News With Commentary by TSL Staff
Tuesday, May 15, 2001
Governor Approves South End Zone Expansion
Virginia Tech's South end zone expansion, planned for the 2002 football season, will proceed on schedule despite a budget impasse that has frozen construction projects on college campuses across the state of Virginia.
Tech officials were required to receive authorization from Virginia's General Assembly to take on $37 million in debt for the project, which will add 11,000 seats to the South end zone and raise Tech's total seating capacity to approximately 66,000.
However, the General Assembly is locked in a budget impasse over the size of the car tax cut, so there was little chance for Tech's bond authorization to come up for a vote. Governor Jim Gilmore's administration granted Tech special permission to proceed with the project, because it will be paid for entirely by bonds or by gifts to the university.
This allowed Virginia Tech to begin bidding out the project last week, and Tech is still on schedule to open up the new South end zone stands in time for the 2002 football season. Construction will begin in June if the bids received are acceptable. However, there is little time for delays in the project.
For more details on Lane Stadium expansion, see TechSideline.com's Lane Stadium Expansion Page.
Baseball Team Makes Big East Tourney, Softball Team Doesn't
The Virginia Tech baseball team faltered on the last weekend of the season, losing two of three to last-place Pittsburgh, and it cost the Hokies a shot at the #3 seed going into the Big East Tournament. The Hokies finished fourth in the league and will face #1 seed Notre Dame in the first round of the Big East Tournament on Thursday.
Only the top four teams in the conference go to the tournament. Tech finished tied with Seton Hall for third with a 14-11-1 conference mark, but the Pirates get the third seed based on their 1-0-1 head-to-head record against the Hokies.
Notre Dame enters the tournament with a 22-4 Big East record, including an 0-2 mark against Virginia Tech. The Irish will be looking to avenge a double-header sweep they suffered in Blacksburg on March 25th, when they lost to the Hokies 3-2 and 9-8.
Rutgers is seeded second with an 18-8 league record. St. John's finished 13-13 in the Big East, one and a half games behind Tech and Seton Hall, failing to make the tournament as the fifth-place finisher.
Tech opens against Notre Dame on Thursday, May 17th at 3:30 pm. The four-team tournament will be held at Commerce Bank Ballpark in Bridgewater, N.J. For full details, including a bracket, click here.
Meanwhile, the softball team did not make the Big East Tournament. The Hokies finished 12-8 in the conference, one game behind fourth-place Seton Hall. The Hokies are haunted by a doubleheader loss they suffered at Seton Hall on April 29th, falling by scores of 5-0 and 3-2. Had Tech won either one of those games, they would have made the Big East Tournament.
The Hokie softball team, two years after finishing 54-16, ended the season at 36-23.
Men's Lacrosse Finishes 9th
The Virginia Tech men's lacrosse club team finished 9th in last week's USLIA National Championships.
The 16-team tournament is a single elimination format, but teams that are eliminated continue to play for final positioning. When the 10th-seeded Hokies fell to 7th-seeded California, this knocked them down into the losers bracket, where the best they could do was finish 9th.
After being defeated by Cal, Tech beat 15th-seeded Tennessee 18-7, 6th-seeded Texas A&M 17-13, and 13th-seeded Arizona 14-13.
Congratulations to the lacrosse team on another successful season.
Golf Team Starts NCAA East Regional Thursday
The Tech golf team starts play in the NCAA East Regional Golf Tournament at the Golden Horseshoe Golf Club Green Course in Williamsburg, Va. on Thursday, May 17th. The Hokies enter the 27-team regional as the fifth seed from the NCAA District 3 North. For more information on the regional pairings and to follow the tournament, click here.