Tuesday, March 25th, 1997
Edmond First to be Convicted
On Monday, Tyron Edmond became the first Tech football player to be convicted in the ongoing Brawl trials. Edmond was convicted of misdemeanor assault and battery and was given 30 days in jail, with all but two suspended. This is standard operating procedure with first-offense 30-day jail terms. Generally, the convicted person just winds up spending a weekend in jail.
After Hawkes's acquittal last Friday, I was beginning to think that none of the football players were going to be convicted, despite the fact that something obviously went on that night. The Judge said that statements that Edmond made to the police about striking Hilliard Sumner's friend, Jonothan Nelson, led him to convict Edmond. Up until he was convicted, the prosecution had been interestingly inept at building a case. Previous trials had consisted of only one witness for the prosecution, Hilliard Sumner himself.
In any event, Edmond's status with the football team had not been settled as of Monday night. Also, Brian Edmonds was supposed to go to trial as well on Monday, but no mention was made of him during the six o'clock news. Be sure to check out The Roanoke Times for full coverage. Their stories are likely to be in their front page section, not the Sports section, so go to www.roanoke.com.
Hokies Show Tony Morrison the Door
The rumors had been flying that Tony Morrison was not in good standing with the Hokie football team, and on Monday, he was dismissed by Coach Frank Beamer. In a statement released Monday, Beamer said, "Tony Morrison is no longer a member of the Virginia Tech football team. This decision was made after a meeting between Tony and me." Beamer said that he will have no further comment on the matter and that everyone at Virginia Tech wishes Tony well in his future endeavors.
This ends a checkered career for Morrison. He has been troubled since the very moment he set foot on Tech's campus, being accused by former Tech student Christy Brzonkala of raping her, way back in August of 1994 (Brzonkala also accused wide receiver James Crawford in the incident). Brzonkala's allegations against Morrison and Crawford were just the beginning of Tech's long string of bad press, and it almost seems like ancient history now.
Morrison was a Top-5 recruit who was a pretty good football player but never developed into a star while he was at Virginia Tech. It's hard to say how this year, his senior year, would have gone for him, and now we'll never know.
Last Week's Off the Field News - a Recap
Edmonds, Crawford Drop Lawsuit: late last week, Brian Edmonds and James Crawford dropped their multimillion defamation lawsuit against their accuser. All indications are that at least Edmonds will refile at a later date. In particular, Edmonds is going to wait until the conclusion of April's NFL draft to refile. At that point, he and his attorneys will be able to better quantify the "damage done" to his pro prospects by the alleged victim's allegations.
Hawkes acquitted: on Friday, Michael Hawkes, the third defendant in the Brawl cases, had his case dismissed. The prosecution seems unable to produce any witnesses other than Hilliard Sumner who can positively identify who beat him up. The only witnesses called to the stand so far, other than Sumner, are football players who are defending each other.
Last Week's On the Field News - a Recap
The Football Team Gets Down to Business: Spring Practice started Saturday - this Spring practice session is as important as the 1995 Spring session, the season after Maurice DeShazo left and the Hokies were searching for a new QB. Two years ago, Al Clark lost the battle to Jim Druckenmiller after Clark sprained an ankle early in the Spring and Jim stepped up his game.
Since then, Al has watched and waited for two years, and I'm sure it's been a long two years. The comments by the coaching staff indicate that Al has been working like mad for the honor that is about to be thrust upon him. Here's hoping that his success on the field matches his work habits off the field.
The Chiefs Legions of Fans Grow, While His Willingness to Return to the CBA Shrinks: It sounds like Jimmy Carruth is living a dream come true. The Chief's agent, Jim Clibanoff, tells us that Jimmy will be signed to a second consecutive 10-day contract with the Bucks, after displaying hustle and a great attitude (absolutely no surprise on either count) during his first stint with the Bucks. Clibanoff has forwarded the text of some Milwaukee newspaper articles to his "Carruth Update" email list, and the content of the articles indicate that nothing has changed with the Chief since he left Blacksburg.
The papers are alternately calling Jimmy "Mr. Excitement" and "Jumping Jimmy," and they describe how Carruth, who is quickly becoming a fan favorite (again, no surprise), bubbles over with enthusiasm at all times. They talk about how he works hard in practice and often leads the crowd in cheers from his position on the bench. Carruth is a breath of fresh air in the spoiled-rotten world of professional athletes, just a hard-working guy who is happy to be there. Jimmy dedicated a basket he scored in his second outing to everyone who sent him email and encouraged him. That's US he's talking about, folks.
All of this is happening while the Bucks are slogging their way through the end of a losing season, "mailing in" game after effortless game while they wait for their coach, Chris Ford, to get fired. Jimmy must stand out like a giant sore thumb in that morose crowd.
Excellent Info from the Screaming Lizard
Note from Will: the Screaming Lizard, one of the best and most reliable sources of Tech recruiting info on the Internet, attended a Pulaski Hokie Club meeting recently and got the scoop from Tech's coaches on the new recruits. The Lizard was kind enough to forward the following to me, so pull up a chair and check out his report on what went down (note that the Hokie Central grammar police are on break, as I'm printing the Lizard's brief report nearly word-for-word):
Charlie Wiles and Bustle were the coaches in attendance. Wiles is a good, young, personable coach. He Cracked the group up when he looked around before he started speaking then said, "Man, a keg of beer in the corner and a crock pot full of beanie weenies. This is my kind of place."
Notes on recruits:
Fork Union film was poor. Couldn't tell anything about Kadela. Did have one play from Carter at TE running a post corner and showing decent speed.
Robertson-had one play where he ran right over the top of the right tackle and bulldogged the QB from behind. Wiles said of him, "This guy looks like he's 35 years old. Let me tell you, he's a man right now."
Wayne Ward will be a fine RB. Sees the field, makes quick cuts. Good speed. I hope he redshirts because I would love to see him really play for 4 years.
Hargrave guys could see action immediately. Pressey will be given a shot at WR. Butch Patrick's film was a pleasant surprise. Talk about a scatback. Projection - he may be our Punt returner next year. Cuts on a dime and has blazing speed.
Other big surprise was Slowikowski. He gets off the line of scrimmage quickly and has real good speed and hands. One play he fired off the line, beat the defender deep and outran everyone. Other was a deep post where he made a leaping catch in traffic.
Ricky Hall will play. Took a WR screen, like Tech runs about once a game, made a move and blew by everyone to get to the endzone. Great speed for a guy that size.
Matt Wincek could challenge for PT as a freshman if the three plays I saw are any indication. Turned his man on two sweeps and blew them away. The other was a pancake block about 9 yards down field.
Derrius Monroe looks like a guy who will be great too. Has a way to go academically, though (like Robertson).
Ron Cook - Wiles said, "Star this guy." He could be special.
Ben Taylor looks like a great tackler (192 tackles, his reported total, is legit, I'm sure). He will be a Safety, Rover, or Whip. I picture this guy in the "Semones" spot. In two years, he will be 6-3 215. Semones-type with more size.
If Pugh doesn't put on weight (to be a nose) he will move to offense.
Others recruits looked good as well, those are some highlights however.
Many thanks to the Screaming Lizard for the hardcore info that makes this site look good (even though I didn't hit a lick!).
Shayne Graham will appear on Monday, March 31st at 8:30 pm as the chat guest on Mike Bakas's Eastern College Football Journal web site. Be sure to drop by and give the man affectionately known as "Opie" best wishes for the upcoming season, and ask him how that back of his is doing! A link to Mike's page appears on my Links page under the title "Big East College Football."
The first Hokie Central newsletter went out Sunday night to all Hokie Central members. Only one of the email addresses I had on file didn't work, and I have snail-mailed that person a copy of the newsletter, along with a request for him to email me so I can try to work out the problem. If you think I should have received your check by now, and you didn't get the email newsletter, then drop me a line and I'll check into it.
Updates of the site will be sluggish for a while as I deal with the paperwork generated by the membership drive. It may not look on the surface like I'm doing anything, but believe me, behind the scenes, it's non-stop action.