A weekly notes column penned by David Plati, who is in his 17th year as Colorado's Assistant Athletic Director for Media Relations.
It's been an Olympic kind of week at CU, as we congratulate three alums who have made the U.S. team for the Summer Games. since we share the Fieldhouse Annex with the track teams, all of us in athletic media relations take extra joy in their accomplishments!
TRIVIA QUESTIONS... CU -- Who was the University of Colorado's first Olympian? Godfather -- In Godfather I, which of Sollozzo's men drives him, Michael, and Captain McCluskey to the restaurant, and what did Michael wonder out loud?
TRIO OF OLYMPIANS... Three former CU track and field stars qualified last week for the 2000 Summer Olympics this September in Sydney, Australia. Adam Goucher (5,000-meter run), Alan Culpepper (10,000-meter run) and Karol Damon (high jump) brings the number of Olympians who have ties to the University of Colorado to 51, by far the most in the Big 12 Conference (thanks to the skiers through the years). Damon and Goucher both won their finals, while Culpepper missed winning by four-hundredths of a second, as nine Buffs in all participated in this year's trials. Their roll call (*-denotes current CU student-athlete):
10,000-meter run (made team: second in final)
5,000-meter run (ninth in final)
Shayne Wille Culpepper
1500-meter run (fourth in final)
5,000-meter run (seventh in final)
high jump (made team: won final)
10,000-meter run (fourth in final)
5,000-meter run (made team: won final)
400-meter hurdles (fifth in preliminary heat)
steeplechase (sixth in preliminary heat)
3,000-meter steeplechase (fifth in final)
5,000-meter run (eighth in final)
McMAHON UPDATE/THANK YOU... As expected, Tom McMahon, CU's co-defensive coordinator and secondary coach who has been undergoing treatment for lung cancer, returned to work today with the football coaching staff for their first meetings ahead of the 2000 season. He was diagnosed with the illness in late June, and began chemotherapy on July 7 and radiation treatments the following week. McMahon stated back then that he fully intended to return to work with the rest of the staff.
"Everything is going as scheduled, and I am feeling pretty good," McMahon said Monday afternoon, kidding me that so far he has kept all his hair and hopefully won't be looking like this particular columnist any time soon. He is truly in great spirits and has maintained his sense of humor, and will be up for re-evaluation the first week of August at the CU Health Sciences Center in Denver.
Typical of Tom, he feels bad that he won't be able to immediately answer all the cards, letters, phone calls and E-mails that he has received. "I want to thank everyone for their thoughts, prayers and support," he said. "It's been just incredible, and everything I've received has been tremendously appreciated by myself and my family. It's been uplifting."
BIENIEMY RETIRES... Eric Bieniemy, who finished third in the balloting for the Heisman in helping CU to the national championship in 1990, has retired from professional football. I ran into Eric, who turns 30 on August 15, over the weekend in Boulder (he was with another recent retiree, Deon Figures, and current Buff grad assistant, Vance Joseph), and after nine years in the NFL, he has decided to call it quits. His final statistics from four years with both San Diego and Cincinnati and one year with Philadelphia total 1,589 yards and 11 touchdowns rushing, 146 catches for 1,223 receiving yards, 36 punt returns for 276 yards, and 79 kickoff returns for a 20.5 average per and one touchdown.
THIS WEEK'S NUMBER... 8. It's been widely suggested that Colorado has one of the toughest schedules in the nation this year, and research based on 1999 records upholds that. CU's 11 opponents in 2000 combined for a 79-53 record last year, a 59.8 winning percentage, which places the schedule as the eighth toughest based purely on record. Iowa (85-45, 65.4%) and Ohio State (85-47, 64.4%) check in at 1-2, while the Buffs have the toughest slate in the Big 12, ahead of Missouri (76-54, 58.%) and Kansas (74-54, 58.8%). The following charts shows the top 20 schedules in the nation, as well as the entire Big 12:
|San Diego State||72-56||.563|
|Other Big 12|
FOOTBALL MEDIA GUIDE UPDATE... For those of you who have ordered the 2000 Colorado Football Media Guide, it's at the printer and is due out around August 8. We'll drop them in the mail then. What's on the cover, you ask? A huge gold CU helmet with a peak from Rocky Mountain National Park in the background. As to why not players, we rarely do that; there's seldom a natural cut-off point, so if you put two players on the cover, a third or fourth will wonder, "Why not me." Or the seventh if you put six on, as was the case in '96 when we had six on the back. And there is no shortage of scenic shots from the state, so the challenge is how to integrate CU football into them.
GRADUATED BUFFALOES... We received a request to list our graduates for the past academic year, and it's a great idea. Forty-seven athletes graduated in 1999-2000; here's the complete list (includes athletes who did not complete their careers for medical kreasons):
|Fall 1999 Graduates|
|Anna Bek Women's||Tennis|
|Michelle Thomas||Women's Golf|
|Janey Visosky||Women's Track|
|Spring 2000 Graduates|
CONDOLENCES... To the family of Bill Scheitler, who passed away from complications due to cancer last week at the age of 63. The funeral was today, with the mass at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Denver, and this great man was honored with a great turnout. Scheitler's family, from his in-laws, the Iacino's, to his children have several connections with CU and are great Buff fans. Mayor Wellington Webb and state senator Rob Hernandez, among others eulogized the one-time Denver City councilman who did a lot of good for the city of Denver behind the scenes. Bill and his father in-law, Joe Iacino, helped coin the phrase "Orange Crush Defense" for the Broncos back in 1977, and started the first corporate partnership in sports, between the Broncos and the Hires Bottling Co. Our best go out the entire Scheitler family.
TRIVIA ANSWERS... CU -- David Bolen, in track (sprints) in 1948. Godfather -- The driver was Lou, and Michael said, "We're going to Jersey?" right before Lou did a 180 on the George Washington Bridge and headed back to Louis' Restaurant in the Bronx.
"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.