TAMIU Dustdevil Sports Memorabilia Auction Set Thursday, April 3

The Texas A&M International University Athletics Department will host the second annual Dustdevil Sports Memorabilia Auction and Dinner Thursday, April 3 at the Student Center Ballroom on campus. Doors will open at 6:30 p.m. and dinner will be served starting at 7:15 p.m. The evening will consist of a dinner, live and silent auction and a presentation by former Dallas Cowboy Charlie Waters.

The event serves as the primary fundraiser for Athletics scholarship funds. Tickets can be purchased for $40 each or a table of eight is available for the discounted price of $280. To make reservations, call TAMIU head volleyball coach Binny Canales at 326-2894 or athletics trainer Ernst Feisner at 326-2905. A sellout of the available 40 tables is expected.

Over 100 unique items will be available at the live and silent auctions this year. A partial list of live auction items include a full-sized University of Texas football helmet signed by Ricky Williams, a Washington Wizards jersey signed by NBA legend Michael Jordan, a football signed by Washington Redskin legend Joe Theismann, a mini-basketball signed by Texas Tech head basketball coach Bobby Knight, a boxing glove signed by Muhammed Ali, a 2003 Alamo Bowl vacation package, a Dallas Cowboys jersey signed by Emmitt Smith, a St. Louis Rams football jersey signed by Marshall Faulk, a Cincinnati Reds jersey signed by Laredo's own Freddie Benavides and a football signed by Chicago Bears great Gale Sayers.

As guest of honor, Waters will make a presentation on the life and teachings of his former coach, the legendary Tom Landry. Waters played for Landry during a glorious run for America's Team, 1970 through 1982. The Cowboys never had a losing season during that 13-year span, participating in five Super Bowls and winning two.

Waters earned Pro Bowl honors three times as a mainstay of the Cowboy's fabled "doomsday defense." After his playing career was over, Waters worked as an NFL analyst for CBS Sports, served as an assistant coach with the Denver Broncos in the NFL and served as an assistant coach for the Oregon Ducks at the collegiate level. He currently works in the private business sector in Dallas.

Waters will sign autographs for approximately 30 minutes prior to dinner. Dallas Cowboys' mini-helmets will be available for Waters to sign at $25 apiece.

TAMIU Athletics Director Steve Garippa says that a successful auction is vital to the success of Dustdevil Athletics.

"The memorabilia auction is our biggest fundraiser and its success is important to allow us to compete with other universities in regards to athletic scholarships," Garippa said, "This event is generating a lot of excitement in the community and I am confident that Laredo will make a strong showing to support its student-athletes."

Garippa added that while he expects this year's auction to be highly successful, plans are already in the works for the 2004 memorabilia auction. He says that the guest of honor for the 2004 auction will be announced at the conclusion of this year's event.

Journalists who need additional information or help with media requests and interviews should contact the Office of Public Affairs and Information Services at pais@tamiu.edu