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   Welcome to TSLMail #105 - Friday, November 14, 2003    
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   Tech Sports News

What Was the First Virginia Tech Football Game Televised on ESPN?
by Will Stewart,

Think you know the answer to that one? Check out the choices:

  • 1987 vs. Miami
  • 1990 vs. Virginia
  • 1991 vs. West Virginia
  • 1993 Independence Bowl vs. Indiana

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To learn more about their services, and to access a contact form you can use to get in touch with them, click the Foster & Associates logo. And as always, thank you for supporting TSL's sponsors!

TSL Suggestion Box

Each week in TSLMail, we'll ask a question geared to improving, and this week's question is an unusual one:

What would you suggest to improve TSL's layout? Are there sections of the site you have trouble getting to or finding?

Send your answers with the subject "Suggestion Box" to [email protected].

Thanks, and we look forward to your suggestions!'s Basketball Coverage Plans

There was a time when covered Tech basketball closely, particularly men's basketball. From the fall of 1996 until the last couple of years, we provided game recaps (sometimes in amazing detail), columns, and commentary.

The thing you have to remember is that when the site started in March of 1996, the Hokies had just lost in the second round of the NCAA Tournament to eventual champion Kentucky. The Hokies were coming off of two seasons in which they had won a total of 48 games, an NIT championship (1995), and an NCAA Tournament first round game (over Wisconsin-Green Bay, 61-48, in 1996).

Interest in men's basketball was still at a high level. Bill Foster, architect of the Hokies' resurrection from its early-90's doldrums, was still coaching the team (he would retire after the 1996-97 season), and fan favorite Ace Custis, whose jersey would be retired after the 1996-97 season, was still roaming the Cassell.

The Hokies were coming off a three-year stretch in which they had gone 66-26.

Perhaps the launch of, called Hokie Central at the time, was responsible for the demise of Tech basketball, because the Hokies, since TSL was launched on March 12, 1996, have gone 84-117 in seven seasons. In that time, VT has won just 10 games twice (1997-98 and 2001-02) and a mere eight games once (2000-01). The Hokies even flirted with 20 losses, losing 19 games in 2000-2001.

In 1995-96, the program averaged 8,357 fans, but even then, Tech coach Bill Foster wasn't satisfied. The Hokies were ranked as high as #8 in the nation that season, and after a weeknight game with a mild crowd of about 8,000 fans, Foster told reporters, "I'm still waiting to see Cassell Coliseum full." Then he looked straight into the TV camera and said, "I mean, really full."

Oh, what the Hokies wouldn't give for that kind of attendance these days. Attendance has slowly dropped over the years, bottoming out at 3,500 in 2001-02, and rising back up slightly to 4,211 last season.

This season is a different animal. Big East membership never gave VT the hoped-for attendance boost, but it appears that ACC membership will. In anticipation of VT's entry into the ACC in 2004-05, season ticket sales rose from about 2,200 to about 5,000 this season. An October 15, 2003 press release detailed the sales increase and said that about 1,800 tickets remain.

Whether or not that many people show up to see the games this year remains to be seen. If new coach Seth Greenberg, who has been a hit on the banquet circuit and recruiting trail, can coach a lick, attendance should go up. The fans will show up to see the team play hard and play well, whether they win or lose.

But I digress. With the renewed interest in VT men's hoops, what are TSL's plans for covering it this year? In recent years, as the popularity of VT football exploded and that of men's basketball waned, it made sense not to dedicate much energy to covering hoops. By last season, TSL was merely posting box scores and linking to for game stories.

This season, we plan on posting box scores, but we'll also write up most games (in one fashion or another), and we'll devote more column space to commentary on the team and on covering basketball recruiting.

Those of you who follow the program on the TSL's basketball message board are familiar with the "Rev. Zeke Vodka," an insider to the VT basketball program. Zeke has agreed to provide weekly recruiting updates and other commentary for TSL readers. His recruiting material will appear on the TSL Pass side of the web site, and his other commentary and updates will be split between the TSL Pass side and the free side. Welcome aboard, Zeke! Hokie basketball fans will think they've died and gone to heaven (I know I feel that way).

To accommodate Zeke, we are getting ready to launch a new basketball recruiting database. The Hokies just ended the Fall signing period with two new signees, Marquie Cooke and Justin Holt, both four-star recruits that have launched the Hokies' 2004 recruiting class into the top 40 of many basketball recruiting listings.

Tech can add up to one more player in this class, and that could happen as soon as, say, today, or as late as the Spring signing period. Whatever the case, from this point on, as soon as we get the database launched, you'll be able to follow Hokie hoops recruiting with TSL and Rev. Zeke.

The Hokie men open play on Saturday, November 22nd, at 8 pm against New Hampshire in Cassell Coliseum. For the complete schedule, see our Men's Hoops Page, or access it directly by clicking this 2003-2004 Men's Hoops Schedule link.

This Week in Recruiting
by Chris Horne

Here are updates in recruiting from the last week. To access these links, and for updates and information on all these players and more, subscribe to TechSideline Pass. Information on how to subscribe follows.

Five Visits Set for D'Imperio
Washington Township linebacker Hugh D’Imperio will make official visits to VT, Michigan State, Tennessee, UNC, and Minnesota. He lists the Hokies and Spartans as his current favorites.

Jamar Adams Back in Play?
Talented Butler (NC) safety Jamar Adams, who committed to Michigan earlier this year, will make official visits to UCLA and UNC at least, and most likely Virginia Tech and FSU as well. Adams is one of the top safety prospects in the East.

Carey Considering Four Schools
Deep Creek (VA) running back Antwain Carey lists VT, NCSU, UVA, and UNC as his likely final four. He has offers from the Hokies and Wolfpack and wants to make all five visits before deciding.

Trautwein Comments on Visit
Phil Trautwein, a massive OL prospect from Eastern Regional HS in Voorhees, NJ, has been on official visits to BC and Michigan State, and will go to Tennessee on November 22nd if his team is eliminated from the playoffs. UVA, VT, and Rutgers are vying for the final two official visits. He may make unofficial trips to Rutgers and UVA within the next few weeks.

Sturdivant Sets First Official?
Purnell Sturdivant, the talented all-everything player from Lake Taylor high school (Norfolk, VA), may visit VT on December 6th. The Hokies are his favorites over offers from Clemson, Syracuse, and interest from Michigan, NC State, and more. Sturdivant plays running back and linebacker for the Titans.

Daniel Leads Ely Into Playoffs
Top DL prospect Brandon Daniel will make official visits to Pitt, NC State, and Kansas State in November and December. He has already been to VT for an official, and felt comfortable during his time in Blacksburg. Daniel will choose from Miami, Florida, Michigan State, and Ohio State for his final visit.

DeMario Pressley Videos
DeMario Pressley videos have been added to his recruiting card. Check out why he is the top defensive tackle prospect in the country!

Jerod Mayo Sets Final Visit
Mayo has set official visits to NC State, Virginia, Purdue, Tennessee, and Virginia Tech. Virginia and Virginia Tech appear to be the frontrunners right now, with the slight edge going to the Cavs right now.

Pressley to Narrow List Soon
The nation’s top DT prospect, DeMario Pressley will narrow his list to five soon after his season is over. VT is in serious contention to receive one of his five official visits. Look for FSU and UNC to get at least two of those spots.

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-- Will Stewart Updates From the Past Week

Greenberg Signs Two
by Rev. Zeke, 11/14/03, 12:05 pm
It wasn't quite the size of class that new coach Seth Greenberg would have liked for his first recruiting class at Virginia Tech, but what Greenberg was limited to in quantity - thanks to the NCAA 5-8 rule - will hopefully turn out to have the quality necessary as the program makes its foray into tobacco road basketball next year, ACC style.
in TSL Pass

VT Recruiting War Room #6: Defense
by Chris Horne, 11/14/03, 12:25 am
It is a slow period right now for most schools across the country, with some commitments sprouting here and there. For the most part, the players who have not decided at this point will make official visits and decide in December, January, or February.
in TSL Pass

Game Preview: #12 Virginia Tech at Temple
by Jeff Ouellet, 11/13/03, 3:00 pm
After a regular season loss that hurt for me as much as any since the 1998 McNabb Miracle at the Dome - geez, did one Pitt fan have to leave their fight song on my answering machine TWICE? - the 7-2 twelfth-ranked Hokies get the ultimate tonic: 1-8 Bill Cosby U, otherwise known as Temple.
in Football

Wide Right: Topics
by Jeff Cockey, 11/13/03, 2:00 pm
Ladies and Gentlemen, it is Smallville night and I am taking time away from Kristin Kreuk to provide a little entertainment to an understandably sullen Hokie Nation. Yeah, I know, I have real problems. I have discovered over the years that there are many things that occur in sports and in life that make you go hmmm. "Things that make you go Hmmm."
in TSL Pass

Good Riddance
by Jim Alderson, 11/13/03, 10:00 am
The American flag was on the ground. In what turned out to be a miserable climax to an evening in Pittsburgh that ended on such a sour note, we returned following the game to our tailgate area to discover that zealous Pitt fans, apparently much bigger fans of their Panthers than their country, had torn down and stolen the Virginia Tech flag and banners flown atop his RV by my buddy and tailgate host Larry Ramsey, leaving on the ground the American flag the Gulf War combat veteran Larry proudly flies atop them.
in TSL Pass

Hokie Hotline Notes for November 10, 2003
by Wayne Clevenger, 11/12/03, 10:00 am
Bill Roth kicked off the broadcast with the following announcements: Kevin Jones was named the Big East co-offensive player of the week after his record setting 241 yard rushing performance against Pittsburgh. Pittsburgh’s Rod Rutherford shared the recognition as the other co-offensive Big East player of the week. VT will travel to play Temple this Saturday at 1pm. There will be no TV coverage of the game. The BC/VT game time will not be announced until 11/17, while the Big East decides whether to televise the game. Possible kickoff times are 12 pm (TV), 1 pm (no TV) or 3:30 pm (TV).
in Hokie Hotline Notes

2003 Pittsburgh Game Analysis
by Will Stewart,, 11/11/03, 3:30 pm
The first question you ask yourself in the wake of this loss is this: How can a team get four touchdowns and a school-record 241 yards rushing on 30 carries from their star tailback … and lose?
in TSL Pass

Wide Right: Scribbles
by Jeff Cockey, 11/11/03, 10:00 am
The worst game in Virginia Tech football history was followed by the best game in Virginia Tech football history. I thought our emotional roller coaster had come to an end this year – evidently there was one more surprise left. I don’t blame you if you don’t read this column. Frankly I didn’t even want to type it up. But I had already grabbed a pen and paper and scribbled down the game as I saw it.
in TSL Pass

Small Pleasures: Pittsburgh
by Kevin Cuddihy, 11/10/03, 9:40 am
It's a heavy heart that brings you this edition of Small Pleasures, but one must understand that even in a loss there are things to celebrate, things that went well. Unfortunately more things went well for the "bad guys" Saturday night. That doesn't take away from what we can celebrate as Hokies though.
in Voice of the Fan

Jones' 241 Yards Not Enough: Pitt 31, VT 28
by Will Stewart,, 11/9/03, 3:15 am
Pittsburgh, PA - Despite four touchdowns and a school-record 241 yards rushing from Kevin Jones, the Hokies fell to Pittsburgh 31-28, giving up a 70-yard drive that ended in a game-winning 2-yard run by Lousaka Polite with 47 seconds to go.
in Football

Will's Going to Camp ... The Story
by Tom Beam, 11/7/03, 4:35 pm
A small ceremony occurred in lot 3 at 5 pm last Saturday afternoon that marked the end of a relatively quiet "behind the scenes" campaign to raise the funds necessary to pay the "tuition" for Will to attend Frank Beamer’s Fantasy Football Camp next July. It was a project that was initiated back in July, right after the Fantasy Football Camp was announced on
in Voice of the Fan

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