Wednesday, August 18, 1999

Hokies Close Practices

In the few brief weeks that I have been doing HokieCentral full-time, I have had the pleasure of attending a couple of football practices. I found that it educated me greatly about the players, coaches, and football in general. I enjoyed watching the goings-on, and I felt that it made me a much more informed webmaster.

But the entire time I was attending those two practices, I was thinking, "Hmmm, wonder how much longer the public will be able to watch these?"

Until Wednesday, August 18th, at 7 a.m., that's how long.

On Tuesday, Virginia Tech announced that from this point on, all scrimmages and practices will be closed to the public. I was told by a member of the media that they (the media) would be allowed in, but not the general public.

This was inevitable. Interest in the program is at an all-time high, and more and more people were making their way over to the practices. And you were pretty much allowed to walk around as you pleased, which is just asking for trouble, in the long run. It would only be a matter of time before an inattentive spectator would be involved in a collision with a player, perhaps injuring both.

Naturally, on a personal level, this bums me out. As you know, I am not considered to be a member of the media, and to this point, my efforts to gain media credentials, or a "press pass," have been fruitless. So this is naturally a setback in my efforts to improve coverage on the web site.

But of course, as much as I don't like it personally, closing practices is the correct, prudent decision. As much as I don't want to admit it, it makes sense.

Unfortunately, from the brief official release on the subject, it appears that the twice-weekly scrimmages in Lane Stadium are closed, as well. This is very unfortunate, because typically, in the past, press coverage of the scrimmages has been nothing more than a recap of the statistics and scoring, without much other information.

Maybe the "real" media will cash in on this chance for exclusive reporting by beefing up their coverage (which admittedly has been improved this preseason) - hint, hint! 


Get Set for Some Nasty Game-Day Traffic

Do you think it's been tough fighting traffic to get to Hokie games in the past? You ain't seen nothing yet. Perk up your eyes and ears, because valuable information follows.

There is major, long-term construction going on around exit 118 off of I-81, as well as where the 460 bypass meets back up with 460 near Christiansburg.

Exit 118 is the Christiansburg exit that everyone coming south down 81 takes. If you haven't seen it in a while, you won't believe the massive construction that's going on there. Here are the details on everything that's going on around Christiansburg and the 460 bypass:

  • From Roanoke starting at milepost 120 the speed drops to 55 mph. The 118 exit has been modified and is not as smooth as the old one.
  • Once you're on Route 11/Roanoke Street in Christiansburg, there is a longer off-ramp with a short "S" curve before you get on to the 460 bypass.
  • Once on the 460 bypass, which is 45 mph, cars should get in the left lane because as you climb the hill, the right lane closes gradually until you are at the top of the hill. The left lane is tight with concrete barriers on the right side. An accident there will block traffic for a LONG TIME, so be careful.
  • Once you exit the 460 bypass and enter 460, things are back to normal from that point on.


Follow-up on Anthony Nelson

As reported on Monday, freshman offensive lineman Anthony Nelson has returned to Tennessee to rehab an injury. The Richmond Times-Dispatch and Roanoke Times both clarified the situation with Tuesday updates.

The Richmond paper spoke with Tech trainer Mike Goforth (and conquer), who said that the injury is a strained Achilles tendon. Nelson will report back to Tech before school starts early next week, and Goforth expects Nelson to be out about a month.

The Roanoke paper spoke with Nelson and reported that the injury is a "partially torn" Achilles tendon. Nelson told the Roanoke Times that he will return to campus this Sunday, and Anthony's prognosis is a little bit more optimistic than Goforth's. Nelson said he hopes to be back on the practice field within two weeks.


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