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   Welcome to TSLMail #84 - Friday, June 20, 2003    
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   Tech Sports News

VT's History with the ACC
by Will Stewart, TechSideline.com

Recently, I noticed a TechSideline.com message board poster reference his copy of Doug Doughty and Roland Lazenby's 1995 book "Hoos 'N' Hokies: The Rivalry" as a good source of information for VT's historical desire to be in the ACC. With the news Wednesday night that the ACC might be interested in giving a conference invitation to Virginia Tech, VT's history with the ACC is more relevant than ever. Since I've got a copy of Doughty and Lazenby's book, I decided to dig it out and see what it says.

First, some background: in 1921, Virginia Tech joined the Southern Intercollegiate Conference, which consisted of Alabama, Auburn, Clemson, Georgia, Georgia Tech, Kentucky, Maryland, Mississippi State, North Carolina, North Carolina State, Tennessee, Virginia, and Washington and Lee.

In 1923, the conference changed its name to the Southern Conference, and the University of the South joined. The conference grew to 28 teams, and in 1924, VMI joined, and in 1929, Duke joined. At this point, the Southern Conference included nearly every team that forms the modern-day SEC and ACC conferences.

The conference had became too unwieldy, and in 1932, the 13 southernmost members broke away to form the Southeastern Conference (today's SEC): Alabama, Auburn, Florida, Georgia, Georgia Tech, Kentucky, LSU, Mississippi, Mississippi State, Sewanee, Tennessee, Tulane, and Vanderbilt.

In 1953, another change occurred when seven teams broke away to form the ACC: Wake Forest, Duke, North Carolina State, North Carolina, South Carolina, Clemson and Maryland (Virginia joined one year later, in 1954). Unfortunately for the Hokies, their sports programs had become very weak just prior to that, and their football program had fallen on hard times, going 3-33-3 from 1948-1951. The Hokies were left out of the ACC's charter membership.

According to "Hoos and Hokies," this was not a desirable condition for VT:

"[VT AD and football coach Frank] Moseley, a man of foresight, could see that, except for West Virginia and Virginia Tech, the remaining schools in the Southern Conference faced a future of lower-rung competition. Moseley began a 15-year campaign to join the ACC, but all of his advances were shunned." -- HNH:TR, page 71.

Moseley turned VT football around, going 31-16-3 from 1952 to 1956, but it was too late. After the addition of Virginia, the ACC membership stood firm for many years at 8 members. The Hokies announced their intentions to leave the Southern Conference in April of 1964:

"The move, recommended by the board of directors of the athletic association, was approved by the university's board of visitors. In announcing the change, new [Tech] president T. Marshall Hahn explained that Tech wanted to keep its relationship with [Southern] conference schools, but it also wanted to schedule schools with larger athletic programs. What Hahn didn't say was that Tech still held out hope for admission to the Atlantic Coast Conference." -- HNH:TR, pages 87-88.

In the late 70's, the Hokies got another clear shot at conference membership. South Carolina left the ACC in 1971, and in 1977, VT was sponsored for membership by Virginia, Clemson, and Duke.

"A committed visited Blacksburg, and Tech made a presentation to the seven member schools, volunteering to accept reduced shares of television and bowl revenues until at least 1980. ACC representatives met May 2, 1977, at Research Triangle Park between Raleigh and Durham, North Carolina, but needed only thirty minutes to reject expansion. From most indications, Tech did not come close to the five votes needed for acceptance." -- HNH:TR, page 115.

According to columnist Art Chansky of the Durham Sun (now the Durham Herald-Sun), the meeting, the vote, and even the sponsorship of VT were just a ploy to get issue of VT membership, which had been a question for over 20 years, resolved:

"The special meeting is kind of a hoax in itself," Chansky wrote. "The Virginia Tech question has been hanging for so long that, in effect, three ACC schools sponsored the Hokies as much to get the issue resolved as anything else. At least one of the [sponsoring] schools, Duke, is expected to vote against letting Tech in." -- HNH:TR, page 115.

Two years later, in 1979, the ACC invited Georgia Tech in, and 12 years after that, Florida State. GT brought the Atlanta markets, and FSU brought the Florida market and fertile football recruiting grounds. Yes, even 25 years ago, television was a major driver in conference expansion decisions.

Moseley, who served as AD at Tech until 1977, had wanted to get in the ACC for almost a quarter century, and he said of the 1977 vote:

"I wouldn't say we were downhearted, but I would say we were disappointed. I've read that this was the second time we've applied, but this is the first time to my knowledge. We didn't actually apply this time. The ACC has no method for applying. We had three sponsors, and I think they consider the fact that we were interested as being an applicant. But I don't ever remember a formal application." -- HNH:TR, page 116.

The ACC has been a harsh mistress to the Hokies over the years, and has made it clear that they want no part of Virginia Tech. If this latest show of interest results in an ACC invitation and a VT acceptance, then Satan's going to need snow booties and a pair of furry earmuffs.

New Traffic Records at TSL

Wednesday's news that the ACC might invite VT led to new traffic records on TechSideline.com on Thursday. TSL recorded 686,930 page views Thursday, breaking the old record of 630,764, set on May 19, 2003.

In addition, TSL's football message board received 5,171 posts, breaking the record of 4,831, set on 5/16/03. The subscriber message board, which has picked up lately, also received 1,996 posts, for a total between the two boards of 7,167 posts.

This Week in Recruiting
by Chris Horne

Kecoughtan (Hampton, VA), 6-2, 216 pound LB Jerod Mayo, ranked #2 in the state by TSL, is wide open at this point in the recruiting process. He received a verbal offer from Purdue earlier this week, and expects NC State to offer soon. UVA and VT are the only schools to offer the talented linebacker in writing, who may attend camp in Charlottesville this weekend. The Hokies informed Mayo that he did not need to attend their camp. He plans on visiting Maryland and NC State this summer as well.

Plainfield (NJ) 6-3, 247 pound DE Dan Davis likes Virginia, Georgia, Nebraska (offer), Rutgers (offer), Maryland, and Virginia Tech. The Hokies picked up the recruitment of Davis following the Nike Camp in Blacksburg.

The Hokies are one of the current favorites for Winslow Township (Atco, NJ) standout Christopher Young. Young, who is 6-4, 270 pounds, has received offers from Virginia Tech, Illinois, Iowa, Rutgers, Syracuse, North Carolina, and Hofstra. He would like to play defensive tackle in college.

Virginia Tech is on the verge of offering DeMatha Catholic (Hyattsville, MD) wide receiver/defensive back Derrick McPhearson. McPhearson, who has backed off his early commitment to Maryland, is a speed burner who has been timed at 4.38 in the 40 yard dash. DeMatha head coach Bill McGregor calls McPhearson a "canít miss prospect."

St. Martin Deporres star athlete Carl Grimes has received an offer from the Hokies. Virginia Tech is at or near the top of his list according to head coach Gregory Carter. The 5-9, 185 pound Grimes has run a 10.7 in the 100 meters for track.

Two standouts from last yearís Hokie class will not be apart of Virginia Techís football team. Reports have fullback Joey Razzano heading to Kentucky while GW-Danville (VA) running back Kenny Lewis signed a baseball contract with the Cincinnati Reds.

For more information on all of these prospects, see the TSL Pass recruiting updates from the last week. Information on how to subscribe follows.

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As an additional bonus, all subscribers will receive a 10% discount on all purchases made at Techlocker.com, our online store providing Hokie-related apparel and gift items. If that's not enough, you should know that your subscription will help support your favorite website, TechSideline.com.

For more info on TechSideline Pass, and to subscribe, click here. To give TSL Pass as a gift (one-year subscriptions only), click here.

-- Will Stewart

   TechSideline.com Updates From the Past Week


Reports: ACC Again Considering VT
by Will Stewart, TechSideline.com, 6/19/03, 12:05 am
Wednesday night, both the Washington Post and CBS SportsLine reported that the ACC is prepared to offer Virginia Tech an invitation to the league, to join BC, Miami, and Syracuse in jumping from the Big East and forming a 13-team ACC.
in News and Notes

ACC Conference Call
by Jim Alderson, 6/17/03, 1:20 pm
Another week, another round of expansion talk. With the calendar dictating that the end game of the ACCís proposed wrecking of five Big East programs is approaching, ACC Commissioner John Swofford continues to solicit, coax, entice, plead, cajole, wheedle, sweet-talk, beg, supplicate, inveigle, beseech, implore and charm his membership into approving the 12-team conference expansion.
in TSL Columnists

What if ACC Expansion Fails?
by Will Stewart, TechSideline.com, 6/16/03, 10:00 am
A week ago, I characterized ACC expansion as inevitable. This week, I'm not so sure, all of which raises the question: if ACC expansion fails, then what happens?
in TSL Pass

 
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