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Newz Forum: BASKETBALL: Paige Sports Arena to be given new name

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posted on Nov, 24 2004 @ 05:00 PM
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. -- Fans, students and alumni were furious when the University of Missouri announced its new $75 million basketball arena was being named for a 22-year-old Wal-Mart heiress who attended another school.

Just a few games into the first season at Paige Sports Arena, they've been vindicated. And they're getting a new name -- although maybe not right away.

The school's Board of Curators will receive a formal suggestion today for renaming Paige Sports Arena. One suggestion already is on the minds of many Tigers fans -- naming it for the school's longtime basketball coach, Norm Stewart.

On Tuesday, the school received permission to change the name from Bill and Nancy Laurie, who received the naming rights after giving Missouri $25 million to help build the arena. They named it Paige Sports Arena, for their daughter, Elizabeth Paige Laurie.

Missouri system spokesman Joe Moore told The Columbia Daily Tribune on Wednesday that he believed the family retains some control over advertising in the building and other potential honorees. The university has not set a timetable for a new name to be announced.

ABC's "20/20" reported last week that Paige Laurie cheated her way through college. The report was based on an interview with Laurie's freshman roommate, Elena Martinez, who said Laurie paid her about $20,000 to write papers and complete other assignments.

Stewart told the Tribune that no one at the university has discussed renaming the facility with him.

"To be honest with you, I haven't given it any thought," Stewart told the newspaper.



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