at No. 15 UCLA

FOX

5:30 p.m.

Missouri at No. 9 Texas A&M

ESPN2

6 p.m.

No. 13 South Carolina at No. 12 Clemson

ESPN

6 p.m.

No. 25 Mississippi State at Ole Miss

ESPNU

6 p.m.

No. 1 Notre Dame at USC

ABC

7 p.m.

Louisiana Tech at San Jose State

ESPN2

9:30 p.m.

9

COUGAR FLASHBACK HOUSTON 27, LOUISVILLE 25

Cougars down Cards Fifty years ago, under first-year head coach Bill Yeoman, the Cougars kicked off the 1962 campaign with wins over Texas A&M and Baylor. Nearing the finish of its season, UH had fallen to 4-4 and headed to face the Louisville Cardinals. The Cougars would prevail 27-25 and Yeoman would go on to win 156 more games at the helm. The Cougars and Cardinals will compete as Big East members beginning in 2013. — Andrew Pate

Robertson Stadium

TOP 10 MOMENTS 10

EAST

8

7

6

09.21.46

09.09.95

10.29.11

10.22.11

09.20.03

The Cougars played their inaugural game at then Houston Public School Stadium, losing 13-7 to Southwestern Louisiana. UH played four seasons at the venue before moving to the newly-built Rice Stadium in 1950.

After spending three decades at the Astrodome, the Cougars moved in to their new Robertson Stadium home. UH fell to Louisiana Tech 19-7 in its return to campus.

Former redshirt quarterback Case Keenum threw nine touchdown passes and the No. 18 Cougars defeated the Rice Owls 73-34. Keenum surpassed Graham Harrell’s FBS record on his fourth touchdown of the game.

On a first quarter touchdown pass to former receiver Justin Johnson, quarterback Case Keenum became the FBS’s career leader in total offense by passing Hawaii quarterback Timmy Chang’s mark of 16,910.

After undergoing losing 10 of 12 seasons, first-year head coach Art Briles helped lead UH to a 42-35 win over Mississippi State. The Cougars would finish 7-5 and make a bowl game for the first time since 1996.


Saturday, November 24, 2012  // 7

The Daily Cougar

24 Brooks (SS) 13

23 Stewart (FS) 10 McMillian (CB)

Bates (CB)

42

90

Steward (LB)

92

Riser (DE)

54

Mbu (DT)

Daniels (LB)

95

49 Mathews (LB)

Scypion (DT)

45 Allen (DE)

DEFENSE OFFENSE 74

Harper (LT)

64

Cloud (LG)

58

Redman (C)

63 Forsch (RG)

79

Sims (RT)

13 Jones(QB) 9 Peace (WR)

81 McDuffey (WR)

88 Maxwell (WR)

3 Greenberry (WR)

35 Farrow (RB)

m History 5

4

3

2

1

09.04.99

11.19.11

09.26.09

11.09.96

12.01.06

In their first game since a $15 million facelift to Robertson Stadium, the Cougars defeated the Owls 28-3 in front of 31,784 spectators.

ESPN’s “College GameDay” made its first trip to the UH campus putting the Cougars in the national spotlight. UH defeated SMU 37-7 and improved to 11-0 in the historic season.

Returning home after a signature win over No. 5 Oklahoma State, the Cougars faced off against Texas Tech. Trailing 28-23 late, the Cougars drove 95 yards, culminating in a Keenum touchdown to seal the 29-28 win.

In its first season of Conference USA, UH played No. 20 Southern Miss needing a win to play in the championship game. Running back Antowain Smith scored six touchdowns in a 56-49 overtime victory.

Five years removed from a winless season, UH blew past Southern Miss 34-20, thanks to two-second half touchdown passes from quarterback Kevin Kolb to receiver Biren Ealy. It was UH’s first C-USA championship since 1996.


8 \\  Saturday, November 24, 2012

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With 32 career wins, senior linebacker Phillip Steward is a part of the class that won the eighth most games in program history. | Rebekah Stearns/The Daily Cougar

Cougars sentimental about Robertson finale Andrew Pate Sports editor

For redshirt junior defensive end Zeke Riser, the importance of finishing on a good note spans well beyond his four-year tenure. “It’s not just us,” Riser said. “That stadium’s been there for a real long time. We’ve got to think about all the guys before us who have worn the same colors we do; that was their same stadium. There is a lot of history behind it, so we’ve got to go out on a positive note.” Of the 21 wins at Robertson Stadium senior linebacker Phillip Steward has been a part of, one victory stands out among the rest. “My freshman year we played against Texas Tech,” Steward said. “Everybody stormed the field. I’ve never seen anything like that in my life. It was hot in there, it was crazy and everyone was excited.” With 5:47 remaining in the game and trailing 28-23, the Cougars started their drive 95 yards away from pay dirt. In a win for the ages, UH moved the ball over 16 plays taking up nearly five minutes cultivated in a quarterback draw by former quarterback Case Keenum to go up for good 29-28. “I have been here five years now, and I can speak for a lot of people that there are fond memories of a lot

of events and great football games,” said head coach Tony Levine. “Among others that stand out is the win over Texas Tech from 2009 when Case ran the ball in at the stroke of midnight.” Since moving permanently back into its current home in 1996, the Cougars have played two Conference USA championship games at Robertson. The first came in 2006 when Kevin Kolb and the Cougars overpowered Southern Miss in a 34-20 victory. The second came against the same conference foe in an undefeated 2011 campaign but resulted in a 49-28 defeat. Despite that result, Riser points to that game’s atmosphere as the best of his UH career. “I would say the championship game (is my favorite),” Riser said. “It didn’t turn out like we wanted to, but with the atmosphere being over capacity, it was something real special. There were a lot of loud fans.” With a first-class facility set to open in 2014 on the same grounds, the new stadium will be far from its predecessor in many regards and a new generation of players, coaches and fans will have a turn at making their own memories. “We’ll be sad to see it go,” Levine said. “I’d be lying if I didn’t say there was a lot of excitement for what’s to come with the new facility.”


Saturday, November 24, 2012  // 9

The Daily Cougar

Cougars crawl to slow starts in losses Christopher Shelton Assistant sports editor

Head coach Tony Levine said it is imperative that the Cougars get off to a good start so the team can get some early confidence. “It’s something we think about, talk about and we’ve changed practice up to work on. We look at a number of things in addressing this,” Levine said. “3-0 may not be considered starting fast, but it does something for our demeanor and our confidence.” The Cougars have had sluggish starts the past three games. Against ECU, Tulsa and Marshall, UH has trailed by 17 in the first half of each contest. Levine said getting off to a good start puts the team in a position to win. He said seeing positive

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all-purpose yards and rushing with 78 yards. On the offensive line, senior Jacolby Ashworth was also injured and did not play. Junior offensive lineman DeAnthony Sims started in his place. Redshirt sophomore offensive lineman Rowdy Harper said the injuries have created depth. “This year we’ve had a lot of injuries, but we have had guys step up. That’s what we’ve worked on all season is having guys step up in key roles,” Harper said. “I can only speak for the offensive line, but every guy that has come in has done a great job. I have complete faith in them to get the job done when called on.” Jones said rust was a factor against Marshall.

Against ECU, Tulsa and Marshall, the Cougars have trailed by 17 points in the first half. All three games resulted in losses. | Rebekah Stearns/The Daily Cougar “I hadn’t played that much in a while. Somewhere through the second quarter, I felt like we really started clicking as an offense. We had a really good second half. I felt

a lot more comfortable after getting some of the butterflies out of the way. It’s been about five years since I’ve played some real meaningful snaps.

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results early is best for both young and veteran teams. “With success comes success; I’ve heard this said before that success breeds success,” Levine said. Injuries may have disrupted what UH has been able to do offensively early in the game. Against Marshall, sophomore quarterback David Piland didn’t play due to a leg injury. Redshirt senior quarterback Crawford Jones started in Piland’s absence and will start again today. He threw for more than 300 yards and had five touchdowns. UH’s leading rusher, junior running back Charles Sims was slowed by an ankle injury. He had only three carries in the contest. redshirt freshman running back Kenneth Farrow led the team in

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Corbin Robertson leaves mark on athletics Christopher Shelton Assistant sports editor

About six months before Hugh Roy Cullen passed away in 1957, he asked son-in-law Corbin J. Robertson to take care of two things: his family and UH — the university that the Cullen family had a big hand in developing. Cullen wanted Robertson to keep his two passions in order. Fifty-five years later, the memories of both men are still alive. Cullen is considered the father of Robertson UH and Robertson, the father of UH Athletics. The football stadium now bares Robertson’s namesake; several structures on-campus, and a street adjacent to the University, have the Cullen family name. According to his daughter Beth Robertson, Robertson believed athletics is important to the success of a university. In the ’50s, when University brass thought about giving up on athletics, Robertson was one of the staunchest opponents. “He felt very strongly that to be a full-fledged University you need a full-fledged athletics program to go with it,” Beth said. “He called

Corbin J. Robertson takes his turn at bat in front of the Ezekiel Cullen building. Photo courtesy of Special Collections, University Archives, University of Houston Libraries. it the windows to the world of the University. Athletics provided the easiest venue for people to see.” Beth, a former chairperson of the Board of Regents, said Robertson helped athletes who needed summer jobs and even opened the family home to athletes and coaches. “We would be sitting there in the dining room table ... and there would be some big football player and I would be passing the mashed potatoes over to him,” she said. Robertson helped with the purchase of Jeppesen Stadium in 1970 from the HISD school board. In 1980, the stadium was rededicated and renamed Corbin J. Robertson Stadium. In 1983, Robertson Stadium underwent a $2 million renovation. UH hosted the NCAA Track and Field Championships that year.

He served as the AthleticsCommittee chairman and vice chairman of the UH Board of Regents when it first became a public institution from 1963-65. Robertson died in 1991 and never saw the Cougars play fulltime in the stadium. The team played a full home schedule at Robertson in 1998 for the first time since 1949. But he enjoyed watching the Cougars play in the Astrodome because of the advantage it gave in recruiting, Beth said. In 1965, UH was the first college team to play its home games in a domed stadium. Even after his death, Robertson’s children still have a hand in the next phase of UH Athletics and a presence in the development of the University. Lillie T. Robertson is a supporter of UH arts programs; Carroll Robertson Ray is a current

member of the Board of Regents and Corbin Robertson Jr. has helped UH secure funds from the state government in Austin. “We’ve seen the schematics of the new stadium and we’ve all contributed. I’ve given $1 million to it,” Beth said. Robertson could relate to athletics and the working-class principals that UH was based on because he embodied both, Beth said. “He loved the University of Houston because it was open, young, tenacious and ready to take on different stuff — just like he was. “UH is was not afraid to try and I hope it will never change,” Beth said. “This is for the people that can’t go to Princeton and who couldn’t get to Austin or College Station because they needed to be here to support their families.” Robertson was born on the southside of Chicago to a family of modest means and attended Northwestern University on a football scholarship. Without a scholarship, Robertson would not have been able to attend; his parents could not afford tuition. He never earned a college degree though — military service intervened. Robertson fought overseas as a member of the U.S. Army Air Corp. and was stationed at Ellington Field, where he met

Former vice chairman Corbin Robertson Sr. meets with the Board of Regents to discuss matters concerning the University in 1964. | 1965 Houstonion

his wife Wilhelmina. Wilhelmina, the matriarch of the Cullen family when she passed away in 2009, loved UH and it spread to Robertson, Beth said. Wilhelmina graduated from UH in 1944 with a bachelor of science degree and received an honorary doctorate in 1988. Wilhelmina donated $10 million the athletics department in 2008. Beth said the reason Robertson first fell in love with UH Athletics was simple. “He married my mom,” Beth said.

Corbin Robertson Jr. (right) and his sister, Beth Robertson (left) were UH football fans early in their life. | Photo courtesy of Special Collections, University Archives, University of Houston Libraries.


Saturday, November 24, 2012  // 11

The Daily Cougar

THEOPPOSITION Cougars, Green Wave share youth, inexperience Andrew Pate Sports editor

This week, The Daily Cougar spoke with David Holden of Tulane’s Hullabaloo student publication to catch up with Green Wave football under their first-year head coach. The Daily Cougar: With having such a young team and starting off the season 0-5, how much did the comeback win over SMU mean for the future of the program? David Holden: I think that was an extremely important win for the team. It gave those young guys a taste of winning and many of them their first win. To comeback against that SMU team was impressive and it bodes well for the future of Tulane football. TDC: First-year head coach Curtis Johnson has a long history of being around a winning culture at Miami before coming over to Tulane. In what ways has he worked to help change the culture of football at Tulane? DH: He has done a lot to try and change the culture. The first thing

he did was get better recruits and especially getting Darion Monroe to commit was an important step for this program. Johnson brought his experience of winning the National Championship and the Super Bowl. That alone greatly benefits a program that has struggled for wins that last few years. TDC: What is the latest on Tulane’s plan for a new stadium and how has the new stadium helped grow excitement around the program? DH: Excitement for the stadium is growing. Athletic director Rick Dickinson and President Scott Cowen just announced the donors for the new stadium. They also unveiled a new video for the stadium design, which looks fantastic. With a new stadium on campus, I feel that people, particularly students, are becoming more interested in Tulane football.” TDC: What or who has been the biggest surprise this season thus far within the Tulane football program? DH: It has got to be Cairo Santos. Here’s a guy who last year only made 11 out of 18 kicks. Now he might be Tulane’s most prominent offensive weapon. This year he is perfect,

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connecting on 17 field goals; 3 of those field goals were 50-yarders and he might win the Lou Groza Award. He is definitely one of the MVPs for Tulane. TDC: In what ways has junior

wide receiver Ryan Grant impacted this years squad? DH: Grant has been an important weapon to Tulane and Ryan Griffin this year. He is a leader on the field and leads by example. An example he

sets for the other wide receivers who are mostly underclassmen. He also has clearly become a favorite target for the quarterbacks. Grant has been one of the most consistent players on an fairly inconsistent offense.

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Coming out of three consecutive losses, UH will face 2-9 Tulane to conclude its season. | Rebekah Stearns/The Daily Cougar

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*7 night stay for $232. 66 price includes all taxes and fees. Price based on 6 people per room and only avaialble for Cabana Cay property. $400 security deposit required with $350 refundable after stay if no damage or missing items discovered.


Overtime — UH vs. Tulane (Robertson Stadium finale)