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USM's Giannini urges fans to Mobile

By By Richard Dark/The Meridian Star
Dec. 6, 2000
The Meridian chapter of the Southern Miss Eagle Club met at D.T. Grinders restaurant for a luncheon Tuesday and the main topic of discussion was what is surely on everyone's minds, in the GMAC Mobile Alabama Bowl.
The Golden Eagles can salvage a somewhat disappointing 7-4 season that has been plagued with injuries, if they can defeat 13th-ranked TCU at Ladd-Peebles Stadium on Wed. Dec. 20.
USM Athletics Director Richard Giannini and newly-promoted Executive Director of the Eagle Club Dick Vogel were on hand in efforts to help boost ticket sales for the bowl season's first matchup of the year.
In light of recent developments with the TCU football program, Giannini thinks the "Battle by the Bay" now has an extra added interest.
TCU head coach Dennis Franchione accepted the head football post at Alabama. At this point, it is unclear whether or not Franchione will remain to coach the bowl game, but one thing's for sure, the face off will be a tasty one for college football fans, and will have the national spotlight.
As of Tuesday morning, the University had sold just over 3,000 of its 15,000 allotted tickets and Giannini used the forum to urge Meridian-area USM fans to make the trek to Mobile to support the Golden Eagles.
Vogel agreed wholeheartedly.
Giannini also addressed the situation with open coaching posts and the possibility of head coach Jeff Bower.
Giannini did assure that USM was doing everything in its power to ensure that Bower stays and that the coach, who has been involved with the USM program for the past 23 years, is happy where he is.
Tickets to the GMAC Mobile Alabama Bowl are $45 each and can be purchased by calling (800) 844-8425. Today is the deadline for priority consideration orders.
Richard Dark is a sports writer for the Meridian Star. E-mail him at