Teams to relocate for at least fall semester

Updated: September 6, 2005, 2:28 PM ET
By Andy Katz | ESPN.com

Tulane's campus is closed for the fall semester, its non-student-athletes are at other schools around the country and now its athletic teams will operate from five different campus sites in Louisiana and Texas.

The Tulane football team -- which went to Jackson, Miss., on Aug. 28, the day before Hurricane Katrina hit and then on Aug. 30 was bused to fellow Conference USA member SMU in Dallas, where they've been ever since -- will be housed at Louisiana Tech where the 88 players will go to school, live and practice for the fall semester.

The men's basketball team, along with the volleyball, swimming and diving and women's soccer teams, will attend class, live and practice at Texas A&M for the fall semester, as well.

"We wanted to do what we could to help," Texas A&M athletic director Bill Byrne told Dickson during a conference call Tuesday. "We'll treat your athletes just like they were our own."

The women's basketball team and the baseball team will go to Texas Tech. Rice will host the tennis team and SMU will be the temporary home for the golf teams.

Tulane will start rounding up its athletes and flying them to the respective campuses, beginning Tuesday. The football team isn't in as much of a hurry since classes don't start at Louisiana Tech until Monday.

The primary objective was to provide education, housing and meals to Tulane's more than 300 student-athletes, said athletic director Rick Dickson on Tuesday.

"Then, we'll put the logistics of the athletic piece together next," Dickson said.

Byrne, Rice athletic director Bobby May and Texas Tech AD Gerald Myers said their schools were prepared to host the teams as long as needed. They also could accommodate Tulane teams playing home games on their campuses, the three said.

Home game sites are still to be determined. Whether the teams will remain at Louisiana Tech and Texas A&M for the second semester depends on the condition of New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. The federal government and the state of Louisiana will likely determine when it is safe to return to the city. And then Tulane president Scott Cowen will determine the status of the university.

The remainder of Tulane's 14 other teams will be scattered throughout Texas at SMU, Rice, Texas Tech and Texas A&M. Women's volleyball, women's soccer and women's swimming were expected to join the men's basketball team at Texas A&M. The women's basketball team is expected to go to Texas Tech.

Each campus site will have a Tulane administrator. Tulane athletic director Rick Dickson will be based in Dallas.

A source close to the situation said an e-mail was sent out to coaches at Texas A&M letting them know that Tulane's teams would be coming to campus. The Aggies would offer up their dorms, training, strength, academic and eating facilities to the Green Wave student-athletes. Tulane would work with Texas A&M to schedule practice times among its many facilities on campus. There was no mention of whether Tulane would play its home games at Texas A&M.

ESPN.com's Ivan Maisel reported earlier Monday that Tulane was looking at putting its football team at WAC member Louisiana Tech by dispatching a team of administrators to check out the facilities in Ruston.

Louisiana Tech said it would house 97 football players in Caruthers Hall. The players were scheduled to arrive Thursday for campus orientation, advising and registration.

The Green Wave's next game is Sept. 17, a home game against Mississippi State that was supposed to be played in the Superdome.

Dickson said he wasn't sure where the game would be played.

"Our preference is to first identify a home away from home venue for our football team," Dickson said. "The possibilities, there are more than a handful right now. We haven't weighed in on any of them at this point, and we haven't ruled any of them out."

Among the possibilities are playing on the Louisiana Tech campus or at Independence Stadium in Shreveport, La.

Andy Katz is a senior writer at ESPN.com. Information from The Associated Press was also used in this report.

Andy Katz | email

Senior Writer, ESPN.com

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