Scott Deatherage lsd041
Fri Sep 7 09:10:46 CDT 2007

Greetings from Austin and Evanston.  Joel and the Duck here writing 
in joint communique.  We hope this note finds you well and that your 
start of the year preparations are proceeding with appropriate speed 
and intellectual reward.

We are writing jointly to lay out our joint plans for hosting college 
tournaments this February and beyond.  While not all is set in stone, 
we have discussed in some detail a plan that we hope will carry our 
hosting plans through the 2009 calender year, perhaps beyond.  In 
short, both the University of Texas and Northwestern University are 
committed to providing high quality tournament competition to the 
college community.  We very much hope that the schedule we have 
worked out is attractive to your school's travel schedule, and that 
you will join us in Austin and Evanston in the near future and 
beyond.  Specifically:

Joel and his staff and students plan to host a major event in Austin 
in February of 2008, on or about the dates that Northwestern has 
occupied for many years.  Details will follow soon, but Joel's goal, 
with Duck's blessing, is to host a high quality event in shortly in 
advance of the 2008 deadline for First Round At-Large applications 
for the NDT.  As the Texas crew demonstrated in 2006 when they 
"covered" for Northwestern prior to the Evanston NDT, the Longhorns 
are well equipped to host a top-notch event in a (hopefully) warm and 
inviting setting.

In 2009, the February event will return to Evanston.  The event will 
mark the 50th Anniversary of the Owen L. Coon tournament, and will 
celebrate the Grand Re-Opening and Re-Dedication of the to be 
remodeled Hardy House.  The old House is due for a much needed gut 
rehab, and we look forward to inviting you to our new digs.  Of the 
February '08 and February '09 calenders, Joel and Duck are in 
agreement.  Should you wish to join us in Austin and Evanston (and we 
hope you do), feel free to plan accordingly.

This schedule contemplates two longer term objectives.  For starters, 
Joel is considering a bid to host the 2009 National Debate 
Tournament.  Hosting the 2008 February tournament would help 
facilitate that goal both by giving Texas and the college debate 
community a test drive with a potential hotel, and by giving Joel and 
his team another practice run at hosting a tournament of that 
magnitude.  As they clearly demonstrated in 2006, the Longhorns are 
both eager and well suited to hosting a major event.  But Joel is 
wanting of a second trial before taking on the NDT.

TO BE CLEAR:  Texas is CONSIDERING a bid to host the NDT.  They have 
neither submitted such a proposal, nor are all the parts presently in 
place to guarantee that such a bid is forthcoming.  And, of course, 
the attractiveness of such a proposal is ultimately the purview of 
the NDT Board of Trustees and NDT Committee.  That said, most people 
consider Austin to be a beautiful city with inviting restaurant and 
entertainment options, and the UT campus has proven itself to be 
accessible and well suited for a college tournament.  Various 
logistics need to be worked out before Texas can bid on the 
tournament, but Joel is willing and actively investigating the 
possibility.  Hence the rational for the 2008 switch with Northwestern.

In 2009, should in fact the NDT land in Austin, the, albeit cold, the 
February tournament makes sense in Evanston.  Northwestern enjoys 
hosting, is committed to continuing a major event, and is well suited 
to "cover" in advance of a potential Austin NDT.  For planning 
purposes, the Duck will set into motion the steps required for a 
February '09 tournament, status of a potential UT NDT notwithstanding.

And what after February (and, knock on wood, hopefully March) of '09???

Many of you have, as part of a broader movement to make the 
tournament calender a little more quality of life friendly, pressed 
Northwestern to find a warm weather weekend on which to host a major 
event.  As a concept, this is a notion the Duck and the Northwestern 
debate family fully endorses.  Like many things, the devil remains in 
the details.  A couple of factors complicate such a move.  For 
starters, warm weather dates in Chicago/Evanston really run from 
about April 1 to October 31, roughly speaking.  So in debate calender 
terms, the options are limited, and many of the warm weather weekends 
are presently occupied on the tournament calender.  Second, 
affordable hotel rates in September and October are difficult to 
find.  That's not a deal killer:  Duck has done some investigation, 
and there are options, they are simply fewer in number than is the 
case in February.

So what happens beyond February/March of '09 depends on the 
aforementioned factors.  Were an attractive fall date to open up, and 
appropriate hotel rates to be available, Northwestern would seriously 
consider moving to such a date.  If not, Northwestern would return to 
its historical February weekend come 2010, a stipulation Joel offered 
in the present discussions.  That said, Duck is very seriously 
committed to join the "quality of life friendly" movement and working 
to make alternative weekends work.

So it will be a year or so before we can say exactly what our plans 
will be in the 2009-10 academic year.  But for now:
    * We hope you will join the Longhorns in Austin in February of 2008
    * Ditto, please join the Wildcats of Northwestern in Evanston, 
February of 2009
    * And (this one comes from the Duck), all of you will encourage 
Joel to offer a bid to host the '09 NDT and lobby the NDT Board and 
NDT Committee to endorse such a bid!!!
    * Beyond that, any suggestions you have for the Duck for warm 
weather dates are welcome!!!

Best, all.  Joel and Duck. 
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