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News Nuggets, 07.21.03

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Compiled from staff reports and electronic dispatches

ACC raid draws attention of Congress


07.20.03: Meet, mingle and eat with the Pirates... .. Date dampens demand for WVU-VPI ducats... .. Non-BCS CEO's sign up in big numbers for Cowen summit... .. Monetary affairs discourage in-state rivalry... ..  49ers lose one, keep one... .. More...
07.19.03: C-USA formally shifts into football mode... .. Get up close and personal with J.T... .. Key U of L football players banished... .. Gators get head start in rejecting ACC... .. Physician admits torching dead player's medical data... .. LSU football coach survives aquatic knockout plunge... ..  More...
07.18.03:  East Carolina names new ticket operations boss... .. Dollar draws NCAA wrath... .. Athletes' rights crusader gains steam... .. Banished football program seeks new life... .. Blood clot stymies Buckeye lineman again...  More...

The "M-word" is being uttered on Capitol Hill in the aftermath of the Atlantic Coast Conference's controversial poaching of Miami and Virginia Tech from the Big East. As in "monopoly."

The Washington Post has reported that Wisconsin Rep. F. James Sensenbrenner Jr., Republican chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, will schedule a hearing to discuss the application of antitrust laws to major college sports, including the Bowl Championship Series. Both the ACC and the Big East are members of the exclusive, six-league BCS, which some observers compare to a cartel or monopoly.

According to the newspaper, Sensenbrenner's spokesman said the congressman decided to schedule the hearing after conferring with the committee's ranking Democrat, Rep. John Conyers Jr. (Mich.). The spokesman said the hearing would be scheduled after the August recess. In a formal request to Sensenbrenner, Conyers contended that the 63 schools from the six BCS conferences and Notre Dame split $104 million of the $109 million in BCS revenue last season.

There are 117 member schools in Division I-A, the NCAA's highest classification for collegiate football programs. But since the creation of the BCS in 1998, no school from a conference not a part of the BCS pact and no independent other than special BCS signatory Notre Dame, has qualified for one of the four lucrative bowls.

"The recent ACC raid on the Big East threatens to exacerbate this problem." Conyers wrote in a letter to Sensenbrenner, said the paper. "The last thing any of us want to see is a conspiracy among our major colleges leading to a dynamic where conferences raid other conferences.... This is the very situation the antitrust laws were designed to avoid."

West taps into Clemson connections for assistant coach

Memphis football coach Tommy West has reached back to his Clemson ties for the newest addition to his staff. Johnson "Jeep" Hunter, who served the past two seasons working with the Eastern Kentucky secondary, will coach the Tigers' tight ends. Hunter worked as a graduate assistant at Clemson from 1996-98 and was named by West, then the school's head coach, as Assistant Athletic Director for Football Management in 1999. Prior to his stint at Eastern Kentucky University, Hunter coached defensive backs at UT-Chattanooga during the 2000 season. During the summer of 2001, Hunter served an NFL Minority Internship with the St. Louis Rams. A native of Denver, NC, Hunter is a graduate of Catawba College, where he lettered as a quarterback, running back, defensive back and kick returner before a career-ending injury.

Arena football player dies on bench

VALLEY CENTER, KS — An arenafootball2 player died Saturday night after collapsing during a game. A league official said Bakersfield Blitz linebacker Julian Yearwood, 31, collapsed while sitting on the bench in the first quarter of the game against the Wichita Stealth. Emergency officials tried to resuscitate Yearwood in the Blitz sideline area before placing him in an ambulance, Stealth spokesman Deuane Howard said. Yearwood was pronounced dead at a Wichita hospital at 9:37 p.m., Howard said. The game was immediately called off. Arenafootball2 spokesman Ron Deuter said the league planned to wait for autopsy results before discussing any potential cause of death. Yearwood, a product of the University of Nevada, was a fullback/linebacker for Bakersfield.

News Nuggets are compiled periodically from staff, Associated Press, ECU, Conference USA and other reports. Copyright 2003 and other publishers. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.


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