Monday, July 26, 1999

Tech to Endow Hampton Scholarship

In tribute to the memories of Marques Hampton and his mother Antoinette, Virginia Tech announced at the end of last week that a scholarship will be endowed in Marques's name.   Tech will award the Marques Hampton Memorial Scholarship to a walk-on football player who exhibits a strong sense of family and faith as well as academic and athletic promise, much like Marques himself did.

Hampton, of course, was a recruited walk-on who was killed in a car accident along with his mother last week on Interstate 81.  The Hamptons were on their way home after attending freshman orientation at Tech.  Here's the official announcement about the scholarship from

Tech to Endow Scholarship in Memory of Hamptons -

Many posters on the message board wanted to endow a scholarship through HokieCentral, but I wanted to wait and see what the official response would be from Tech.  I was pleased to see the VTAF respond in a fitting fashion.

One thing I worried about was the fact that it might appear that Tech was taking advantage of a tragic situation to (a) fund a scholarship and (b) enhance Tech's reputation for cultivating and developing walk-ons.  But my worries were alleviated when I read the following passage in the official press release (the bold emphasis is mine):

"The scholarship will be given by the Virginia Tech Athletic Family. It will be funded in part by individual game and walk-up ticket sales from the Hokies' season-opening football game against James Madison on Sept. 4 and from donations made to the Marques Hampton Memorial Scholarship through the Virginia Tech Athletic Fund, 504 Cassell Coliseum, Blacksburg, Va., 24061."

When a school is willing to divert funds from its all-important football gate revenue to directly fund a scholarship, it says that the school is serious about honoring the individual, in this case, Marques.  Kudos to the VTAF and the Tech athletic department for honoring Marques in appropriate fashion.

I would expect to see some sort of ceremony during half-time of the September 4th game.

Meanwhile, don't forget that address for mailing in your donation to the fund:

Marques Hampton Memorial Scholarship
Virginia Tech Athletic Fund
504 Cassell Coliseum
Blacksburg, Va., 24061

Of course, I still want to make a gesture here at HokieCentral.  I want whatever we choose to do to be a permanent, lasting tribute to Marques, and the popular choice as discussed on the message board is to buy a brick in the Hokie Brick Trail outside of Cassell Coliseum.  The bricks are $75 apiece, and we could get one each for both Marques and his mother, for a total of $150.

Another alternative is to purchase a large "paver" brick for the same cost of $150 and to have it etched with both of their names, but the pavers are usually reserved for "groups and organizations."  So I will have to clear it with the VTAF first.

So hold off just yet on sending donations to me for the brick.  I have to call the VTAF first and make sure this is acceptable to them, and if it is, I will announce it very soon.  When I take donations, if I get too much, I will simply donate the extra funds to the VTAF, or if there is enough extra, I may purchase season tickets and donate them to charity.

In any event, look for an announcement very soon here at HokieCentral as to what we'll do.


"HokiefromWV" Brings "VT Hokie News" to HokieCentral

You may have noticed that there's a new link in the left-hand border of HokieCentral's pages to a new HokieCentral feature called "VT Hokie News."

VT Hokie News isn't actually new at all.  It's the brain child and the result of the hard work of HokieCentral member and message board poster "HokiefromWV," who has been maintaining his VT Hokie News page independently for several months now on a free web hosting service called WireFire.

Simply put, VT Hokie News is every Tech web surfer's dream:   a single page that gathers links to recent on-line articles about Virginia Tech athletics, VT athletes, Big East teams and conference news, college sports news, and (whew!) sports news in general.  If there's a link out there that even remotely has anything to do with the Hokies, HokiefromWV finds it and posts it on his VT Hokie News page.  Not only that, but he does it in timely fashion, too.

When HokiefromWV first started doing his web page months ago, I decided to keep an eye on him, and if he kept it up, I was going to see if he was interested in bringing his talents to HokieCentral and performing the same function for the HokieCentral masses.  Fortunately for us, he did keep it up, and he was interested in joining HokieCentral.

The result is HokieCentral's "new" VT Hokie News page.  HokiefromWV maintains the page completely independently from me, and updates it as he sees fit and whenever he can get to it, which is pretty darn often.  I gave him the keys to the kingdom, so he can update his page and zap it over to the HokieCentral server any time he wishes, without have to go through me.  He uses a different editor than I do, so his page doesn't look exactly like my other HC pages, but it's close enough for government work.

To say that I'm excited about him coming on board is understating it.  The kid's a machine when it comes to sniffing out and posting links, and he's a welcome addition to HC.  I can quit worrying about posting links to articles and leave it up to him, and during this football season, when I anticipate a ton of articles being written about the Hokies, this means that you'll never have to miss a trick, so long as you have the time and can log onto HokiefromWV's little corner of Hokie heaven.

Every time HokiefromWV updates the VT Hokie News page, he will announce it on the message board, so keep an eye on the board, or just log onto the page regularly, to see the latest news on the Hokies and college sports.

I'm pleased that I have the opportunity to continue to make HokieCentral your one-stop shop for, well, VT Hokie News.  Welcome aboard, HokiefromWV, and thanks for being here!


Learning to Keep My Mouth Shut ... I Hope

You'd think after three and a half years of this, I'd learn when to keep my big mouth shut. But noooo…

After posting my ill-advised criticism of the prosecuting attorneys for taking the Druckenmiller case to trial, I received emails from a prosecuting attorney and a defense attorney, both of whom said very nicely that I probably should have kept my poorly informed opinion to myself.  Their emails were lengthy, informative, and on the mark.   I won't share them with you, because both writers asked me not to, but suffice to say that they both presented very valid reasons why the Druckenmiller case did go to court, and why it should have.

Rule #27: never criticize a man until you've walked a mile in his shoes. When combined with Rule #327 ("The law is a complex and multi-faceted beast"), the best conclusion to draw is, "Hey, Will, the reasons why the prosecution decided to go ahead with the case against Druckenmiller are multi-faceted and beyond the abilities of a engineer like yourself to understand easily, so, uh, give it a rest, okay?"

Fine. You would think I would know better. I'm a software engineer by training and by vocation, and I'm one of the "lucky ones" who gets to design and program Windows applications that are used by hundreds of users. As far as laying your work out in public where it can be critiqued by people, my job is right up there with coaches, attorneys, politicians, etc.

I can't count the number of times I have had to compromise a feature in the programs I work on because it's simply not technically feasible to implement it. As a programmer, all you can do is take a look, figure out how you want it to be, and program it that way if you can, but sometimes, you can't. And I've talked to users who ask, "Why didn't you do it this way?" with a look on their face that says, "That was stupid," when they have no idea of the issues and problems I face as I sit down to do my job.

So, I never should have questioned why the prosecutors brought their case against Druckenmiller and proceeded to court with it. They're intelligent people who made a judgment call, and although the result was a mess, there are many reasons, as I said, why they moved forward with the case.

I think I'm just grumpy because I'm mad at myself for even discussing the case at all, much less criticizing the prosecuting attorneys (and-oh-by-the-way, preaching to Druck about how he should be more careful, which I also did). One of the reasons I didn't discuss the case for weeks is that the subject of rape is second only to the subject of race in its ability to start a fire storm.

Once you start commenting on subjects like rape in a public forum, you've already lost. It's great message board fodder, but as the webmaster, I should just stay away from it. I have spent the last two days in lengthy email discussions with people who have picked apart my update from two days ago and have read things into my statements that I NEVER intended. So I give up, and man was that stupid of me to say anything at all. I should have just posted links to articles and left it at that.

There's no real point to this piece. I just wanted to air that out. And is there anyone else out there who thinks September 4th is taking way too long to get here?


Tech Notes

  • The Big East has released its list of TV games as it knows them thus far: Big East Announces Football TV Schedules, from   The list only tells us one thing we didn't already know.  We already knew that the Tech/Boston College game will be on TV on Friday, November 26th, at 2:30 on CBS, and the Clemson game will be on ESPN on Thursday, September 23rd.  But the new piece of information is that the Tech/Pittsburgh game may be a Big East Game of the Week on October 30th.

Of course, there are many other Tech games that will be on TV this year, but those have not been finalized yet, so they're not included on the Big East's list.  I'm standing by the times and networks listed on my Football Page until I learn otherwise.

  • HokieCentral has two new sponsors, packaged together as one:  the Foxridge and Stroubles Crossing apartment complexes, both managed by HHHunt.  They are now listed on the HokieCentral Sponsors Page and have been entered into HokieCentral's banner ad rotation.  Take a look at their web sites by clicking on the links in the Sponsors Page.  I'm sure you'll be impressed, and welcome aboard to HC's new sponsors!
  • I learned some new things the other day about Lane Stadium expansion, and I have updated my Lane Stadium Expansion Page.  See the top of the page for the latest info.


TSL News and Notes Archives

TSL Home