The Hokie Hotline (football and basketball season)
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Tech Talk Tuesday (football season only)
February 18, 2002
Mondayís Hokie Hotline featured Virginia Tech athletic director Jim Weaver and head basketball coach Ricky Stokes.
Jim Weaver discussed a variety of topics, including the south end zone stadium expansion and the much-anticipated pre-season game next season.
South End Zone Expansion
Weaver announced that the south end zone expansion remains on schedule and said that "there is no question" that it will be done. The forms for three of the rakers have been removed and preparations are being made to install cross beams to provide additional support to these rakers. The fourth raker is nearing completion and the forms are being installed for the fifth.
Ticket sales for the premium seats in the expansion area are going well. The deadline for order forms was last Friday, but Weaver said he hasnít had a chance to check on the status of the sales. He said he believes that the touchdown terrace seats may have sold out and the zone club seats are approximately 70% sold. The goal line stands have not sold as well as expected, but Weaver said that he believes that they will become more popular.
Weaver said that heís "very frustrated" over the status of the pre- season game. He said that a rule was passed in mid-January that no NCAA committee or staff member could grant a waiver on these types of games beyond 2002. Since Tech is scheduled to host ECU in the 2004 BCA game, an exemption would be required, and they have been granted over and over in recent seasons.
Tech is appealing the ruling to the NCAA. The case thatís being made is that this game should count as the 2000 BCA game that was not played, and the four-year clock would start again in 2004. The point was made that several other schools have been granted these waivers, including Virginia, who played Wisconsin last year and will play Colorado State this coming season. Other examples given were Florida State and BYU.
Toward the end of his segment, Bill Roth asked Weaver when he thought the issue would be finalized. He said that it couldnít extend much more than another week in order to send out season ticket packages. Otherwise, Tech may have to give up the opportunity. It was confirmed that the opponent would be Arkansas State on Sunday, August 25.
One of the callers asked about the reseating of the home side of the football stadium. Weaver said that no decision has yet been made, but that heís asked some of the organizations, such as the Hokie Club, to begin working on a plan for reseating. He stressed that it would not be a decision that would be made by a single individual, but that all groups would have a part in it. He closed the issue by saying that no reseating would be done until all of the construction had been finished.
Weaver concluded his part of the show by discussing some of the changes in the menís soccer program. The former coach had been at Tech for 28 years and asked the administration to allow him to stay for another two years in order to get to 30 years for his retirement. He has taken a position as the associate head coach, and the former assistant coach from North Carolina will be the new head coach.
There will be a new venue for soccer next year, as the games will be played in the area west of the old football practice fields. The proceeds from the 13th football game would be used to fund a new 3000 to 4000 seat soccer stadium. The two issues that Tech needed to address to meet BIG EAST standards were the amount of scholarship money and the number of full-time coaches. These issues have now been addressed
The two non-scholarship players on the basketball team, K.C. Gilbert and Barrett Watson, had called earlier in the program, and Roth asked Ricky Stokes to comment on their contributions to the team. Stokes said that they added a lot to the team. He said that he had been very up front with them prior to bringing them on the team, and that he wanted it to be a positive and rewarding experience for both sides. He said that they had been to all the practices and had contributed a lot to the program. He commented that he thought Barrett Watson was living a dream.
A caller asked if the fact that the Hokies will not make the BIG EAST tournament for the second year in a row is hurting recruiting. Coach Stokes said that he is using it as a positive in recruiting, telling potential recruits that they can be the ones who get Tech to the tournament. He said that he feels the team is getting more competitive, and that they need to continue to close the gap. The coaches finished recruiting early this year, which gave them an opportunity to go out and look at this yearís juniors in preparation for next yearís recruiting season.
Roth said that he had received several e-mails from fans asking why Brian Chase had played so few minutes in the second half of the St. Johnís game over the weekend. Stokes said that he had gotten in early foul trouble, and that he was trying to find anyone to guard Marcus Hatten. He wanted a bigger player to guard him, because Hatten had been taking advantage of the smaller players.
Providence is Techís next opponent, and Roth and Stokes discussed the upcoming matchup. In their last game, Stokes said that the team came out a little nervous against the press and got behind early. They battled back well and had the lead at the final TV timeout before falling to the Friars. They discussed ways to play Providence guard John Linehan, including keeping an eye on him when Tech has the ball so that he doesnít make too many big defensive plays.
Stokes announced his selections for the 1st team all-American team. They included Jason Williams and Mike Dunleavy from Duke, Juan Dixon from Maryland, Gooden from Kansas and Caron Butler from Connecticut.. His national defensive player of the year is John Linehan from Providence.
-- Apex Hokie