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   Welcome to TSLMail #137 - Friday, July 30, 2004    
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   Tech Sports News

Hokie Fans: Thanks for the Support of Advance Auto Parts
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Thoughts on Celebrations, 12 Games, and Five-to-Play-Five
by Will Stewart,

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There are some rule changes and legislative changes up in front of the NCAA right now, some of which have been implemented, and some of which are being considered, that I find interesting, and I wanted to comment on them.

1.) New Celebration/Sportsmanship rules

Doug Doughty wrote a Roanoke Times article about sportsmanship rules that are being implemented in NCAA football this year. Media at the ACC's 2004 Football Kickoff gathering were given a news release about the rule changes.

Doughty wrote:

The NCAA Football Rules Committee has asked its officials to crack down on unsportsmanlike conduct, some of which has not traditionally been considered unsportsmanlike. Subject to 15-yard penalties are "acts that demean opponents or the image of the game, while on the field of play."

There were a few snickers at a list that included "imitating a slash of the throat, performing a military-style salute, resembling the firing of a weapon, bowing at the waist, punching one's own chest, giving the first-down signal, placing one's hand by the ear" or pretending to take a photo of a teammate.

See, I'm old school. I don't like that stuff, so I'm glad to see the new legislation. Part of me understands that football is a very emotional sport and that players can get carried away and try to get the fans involved -- and draw attention to themselves -- by playing up to them with gestures, chest-thumping, etc.

But I've always been from the school of thought that if you're good enough, an opponent will be intimidated by the mere sight of you, not by your woofing and hollering and self-promotion. Talk all you want, if you can't play the game, it doesn't matter. In other words, speak softly and carry a big stick. The opponents I always respected and admired were those that snuck up on you and surprised you with their skill, not the ones who ran their yaps and showed off.

Never mind respecting the game -- respect yourself.  If you're out there thumping your chest, then in my opinion, you're acting as if what you've just done is out of the ordinary. So have a little dignity. Be cool and have the attitude of "No big deal. I've done it before, and I'll do it again, so there's no use getting excited."

That's my take on premeditated routines, anyway.  If you're just getting excited, like Cornell Brown used to do, then that's okay. If you're saluting, thumping your chest, or bowing, then ... don't.

2.)  Twelve-game regular seasons for college football

This is another piece of legislation up before the NCAA, and most coaches and administrators think it's going to happen. As a fan of the game, I'd like to see it, but I recognize that it has its downsides, as well -- increased costs for the fans, and increased wear and tear on the players, and even coaches and adminstrators, primarily.

The upside is more revenue for the athletic department (about $2 million for a school like VT, with 65,000 seats at $35-$40 a ticket) and more and better choices for TV networks, who will pay conferences more money in rights fees if they have more choices of games to put on TV.

The revenue is the best thing. That extra $2 million will fund Olympic sports and help pay for scholarships.

3.) Five years of eligibility

There is another proposal before the NCAA to change athletes from a five-years-to-play-four option, with a redshirt season, to a five-to-play-five option, with no redshirt available or necessary.

The reason for this proposal is to try to make it easier for athletes to graduate. The NCAA is about to crack down on schools that don't graduate enough athletes, and the penalties can be severe, including a loss of scholarships for schools that don't graduate a high enough percentage of their athletes.

In exchange for the new and tougher academic regs, the NCAA is giving a little bit back to the schools by making it easier for athletes to graduate. The schools are making the point that if a player has five years of eligibility instead of four, it gives those athletes that play as true freshmen a better chance of graduating, if they can stay a fifth year. A study was cited that says that the average college student graduates in 4.8 years, so to ask many athletes to do it in four years is unfair.

When asked about this legislation at his fantasy football camp last weekend, Coach Beamer said, "I think it'll happen. It makes too much sense for it not to happen."

Beamer also said he liked the rule because it would give him a chance to play his normally-redshirting freshmen late in the season, when some who were not ready in August are finally ready. "Late in the season," Beamer said, "I'm sending a five-eight, 175 pound guy down on kickoff coverage, when I could be sending somebody like Xavier Adibi, but I can't, because he's redshirting."

In football, the change won't have a big academic effect at schools that redshirt most of their players. Most players at VT redshirt and therefore have five years to graduate, anyway. But at schools like FSU and Miami and other schools where true freshmen often play, it could make the difference in some guys being able to graduate.

The biggest change comes in basketball and the Olympic sports, where athletes rarely redshirt. Men's basketball in particular needs all the academic help it can get. Rare is the redshirted basketball player, so most of them get four years and that's it. A fifth year would be very valuable academically. Athletically, it could make a world of difference for a team. Imagine if the Hokies had Bryant Matthews for one more year (although OP probably would have gone pro after four, given the senior year he had).

Or imagine if Coleman Collins, who finally turned 18 late this month, had four more years to play. As smart as he is, he could get his PhD while still playing basketball! Can you imagine "Dr. Coleman Collins" being introduced at a VT basketball game? I'd pay money to see that.

I like the five years of eligibility rule, and like Coach Beamer, I hope it passes. Pass - Your Ultimate Ticket to Hokie Sports!

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-- Will Stewart Updates From the Past Week

Fantasy Campers Hang With the Coaches, Storm the Field
by Will Stewart,, 7/30/04, 9:25 am
Okay, take a bunch of desk jockeys who would get killed by a real football player, put them in pads and a helmet, and run them out onto Worsham Field to piped in crowd noise. Slap the Hokie stone, run the gauntlet, low fives all around. Sounds silly, right? You would be surprised how cool it can be, and it was hands down the highlight of Frank Beamer's first-ever Football Fantasy Camp, held last weekend.
in TSL Pass

AAU Basketball: A Primer (Part 3)
by Hoop Alliance, 7/29/04, 2:55 pm
"Please allow me to introduce myself, Iím a man of wealth and taste. Iíve been around for a lot of years, stole many a manís soul and grace. Pleased to meet you, hope you guess my name. But, whatís puzzling you is just the nature of my game.
"Just call me Lucifer, Ďcause Iím in need of some restraint. So if you meet me have some courtesy, have some sympathy and some taste, or IĎll lay your soul to waste."
in TSL Pass

Coach Cav, VT's Top Gun
by Chris Horne, 7/29/04, 12:10 am
The names speak for themselves Ė Nathaniel Adibi, Xavier Adibi, Chris Ellis, Jonathan Lewis, Ernest Wilford, Marcus Vick and, of course, Michael Vick. In 2004, it was Andrew Bowman, Mike Green, Josh Morgan, Ryan Shuman, and Maurice Reevey. All of these players have one thing in commonÖJim Cavanaugh was the lead recruiter for each of them.
in TSL Pass

Observing the ACC's Football Kickoff
by Jim Alderson, 7/27/04, 1:45 pm
Finally, some rays of light have penetrated the sports blackness known as the Dead Zone. Reminding us that despite what seems to be never-ending days, weeks and months of sports oblivion, there will indeed be another football season, the ACC has held its annual Operation Football media gathering. In a little over a month the football teams of Virginia Tech and the rest of the ACC will be teeing up the ball and going at it. It will be about time.
in TSL Pass

Hokies Picked Sixth in ACC Football
by Will Stewart,, 7/27/04, 12:20 am
The ACC media picked Florida State to win the conference football championship in 2004 by a narrow margin over Miami, with the Hokies picked sixth in the preseason media poll. The poll was released Monday afternoon as the ACC conducts its three-day 2004 Football Kickoff event at the Grandover Resort in Greensboro, North Carolina.
in News and Notes

2005 VT Recruiting War Room #4: Defense
by Chris Horne, 7/26/04, 2:50 pm
What may not have been a big surprise to many was Tech landing a commitment from the #4 prospect in the 2005 class - Landstown linebacker Deveon Simmons. Though landing Simmons wasnít a complete surprise, it is still an awesome addition to the class. An excellent and sure tackler, Simmons is an intimidating presence on the field and brings excellent speed and sideline to sideline coverage to the linebacker position.
in TSL Pass

Rookie Diary #15: Adibi Signs Contract
by, 7/23/04, 3:25 pm
I just signed my contract. Itís a three-year contract. I have a $121,000 signing bonus, and the base salary is $230k for next year [then up to $305k and $385k, for a minimum three-year contract value of $1,041,500]. Itís good knowing that I donít have to depend upon anyone else, like my parents, for money. I can take care of things myself now, and thatís always great.
in TSL Pass

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