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   Welcome to TSLMail #90 - Friday, August 1, 2003    
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   Tech Sports News

Players Needed for TSL's Fantasy Football Leagues at Sandbox Plus
by Will Stewart,

Great for Beginners!

This football season, has teamed up with SandboxPlus, which was voted "Best of Web" by Forbes Magazine, so that you can play Fantasy Football with your buddies from home, or your friends from TSL - or both! Plus, SandboxPlus contributes a portion of every new membership back to It’s a win-win all around!

Yours truly is trying is hand at fantasy football for the first time, so if you're new to it, I encourage you to try it out along with me.

What is Fantasy Football?

Fantasy football is a game of skill and strategy that pits your knowledge of NFL players against others competing in a common league. The basic premise is that each person in a fantasy league has a fantasy team, and you select players from NFL teams for your fantasy team in a draft. If your selected players score more points in a given NFL week, based on their stats for that week in actual NFL play, then you win.

All fantasy football leagues are defined by the rules they're governed by -- things like the number of teams in the league, the cost to play, what the league winners receive as a prize, the number of players on each team, how they're drafted, etc.

TSL has set up some pre-defined leagues with SandboxPlus, and each league contains eight teams. My league, for instance, is the TSL PASSers, and we have four teams so far in our eight-team league, with four slots available.

Just sign up with SandboxPlus, pick a league, name your team, and you'll be ready for the draft (which is August 11th for my league).

How Much Time Does it Take?

As much or as little as you want to put into it. You can pore over statistics, injury reports, player transactions and the like for hours a week, or you can just spend 15 minutes a week checking things out, changing around your lineup, etc.

How Much Does it Cost?

To play at SandboxPlus, it costs $4.95 per month, billed to your credit card, or $29.70 for a full six-month fantasy season. For your fee, you get the use of SandboxPlus's web interface and league management system, their research tools, and their technical support, available by phone or email.

Some web sites used to run fantasy football for free, but these days (like most of the Web), the large majority of fantasy football sites are pay sites, because it allows them to provide better tools and better service.

Bonus (good through August 5th): Register today and receive a Complimentary 1 Year Subscription to Maxim ($48 value), Golf ($48 value), or Kiplinger's ($35 value) magazine.

Sounds Interesting -- Where and How Do I Sign Up?

One of two ways:

  • Click the sharp-looking SandboxPlus banner below, and do everything over the Web (with phone support available).
  • Call SandboxPlus at (800) 267-1780 and they will help you set up your league, or get you into a league in less than 5 minutes.

The benefits are:

  • Prompt, personal customer service - phone and email support, with real people answering your questions directly.
  • Play with fellow TSL members AND bring over your office or annual league too - you get 2 teams as part of our special deal for members of the TSL community.
  • Additional access to fantasy hockey and basketball later in the year, plus you get a complimentary 1 yr. subscription to Maxim, Kiplinger's, or Golf magazine when you register (before August 5th).
  • To top it off, SandboxPlus will be answering your posts and providing expert fantasy advice on The Lounge message board starting in August and continuing throughout the season.

Click the snazzy banner below for all the details.

Hokies Ranked 10th in Preseason Coaches' Poll

by Will Stewart,

The preseason ESPN/USA Today Coaches' Poll was released yesterday, and Virginia Tech is ranked an impressive 10th.

As good as that is, it's not the highest the Hokies have ever placed in the preseason coaches' poll. Prior to the 2001 season, despite Michael Vick having departed for the NFL, Tech was ranked #9 by the coaches (and AP). In 2000, Vick's redshirt sophomore year, Tech started the year ranked #10, and in 1999, the Hokies were #14 in the preseason.

Going back to ancient history (ha-ha), the Hokies were #15 in the 1996 preseason, coming off the 1995 Sugar Bowl win.

Here's a look at ACC and Big East teams ranked in the Top 25:

Big East and ACC Teams
in the Preseason Coaches' Poll
Rank Team Conf.
3 Miami Big East
10 VT Big East
11 Pittsburgh Big East
13 Maryland ACC
14 NC State ACC
17 Virginia ACC
Others Receiving Votes: WVU (33rd),
BC (39th), Clemson (43rd), GT (47th),
Syracuse (57th).

Very interesting, and it points out how much damage ACC expansion did to the Big East. As-is, the Big East has three teams ranked higher than any ACC teams, but if you fast-forward one year and move VT and Miami to the ACC, then the ACC has six teams in the top 17, and the Big East has just one. Ouch for the Big East, great for the ACC.

The Hokies and Panthers both finished with four losses last year, but they're getting respect from the polls because they each return, depending upon whom you reference, 15-17 starters. It should be a heck of a year in the Big East -- it's too bad for the league that is the final year of the conference as it exists.

Hokie Club Donations Continue to Surge

The news this week that Hokie Club donations for 2002-2003 were $14.38 million, up from $13.68 million in 2001-2002, enables us to update our Hokie Club donation info.

Here's a look at the last six years, in which donations have more than doubled.

Hokie Club Donations





$6,300,000 News and Notes, 8/13/99


$8,900,000 News and Notes, 8/13/99


$10,000,000 News and Notes, 8/7/00



"Virtual O&M Tour", Voice of the Fan, 5/15/02


$13,680,000 News and Notes, 7/31/03


$14,380,000 News and Notes, 7/31/03

With West side expansion probably beginning after this season (according to The Roanoke Times, 7/23/03), and Tech's entry into the ACC in 2004, donations should continue to grow, and should approach $20 million within the next few years, a figure that was unthinkable just a few short years ago.

This Week in Recruiting

by Chris Horne

DT Marque Hall (Forest Hills HS; Marshville, NC) is wide open at this point, however he named UNC, NC State, Virginia, Virginia Tech, Clemson, Tennessee, and South Carolina as schools he would like to visit before the February signing day. Hall likes UNC and NC State due to proximity to home. Virginia has offered and is recruiting him to play on the offensive line.

In-state recruiting target OL/DL Brandon Holland (Northside HS; Roanoke, VA) lists the Hokies as his favorite school. Holland, who has been offered by VT, Clemson, Maryland, and West Virginia, may decide within the next several weeks.

Linebacker recruit Hilee Taylor (Scotland HS/Laurinburg, NC) visited Virginia Tech and received an official offer from the Hokies. Taylor lists VT, UNC, South Carolina, Clemson, and ECU as his favorites, and all five have offered.

Iowa, Michigan State, Virginia Tech, North Carolina, and Boston College are the current top five schools for Eastern Regional (Voorhees, NJ) offensive line prospect Phil Trautwein. Trautwein has scheduled an official visit for Iowa, with Virginia Tech and Boston College being in good position for official visits as well.

Brandon Fanney, a defensive end from Morristown, TN, is a new name on the Hokies' target list. The 6-5, 261 pound Fanney has been offered by UVA, VT, Alabama, and NC State. FSU and Georgia are among the schools actively recruiting the first-team all-state performer.

Other News:

St. Martin Deporres (Detroit, MI) athlete Carl Grimes committed to Michigan State over Virginia Tech and Florida State. His teammate, Eric Hines, committed to the Spartans as well. Hines was also considering Virginia Tech.

Roanoke (NC) DB Trimaine Goddard lists UNC and UVA as his two favorites, followed closely by FSU and Georgia. Goddard may decide at the end of August or early September. If he does not, look for him to make official visits. Virginia Tech could jump into the picture with an offer, as Goddard has liked the Hokies for quite some time.

Robinson (Fairfax, VA) wide receiver Clarence Vaughn committed to Wake Forest over interest from Virginia Tech and UVa, among others. Wake was his only offer to this point, though. Vaughn camped at Wake and had a good experience down in Winston-Salem.

For complete information and updates, subscribe to TechSideline Pass. Information on how to subscribe follows.

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-- Will Stewart Updates From the Past Week

2003 Football Preview: Offensive Line and Tight Ends
by Will Stewart,, 8/1/03, 12:50 am
In the second installment of our preseason look at the Hokie football team, we look at one of the most important parts of the team, and an area of concern for Hokie fans: the offensive line. We'll also check out a historically under-used position on the team: tight end.
in TSL Pass

Tripp Carroll Out 2-4 Weeks for Surgery
by Will Stewart,, 7/31/03, 3:30 pm
Freshman offensive lineman Tripp Carroll, who entered VT in January and participated in spring practice, will undergo surgery to relieve compartment syndrome, which causes leg pain while exercising.
Also: S&C Results, Season Ticket Sales Figures, and More
in News and Notes

2001-02 Finances: Hokies Near the Bottom of Big East, ACC
by Will Stewart,, 7/31/03, 1215 am
Last week, The Chronicle of Higher Education released the latest gender equity data from the 2001-02 academic year, and that information shows that Virginia Tech ranks near the bottom of the Big East football schools and the ACC schools in terms of athletic revenue and expenditures.
in TSL Pass

2003 Football Preview: Offensive Skill Positions
by Will Stewart,, 7/30/03, 1:15 am
As the Hokies prepare for the 2003 football season, they return nearly all the important players at the offensive skill positions of quarterback, tailback, fullback, and wide receiver. The Hokies lost record-setting tailback Lee Suggs to the NFL, but if Kevin Jones steps up and continues to develop, even Suggs won't be missed in Blacksburg.
in TSL Pass

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