News With Commentary by TSL Staff

Wednesday, July 23, 2003
by Will Stewart,

Big East Media Day Today

Coverage of the 2003 VT football season officially kicks off today, as the Big East media descend upon the Meadowlands in New Jersey for the annual Big East Media Day ... the last one for the Big East as we currently know it.

Hokie football players Jake Grove, Nathaniel Adibi, and Ernest Wilford will accompany Tech coach Frank Beamer to Giants Stadium. The media will make their predictions for where the teams will finish in the league, and if they follow the lead of the college football preseason magazines, they'll select Miami #1, followed by either Pittsburgh #2 and VT #3 (Athlon, Lindy's, and Street and Smith's), or VT #2 and Pittsburgh #3 (Sporting News).

From Big East media day, Beamer will fly down to Richmond, as he does every year, and attend the Richmond Hokie Club's annual Football Kickoff Dinner. This year, there will be close to 1,000 Hokies in attendance, and they'll be treated to a program that also includes Tech athletic director Jim Weaver and Voice of the Hokies Bill Roth.

WXGI AM 950 in Richmond will be doing a live remote broadcast from the Richmond Marriott, where the Kickoff Dinner is being held. Big Al Coleman will host his Sportsphone sports talk show, which runs from 3:00 to 6:00 every day, right there at the Marriott. The show will be sponsored by and Foster and Associates legal firm. TSL's Will Stewart (yours truly) will be attending the event, including the live remote and the dinner, so please seek me out and say hello. I'll be sporting my maroon polo shirt.

We will post the Big East media day results as soon as possible, but due to the activities in Richmond, it may be delayed.

Hokies Report August 6th

Although BE media day is today, football practice for the Hokies won't begin until Thursday, August 7th. This season, due to new NCAA rules, freshmen will not report early for freshman orientation, as in the past. Instead, all players, from incoming recruits to redshirt seniors, will report on the same day, on Wednesday, August 6th.

Tech will practice August 7th and 8th and will then hold their annual Virginia Tech Football Media Day on Saturday, August 9th, in Lane Stadium (the event is restricted to credentialed media only). The annual Outback Steakhouse Welcome Back Picnic is scheduled for Sunday, August 10th in Cassell Coliseum (more information below), and then the Hokies will hold their first practice in pads on Monday, August 11th. The first two-a-day practice will probably be Tuesday, August 12th.

The NCAA has incredibly complex new rules governing football practices (all designed to prevent players collapsing and even dying, as has happened in recent years), so it's nearly impossible at this point to describe Tech's practice schedule, and why. Suffice to say that VT will participate in about 20 days of practice prior to kicking off against Central Florida at 3 p.m. on Sunday, August 31st.

Yes, that's right, Hokie fans. Game 1 is just 39 days away.

Welcome Back Picnic Slated for August 10th

For the sixth consecutive year, Outback Steakhouse and the Blacksburg Hokie Club will serve as the hosts of the annual Outback Steakhouse Welcome Back Picnic, which will be held Aug. 10th at Cassell Coliseum. Festivities will begin at 5:30 p.m. and conclude at 7:30 p.m. Outback Steakhouse will provide steak, chicken, mushrooms, caesar salad, rolls and cake for dessert for all those who attend.

Tickets must be purchased in advance for $15 per adult and $5 for children ages 3-12. Children 2 years old and under get in for free. Tickets may be purchased at A Cleaner World [103 King Street, Blacksburg, 951-9506], University Travel Consultants [922 University City Boulevard, Blacksburg, 961-2700] or University Travel Vacation Center [Spradlin Farms, Christiansburg, 381-3800].

All proceeds from the event will benefit athletic scholarships and facilities. Special guests include head football coach Frank Beamer, the entire 2003 football team and other guests from the athletics department and university administration. Bill Roth, "Voice of the Hokies," and his sidekick, Mike Burnop, will serve as the announcers at the event. Mike Gentry, Tech's assistant AD for athletic performance, will present the strength and conditioning awards to the football team and there will be autograph sessions with the entire football team after the program.

For more information on the Outback Steakhouse Welcome Back Picnic, contact Terry Bolt of the Virginia Tech Athletic Fund office at 540-231-6618.

Gordon Injured

Tech true freshman free safety Corey Gordon, who enrolled at Tech in January from Hargrave Military Academy, suffered a grade two lateral ankle sprain a week ago, while playing pickup basketball. Gordon's recovery will take four weeks (till about August 14th), but reported that he will not miss any practice time.

Season Ticket Sales at WVU and Pitt

Jack Bogaczyk recently reported in the Charleston (WV) Daily Mail that West Virginia has sold about 23,000 season tickets for football and is on their way to topping last year's total of 25,727. He also reported that Pittsburgh has sold 35,000 season tickets, almost double last year's total of 18,000.

WVU has a 7-game home slate that includes Wisconsin, Virginia Tech, and Pitt. Their other home games are less attractive matchups with Cincinnati, Rutgers, UCF, and Temple. The Mountaineers offer three season ticket packages:

  • 2003 Season Package for $196 (all 7 games)
  • Football Fun Zone for $140 (all 7 games, end zone seating).
  • Mini Package 1 for $115 (Wisconsin, Rutgers, VT, UCF)
  • Mini Package 2 for $115 (Wisconsin, Cincy, Rutgers, Pitt)

That means you can get into WVU football for anywhere from $20 to $28.75 per game.

Pitt has just six home games, despite this being a 12-game season, and their home schedule is a good one: Notre Dame, Syracuse, VT and Miami, plus lightweights Kent State and Ball State. Pitt's season ticket packages run anywhere from $60 to $144, and there's also a $240 Club option that requires a separate $500 donation and gives you access to a stadium club similar to those in Tech's south end zone addition.

Not including the club option, you can get into Pitt football for $10 a game to $24 a game -- it's no wonder they're selling so many season tickets, with such a good schedule, low prices, and one of the most highly-anticipated Pitt teams in years.

By comparison, the Hokies will sell 35,000+ season tickets, at one price only for seven home games: $243, or $34.71 per game. Tech will rake in at least $8.5 million on season ticket sales (assuming 35k sold).

Big East Announces TV Games

The Big East has announced the current TV lineup for Big East football games this fall, and it includes six Hokie games to this point.

VT Games on TV as of 7/21/03
Date Opponent Network Time
Aug. 31 UCF ESPN 3:00
Sep. 18 Texas A&M ESPN 7:30
Sep. 27 UConn BE Regional Noon
Oct. 4 @ Rutgers BE Regional Noon
Oct. 22 @ WVU ESPN or ESPN2 7:30
Nov. 1 Miami ESPN TBA

We have updated our various schedules accordingly.


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