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Well, it seems that Hornets owner George Shinn is stepping in...

NEW ORLEANS -- Hornets owner George Shinn guaranteed on Wednesday that a task force he's leading to save Division I sports at the University of New Orleans will succeed.

"I want to assure you that we're going to make this work, that the money will be here next year to support this university," Shinn said to student-athletes during an announcement about the formation of the new committee. "That's a promise from me."

Shinn added, "I want you to promise to me that you'll come back and that you'll support this university and help support us."

The dozens of athletes in attendance uttered a collective, "Yes," and clapped in support.

The future of UNO sports has been in serious doubt since last week, when students rejected a proposal to double their athletic fees to nearly $200 a year. The fee increase was proposed as a way to compensate for anticipated deep cuts across Louisiana's public universities.

Statewide, Gov. Bobby Jindal has proposed cutting $219 million in funding for higher education as the state grapples with sharp declines in revenue due to the national recession and the sharp drop in oil prices late last year.

The proposed overall cut at the University of New Orleans is more than $15 million, including a $1.4 million cut to athletics, which already was running a $600,000 deficit.
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