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LOST CRUSADE : University of Dallas Has a Losing Streak of 73 Games

December 06, 1987|DENNE H. FREEMAN | Associated Press

IRVING, Texas — If you think times are bad at Texas Stadium where the NFL Dallas Cowboys may miss the playoffs again, then cross the highway 300 yards away to the University of Dallas.

The Crusaders have lost more consecutive basketball games than any four-year school in collegiate history.

"We hate to get ink this way but in a way it hasn't been bad publicity," said Ty Tyler, the sports information director. "At least the nation is talking about us."

Indeed. Loss number 73 in the streak was a 111-61 blowout by St. Mary's of San Antonio Wednesday night. The previous record for futility was 47 consecutive games by Rutgers-Newark (N.J.) from 1983 to 1985.

Incarnate Word College of San Antonio, which whipped the Crusaders on their home court a week ago 111-89, hosted them Saturday night.

The Crusaders, a private Catholic school which doesn't offer scholarships, competes in the NAIA District 8. The sprawling campus sits on 650 acres near Loop 12 and within easy walking distance of Texas Stadium.

There are only 978 students who pay $10,000 a year tuition.

"We don't have athletes, we have scholars who want to fulfill their dream of playing college basketball," Tyler said. "We're a prep school for lawyers and doctors here. It's like an Ivy League school. If you don't spend at least four hours a night studying, you might not make it."

The Crusaders of Coach Barry Davis last won a game in 1985. They came close a week ago, losing 82-81 to John Brown of Siloam Springs, Ark."Some guy hit a prayer on us with four seconds to play," Davis said. "It was tough to swallow that one. It was hard ride home."

Davis has a sense of humor about his plight.

"Our nickname is the Crusaders and if this isn't one then I don't know what it is," Davis said.

Davis was hired in 1984. He's only won two games since.

"Oh goodness, I think I'm 2 and 86 or something like that," Davis said. "I'm not sure how many losses we've had. Believe me, they kind of run together."

His tallest player is 6-feet-6 and he has five freshmen on his 10-player team. Davis started the year with 13 players but he had two dismiss two of them and one quit school.

"This is not the place to come if you think you have NBA potential," Tyler said. "We want to win but we're not trying to develop professional players here."

Davis, who played forward at St. Lawrence College, was a star at Babylon High School in New York City.

"I know something about building a program," he said. "I played on a seventh grade team that didn't win a game and eventually won the city championship with the same people. "

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