Oct. 29, 2002
A notes column penned by David Plati, who is in his 19th year as Colorado's Assistant Athletic Director for Media Relations.
Just seven more days until... NO MORE POLITICAL ADS! You will not find Plati-'Tudes paid for by some out of state lobbyist types angling their special interests and agendas on this column. No way! This is straight-forward, honest stuff. PAID FOR BY PEOPLE SUPPORTING PLATI FOR EMPEROR OF ITALY COMMITTEE.
TRIVIA QUESTIONS... CU-CU takes an 8-0-1 record in its last nine games against Oklahoma into this weekend's game against the Sooners. Who was CU's quarterback and where was the game when the streak started? Godfather-In Godfather III, who played the bit part as a reporter trying to get an interview with Michael Corleone?
GOOD LUCK, GORDIE... He left without fanfare, but the Fox Sports Rocky Mountain didn't renew Gordie Hershiser's contract, and he left the airways this week. He was good to work with, but he was also a dying breed-the local television anchor/reporter who made daily calls to the area sports teams to get a pulse on what was going on. That sort of personal contact has gone the way of many old school things. He'd call and check facts, rumors, or simply to see what was new. In this day of juvenile talk show and sports update hosts, people who have accomplished nothing more in their lives than the ability to articulate criticism of others, Gordie was a breath of fresh air, regardless of whether you liked him on the air or not.
ONE LITTLE WORD MAKES A WORLD OF DIFFERENCE... For those of you who noticed in Saturday's Boulder Camera that I could not be reached for comment on a news-side story Friday, the reason was the reporter didn't try to contact me until around 7 p.m., leaving me a message at home. Told me to call her back by 10. Well, I was at the office until 8:30, and she never tried there, even though the night before when she did the same thing, calling me at home after 8 p.m. I got that message, and told her I usually work late. But on Friday, no call to the office to try and fine me first. Nope. Then I went out to dinner and wasn't home until well after 11.
Now while we always appreciate the opportunity to respond, the thing is, people, she surrely received info on these stories during the day. Why not place the call before 5 p.m., when there's always the chance to get people to respond, and probably someone other than the PR guy? Though it might not have been the case in this instance, quite often it's how they want to set the story up. Something juicy or sexy in their eyes can look better when people aren't available to comment--we must be hiding something if we can't be reached.
Now, if she had written that I couldn't be reached for comment Friday night, that puts that part of the story in an entirely different, not to mention, accurate light. John Q. Public knows that a heckuva lot of people can't be found on a Friday night. And it was disappointing, because my experience with this particular reporter, Christine Reid, has been professional and most cordial, despite the sensitive subjects we have had to deal with.
I would have asked for a correction, but if even acknowledged, it's usually newspaper policy to run them where people never see them. Want proof of that?-when two newspapers, including the Camera, incorrectly stated earlier this month that Dick Tharp, and not Bill Marolt, had hired Rick Neuheisel, guess where the corrections were? Yep, page two, nowhere near where the errors were. So I didn't want my correction run on page 8 of Section G, underneath an ad selling topsoil from old cemeteries.
Just another proof-positive example of why the general public must be wary of certain things you read nowadays. And that is a shame, not to mention dangerous. That's why it's my advice after working in this business for 24 years to always take the "couldn't be reached for comment" with a grain of salt.
ATTACK OF THE CORN... No, CU and Nebraska are not playing in October; it's the latest hairstyle craze for two Buffaloes you would least suspect of wearing their hair in cornrows. TE Quinn Sypniewski donned the look on Oct. 21, and of course, OG Marwan Hage had to follow suit three days later. They actually don't look too bad; Marwan, who speaks four languages fluently, probably has four different names for his do; Quinn, being from the land of corn (Iowa), will be the talk of the SID office when he returns to work here in January.
CONGRATS TO CU, DePAEPE... Congratulations are in order for CU and its turf manager, Jason DePaepe, as Colorado earned the 2002 Sports Turf Manages Association (STMA) Football Field of the Year Award for the college/university division. Five judges selected winners among entries from the 2,400-plus membership of STMA, deciding CU had the best marks in the criteria demanded for the award, including appearance, facility design, use that impacts the playing surface, maintenance, and innovative solutions to over come problems. So a big round of applause is due Jason and his crack staff.
THANKS A LOT, RED... Anyone see "Know Him From Adam" in last Sunday's Denver Post? Adam Schefter interviewed Re Auerbach, who's answer to his worst all-time draft pick was: "Bill Green. Good ballplayer. Played at the University of Colorado. After we got him, we found out he wouldn't fly." Except he played at Colorado State, Red, as confirmed by John "Hoops" Meadows, who said he was in fact, a pretty darn good player. It was refreshing to see a story on Red where he didn't go off on the old American Basketball Association, something he didn't look good in doing when he did so in HBO's look at the ABA about five years ago. (Hey, my first pro game other than minor league baseball was a New Orleans Buccaneers at Denver Rockets game at Denver Coliseum, okay?).
CU GOLF "LINKS" TO THE NFL... The men's golf team has an interesting link to the National Football League, as freshman Edward McGlasson (IV) is the son of Ed McGlasson, who played with both the Los Angeles Rams and New York Giants in the 1980s. The elder McGlasson played his college ball at Youngstown State; the younger McGlasson is already making an impact for the Buffs, as he is one of three true freshmen who have cracked Coach Mark Simpson's travel squad.
THE NCAA GRAD RATE FORMULA... It's that time of the year, when the NCAA issues its graduation rate report and member schools have to often scramble to explain a low number. Take for example our football and women's basketball rates of 38 and 0 percent, respectively. Because the NCAA has never allowed for transfer students, those numbers are greatly affected.
This year's report was for the 1995-96 incoming freshman class, which numbered 24 in football and two in women's basketball at Colorado. Of the 24 football players, eight transferred, seven in good academic standing; most of the others are playing professionally and haven't finished up their degree work. So a better number would be to subtract the seven that transferred from the count of 24, meaning the rate jumps to a more respectable 53 percent (a number we still would like to see higher). Both of the women's basketball players transferred; one (Erika Bradford) to be closer to home, and the other (Michelle Hasheider) after she had six different surgeries and had to give up the game. They both graduated from other schools, but count against us and don't count for the others.
It's all based on sort of a utopia; count those who graduate only from the school they initially enroll. But I point out his: if 100 students enter college, and 90 graduate, that graduation rate should be 90 percent. But, only 65 graduated from their first school; 25 went on to graduate elsewhere. Should the rate be 90 percent (yes) or 65 percent, the number currently recognized by all these studies. In reality, the overall graduation rate is probably 15-20 points higher than listed now, both for the regular student body and student-athletes, as this is the formula used to calculate graduation rates.
We also know of several examples of other schools not even accounting for their transfers; without naming schools, think of two prominent basketball programs (one women's, one men's) that usually get publicity around March Madness for having 100 percent graduation rates, yet our basketball people know these schools have had transfers.
And what about junior college transfers? They don't exist in calculating the formula, they're Nosferatu (you have to be a Dracula fan). And it sure would be interesting to see the grad rates of JUCOs at those schools around the country that regularly sign eight or more. If they're graduating, great; that story should be out there.
The bottom line here is that CU just had a record 80 percent of its athletes who have exhausted their eligibility graduate for the '95-96 group, a much better reflection on what really is going on. And the good news is that changes are likely in store that will finally acknowledge the transfer plight.
SPEAKING OF THE NCAA... The rumor, though no official notification has come yet, is that the NCAA will begin to count bowl statistics among season totals in football beginning this year. Now I don't know the reasoning behind this, but if what I have heard is true, it mean s that bowl stats will now count in both season and career stats beginning this year, as far as NCAA records are concerned.
Well, to me, this makes little sense. And it didn't to my Big 12 colleagues either, as we voted 12-0 as SID's last May not to count them. Our reasons were many, but mainly that if you weren't going to go back and count them in previous years, we can't arbitrarily start now. Here's a problem I see: Eric Bieniemy is our leading career rusher with 3,940 yards. He's currently coaching Chris Brown. Let's say Brown finishes his career with 3,920 yards. But under the new formula, Brown's bowl stats for his junior and senior years would count; let's say he has 300 in those games, giving him 4,220. Now in the NCAA's eyes, he's Colorado's career leading rusher, even though we know Bieniemy had 296 bowl yards and a combined total of 4,236. Oh, and to further complicate it, the 30 yards Brown had as a sophomore in the Fiesta Bowl won't count toward his career total. Record books would not match and there would be discrepancies all over the place.
Now I do see why the NCAA doesn't want to go back and add bowl games in for one reason--it would change who was crowned a season statistical champion. Bieniemy had 1,628 yards in 1990, second in the nation, but his total jumps to 1,714 including 86 in the Orange Bowl, enough to make him the retroactive rushing champ. But I think the simple remedy here is just note in the record book that yearly champions included bowl stats beginning in 2002, but to let the schools merge all the stats together, especially in career totals.
And furthermore, one argument before the NCAA to count them was the fact that all other sports rolled their postseason stats into the season cumulative total. But my counter argument to that is, what other sports has anywhere from three-to-seven weeks between the regular season and postseason? The entire complexion of teams can change, and a team can scheme for a month to stop one player. Remember the '95 Fiesta Bowl? Notre Dame basically contained Rashaan Salaam, has he ad 85 yards on 26 carries (but 3 TDs), but in doing so, Kordell Stewart went nuts, gaining 143 yards on seven carries. Neither was reflective of season stats, and with only the standard week to prepare, Notre Dame likely would not have done as effective job with Salaam.
A stat change they should make is the big one--quarterback sacks are still deducted from rushing. This has always been terribly deceiving, as teams that pass a lot suffer more sacks. Just look at us in 1984: we lost 476 yards to sacks that came off rushing (in the NFL, it's deducted from team passing yardage). We were last in the nation in rushing at 59.7 yards per game, though the actual number was 103.2, almost double. And we would have escaped the basement.
Just a stat geek's two cents worth!
FROM THE P-'TUDES MAILBAG... Some assorted questions received lately, so I'll share the answers with all:
Q: You always hear there are something like 30 cameras at a Super Bowl. How many does ABC or ESPN utilize at a CU game? A: Good question. I asked Bob Goodrich, producer extraordinaire with ABC on their visit in for the Kansas State game, and they used 13 for the game. That includes all areas, press box, sidelines, scoreboard, etc. Sounds like 12-to-16 is about the norm for a game of the week.
Q: When will we know the dates for Big 12 Conference football games for 2004 and beyond? A: The conference is finalizing those, and by December, we should have 2004 through possibly 2010 or later.
Q: Are the suites and club seats on schedule for being completed by 2003? A: Yes, they are. I believe they were well ahead of schedule before the recent run of bad weather, so these snowy days we've had shouldn't cause any problems.
Q: When do CU and CSU play in basketball? A: The women host Colorado State on Thursday, Dec. 12; the men host the rams on Wednesday, Jan. 7.
A NEW BUFF IS BORN... Congrats to CU football letterman Jason Perkins, along with wife Megan (CU '97) welcomed Jack Joseph Perkins into the word on April 5 of this year (that will tell you how far behind I am in P-'Tudes notes). Jack checked in at 7 pounds and 20 inches. The family resides in Denver, and Jason also started a new job last April, at EDS (Electronic Data Systems) in April. He sells electronic financial transaction processing to banks and credit unions are you still awake. Jason's father, Jim, lettered at tackle at CU from 1959-61, and Jason was a member of three Big Eight champion and the '90 national championship team, playing O-line between 1988-91. Jason's already promoting Jack as a "third generation CU offensive lineman."
THIS WEEK'S NUMBER... 5-0-1. That's the record the CU women's soccer team has posted over its last six games, the best record for a six-game stretch since the program was born in 1996. Second-year coach Bill Hempen has coached the Buffaloes into the programs fourth appearance in the Big 12 Championship tournament, which begin Nov. 7 in San Antonio. CU has never won a tournament game, but if it can defeat Nebraska in Lincoln this Friday, CU could enter this year's tourney as the No. 3 seed.
TRIVIA ANSWERS: CU-- Darian Hagan was at the controls when Colorado defeated Oklahoma, 20-3, in Norman on Oct. 28, 1989. Godfather--- Bridget Fonda... who's invited to call me any time at 303-492-5626 and ask me to lunch.
"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.