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David Plati

Welcome to a notes and comment column in its 13th year, penned by CU Associate Athletic Director David Plati, who is wrapping up his 28th year as the Buffaloes' director of sports information.

Plati-‘Tudes No. 95 ... A shout out to two great number 95s in Buff annals, defensive tackles Curt Koch (’87) and Garry Howe (’90) ... Koch had a monster junior year with 76 tackles, 21 for losses including 10 quarterback sacks, but he was the victim (along with linebacker Don DeLuzio) of a hit-and-run accident on South Padre Island on spring break prior to his senior year and never was the same after suffering multiple injuries ... And most might not realize (or remember) that Howe was third on the team in tackles in 1990 with 96, led the team in tackles for loss (22) and was second to Alfred Williams with 10 sacks ... The 2012 University of Colorado Athletic Hall of Fame class has been selected; the newest inductees will be revealed on July 12 at the 18th Annual Count Casotti Classic by athletic director Mike Bohn at his media roundtable following the golf; it is quite an impressive class that numbers a dozen in all ... Many of you know I suffered some complications after minor surgery in May; things are returning to normal, and it jump started me on some weight loss (40-plus pounds in five weeks).  Want to drop a few in a hurry? Consume this meal three times a day for a week: two cups of Veggie Broth, a Popsicle or an Italian Ice, a small snack pack size Jell-O, and an 8-ounce Ginger Ale or Sierra Mist.  I was disturbed once when I woke up to find Harrison Ford stealing my so-called meal (okay, that’s a Fugitive joke for those who just said, “Huh?”).

Trivia Questions

The opening four mind teasers:
CU—What CU coach has the winningest percentage in postseason history (all sports)?
Who Am I?—Like many, I lettered in three sports in high school but actually went on to letter in two at CU.  Many say I performed the gutsiest play in Buff football history.  In my other sport, I led the nation in a very popular category.  As a professional, I spent one season with the team that drafted me and was traded for a country music star’s father.  I wore jersey number 16 for my first two years with my new club before swapping with a teammate to get number 12 which I wore in both sports at CU.  Who am I?
Music—How is the classic song Layla connected to the Blues Brothers?
Name That Tune—From what song is this lyric passage from: “I see you every morning ... Outside the restaurants ... The music plays ... So nonchalant.”

Quick Hits

Colorado finished 57th in the final Learfield Director’s Cup Standings; the Buffs were ninth among their new brethren in the Pac-12 Conference, trailing Stanford (#1), UCLA (#3), USC (#7), California (#11), Arizona (#19), Oregon (#24), Arizona State (#30) and Washington (#31); Oregon State (#66), Utah (#74) and Washington State (#106) came in behind CU.  With two cross country titles and the men’s basketball tournament title, the Buffaloes finished where expected to overall in the conference, making an impact in settling in the Pac-12’s middle class ... Other regional finishes included Denver (#85), Air Force (#90), Wyoming (#138), Colorado State (#160) and Northern Colorado (#229) ... The Pac-12 won nine NCAA championships in 2011-12, most by any conference, as Arizona’s defeat of South Carolina in the College World Series gave the league a 9-8 edge over the SEC for the year ... There was no turnover in the CU full-time football coaching staff (10 members) for just the second time in the last 24 years; the last occurrence was in 2008 ...  We’ll be taking some of our Tuesday media luncheons “on the road” this fall, with five set for the Millennium Harvest House in Boulder and four at the beautiful History Colorado complex in downtown Denver; there will also be two “super luncheons” at the UMC, and Coach Bill McCartney’s Football Fix & Feast is set for the First Bank Center in Broomfield on Sept. 27 (details on all will be forthcoming) ... Look for a good piece later this month from’s own B.G. Brooks, as he will write an exclusive review of Jon Embree’s family vacation – on safari in Africa – Jon’s wife Natalyn promised a boatload of pictures!


Shalaya Kipp realizes she has made the U.S. Olympic team with Emma Coburn waiting to greet her.
- Photo Courtesy Associated Press

Athletes with ties to the Buffaloes did well at the recently completed U.S. Olympic Trials, as CU is sending five to the London games next month: Emma Coburn (Steeplechase), Kara Goucher (Marathon), Shalaya Kipp (Steeplechase), Dathan Ritzenhein (10,000) and Jenny Barringer Simpson (1,500).  That ties the CU best for the most athletes competing in track for the United States in a Summer Olympics, matching the five in 2008 as Barringer, Goucher and Ritzenhein also participated that year in Beijing.  In 2000 (Sydney), eight former Buffs were Olympians, six in track, but two competed for their native countries outside the U.S., with one in mountain biking and another in cycling.

Coburn and Kipp become just the third and fourth Buffs to compete in the Summer games while still eligible to compete as collegians; the late Ted Woods (football/track) was a sprinter in the ’60 Olympics in Rome, and Barringer competed in the steeplechase in 2008 – both were juniors as are Coburn and Kipp.  When was the last time more than one current Buff participated in the Olympics?  From near as can be determined, it’s happened just one other time, when skiers Bill Marolt and Jimmie Heuga participated in the 1964 Winter Olympics in Innsbruck, Austria.

The most athletes CU has ever had in a single Olympics?  That would be the 1972 Winter games when 12 repped the Buffs, followed by 10 in the ’68 Winter games.

Title IX: CU's Forgotten History

The 40th anniversary of Title IX was celebrated in June, the legislation that eventually led to the explosion of women’s athletics: collegiately, that meant the creation of varsity programs with scholarships, the emergence of the first national governing organization (AIAW, or the Association for Intercollegiate Athletics for Women), with the NCAA absorbing all beginning with the 1982-83 school year.  But what about the history here at CU?  Few remember it, and myself being the only department dinosaur left with ties to the 1970s (I arrived as a freshman in 1978-79 and was working in the SID office a week before my first class) I remembered some of the info but needed to make a call or two to refresh my memory.  Here’s a capsule look on how women’s athletics evolved here.

  • Jane Wahl
    Title IX passed in 1972; at the time, the only women’s sport at Colorado that was playing a varsity-type schedule was tennis, dating back into the late 1960s.  However, they were under the direction of the CU Recreation Department.  The current Rec Center was completed in 1972, and other women’s sports soon surfaced: Jane Wahl was named women’s athletic director in early 1974 (at the age of 29), and she was charged with taking the sports of basketball, gymnastics, cross country, indoor and outdoor track, swimming and diving from club to varsity status with a budget of less than $100,000 to begin with (it would eventually grow to $350,000).  
  • By the 1974-75 academic year, the aforementioned seven sports all started competing as varsity programs, all nicknamed the Lady Buffs (or Lady Buffaloes; “Lady” was dropped from all teams in 1992).  The teams played largely a regional schedule as the travel budgets were minimal, competing in the Intermountain Conference until the Big 8 absorbed the programs in 1983.  The first varsity women’s basketball team played just 13 games, road games played only in New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming.  The first game in a non-bordering state came in year three when CU played in the Indianola (Iowa) Tournament.
  • In 1972, the AIAW came into being and started sponsoring national championships for women for the first time that academic year.  The first championships were held in women’s basketball, and the schools that dominated the sport that first decade included Immaculata (won the first three titles), Delta State, Old Dominion, UCLA and Wayland Baptist.
  • CU’s ski coach at the time, Bill Marolt, played an instrumental role nationally in creating collegiate women’s skiing and worked with Wahl to establish it at Colorado beginning in 1976-77.
  • Mary Decker
    Without a doubt, CU’s first big time women’s recruit was landed by cross country and track coach Rich Castro when he convinced Southern California high school phenom Mary Decker to come to Boulder.  She competed for two seasons (1977-78, 1978-79) before turning professional after her sophomore year, joining Athletics West and moving to Oregon.  Had it not been for injuries, Decker would have competed in the 1976 Olympics but was healed by the time she came to CU and set college track ablaze.
  • Gymnast Debbie Wilcox was a good get by then-coach Dan Garcia, likely the next national recruit after Decker to find her way to CU.  The Lady Buffs were also in the hunt until the end for Anne Donovan, a 6-8 center who was one of the first national high school girls’ basketball stars; she eventually chose Old Dominion, following in the footsteps of Nancy Lieberman, the sports’ first collegiate star.  But a year later, Lisa Van Goor, from Yankton, S.D., found her way to Boulder and helped begin CU’s run to national prominence and opened the door for a slew of other top players, both local and national, to play for Colorado.  Lisa, of course, was the first woman inducted into CU’s Athletic Hall of Fame. 
  • The men’s and women’s departments were merged on July 1, 1978; Wahl became an associate athletic director under Eddie Crowder, still in charge of the women’s programs.  She retired after the ’78-79 season to pursue her doctorate degree, her thesis eventually researched and written on ... Title IX.

As part of its Title IX package, the Pac-12 office surveyed member schools on who were some of the outstanding former women’s student-athletes that went on to great success outside of the athletic realm.  Their story got no play here in Colorado, but the four former Buffs I submitted I listed below, as you can see, what they have accomplished is very impressive (and I will gladly take any submissions to include in my next ‘Tudes!):

Kelly Smith (XC/Track ‘98) ... a 3.97 GPA in college and a multiple All-American in three sports, she chose to go into health care in the Chicago area; she is now with the University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine—Director of Strategy and Planning.

Kate Fagan

Debbie Jacobsen (Basketball ‘92) ... graduated from med school (Ohio State) and is now a primary care physician and surgeon and is also the team doctor for the Colorado Mammoth (professional lacrosse).

Kate Fagan (Basketball ’04) ... has had a meteoric rise in journalism ... started small like most, then got her big break and covered the 76ers for the Philadelphia Inquirer for years and now is with ESPN-W; has been working on Title IX packages.  (

Crystal Ford-Adams (Basketball ‘89)... she has spent the bulk of her career in community relations/outreach, first at the Coors Brewing Company (Golden, Colo.) and then Qwest, which is now Century Link

R.I.P., Jim Burris

The Denver sports community was saddened with the news that Jim Burris, former general manager of the Denver Bears and Denver Broncos, passed away from congenital heart failure on June 22 ... he was 89.  As is the case in life, he outlived many of his associates, and few in the media remained that knew of his role and impact that he had on Denver eventually landing a major league baseball team.  For years, he would attend the annual owners meetings, often with son Bob, and they were the lone two representing Denver while other cities rolled out a full assault.

I had the privilege of working for Burris and the Bears in 1982, when I interviewed for the publicity position at the suggestion of the late Frank Haraway (longtime Denver Post sportswriter who covered the Buffs and Bears for over four decades).  I interviewed in January, passed the mustard, including the final test of Jim’s dog, Toni, liking me – I am not kidding.  He said his dog was a great judge of character.  I was basically on the four-and-a-half year plan at CU, cemented by accepting this job because of an arrogant journalism professor telling me that I would fail her course if I actually missed two April classes because the Bears had day games—also true.  Never mind that she should have been supportive that a senior in college had this kind of job offer, but her class was much more important (which of course was one of those worthless ones you could forget everything about after the final).  So I had to drop the class and take it in the fall.

CU was practically running on austerity then after the massive budget cuts in 1980 that including eliminating seven sports; I was the assistant SID as junior but they only paid me through May.  So I worked both jobs and then solely for the Bears in June, July, August and part of September, with an offer to return in 1983 if I so desired.  CU came calling for me to run the football stat crew and do the credentials, so I did that for two months until negotiating to be the men’s basketball SID in exchange for a full-time job when I graduated that December.  Eddie Crowder, Fred Casotti and my SID predecessor, John Clagett, somehow worked it out to add a position in mid-year, something not easy to do at any university anywhere, even or especially today.  Otherwise, I may never have a chance to return to CU; funny how things work out, but I wouldn’t have been brash enough to demand a full-time job if I didn’t have the Bears job in my back pocket (Eddie and Fred were not ones to like what was considered to be an ultimatum but were okay with it that time). 

Would I have enjoyed a second year in minor league baseball?  I’m not sure, but I wouldn’t trade that one summer for anything.  The experience was enjoyable, I made many friends I’ve kept to this day, and though I already had a solid work ethic, it ratcheted up a notch or two working for Burris and the Bears—136 games in 145 days or so, with a small staff, you either worked hard or you were gone.  Most of the promotions were creative, though “Kazoo Night” had our manager, Rich Donnelly, call up to the press box wondering whose great idea that was when 2,500 kids were parading around a cavernous Mile High Stadium tooting away.  I scored road games from the radio (KOA; Jeff Kingery did all the games joined by Joe Cullinane for home contests) and kept a parade of new stats like MISP (average with men in scoring position, which is now RISP—runners—but I can’t claim that was as mine like I can the Red Zone), FBH (foul balls hit with two strikes) and K-SP (strike outs with men in scoring position, for both batters and pitchers).  And that summer, on July 3, we played host to what is still the largest crowd in minor league baseball history – an announced crowd of 65,666.  “Announced” because that was what the fire marshal told us we had to seal the crowd at due to safety considerations for postgame fireworks.  The truth be told, the actual crowd was, if memory serves, 73,125!

Over 200 people attended Jim’s memorial on June 29, a who’s who of Denver sports personalities.  The only problem was that Jim outlived many of his colleagues, but Roger Kinney and Jim’s daughter Patrice gave beautiful eulogies and told great stories.  Many don’t realize that if there is no Jim Burris, there is no major league baseball in Denver.  The Bears made it possible, and that should be the ultimate legacy of Jim Burris.

Jeremy Bloom's Senior Wish Organization

Jeremy’s Senior Wish of a Lifetime keeps gaining steam; this wonderful foundation is granting nearly 500 wishes a year in just its fourth year of existence.  Former Buff Brent Schweigert (TV name: Cannon) recently did a great sit down with Jeremy, and you can see it here:  One of the greatest shames in my 30-year career is that the NCAA couldn’t find a way to allow Bloom to gather in sponsorships to pay for his Olympic pursuits; can’t help but wonder if that’s part of the reason he founded his organization, to help others in need as he himself was pursuing his dreams.

The Tweet Game

Athletes all over the world are using Twitter as their own personal media outlet, and college football players are obviously no exception.  CU junior WR Paul Richardson tweeted this below to the world earlier on July 3: "I was cleared by my doctor and trainers to start running today and I'm not even 3 months out of surgery yet #Blessed." Richardson tore his ACL (knee ligament) the last week of spring drills (April 9) and had surgery a week later.  At the time, as with most ACL tears and subsequent surgeries, he appeared lost for the 2012 season as the standard rehab period is usually 9-12 months.  But hold the phone as they used to say; I spoke with CU trainer Miguel Rueda and here is what he told me:  "Paul was cleared for straight-ahead jogging and running.  He's not at the point where he can make cuts, run routes, etc.  He is progressing nicely and faster than expected, but it's too early to predict what his status is for the upcoming season.  We'll monitor his progress, but whether he can play in any or all of the games this fall can't be determined for some time yet."  Richardson was the third-leading receiver on last year’s team, with 39 receptions for 555 yards and five touchdowns; he set a school record with 284 yards (on a school-tying 11 catches) against California.  So the prognosis appears good for No. 6, but let’s not get the cart ahead of the horse just yet. 

Gearhead Buffaloes

Richard Jones (’70) wrote in about the picture from January’s 24 Hours of Daytona, informing me about the Porsche with the CU logo affixed to an upper side panel.  He said the CU connection is one of the drivers, Cooper MacNeil, a student at CU; his father (David) founded Weathertech Automotive Products.  He also alerted me to the fact that a former Buff skier in the 1970s, Patrick Tambay (a Frenchman), raced successfully in Formula 1 after his days in Boulder.  (Formula 1 is the ultimate motor racing series with only about 20-30 drivers in the world competing).  The passage below if from Tambay’s biography:

“I was on the national squad for the hopefuls and B team. Jean Claude Killy was the leader of the outfit. It was difficult to be in the top league. I tried it for three years and was told by my coach that I will not make it to the top and I better go back to my studies, which I did, to the University of Colorado in Boulder. It turned out to be the best two years of my studies. I keep some extraordinary memories from Boulder. You can imagine the skiing in Aspen, Vail, and Breckenridge. That’s where I met my first wife and I have two American kids. America is an important part of my life.”

Space Cadet Or Not

In my January ‘Tudes (1/22/12), I was asked to name my all-Buff underrated (football) team of the past three decades.  Received a few responses that contained who they thought I left off.  Some of the names submitted included DT Leonard Renfro, KR Ben Kelly, QBs John Hessler and Cody Hawkins and RB Dwayne Cherrington.  However, my caveat was that I didn’t list anyone who had earned at least first-team All-Conference; Renfro and Kelly earned that and beyond.  The others did not, however.

The P-'Tudes Mailbag

Q: I'd be curious to see a list of greatest football play calls in your history at Colorado.  I suspect the final play of the 1994 game at Michigan would be #1.
A: Maybe the play call of all time – it was a designed play, not a desperation Hail Mary as is the case most of the time.  There are so many, but ones that come to mind are the halfback pass from O.C. Oliver to Lance Carl to open the fourth quarter in the ’86 Nebraska game; the Huskers had just closed to within 10-7, but that 52-yard pass put us back up by 10.  NU never had possession trailing by just one score after we took a 10-0 lead in an eventual 20-10 win over the No. 3 team in the land.  Successful halfback passes are always memorable, the Lamont Warren to Charles Johnson one at Oklahoma was the national play-of-the-year, a precursor to “The Catch” the following year.  Then there’s the fake field goal play at Oklahoma State in 1991, where trailing 12-10 very late: we faked a field goal in stifling winds and Robbie James hit Christian Fauria with a 20-yard touchdown pass with just six seconds remaining; the winds were so bad that we missed the extra point, which was 17 yards closer than the field goal attempt would have been.  The reverse to open Big 12 play at Texas A&M, where we recovered an Aggie fumble on their 28-yard line and Rae Carruth took it home just 13 seconds into our Big 12 history, that was an eye-opener.  In 2004, 10 years later and covering the same distance and taking place with just five seconds remaining, Joel Klatt and Ron Monteilh teamed on a 64-yard touchdown pass and catch to defeat Kansas State, 38-31; they were just hoping for a long completion and a subsequent 50-plus yard field goal try from Mason Crosby.  Then add in the play listed below in the "Who Am I" trivia question above.  And maybe not a specific play “call,” who can forget the 1989 Nebraska game where Darian Hagan ran 40 yards downfield and then surprised everyone with a pitch to J.J. Flannigan who raced the remaining 30 as the two combined for a 70-yard touchdown.  I am sure I could list dozens more; any P-‘Tuders out there with single play call remembrances, go ahead and send them on it.

Q: Why a game at Michigan with no return? We just did that with Ohio State and we as fans want to see those teams in Boulder.
A: I think we all agree on that point, our fans love seeing those teams visit Folsom Field.  Really, it is just scheduling quirks; we had a window for a road game in 2016 with six home games plus CSU in Denver.  It’s a delicate balance, as do you want an eight-game package for your season ticket holders?  Some schools can pull that off, but you have to be smart especially in this economy.  We will receive $1,450,000 for the trip in and out of Ann Arbor, quite possibly the most for a one-and-done series in college football history, as we believe the $1.4 million we received for the Ohio State game this past year was the record.  We freely admit we scheduled that game for the money, coming off a year where we had no conference distribution check from the Big 12, the one from the Pac-12 was going to be limited, and we had a couple of contracts that required payments to former coaches.  Stadium size factors in; many schools that seat in excess of 90,000 or more often don’t feel they have to return one to a school with a smaller stadium unless the payment is off the charts.  You can’t give over 50 percent of your net gate to an opponent, which is what some demand.  That’s why you do see a several 2-for-1s.  Another factor is we are longer the westernmost school in a conference; we’re the easternmost.  Our days of playing several games a year in the Central Time Zone are long gone; we would like to get east and Midwest on occasion, as will be the case when we travel to Michigan and UMass later this decade.

Q: Your take on the impending 4-team playoff?
A: It’s really not much different that the plus-1 that was being pushed for years; I like it because the semifinals will feed a title game instead of some committee or computer picking two teams after the bowls.  What has to happen is a consistent strength of schedule component, and conferences need to play the same number of league games.  Teams have to go on the road in non-league play (e.g., Florida hasn’t left the state since a trip to Syracuse in 1989); recently, Georgia’s been the only SEC school to do it with regularity, though Tennessee and the Mississippi schools have in the past, and Alabama did fly up to Penn State last fall.  We need more of that as these intersectional games are often terrific.

Q: I saw a thread on a fan site criticizing the selection of Stanford as the Homecoming opponent.  What is the process for picking an opponent for that game?
A: I imagine someone raised a point about how the opponent supposedly gets all juiced up because they are picked for someone’s Homecoming ... not sure that happens any more.  It’s really not that big a secret that Homecoming here at CU hasn’t been that big of a deal for at least the last 30 years; never was dating back to my student days.  We get some extra people for some class reunions, but the weekend’s events are nothing like we saw in the old Big 8 (for example, Missouri and Iowa State practically invented Homecoming).  Parent’s Weekend is the bigger draw here, so what determines the opponents for both PW and HC are based on the dates when home games fall; campus likes PW about a month to seven weeks into the semester (thus, the Sept. 29 UCLA game is Parent’s Weekend in 2012), and then HC is usually one of the next two homes games, but never after the first November Saturday.  The only home game in October this year is Arizona State on a Thursday (Oct. 11), so Homecoming deferred to the next available home game, Stanford on Nov. 3.

Q: I read from time to time we’re an AAU school, and that Nebraska recently lost their distinction.  What is an AAU school and how important is it?
A: AAU stands for Association of American Universities; there are 61 members, and CU is one of just 36 U.S. public research universities that are included.  We have been a member since 1966; 40 of the other 60 current members have belonged longer, some dating back to the group’s inception in 1900.  As to what the AAU is, here’s the capsule summary direct from its website (

The Association of American is an organization of 61 leading public and private research universities in the United States and Canada, and was founded in 1900 to advance the international standing of U.S. research universities. The AAU today focuses on issues that are important to research-intensive universities, such as funding for research, research policy issues, and graduate and undergraduate education.  Member universities are on the leading edge of innovation, scholarship, and solutions that contribute to the nation's economy, security, and well-being.  The 59 AAU universities in the United States award more than one-half of all U.S. doctoral degrees and 55 percent of those in the sciences and engineering.  AAU programs and projects address institutional issues facing its member universities, as well as government actions that affect these and other universities.  Membership in the association is by invitation

How important is it?  Likely more how prestigious it is, since it is a select group and it is by invitation.  Curriculum plays a big role, so there are quality schools that are not members (e.g., Dartmouth).  I don’t know why Nebraska was dropped, but the Big Ten has the most schools in the AAU with 11; the Pac-12 is next with eight (all but Arizona State, Oregon State, Utah and Washington State).  The ACC has five, the SEC four (doubling its number with the addition of Missouri and Texas A & M, as only Florida and Vanderbilt were previous members), with the Big 12 down to three. 

Things That Make You Go Hmmm...

For the first time, I am actually “Hmmm-less.”  Guess I can always refer to NBA officiating or how a no-talent hack who shall remain nameless gets sideline reporting assignments in things such as, oh, the NBA Finals.  Nah, I’ll go with “hmmm-less.”

Website(s) & Links Of The 'Tude

A blatant promo for the Sept. 8 Colorado Music Hall of Fame Event: That day, the CU-Sacramento State football game should end around 4 p.m., so grab dinner in Boulder and then mosey on over to the Boulder Theatre for the next round of inductions for the Colorado Music Hall of Fame (full disclosure: I am one of two CU reps on the board).  It’s being billed as the “Rockin’ the 60s” induction, with Boulder’s own Astronauts, Sugarloaf and Flash Cadillac and the Continental Kids (all have ties to CU), along with KIMN-Radio, Denver’s popular music station of the 60s and 70s.   For more information, go the CMHOF site at; and for tickets, please visit A sampling: (Astronauts) (Sugarloaf) (Flash) (KIMN-Radio history)

Congrats Shouts & Sympathies

  • Raegan Scott Pebley
    Congrats to former CU women’s basketball player Raegan (Scott) Pebley, who has made her most recent bones in coaching; after resurrecting the Utah State women’s program and coaching there since 2003, she has moved on and was named head coach at Fresno State. A four-year letterwinner under Ceal Barry in the mid-1990s, she was a sophomore on what many consider the best CU women’s team ever, the 1994-95 squad that went 30-3, narrowly missing the final four in finishing No. 5 in the nation. The Buffs won 106 games in her four years in Boulder.  More here:
  • Big-time kudos to Chris Valenti (Business ’96), who worked as a student in the CU equipment office for four years and then as the assistant. Now the equipment manager down the road (well, US 36 to I-25 to Arapahoe, then left to Dove Valley) of the Denver Broncos, he was recently named the NFL’s Equipment Manager of the Year for 2011.  Congrats Chris!
  • Jason Powell
    Good luck to Jason Powell (’98), as the former Buff offensive lineman is running for state representative in his native Tennessee (District 33).  You can read more about it at!
  • For the second straight year, former Buff Mike Hogberg (’83) has qualified for the U.S. Senior Open; he tied for medalist honors in sectional qualifying by shooting a 68 (with former Tour vet Andy Bean).  Three Buffs will be playing in the tournament, Hale Irwin (’67) and Steve Jones (’81), who is making a comeback on the Champions Tour after battling injuries for the last five years.  Dale Douglass (’59) could be a fourth if he were to decide to play, but he’s only been participating sporadically the last couple of years.
  • Former CU sports info graduate assistant Cole Mickelson (’11) landed a sweet internship with USA Basketball this summer; Cole worked four years as an undergrad and then one year as the GA prior to spreading his wings.  And no, he’s not related to Phil; they pronounce the last names different.

This Tudes' Number: 68%

That was the percentage increase in attendance for Colorado men’s basketball from the 2008-09 season (an average of 4,637) to 2011-12 (7,804); that 68.3 percent increase led the nation for all 340-plus programs for that time period.  Not only did that figure come in number one, St. John’s was a distant second at 45 percent, followed by Kansas State (40%), Auburn (27%) and Alabama (25%).  Arizona State had the biggest decline (45%), following by Washington State (39%) and then UCLA (36%), though the Bruins number was skewed by playing off campus while Pauley Pavilion is being renovated.

Runner-up: Nothing to do with CU or sports, but I found this factoid interesting: According to Scrabble’s TWL (word list), there are more 12-letter words (11,417) than five letter words (8,938) in the English language.  The most famous 12/5 of course is the NCAA basketball tournament, where the No. 12 seed often upsets the No. 5 one.

Trivia Answers

CU—This could be a trick question since Rick Neuheisel (3-0) and Dal Ward (1-0) were undefeated in bowl games.  But let’s go with a minimum of 10 postseason games: the answer is thus Tad Boyle, who is 10-3 combined between the 2011 Big 12 Tournament (2-1), the 2011 N.I.T. (3-1), the 2012 Pac-12 Tournament (4-0) and the 2012 NCAA (1-1); he is also the only coach in men’s basketball program history above .500 in the postseason with a nifty 76.9 winning percentage.  The Buffs have won more postseason games (10) in the last two years under Boyle than in the previous 20 under three coaches (8).

Jon Stearns

Who Am I?—Jon ‘Bad Dude” Stearns.  In the 1971 Astro-Bluebonnet Bowl, CU was leading Houston 23-17 with seven minutes left and faced a 4th-and-9 from its 10; Stearns, the team’s punter, called his own fake and dashed off for a 12-yard gain to pick up a first down and set the stage for CU’s clinching TD drive in a 29-17 win that propelled the Buffs to a No. 3 national ranking behind Nebraska and Oklahoma. An All-American catcher in baseball, he led the NCAA in home runs with 15 as a senior, leading CU to a 32-11 overall record.  He was drafted second overall in the 1973 MLB Draft by Philadelphia and reached the majors in 1974, but was soon traded to the New York Mets for popular relief pitcher Tug McGraw.  He wore 16 in 1975-76 but would get his familiar No. 12 back from Lee Mazzili to wear the remainder of his career (1977-84).
Music—Keyboardist Bobby Whitlock was looking for a project in early 1970; it was suggested to him that he go to London and visit Eric Clapton.  They eventually collaborated on most of the songs that would appear on the Layla album, and called some old members from a previous band and formed what would eventually be known as Derek and the Dominoes.  The group also was the studio band for George Harrison’s third solo album, but the first after the Beatles’ break-up, All Things Must Pass, ironic because Layla was penned by Clapton for his love of Harrison’s wife at the time, Patty Boyd.  So who suggested Whitlock call his old friend Clapton?  Steve Cropper, formerly of Booker T and the M.G.’s, who played lead and rhythm guitar with the Blues Brothers Band.
Name That Tune—From late 1970, the first hit of the decade for the Bee Gees, Lonely Days.  It was one of those songs that spanned over two years, finishing as the No. 82 song of 1971; How Can You Mend A Broken Heart was the No. 5 song that same year.  They were not on the same album, but were on back-to-back efforts (2 Years On, Trafalgar).  Unfortunately, Maurice and now Robin Gibb have passed, leaving only Barry.  (

“Plati-‘Tudes” features notes and stories that may not get much play from the mainstream media; offers CU’s take on issues raised by those who have an interest in the program; answers questions and concerns; and provides CU’s point of view if we should disagree with what may have been written or broadcast.   Have a question or want to know CU’s take on something?  E-mail Dave at, and the subject may appear in the next Plati-‘Tudes.