Ragin' Cajuns replace Maryland-Eastern Shore

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.