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News Nuggets, 01.13.05
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Compiled from staff reports and electronic dispatches

Coaching convention tackles secret poll ballots


01.12.05: Reconfigured C-USA TV arrangement a mixed bag ... Former ECU assistant lands top job at TSU ... Cards deal record-shattering rout to Southern Miss ... More...
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01.05.05: BCS ponders establishment of selection committee ... Trojans trample Sooners en route to title ... Final Associated Press and Coaches polls ... More...
01.04.05: Petrino sets out to mend fences at Louisville ... Auburn holds off Tech, turns attention to voters ... More...
01.03.05: Tech sack artist looks to Baghdad for inspiration ... Meyer bids adieu as Utah relishes perfection ... More...
01.02.05: Utah domination of Pitt exposes BCS ... Petrino backpedals as LSU zeroes in on Miles ... More...
01.01.05: Cards hang on in Liberty Bowl shootout with Broncos ... Utes poised to cap off perfect season in style ... More...
12.31.04: Offensive juggernauts collide in Liberty Bowl ... Tire Bowl goes flat for North Carolina ... More...

LOUISVILLE — College football coaches delayed a vote Wednesday on whether to disclose the ballots for their weekly poll, though some made it clear they strongly oppose the idea.

``I don't see how that could be anything but a negative,'' Tennessee coach Phillip Fulmer said.

Wyoming coach Joe Glenn said, ``I've got no hidden agenda, but you've got nothing good in it.''

Just over half of the nation's Division I-A coaches — 59 of 117 — attended the final day of the American Football Coaches Association's annual convention in Louisville.

AFCA executive director Grant Teaff led a forum on the ESPN/USA Today poll, which came under fire after Texas overtook California for the last at-large bid in the Bowl Championship Series.

Six coaches dropped Cal below No. 6 in the final poll, prompting Pac-10 commissioner Tom Hansen and Cal coach Jeff Tedford to ask the 61 coaches who voted to disclose their ballots. The AFCA voted down the request.

On Wednesday, Teaff handed out a three-question survey to the coaches in attendance. The survey asked if the coaches would:

  • release their ballots every week;

  • release their ballots at the end of the season only;

  • and, continue to vote if their ballots were ever publicly released.

Teaff said the rest of the coaches would receive surveys by mail. An official vote would not take place until all the surveys had been received, Teaff said.

``We're trying to make a decision based on what we think is best for our game and our teams and our players,'' Teaff said.

The AFCA twice rejected proposals in the past year to publicly release the coaches' ballots. Teaff said the more likely change this time was for the coaches to release their ballots at the end of the season.

``I don't think they're interested with dealing with it on a weekly basis,'' Teaff said. ``I don't know why they would be.''

Auburn coach Tommy Tuberville said publicly disclosing ballots would put coaches in awkward situations.

``If we release the polls, we're bound to our players,'' Tuberville said. ``They're going to see how we voted, other coaches are going to see. There are a lot of things you don't think about.''

Fulmer said revealing how coaches voted could create bad blood before games.

``If we're getting ready to play somebody or if you rank somebody ahead of your team, that's a bad message to your kids,'' Fulmer said. ``It's different than the writers (poll), because we're dealing with our peers. We're playing against them rather than just reporting about them. That's a big difference.''

Teaff said a suggestion to delay the coaches poll until October was dismissed. BCS officials have suggested they'd prefer to see preseason polls eliminated.

``The other issues are more important to us,'' he said.

Earlier Wednesday, NCAA president Myles Brand participated in what Teaff termed a ``sobering'' discussion about the academic reforms approved at the NCAA convention earlier this week.

About 30 percent of the Division I programs will receive one-time warnings from the NCAA, stating that if their graduation rates don't rise, they'll lose scholarships.

``There were some questions and clarifications and I hope the coaches now understand what took place at the convention,'' Brand said.

Also, the coaches agreed to lobby for a fifth year of eligibility for players. Brand said the issue was not discussed at the convention, and will not come up for a vote when the NCAA Division I Management Council meets in April.

However, Brand said the council will vote in April on a proposal to allow teams to play a 12th game every season, beginning in 2006.

Teaff said if the extra game is approved, the fifth year of eligibility becomes vital.

``We have guys (coaches) who will redshirt 20 guys,'' he said. ``When you take 20 guys off of 85 and you go to 12 games, it doesn't mesh. Something has to happen.''

NCAA baseball considers warm-weather shift

College baseball teams would have to conform to specific dates for starting practice and games under an NCAA proposal that also would push the College World Series into July some years.

In a report at the recent NCAA convention in Grapevine, TX, the Division I Baseball Issues Committee said a uniform calendar would address some competitive equality questions.

Some teams in Florida, California and other warm-weather areas already are practicing and begin their seasons the first week of February. Teams in areas including the Northeast can't even practice outside at that time because of extreme cold.

The committee is proposing Feb. 1 as the first practice date, with games to start around March 1. To accommodate that without changing the maximum 56 games allowed, the NCAA tournament and College World Series would begin a week later.

Based on the proposal, the College World Series would end in July three times from 2007-2011.

The proposal can't be considered by the NCAA Management Council until next January. If approved, the earliest it could be implemented would be the 2007 season.

ECU schedules early peeks at its 'Field of Dreams'

As baseball season and the official opening of East Carolina's new stadium approach, officials of the school and its construction contractor are planning a limited test of the "If you build it, they will come" theory.

University Project Manager Todd Marshall announced Wednesday that fans and area residents will be afforded the opportunity to take a first-hand look at the nearly-completed facility on the site of what used to be Harrington Field.

The stadium, nestled in the Pirate athletics complex adjacent to Greenville's Charles Boulevard, will open its gates on three occasions as the construction nears its conclusion.

ECU and the stadium's construction manager, T.A. Loving Company, have established the tour dates as Friday, Jan. 21, Friday, Feb. 4 and Friday, Feb. 18., beginning at 2:00 p.m. on each of those days. Officials have designated the Charles Boulevard entrance as the only acceptable access route into the new facility.

The school indicated in a press release the scheduled viewings are intended to eliminate operational delays because of excessive random public visits. East Carolina and T.A. Loving will no longer accommodate visitors except on the three designated days and in accordance with the visitation protocol, the release noted.

"We are appreciative of the overwhelming interest, but it has gotten to the point where the amount of unscheduled visitors is beginning to impact T.A. Loving's operations," stated J.J. McLamb, ECU's Assistant Athletics Director for Operations. "The site remains busy while everyone involved is trying to meet the project deadline. We feel that the last date of Feb. 18 will allow the contractors to be in a position to complete everything in time for our first game."

The Pirates will open the stadium March 4 when they meet Michigan in the opening round of the Second Annual Keith LeClair Classic. First pitch is scheduled for 11:00 a.m.

News Nuggets are compiled periodically based on material supplied by staff members; data published by ECU, Conference USA and its member schools; and reports from Associated Press and other sources. Copyright 2005 and other publishers. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.


Page Updated: 02/23/2007 12:20 PM


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