Ragin' Cajuns replace Maryland-Eastern Shore

Updated: July 24, 2004, 11:46 AM ET
Associated Press

ANCHORAGE -- Just weeks after the withdrawal of the University of Minnesota left Great Alaska Shootout women's tournament organizers scrambling, it's happened again.

Maryland-Eastern Shore, Minnesota's replacement, is out. The University of Louisiana-Lafayette is in.

"Apparently there was a huge miscommunication between the coaches in that even though we specifically told the basketball coach it was for this year, they had it in mind that it was for next year," said University of Alaska Anchorage athletic director Steve Cobb.

Maryland-Eastern Shore had a scheduling conflict for the tournament, scheduled for Thanksgiving weekend. Cobb said the school never signed a contract and there would be no penalty.

"I went ahead and released that," he said. "I took them at their word."

The Ragin' Cajuns signed a contract Friday to play in the tournament. The contract includes a $50,000 buyout clause, which is now standard in tournament contracts to discourage teams from backing out, Cobb said.

Louisiana-Lafayette is scheduled to play the Seawolves on Nov. 23. The other two teams in the tournament are Eastern Washington and Stanford.

Minnesota dropped out of the tournament last month. Coach Pam Borton said at the time the Golden Gophers had signed up for a second preseason tournament a year ago, not realizing that both were NCAA-certified tournaments.

Cobb said then Minnesota's withdrawal was unethical. On Friday, he said UAA needed to be more diligent and have better lines of communication with the schools playing in the tournament.

Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press