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April 28, 2004

Gotta love the BCS folks. They are doing the golf during the day, cocktail parties at night circuit at a Phoenix, Arizona resort to decide the future of the television contract and whether or not the “human element” should be included in the selection process. ABC’s TV contract is currently through 2005 and the parent company of ESPN is interested in staying the main player for the BCS games. CBS, which handles Southeastern Conference games throughout the regular season, is also discussing ways to get involved.

John Swofford, Atlantic Coast Conference Commissioner, was quoted as saying that it was important to look at all options and that the “human element” needs to be considered in selecting the teams to vie for the national championship. There has also been discussion about a “Four Plus One” or “Five Plus One” system placing 8 to 10 teams in the upper tier bowls, letting them play, and then advancing the two highest rated teams for the BCS championship game. Well, now there’s a move in the right direction. The BCS contacted a dozen other bowl committees regarding their interest in being placed in that rotation…games like the Peach, the Cotton, etc. It’s not perfect yet, but it looks like the world of college football is making a move towards a playoff. As Al Groh said last year prior to the Continental Tire Bowl, “When I’m on my death bed, I hope someone whispers in my ear…guess what coach, we have a college football playoff system.”


If you haven’t fallen in love with the Virginia baseball team yet, just attend one of the games in the two remaining ACC series that will be at Davenport Field. Florida State and Wake Forest will come to town beginning with the ‘Noles on May 7th. Last night, prior to the Cavaliers’ break for exams, UVA pulled off another ninth inning win scoring two to beat Radford 3-2. Head Coach Brian O’Connor was tossed in the 7th when he argued what appeared to be one of the worst calls of the year. With UVA trailing 2-1 and batting in the bottom of the 7th, the ‘Hoos loaded the bases with one out for one of their hottest hitters, Mark Reynolds. He was plunked on the wrist by a pitch and the home plate umpire ruled the ball hit the bat first. The Highlanders catcher grabbed the ball, stepped on the plate, then threw to first for a rally killing double play. After O’Connor’s friendly debate with the men in blue, he was sent to the locker room.

Didn’t matter. The Cavaliers used an infield single, a bunt, a stolen base, and a bloop base hit for the win and UVA is now 36-9. Tickets for the FSU series are available through the UVA ticket office (800-542-UVA1).

The night of the men’s basketball banquet, I had the opportunity to speak with first-year guard T.J. Bannister, who was arrested last week for disorderly conduct following an incident at a non-alcohol party near the Culbreath theater. He told me a fight had broken out inside the party so he and a couple teammates decided to leave. As they walked out, the players were accosted by a group of five or six guys. A scuffle occurred, and the campus and city police arrived. T.J. was handcuffed and booked for disorderly conduct.

“I was just trying to get out of there when these five other guys came after us,” Bannister said. “Next thing I know, I’m on the street, face down, with handcuffs.” T.J. appears Friday in court and will more than likely be cleared of all charges.

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