March 27, 2000
A weekly notes column penned by David Plati, who is in his 16th year as Colorado's Assistant Athletic Director for Media Relations.
The second edition of "Plati-'Tudes" for your perusal. Thanks to those of you who dropped me E-mails expressing that you like this concept as well as suggesting topics you'd like to know more about.
NEW FIELDHOUSE... To answer questions submitted by several of you, we are still very much in the planning stages regarding the possible new fieldhouse/athletic center. We haven't gone public because there are many University policies that we must as well as choose to adhere to. As for the rumor that the GBSF has not been involved in any of the work, well, it's just that-a rumor. And quite a ridiculous one if you think about it. The GBSF staff has comprised most of the people in the planning meetings and is as involved as can be. So chalk it up to a bad Internet gossip, folks. Trust me, if and hopefully when this comes to fruition, it's gonna knock your socks off!
TELEVISION & FOOTBALL GAME TIMES... We've already been getting a lot of inquiries regarding football game times this fall. Here's a synopsis, which the ticket office included in last summer's season ticket mailing.
The Big 12 Conference has a contract with ABC Sports as well as FOX Sports when it comes to football television. Thus, ABC and FOX own all the television rights of every home game by all Big 12 schools in return for an annual payment to the Big 12, which is then divided among the member institutions.
ABC has the first right of selection for every weekend of the season; FOX then selects two games, one to air in prime time via its FOX Sports Net system (5:00 p.m. MT), and the other to show via syndication (10:30 a.m. MT). The balance of ABC's games air at 1:30 p.m. MT, with an occasional game in prime time or on a non-Saturday (as is the case with the CU-Nebraska game). FOX will occasionally televise a doubleheader, thus the very rare 8 p.m. MT start is a remote possibility. All road games at non-Big 12 schools are subject to the television rights holder of the opposing team and its conference.
The contract calls for games the first three weeks of September to be selected by June 15 (though often done earlier). Starting with the last weekend(s) in September, games are selected by ABC within a 12-day window, meaning two Mondays before the date of the game (although ABC might select a few others in advance, such as CU at Washington this year and the traditional Thanksgiving weekend rivalry games). The exception to this is that on two occasions per year, ABC can choose to wait to pick its game the Monday before the scheduled game (the 6-day window). FOX cannot select its games until ABC makes its choice, so it is directly affected.
ABC televises most of its games on a regional basis, and makes them available to the rest of the country through its pay-per-view plan. The FOX Sports Net games in prime time are national; they clear all their systems to televise them, and if for some reason they cannot (a rare occurrence), shift the game to its fX outlet, a national cable network. The syndicated games are available in a package that local television stations must purchase (in the Denver area, that is KTVD, Channel 20). Satellite coordinates are not available for ABC games, as they have scrambled signals, but usually are available for FOX games at their regular locations on satellite dish systems.
If ABC and FOX both pass on a game, that game can only be televised if the kickoff and finish would occur outside of the contractual window, which is 10:30 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. MT. That means for CU to televise games not selected, we'd have to go with a kickoff time that is either absurdly early (7 a.m.) or extremely late (8:30 p.m.), and those obviously inconvenience all of us. But that's why there is no television of games not selected by ABC or FOX.
ALL-DECADE FOOTBALL PROGRESS REPORT... While we won't reveal vote totals by position, though as of Sunday, we had over 950 total ballots cast, two positions in particular are waging tight battles. As expected, inside linebacker is the closest, with only 64 votes separating the top three: Ted Johnson, Greg Biekert and Matt Russell. At offensive guard, only three votes separate Heath Irwin and Joe Garten, as they appear to be battling to join Chris Naeole, who has a sizeable lead at this point. At both positions, two of the three will make the first-team. It is our webmaster, Curtis Snyder's, hope that at least 3,000 will vote in this inaugural selection on the new web-site. To follow later this spring and summer will be similar teams for men's and women's basketball and women's volleyball.
CALKINS UPDATE... No one's really followed up on it, but CU graduate and Indy car driver Buzz Calkins was injured in last Sunday's IRL race in Phoenix. He was released from the hospital early last week, and reports are that he's still pretty sore but is up and walking around. Our best to Buzz for a quick recovery.
CONGRATS... Our own Lindsay Anhold was rated as one of the nation's top soccer SIDs-No. 15 actually, by soccerbuzz.com. Called the "1999 Excellence in Sports Info" she also was ranked third in the Central Region, behind the flaks at Kansas and Vanderbilt. Way to go, Lindsay!
GOLFERS IN CALIFORNIA... The men's golf team is in California this week, taking part in the CU-Stevinson Ranch Invitational, set for Monday and Tuesday (March 27-28). Coach Mark Simpson got this meet off the ground last year as a way to have a tournament featuring several teams from CU's NCAA district (5) compete in what's likely to be decent weather conditions every year. Why Stevinson, Calif., which is 863 miles west of Boulder? Because former CU golfer George Kelley, who played for the Buffs in the early 1970s like Simpson, owns Stevinson Ranch and wanted to do something to help the program. The course (7,029 yards, par-72) is a solid test of golf and the inaugural tournament in 1999 proved quite popular. CU (ranked No. 31 in the nation) and Kansas (No. 33) are the favorites, and the Jayhawks are looking to defend their title.
SPEAKING OF CALIFORNIA... Have you ever wondered what ever happened to Cliff Branch, one of the most popular and fastest players in CU history? He's working in California, playing in a few celebrity golf tournaments, and is about to become a grandfather. Son Brent, who played at CU in 1987 and 1988, married the daughter of Morris Bradshaw, one of Branch's teammates when he was with the Oakland Raiders. Talking to him earlier this week, he said he plans to return to Boulder some day soon, as he's missed spending time here and hasn't been back since his son played in the late '80s.
DID YOU NOTICE? ... When Lex Butler won the 60-meter hurdles at the Big 12 Indoor Track Championships, it marked the first victory by the Buffs in short distance hurdles since 1974. That's when Ohene Karikari won the Big Eight title for the second straight year in the 60-yard "low hurdles" (college track has since gone to one standard hurdle height). But CU continues to dominate longer distances-when freshman Jorge Torres won the 5,000-meter run at the Big 12, it was the fourth straight title by a Buff (and the sixth in the last seven years).
"Plati-'Tudes" serves to feature those stories that may not get much play from the mainstream media; and offers CU's take on issues raised by those who have an interest in the program; answers questions and concerns; and offers 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.