Monday, July 28th, 1997

Roth Signs New Three-Year Contract
(Plus, A Word of Advice for Those Who Read the Message Board)

The reports of Bill Roth's exit from Tech and ISP were greatly exaggerated.

The HokieCentral message board caught fire last week with a rumor that Bill Roth, the Voice of the Hokies, and Mike Burnop, his sidekick and vocalist extraordinaire, were not going to be rehired by International Sports Properties and/or Virginia Tech. Many message board readers and posters went bananas and proceeded to bomb the Tech athletic department and Bill Roth himself with email and phone calls.

Tech Athletic Department employees and officials who were contacted were dumbfounded, expressing no knowledge of Bill's possible departure (for the record, I never called the Tech Athletic Department, although believe me, I wanted to).

You can rest easy, folks. On Sunday, The Richmond Times-Dispatch buried a tiny little one-line news item deep in their Sports section that said the following:

"Bill Roth, the award-winning announcer of Virginia Tech, has been given a three-year contract extension as the Hokies' radio and television broadcaster."

Perceived crisis over. We would all do well to remember that a message board is a breeding ground for rumors, some of which are true, and some of which aren't. A prime example of a false rumor is the rumor that popped up early last week that a "car full of drunk Tech football players" had run into a police officer. While message board posters held their collective breath, the real story came out - the accident had indeed occurred, but it had involved a Blacksburg resident named Kenneth Louis White, not Tech football players.

It seems that someone had heard the story and had mistaken "Kenneth Louis" White for "Cornelius" White, and the next thing you know, we've got a rumor about a car full of drunken, carousing football players running over a cop.

So let's remember these two false rumors the next time something pops up on the message board. As long as we keep it amongst ourselves, we can talk about whatever we want to, ad nauseum. But before you pick up the phone and call Virginia Tech, or before you get ready to fire off a FAX to the VT Athletic Department, or before you start to - good grief! - email president Torgersen or interim AD Sharon McCloskey, stop and think. They're busy people over there, and they've got better things to do than respond to the HokieCentral Message Board rumor mill. Unless your source is a damn good one, don't waste their time. And let me be the first to say that the HokieCentral message board is NOT a good source.

Let me take this opportunity to say that I sincerely regret the time during the Dave-Braine-to-GT story that I posted President Torgersen's email address and encouraged everyone to email him and express their desire to keep Dave. That was irresponsible behavior, and it will never happen again.

So everybody just relax. This sounds like more of a tongue-lashing than I intended. I intended for it to sound like good advice, gently offered. Please take it in that spirit.

We now return you to your regularly-scheduled web site. Have you seen the Bill Roth interview yet? Check it out over on the Special Features page!


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