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September 18, 2002 - Image 11

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 2002-09-18

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The Michigan Daily - Wednesday, September 18, 2002 - 11

Gators, Vols
not living up
to the hype
By Steven Shears
For the Daily
It seems the Gators might have drowned in the
swamp. With the disappointing performance from
Florida this season, the usual gut-wrenching rival-
ry of the past between the Gators and the Ten-
nessee Volunteers might have lost its excitement
this weekend. But it was seen last week that
absolutely anything can happen in college football,
and the Florida-Tennessee game is still always one
to watch.
Virginia Tech has only needed its running game
to win, but it might have to go to the air as it col-
lides with the best rushing defense in the country
this weekend.
As for Kansas State, this ranked team will face
its first real test of the season with Southern Cal.,
which has proven to be the real deal.
No. 10 FLORIDA AT- No. 4 TENNESSEE, 3:30
P.M., CBS: Before the season, this game looked to
be a classic matchup between the two big SEC
powerhouses. Now, this game itself could turn out
to be as disappointing as new Florida coach Ron
Zook. In response to a question- on the perform-
ance of his team last week, Zook said "I feel
good." He said this after his Gators unsoundly
defeated an Ohio team 34-6, in which the score
barely reflected the horrendous performance of
both the team and the coaching staff. To put it in
perspective, Ohio is a team which lost 31-0 to
Division I-AA Northeastern but trailed Florida by
only eight going into the half. Last season the
team would have been dissected by former Coach
Steve Spurrier for such a lousy win. The loss of
Spurrier to the NFL might have Florida quarter-
back and Heisman-candidate Rex Grossman won-
dering if he should have joined his former coach.
After an early interception toss, Grossman and the
Gators trailed for nearly an eternity after inclimate
weather suspended play. The embarrassment con-
tinued, as Florida repeated mistake after mistake,
showing their defensive line was as generous as
Zook's perception of performance.
Tennessee looks forward to filling the role of
the Gator hunter this week. The probable return of
Kelley Washington to the Tennessee lineup will
only inflict more damage to the almost-extinct
Tennessee 38, Florida 17
3:30 P.M.: The game can be summed up with two
words: Suggs and Jones. Virginia Tech's opponents
know that the Hokies' run is coming, and still no
one can stop it. Lee Suggs' 331 yards, Kevin
Jones' 281 yards and a combined 10 touchdowns
for the season has convinced coach Frank Beamer
to call them "The Untouchables." Quite fitting
since the Hokies rarely needed to pass as they ran
over Marshall last Thursday.
Suggs and Jones will have to prove themselves
again against Texas A&M's No. 1 run defense in

Kentucky and Alabama
lose violation appeals

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (AP) - Ken-
tucky and Alabama lost again yesterday
when the NCAA rejected their appeals
to lift sanctions against the football pro-
grams because of recruiting violations.
An infractions appeals committee
upheld a one-year postseason ban
placed on Kentucky's. football pro-
gram. It was one of several penalties
levied against the school in January
after internal and NCAA investiga-
tions unearthed dozens of recruiting
"The Kentucky case was one of
widespread abuse by employees of the
university," said Terry Don Phillips,
chairman of the infractions appeals
committee. "It is about institutional
responsibility for the conduct and con-
trol of its employees and the duty and
care an institution must exercise in the
administration of its athletic program."
Kentucky appealed the ban in Febru-
ary, claiming the penalty was too harsh
because the violations did not give the
school a clear competitive advantage.
"We conclude Kentucky construes
} the term 'recruiting advantage' too nar-
rowly in its argument," the committee's
report said.
Alabama sought restoration of six
scholarships and its bowl eligibility but
the appeals committee upheld all the
penalties imposed after the program
was cited for illegal recruiting by
boosters and other infractions.
The NCAA placed Alabama on five
years' probation Feb. 1, tacking on six
scholarship cuts to the university's self-
imposed reduction of 15, and banning
the team from participating in a bowl
AP PHOTO game for two years.
and a Those penalties were deemed appro-
priate "because the violations in this
case were numerous and particularly
atchups egregious," the report stated.
ifornia, The committee cited Alabama for
illegal recruiting practices by
-3 last boosters, with chairman Thomas
he Buf- Yeager saying the panel considered
before the so-called "death penalty" which

would shut down the program for at
least one season.
"But for the unequivocal cooperation
of the university, it's very clear the
death penalty most probably would
have been imposed," Phillips said.
Interim Alabama President J.
Barry Mason said university officials
"disagree and are disappointed" with
the decision.
In a statement, Mason said the uni-
versity's arguments for relief "were
grounded in fact and well presented
both in writing and in our meeting with
the appeals committee last month."
"Through this adversity, we will
move forward and become stronger
than ever," Athletic Director Mal
Moore said.
Kentucky officials expressed similar
"I'm very disappointed with this rul-
ing," university president Lee Todd
said. "The prospect of postseason play
in any sport is what drives the hope and
optimism for all of us.
"I'm disappointed for our fans. I'm
disappointed for our coaches. And
most of all I'm disappointed for the
student athletes and this team who
are giving their all to restore this pro-
gram. For them, I feel the process has
let them down."
The penalty carries an extra sting this
year, now that Kentucky is off to a 3-0
start and had realistic bowl expectations
following consecutive 2-9 seasons.
"It is extremely difficult to express
the disappointment that our football
players and coaching staff are feeling
after this decision," Kentucky Athletic
Director Mitch Barnhart said. "They
now have to pay the price for the
infractions that others have created.
"But this team has displayed great
heart and courage in the face of
adversity, and I truly believe that
they will remain focused on the
upcoming schedule and continue
what could be a storybook season for
Kentucky football."

Florida's quarterback Rex Grossman leads Florida - which is coming off an embarassing loss to Miamia
sub-par win against Ohio - into Tennessee this Saturday to face the No. 4 Volunteers.

the country - one that hasn't allowed a 100-yard
rusher in two years. It might be a little susceptible,
though, after a victory over Pittsburgh two weeks
ago that was a bit too close for comfort. Coming
off of a bye, the Aggies need this win to boost
their ranking heading into their rough conference
Unfortunately for Texas A&M, most of the
Texas football fans will be focused on the in-
state "rivalry" between Texas and Houston. This
will further the aggravation of the Aggies as
they will have trouble harnessing Virginia Tech's
potent offense. This "Battle of the Engineers"
will certainly be one to watch.
Virginia Tech 30, Texas A&M 21
STATE, 7 P.M., TBS: Just as Steve Spurrier gradu-
ated to the NFL, former Patriots coach Pete Car-
roll was sent back to school, as coach of Southern
Cal. The Trojans are one of the hottest teams with
one of the toughest schedules in college football.
No. 25 Kansas State might be the least difficult

game on Carroll's mind with upcoming ma
against Washington, Washington State, Cali
Oregon and Notre Dame.
The Trojans did slaughter Colorado 40
weekend, which makes one wonder why th
falos weren't knocked out of the pollsl
last week.
While Southern Cal. has been on the up-
so has Kansas State, which entered the po
the first time this season. Unlike the Troja
Wildcats have yet to be tested, and cans
considered unproven. With an otherwis
nonconference schedule, Kansas State nee
game badly. It's no lie, Kansas State's firs
games were against Western Ken
Louisiana-Monroe and Eastern Illinois, all
who don't exactly ring a bell when one th
college football powerhouses. Look forB
State to be riled up for this important ma
but expect Southern Cal. quarterbackC
Palmer and the Trojans to pull ahead fairl
in the game.
Southern Cal. 34, Kansas State 18

oils for
ins, the
still be
e easy
ds this
t three
inks of
y early

Continued from Page 9
This year's Michigan team may
actually be farther along than last
year's squad this early in the season.
Despite the team's outstanding indi-
vidual marks from last season, this
year's top finishers are running
tighter times than in the past.
Specifically, Warhurst is expecting
strong finishes on Friday from soph-
omore Nathan Brannen - who sat
out the team's first event, the Michi-
gan Open, two weeks ago - junior
Tom Greenless, sophomore Tarn

Leach and freshman Nick Willis.
"They seem to be moving and
pushing things pretty good,"
Warhurst said.
Senior Nick Stanko, the team cap-
tain, should also have a good showing.
Yesterday, the team began interval
training to work on getting stronger,
a focal point of Warhurst's workouts.
These interval training sessions are
the most intense the runners will
face, running one mile, six times,
with a two-minute break between
each. This is different from the usual
routine of running eight or more
miles consecutively at a given pace.



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