Tuesday, January 28th, 1997

Isabelle Commits to Tech

The rumors are true.

The rumors were flying yesterday concerning Parade All-American FB/LB Yubrenal Isabelle of Bluefield, West Virginia. Specifically, they were saying that Isabelle had verballed to the Hokies.

On Monday's Hokie Hotline show, Bill Roth was bubbling with excitement over some "very good news" in football recruiting, but of course, he couldn't say what it was, with NCAA rules being what they are. A caller baited him with the line, "Would that news concern a Parade All-American from Bluefield, West Virginia?" But Bill stayed mum.

The Roanoke Times broke the story this morning, however, and Hokies everywhere are rejoicing at the commitment of Tech's third Parade All-American in the 90's (Bryan Jennings and Shayne Graham are the other two). Now we cross our fingers until signing day and hope that Isabelle doesn't waver.

To read about Isabelle's commitment, head to The Roanoke Times sports page. I haven't seen the story on their site yet, but if you poke around, you may find it. And when you're done, come back here!

Greg Melvin Brawl Case Dismissed

The first of the Brawl cases went to court Monday and was dismissed for lack of evidence. Former player Greg Melvin's case was dismissed in what attorney Bev Davis called a case of "guilt by association," essentially saying that Melvin had been charged because he was a football player and he was there, not because he did anything wrong.

Excuse me for a minute while I go check and see if that made The USA Today ... nope, it's not there. Imagine that!

SEC Talk - Again

For those of you who love conference talk, let me throw this little tidbit out to you. It comes from Monday's Hokie Hotline call-in show. It's not big news, but it is worth filing away for future reference.

A caller asked Dave Braine about the ubiquitous Internet rumor about Tech joining the SEC. Dave answered by saying that nothing was imminent, as always. He followed by saying that he had talked with the SEC folks about a week ago (which he does often), and they said that conference expansion is currently not on their agenda.

They did, however, tell him that if expansion came up, Tech would certainly be at the top of their list. It's just that expansion is not an issue right now, period.

Dave then proceeded to say that when the next wave of expansion comes, Tech is one of two or three schools that will be high on the list of potential invitees for any conference that is looking to expand their power base.

Bottom line is this: nothing is going on right now, but if it does, the Virginia Tech Hokies will be a hot commodity. Every major conference knows that we hate our screwy A-10/Big East deal, which is great for football but is killing interest in our basketball program (in my opinion).

Every major conference also knows that Virginia Tech has utilized their $7 million-plus in bowl money from the last two years to seriously upgrade our facilities. We are becoming big-time when it comes to facilities, with our new indoor and outdoor tracks, our softball field, and that little $7 million bonus baby called the Merryman Center. We have a great basketball coliseum with a newly renovated roof, and some big changes are in store for Lane Stadium over the next 5-10 years (Jumbotron scoreboard and luxury boxes, most notably).

So sit tight, Hokies. I know you like to get on Dave's case about the football schedule, but rest assured, he's got Virginia Tech steered on a course to play with the big boys in NCAA athletics.

Notes from Monday's Hokie Hotline Show

  • Speaking of the Merryman Center, despite the very public ground-breaking in November, not a lick has been hit on the actual construction of the thing. According to Dave, that will change next week, when the heavy earth-moving equipment comes in and begins the process. They are still talking as if the M-Center will be ready for next football season, but anybody who's ever paid attention to major construction knows that's probably not going to happen.
  • Tech finished 33rd in NCAA football attendance with 45,700 fans per game. That's a pretty remarkable average, when you consider that we had 7 home games, including a stretch of four home games in a row (although we did have two off-weeks in there). We finished third in the Big East, behind WVU and Syracuse.
  • My fading hopes of seeing Jeremy Kishbaugh in a Hokie football uniform finally expired Monday night. A caller asked the question, "Other than Kishbaugh, did we lose any players from last year's recruiting class?" Bill Roth couldn't answer the question right off the top of his head, but he did admit that Kishbaugh is a goner (he didn't phrase it that way, I did). Bill didn't give an explanation. The only other player mentioned by name was Donald Harris, who either has enrolled in school or will enroll soon (I'm not sure which one it was).
  • One of the hot topics lately has been the rotten attendance at Hokie basketball games (don't blame me, I go to every one). The Tech athletic department is taking steps to help solve the problem with some promotional contests, and they are also having the assistant basketball coaches tour the freshman dorms in an attempt to generate interest in attending the games. For info about the contests (pay close attention, students!), visit http://sports.vt.edu/fantabulous.
  • The manager of the Eden Rock (Roc?) hotel that the Hokies stayed in for the Orange Bowl glowed with praise over how well-mannered and trouble-free the Hokie football team was. He made a statement to the effect that in 25 years of managing these types of events, the demeanor of the team was Top-5 material. Excuse me while I go check and see if that made The USA Today ... nope, it's not there. Imagine that!


TSL News and Notes Archives

TSL Home