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   Welcome to TSLMail #75 - Friday, April 18, 2003    
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   Spring Football 2003 "Commitment to Excellence" T-Shirt


VT Spring Football 2003 "Commitment to Excellence" T-Shirt: $15.99
We all know that the VT football players work hard in spring drills and have a commitment to excellence, and we thought it was about time for the fans to be recognized for their "commitment to excellence." This shirt is for all of you who are dedicated to being a true Hokie Fan. Celebrate spring football with your own T-Shirt. Maroon shirt features a two-color full imprint on both front and back.
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   TSL Sponsor Spotlight

TechSideline.com Sponsor Spotlight: Quote Advantage
by Will Stewart, TechSideline.com

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   Tech Sports News

Hokies Complete Men's Basketball Recruiting Class
by Will Stewart, TechSideline.com

In a press release on hokiesports.com Wednesday, new VT head men's basketball coach Seth Greenberg announced the 2003 recruiting class, saying that spring signee PG Zabian Dowdell will join fall signees Coleman Collins and Jamon Gordon.

Dowdell is a 6-2 point guard from Pahokee High School in Pahokee, Florida, and besides having an extremely cool name, Dowdell's got game, both on and off the court. On the court, he averages 21.8 ppg, 8.5 apg, 6.5 rpg, and hits 3.1 three-pointers per game. Off the court, he's a 3.58 student who has already qualified academically.

Dowdell was named the Class 3A Player of the Year after leading Pahokee to a 27-6 record. Florida has classifications from 1A to 6A, with 6A being the biggest. Dowdell is known as a kid who can drive and dish, has a very good mid-range game, and a decent outside jumper.

Dowdell is considered to be a talented sleeper, one who slipped through the recruiting cracks because he sprained his ankle last July prior to a very important Super Showcase event in Orlando that would have gotten his name out among college coaches. Prior to the injury, Dowdell was receiving recruiting interest from Stanford, Miami, and UConn, but they all backed off after he got hurt. He eventually was offered scholarships by East Carolina, South Florida, Jacksonville and Florida Atlantic, and of course, just recently by VT.

Sharp observers will note that one of Dowdell's offers was from South Florida, where Seth Greenberg used to coach, so yes, Greenberg was interested in Dowdell before he (Greenberg) took the VT job.

In another interesting twist, Dowdell's name was first thrown out to VT basketball fans by none other than fellow recruit Coleman Collins on the TSL basketball message board. Collins posted a report about a Florida-Georgia all-star game that he had participated in -- Collins is from Georgia, so he played for the GA squad -- and he noted in his post, "Also, Zabian Dowdell, from Pahokee, FL, scored 13 points. His is a name Hokie fans should familiarize themselves with. I say this because he is very likely to be the third recruit in our 2003 class."

That was Sunday, April 13th, and it was the first time Hokie fans had even heard Dowdell's name. Three days later, he had inked his LOI without even paying VT an official on-campus visit, which he will do soon.

Collins, a 6-9 post player who averaged 18 points and 10 rebounds as a senior for Chamblee High in Stone Mountain, Georgia, was ranked as a top 150 recruit by Bob Gibbons. He was MVP for the Georgia squad in the aforementioned all-star game, with a game-high 27 points and 8 boards.

Florida mauled Georgia 117-93, and in addition to Dowdell playing for the Florida squad, Gordon did too, scoring 15 points. Greenberg visited with all three players in Orlando over the weekend, and he must have done a heck of a sales job with Dowdell.

Jamon Gordon is a 6-2 guard from Andrew Jackson High School in Jacksonville, Florida, the same high school as 2003 offensive line recruit Tripp Carroll. Gordon  averaged 22 points, 7 rebounds, 6 steals, 5 assists and 3 blocked shots per game as a senior. He's a second team 4A all-state selection and a 2003 McDonald's All America nominee. He can play point or shooting guard, and with Dowdell coming on board, Gordon may be destined for shooting guard. He is ranked as a top 100 recruit (in the 90's) by Gibbons.

Academically, Collins and Dowdell are peas in a pod. Collins can hold up his widely-reported 1470 SAT score against Dowdell's 3.58 GPA. Gordon, however, still has some work to do and has not yet qualified academically.

Greenberg Drawing Controversy

No sooner had Seth Greenberg announced the recruiting class than controversy reared its head. Tampa Bay Online ran an article Thursday titled Greenberg in Violation of USF Contract, in which they said that Greenberg's recruitment of Dowdell violated a clause in Greenberg's USF contract.

The specific clause of Greenberg's USF contract, signed in 1997:  "For one year following the termination of this Agreement, Coach agrees he shall not communicate with or otherwise attempt to recruit any high school athlete with whom he had previously communicated with or recruited while employed by [USF], unless such high school athlete had been recruited by the new college or university employing [Greenberg] prior to [Greenberg's] providing notice of termination to the University.''

In other words, Greenberg could be in big trouble with USF over the recruitment of Dowdell. A couple of points:

1.) Look for the press to cover this heavily in the coming days. They'll attempt to find out the particulars of whether or not VT had contact with Dowdell and when, who contacted whom, etc.

2.) This is most likely an issue between Greenberg and USF, and Dowdell and Virginia Tech will not be involved. It probably won't cost Dowdell eligibility, and if anyone has to pay USF any bucks, it will be Greenberg, not VT.

Keep an eye on the papers for more news and info on this topic.

VT Sports Nuggets

  • Tech's August 30th football game with Central Florida (UCF) has been moved to Sunday, August 31st, and will be televised by ESPN nationally. Game time has been set at 3 p.m. We'll update our schedules soon.
  • The Hokies beat Virginia this week in men's tennis, baseball, and softball (splitting a double-header).

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For more info on TechSideline Pass, and to subscribe, click here. To give TSL Pass as a gift (one-year subscriptions only), click here.

-- Will Stewart

   TechSideline.com Updates From the Past Week


Inside the Numbers: Rating the 1994 Recruiting Class
by Will Stewart, TechSideline.com, 4/18/03, 12:25 am
In all the years the Hokie Huddler has been covering VT recruiting, and in all the hype and hoopla surrounding recruiting, only twice has the Huddler printed "Best Year Ever?" on its cover when discussing a recruiting class. One of those years was 1998. The other was 1994.
in TSL Pass

Hokie Hoops and Postseason Play: How Tech Stacks Up
by Kevin Cuddihy, 4/16/03, 3:25 pm
In 1986, Dell Curry and Bobby Beecher led the Virginia Tech Hokies to the NCAA tournament, losing in the first round to current Big East foe Villanova. It was their tenth postseason bid in 14 years, five of them in the NCAA tourney. In the 17 seasons since then, the Hokies have been to postseason play a meager two times.
in TSL Pass

The Untipped Cash Cow
by Jim Alderson, 4/15/03, 9:10 am
The principal attraction this Saturday is the annual Spring Game. Thousands of fans will flock to Lane Stadium for a glimpse of our fall heroes. It has turned into a spring fling of, if not exactly mid-October proportions, the next best thing.
in TSL Columnists

Recruiting Interview: Michael Hinton
by Chris Horne, 4/14/03, 10:30 am
Recently, Chris Horne interviewed VT signee Michael Hinton via telephone and email. Here's the Q&A from the interview.
in TSL Pass

Lane Stadium Expansion Facts and Figures Updated
by Will Stewart, TechSideline.com, 4/10/03, 11:45 pm
Virginia Tech is still tinkering with ideas for the expansion of the West Side of Lane Stadium, so nothing is set in stone, but here's a look at the latest available public knowledge on the project.
in Lane Stadium Expansion

 
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