May 22, 2003
Welcome to Plati-'Tudes, where you won't find any phony reporting that is so prevalent with supposedly reputable publications like the New York Times (guess who's not a fan of New York's FOURTH most popular newspaper?!)... As the 2002-03 athletic season winds down, here's a potpourri of random notes and thoughts concerning CU sports.
TRIVIA QUESTIONS... CU--Joel Klatt is a little bit ahead of the pack to be CU's starting quarterback going into August drills; he has attempted all of three passes in eight plays from scrimmage in his career. If he winds up not being the starter, that player would have even less collegiate experience. When was the last time CU's starting quarterback had as little collegiate experience? Seinfeld--Who out of the following did NOT appear in a Seinfeld episode: a) the daughter of Melville's owner John Hill (Cheers); b) Fred Savage (Wonder Years); c) the janitor from "The Breakfast Club"; the owner of the diner (Sparrow) in the movie "About Last Night."
SAYONARA... We lose two quality folks in the Athletic Media Relations Office this month. Longtime assistant Curtis Snyder (volleyball, internet managing editor) has been named in a similar capacity at Duke University. A college basketball junkie (he even married former Buff Kami Carmann), he'll get to experience what it's like on tobacco road. And graduate assistant Adam Woullard has bagged a paid internship with the Green Bay Packers. The NFL is tough to break into, and he'll be doing it with one of the most storied franchises in all of professional sports. Good luck to both!
NYC SUMMER INTERN UPDATE... Junior guard Kate Fagan of CU's women's basketball team isn't the only Buff who is working in New York City as an intern this summer. Diana Spencer, a senior last winter and also on Ceal Barry's Sweet 16 team, has landed an internship in the National Basketball Association office; she starts next week. As for Fagan, who began her gig last week, she reports that she is busy, but is learning a lot and meeting all kinds of people.
CASOTTI CLASSIC RESULTS... We hosted the 9th Annual Count Casotti Golf Classic on May 20, our yearly soiree where staff and coaches play a round of golf with members of the local media (to help strengthen relationships, build PR, and get both to see each other outside a working environment). The Ridge at Castle Pines was the site of the event, one of the top public courses in the country. If you haven't played it yet and you love golf, it's a must (info: 303-688-0100). Here are the results of this year's tournament:
CU Celebrity Standings
1. Mark Simpson......... 38-38- 76 1. Kane Webber.......... 39-37- 76 3. Stephen Carroll...... 42-39- 81 4. Ricardo Patton....... 42-40- 82 5. Mike Smith........... 42-43- 85 6. Shawn Watson......... 45-43- 88 7. David Plati.......... 45-44- 89 8. Bruce Fletcher....... 50-47- 97 8. Ed Gow............... 46-51- 97 10. David Hansburg....... 49-51-100 11. Bill Hempen.......... 51-54-105 12. Ted Gilmore.......... 57-51-108 13. Patrick Gleason...... 59-52-111 14. Vance Joseph......... 59-55-114 15. Nicole Kenneally..... 62-52-114 16. Chris Wilson......... X
1. a-Randy Miller....... 40-38- 78 (Colorado Daily) 2. Todd Mansfield....... 43-39- 82 (KDVR-TV) 2. Tom Doran............ 39-43- 82 (Oakley) 4. b-Mitch Heider....... 40-44- 84 (KKFN-Radio) 5. Paul SoRelle......... 41-44- 85 (Pioneer Press) 6. Vic Lombardi......... 42-45- 87 (KCNC-TV) 6. John Marshall........ 46-41- 87 (AP) 6. John Mossman......... 40-47- 87 (AP) 6. Mark Schlereth....... 45-42- 87 (KKZN-Radio) 10. Chip Bromfield....... 46-42- 88 (Pro-Motion Photography) 10. Stephane Yelle....... 41-47- 88 (Calgary Flames) 12. c-John Kuhrt......... 44-45- 89 (KUSA-TV) 13. Mike Dimond.......... 47-43- 90 (Fox Sports Net) 14. Dwight Larsen........ 44-47- 91 (Copy Vend) 15. Steve Atkinson....... 46-48- 92 (KCNC-TV) 16. Jim Conrad........... 46-47- 93 (CU Press Box) 16. Joe Sanchez.......... 50-43- 93 (Denver Post) 16. Tom Kensler.......... 51-42- 93 (Denver Post) 19. Steve Gottsegen...... 50-45- 95 (KMGH-TV) 19. Aaron Lopez.......... 45-50- 95 (Rocky Mountain News) 19. Scott Monserud....... 51-44- 95 (Denver Post) 22. Gary Baines.......... 53-43- 96 (Boulder Camera) 22. Lynn DeBruin......... 45-51- 96 (Rocky Mountain News) 22. Susie Helmerich...... 50-46- 96 (Troon Golf) 25. Dan Jacobs........... 48-49- 97 (KKFN-Radio) 25. Kaye Kessler......... 45-52- 97 (The International) 25. Kevin McNicholas..... 53-44- 97 (K-M Concessions) 28. John Turk............ 46-52- 98 (KKZN-Radio) 29. Pam Penfold.......... 54-45- 99 (Coloradan) 30. Carol Callan......... 52-49-101 (KKZN-Radio) 30. David Hunt........... 51-50-101 (KUSA-TV) 30. Bob Schumate......... 46-55-101 (Pioneer Press) 33. Sandy Clough......... 51-51-102 (KKFN-Radio) 34. Keith Webb........... 53-51-104 (Copy Vend) 35. Mark Walsh........... 54-52-106 (Pioneer Press) 36. Tim Spence........... 54-54-108 (KKFN-Radio) 36. Amy Turner........... 54-54-108 (Fox Sports Net) 38. John Edwards......... 59-51-110 (Colorado Golfer) 38. Mark Collins......... 55-55-110 (Buffalo Sports News) 40. Bernie Lincicome..... 55-57-112 (Rocky Mountain News) 41. Steve Hemphill....... 60-54-114 (Longmont Times-Call) 42. Kevin Eldredge....... 53-62-115 (K-M Concessions) 43. Adam Thompson........ 63-59-122 (Denver Post) 44. Patrick Watkins...... 75-74-149 (KKZN-Radio) -- David Diaz-Infante... 42-DNF (KKZN-Radio) -- Kerry Fowler......... DNF (KLZ-Radio) -- Tim Lewis............ DNF (KLZ-Radio)
(a-media champion (0-15 handicap); b-media champion (16-21 handicap); c-media co-champions (22+ handicaps)
1. GOW/Walsh/SoRelle/Schumate............ 52 (-19) 2. *WEBBER/Jacobs/Marshall/Atkinson...... 57 (-14) 3. WATSON/Kessler/Larsen/Webb............ 57 (-14) 4. GILMORE/Hemphill/Mansfield/Kuhrt...... 60 (-11) 5. Heider/Lombardi/Collins............... 61 (-10) 6. PATTON/Kensler/Miller/Clough.......... 62 (- 9) 6. PLATI/Monserud/McNicholas/Eldredge.... 62 (- 9) 6. SIMPSON/Baines/Hunt/Edwards........... 62 (- 9) 6. SMITH/Doran/Yelle..................... 62 (- 9) 10. HEMPEN/Helmerich/Turner/Bromfield..... 65 (- 6) 10. JOSEPH/Mossman/Spence/DeBruin......... 65 (- 6) 12. CARROLL/Penfolrd/Schlereth/Lincicome.. 63 (- 8) 12. WILSON/Diaz-Infante/Lopez/Dimond...... 66 (- 5) 14. KENNEALLY/Sanchez/Callan.............. 68 (- 3) 15. GLEASON/Watkins/Turk.................. 71 ( E) 16. FLETCHER/Gottsegen/Fowler/Lewis....... 72 (+ 1) 17. HANSBURG/Fowler/Conrad/Thompson....... 73 (+ 2) (*-won card playoff for second.)
SPEAKING OF GOLF... What is the big deal about Annika Sorenstam playing in the Colonial? I for one have no problem with it, especially since she prefaced the whole thing months ago as simply wanting to see where she stacks up against the best male players in the world. She's on a sponsors exemption people, and last time I checked, if a sponsor named a hack, let's say me, if I qualify under whatever qualifications need to be met, I could be out there too (note to potential sponsors: I think I qualify-can I get into the Buick Westchester??). It's how college players or other amateurs get the occasional invitation, so she's not taking the spot of someone trying to make a living. You know (and if I had money I'd try it), it could lead to a new combined tournament with something like the 25 best men and women every year. It'd probably pull in a good crowd and good TV ratings. It shouldn't affect either Tour one way or the other, even if she shoots a pair of 59s or 95s. The only drawback I see is that if she does really well, some might expect that she should win every week on the LPGA circuit (of course, anyone who knows golf knows that would never happen; Tiger Woods doesn't win every time out, does he?). My prediction for Annika: rounds of 74 and 69, which might very well make the cut on a tough par-70 track. (Follow-up: Annika shot 71-74--145, missing the cut by four strokes).
STEARNS BACK MANAGING... John "Bad Dude" Stearns is back managing in baseball after working several years in the majors as a coach and/or scout. He is managing the Binghamton Mets, the New York Mets' AA farm team (Eastern League) in Binghamton, N.Y. Through games of May 21, the team was 19-22, but only five games out of the lead.
LEFTOVER NFL DRAFT NOTES... Colorado had six players selected in the 2003 National Football League draft, led by DT Tyler Brayton, the final pick of the first round by the Oakland Raiders (32nd overall). He was the first Buffalo defender to be selected in the first round in 10 years, dating back to 1993, when the Pittsburgh Steelers selected CB Deon Figures and the Philadelphia Eagle took DT Leonard Renfro... The six Buffs selected tied for the most in the Big 12 (with Texas A&M); there were 35 Big 12 players selected overall, as after the half dozen Buffaloes and Aggies being drafted, Kansas State, Nebraska, Oklahoma and Texas all had four players picked, with Missouri and Texas Tech netting two picks, and Baylor, Iowa State and Oklahoma State one... The SEC had the most players selected (43), followed by the Big 10 (36), Big 12 (35), Pac 10 (29), Big East (23) and the ACC (17)... Nationally, Colorado tied for the sixth most players selected; Florida, Miami and Tennessee all had eight players drafted, while Georgia and Notre Dame had seven. Colorado, Florida State, Michigan, Penn State and Texas A&M all had six, and Alabama, Illinois, Iowa, Ohio State and Southern California had five... The six CU players drafted were the most Buffs in a single draft since 1998, when six were also selected; the only years where more were drafted came in 1946 (8), 1962 (7), 1968 (7), 1972 (7), 1974 (10), 1975 (7), 1976 (11), 1977 (9), 1980 (7) 1991 (9) and 1995 (10)... With junior TB Chris Brown being selected in the third round by Tennessee, all six Buffaloes who have declared early for the NFL draft have been selected. DT Leonard Renfro ('93), TB Lamont Warren ('94), DT Shannon Clavelle and TB Rashaan Salaam ('95) and CB Ben Kelly ('00) were all juniors as well; Renfro and Salaam were first round picks, Brown joins Kelly as a third round selection, while Warren and Clavelle went in the sixth round.
LUCIER FEATURED... Wayne Lucier, snagged by the New York Giants in the seventh round (just watch this guy turn into a 10-year pro), is participating in a new feature on the club's website. He'll be answering questions all month on the Giants.com feature, "Q and A with the Giants 2003 Draft Class." Check it out on the Giants website.
RIEGEL STEPPING ASIDE... John Riegel, one of KKFN's (The Fan) long-time talk show hosts, is stepping aside, hopefully temporarily, to take care of some health issues. He's calling it a retirement for now, but having worked 18 years on the air, he wants to reach his personal goal of 20 years or beyond. John's niche was college sports, particularly college football, and he did a great job doing his homework and being one of the best-informed talk show hosts on the sport. He will be missed, but again, we hope his absence is short and he'll be back on the air again soon. For the time being, he'll turn to the pen and write some articles.
TOURNEY TIME... The women's basketball team will open its 2003-04 season with back-to-back-to-back tournaments... yes, three straight, all in November. CU will host the WBCA Classic on Nov. 14-15, which features CU, Auburn, Notre Dame and Old Dominion (wow!). Follow that with a Nov. 22-23 trip to Minneapolis for the University of Minnesota's tourney (Harvard joins CU and UM, with the fourth team TBA); then it'll be Coors Classic time on Nov. 28-29, with California, Idaho State and Lehigh heading to Boulder. Other non-league home games for Ceal Barry's Buffaloes include Washington (Dec. 9), Wyoming (Dec. 28), Syracuse (Dec. 30), and Buffalo (Jan. 3), with the other road games at Colorado State (Dec. 3) and USC (Dec. 21).
MOVE THE 3-POINT LINE BACK?... There's a recommendation on the table to move the three-point line in college back a few inches, and all I have to say is that it's about time. Currently at the top of the key (19 feet, 9 inches), the suggestion is to move it back nine inches to 20 feet, 6 inches. Personally, I'd like to see it close to or smack in the middle of where it is now and the NBA's (23-9), around 21-1 or 21-9. I think of all the top of the key jumpers guys like Jay Humphries, Scott Wedman and Emmett Lewis nailed and got two points, where everyone after 1986 received three, throwing all-time scoring out of whack. I love the three, a creation of the old American Basketball Association (which I still say helped revitalize the NBA after the '76 merger). CU men's basketball coach Ricardo Patton would like to see it moved back as well. "I think it should be, and I've always felt that way," he said. "There should be more of a premium for awarding three points than there is with where the line is now. Moving it back makes sense."
FIVE FORMER BUFFS IN EUROPE... NFL Europe, that is. Rashidi Barnes and Fred Jones are playing for the Frankfurt Galaxy, while John Minardi and Robbie Robinson are with the Scott Claymores. Most recently, Jessee Warren joined the Rhein Fire (he has nine tackles in three games). Through seven games with Frankfurt (4-3), Jones was the leading tackler (35) and Barnes was right behind him with 33 (and also led the team in interceptions with three). Scotland is 3-4, as Minardi has emerged as one of the league's top receivers (18 catches for 300 yards, 16.7 per, with 3 TDs), with Robinson topping the team in picks (2) to go with 17 tackles and pass deflections.
WHERE THEY ARE NOW... Former linebacker Michael Jones (1986-89) was in town for a wedding recently and dropped by the department. He is married and living in Richmond, Va., where he is the pastor at the Fourth Baptist Church. Jones is still seventh all-time at CU in tackles with 349, and is still seventh in solo stops (218). He led the Buffs in stops in both 1988 and 1989, and was one of the leaders of one of CU's best defenses ever as a senior in '89, helping the Buffs to an 11-0 regular season record and No. 1 ranking before the Buffs fell to Notre Dame in the Orange Bowl.
CLOSE TO HOME... Remember former CU assistant SID Matt "Cardinal lover" Finnigan? Well, his younger brother, Patrick, has been in Iraq. A Marine, he sent the family a letter telling that he was involved in some pretty heavy combat over there. He actually wrote the letter from Uday Hussein's palace. A 2,000-pound bomb had obliterated the main building, but he was writing from a guesthouse there. Matt said it sounded pretty intense; his armored unit took rocket-propelled grenade fire from the Fetayeen.
P-TUDES SURVEY... I was wondering what other events some of our season ticket holders might own season tickets to, so I did a quick straw poll with some of my readers and a few other fans. Of almost 100 people surveyed (97, actually), 66 owned season tickets to Colorado football. In order, here's what else, if anything, they owned tickets for: CU men's basketball (20), Denver Broncos (19), Colorado Rockies (18), CU Women's Basketball (8), Colorado Avalanche (6), Colorado College Hockey (1), Colorado Crush (1), Colorado Mammoth (1), Denver Center/Performing Arts (1), Minnesota Men's Hockey (1), Minnesota Twins (1), Minnesota Wild (1), New York Yankees (1). And yes, there was a respondent from Minnesota! Remember, this was about as unscientific as can be, but was kind of interesting to put together.
UPDATES... Those who have read the last two P-Tudes know we're monitoring two things. The Rocky Mountain News apparently has blown off publicly acknowledging UCB's Black Student Alliance's response to columnist Dave Krieger's insulting, uninformed, and who many deemed racist, piece. It's too bad, and obviously it's a dead issue with the News (but not so with our players, many of who ask all the time about their response). On my letter regarding the terrible job of color commentating done by Doris Burke during the NCAA Sweet 16 game between CU and Villanova, no response from either the NCAA or ESPN as of yet; but that's likely to be addressed next basketball season. Coach Ceal Barry also heard several complaints about Burke, who did zero homework relating to CU and it showed during her pro-Big East/Villanova analysis (if you could call it that) of our game.
PROMOTION... Congrats to former Buff football player Dale Bain, who was recently promoted to Lieutenant Colonel in the Marine Corps Unrestricted Reserve (4th Marine Division).
DENVER BUFF CLUB GOLF REMINDER... The inaugural Denver Buff Club Tournament is all set for Tuesday, June 24, at The Ridge at Castle Pines North golf course (a sweet golf track for those who have never played it). The shotgun start is at 1:30 p.m., and organizer Mark Helton promises a "terrific afternoon of golf, fun, food and drink." The DBC is in need of a few volunteers in the areas of corporate sponsors, marketing and advertising and pre- and post-tournament activities. Those interested should contact Mark at 303-663-1223 or via e-mail at email@example.com.
THE P-'TUDES MAILBAG... Some questions e-mailed in recently, the answers of which I felt were interesting or important enough to share.
Q: How will the potential ACC expansion affect the Big 12 and in particularly, Colorado?
A: The ripples will be felt in varying ways through college football, most likely with the BCS, but unless there's a huge domino effect that would lead to another conference raiding a Big 12 school (i.e. the Big 10 going after Iowa State or Missouri), it shouldn't affect CU all that much. We're watching closely, though, as we have future football games with Miami, Florida State and North Carolina, so we'll want to reconfirm those as well as see what other schools might become available as schedules change. While we're currently scheduling opponents beyond the year 2010, there are a few slots here and there leading into the next decade.
Q: The Bolder Boulder is coming up; it seems like a lot of CU track stars rarely participate-why is that?
A: There is a simple answer to that: the NCAA Championships are often either later that week or the following week, and our top performers usually qualify to run at nationals. Thus, their training regimens don't call for running in a competitive 10K so close to the NCAA's. However, our kids are quite visible at the event, often serving as timers and in other official capacities for the race.
1) Playing off my lead sentence above, did you see where the New York Times didn't own up with the recent controversy of phony, disgraceful reporting by Jayson Blair? Don't be shocked; there is a reason the Times is fourth in circulation in the New York metro area (remember, I have New York roots, and it was the last paper I'd read). The editors washed their hands of all improprieties, typical of that paper, which has a news side with a propensity for covering, and blowing out of proportion, the negative side of college athletics. Seems like we never do any good in this business according to them. It's too bad, because the sports people have always been great to work with, and on more than one occasion have apologized for their news-side brethren.
2) Coaches have been beat up all over the place due to the recent revelations regarding Larry Eustachy and Mike Price, and to an extent, Jan van Breda Kolff. Drew Litton (Rocky Mountain News) had a cartoon showing that college coaching leadership was crumbling. Well, if you do the math, that's three out of the 443 Division I-A football and men's basketball coaches, or less than seventh-tenths of one percent. That doesn't include assistants, who have just as big if not bigger role in guiding student-athletes, and a boatload of administrators. But hopefully you read Terry Frei's column in the Denver Post entitled, "Welcome to age of hyperbole" that ran the week of May 12. It kinds of tied those thoughts to the recent dilemma with the media's own Bob Ryan (Boston Globe columnist). It's a must read for the proper perspective not only on coaches, but on the media as well.
Now Ryan, who makes no bones ever about what coach should be canned, put himself in a similar situation by saying something incredibly dumb. Should he have been fired? I say yes-but mainly because he had the rare opportunity at the time to apologize (in fact, twice), and was so arrogant that he refused to do so. Would he give the same break to those he covers? I seriously doubt it. Sorry Bob, you come off being Joe "tough guy" every time we see your face on TV, so you have a price to pay like the people you choose to criticize as well. One P-Tudes reader, Victor Morales, summed up the situation as good as I've heard:
"This is the kind of stuff I was talking about earlier when I referenced the 'ESPN-ization' of sports. You just can't give the scores and voice an opinion anymore. You gotta have a schtick, a 'take', a buzzword, a trademark - and be controversial and loud while you do it. It's why Rome pulls in huge ratings. It's 'guy talk' disguised as a legit talk show. People like Jack Whitaker, Jim McKay - even Cosell - wouldn't make it today. Ryan sold his soul for the sake of exposure and ratings and deserves everything he gets."
3) The BCS. If in fact the ACC expands to 12 teams and a two-division format, the BCS could quiet a lot of its detractors by adding a fifth game. Personally, I'm a fan of the BCS and don't want to see a playoff, as I love the uniqueness of the bowls. By adding a fifth game, which could potentially come out of a pool including the Holiday, Cotton or any of three other New Year's Day games in Florida, that would afford the following: all six division champions from the Big 12, SEC and ACC would earn automatic berths along with the champions of the Big 10 and Pac 10. Then the two at-large spots could go to a highly ranked team from any other conference, or to division or conference runner-up that finished 10-1 but lost the title on tiebreakers. Remember, a second team from a conference earned an additional $4.5 million from the BCS, so the payments can be worked where the BCS wouldn't need to come up with that much more dough to pull it off; the addition of one more game will provide most of the income.
THIS WEEK'S NUMBER... 74.02. That's the final career stroke average of Stephen Carroll, the eighth best-ever posted in CU men's golf history. Carroll, who played 111 career rounds (tying for 11th all-time), was the program's first four-time, first-team academic all-league selection and recently earned academic all-district honors.
TRIVIA ANSWERS: CU-- 1985: Mark Hatcher, a sophomore, did play the previous year, but was temporarily moved to halfback for most of the year; his only passing attempt came on a halfback option play. Seinfeld--D. The daughter of Melville's owner John Hill on Cheers was driven to an insane asylum by George (and she lost Jerry's taxes); Fred Savage was approached by Kramer when he was in L.A. trying to make it in Hollywood; and the janitor (Carl) from "The Breakfast Club," John Kapelos, handled investments for Jerry and the gang but was allergic to mohair, causing all to suspect things were afoul.
"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 firstname.lastname@example.org, and the subject may appear in the next Plati-'Tudes.