June 17, 2010
what’s inside News .............2 Features ........8 0pinions ........4 Sports .........11 Classifieds ...13 Sudoku ........13 107th year issue 64 blacksburg, va.
BHS fall plans still under debate LIANA BAYNE news editor Blacksburg High School students, who have been without a school since their gym collapsed in early February, may find themselves displaced yet again in the upcoming school year. The Montgomery County school board is examining five different options for BHS students in the upcoming year. The hope had been to have the school building open again in time for the first day of school on Aug. 18, but in a school board meeting Tuesday night superintendent Brenda Blackburn said she didn’t expect the building to be usable in the fall. Nearly all of the options would affect not only BHS students but students of both Blacksburg and Christiansburg Middle Schools as well. The options, which will be open for debate in four public meetings this week, are mainly focused on using
the BMS building. They are: — Use BHS’s current classroom building, minus the gym, as usual for grades nine through 12, utilizing portable classroom units. The class schedule would be different from average to accommodate construction that would have to be done to make the classroom portion of the building inhabitable. More than 80 necessary repairs were outlined in preliminary reports last week. — Use BMS for grades nine through 12 on a traditional schedule as an official temporary high school and send middle school students to the old Christiansburg Middle School building on South Main Street, which has stood vacant since 2003. — Use BMS for grades eight through 12 and use Christiansburg Middle School for all of its regular students plus Blacksburg’s sixth and seventh grade students. CMS’ enrollment swell to around 1,410 students if this option were used. — Use BMS for either grades
The Blacksburg High School gym roof collapsed on Feb. 13. BHS students have since attended BMS. eight through 12 or nine through 12 and send all Christiansburg and Blacksburg middle-schoolers to CMS on a split schedule, similar to the one currently in place at BMS in which middle school students attend school
Former rector to join state higher education board
Rocovich, right, talks with Steger, left, during a 2003 BOV meeting. Other members of the newly formed commission are Wilbert Bryant, former Virginia secretary of education and former U.S. deputy assistant for higher education programs, and Susan Genovese, a trustee at Randolph College and a former member of the state board of education. A final member, who must be a former college president, has not yet been added to the commission.
The idea of the commission, created by former Gov. Mark Warner, was to add some objectivity to the selection process. However, the members’ strong Republican ties, especially those of Rocovich and Kilgore, have some questioning the objectivity of the commission and whether many conservative and party-loyal Republicans could be popping up in Boards of Visitors
— Use BMS for grades nine through 12 and send all Christiansburg and Blacksburg students in grades six through eight to CMS on a unified schedule. CMS’ enrollment would see BHS / page three
Tech groups see effect of falling fuel prices CLAIRE SANDERSON
LIANA BAYNE Former Virginia Tech Board of Visitors rector John Rocovich, who many speculated would be reappointed to Tech’s BOV this July, after serving a controversial 19972005 term, has been appointed to a commission that will help Gov. Bob McDonnell decide on new members to join the Boards of Visitors for all state universities. The Virginia Commission on Higher Education Board Appointments, to which McDonnell recently added both Rocovich and former Republican Attorney General Jerry Kilgore, will have a say in not only the appointment of four members to Tech’s BOV this July, but will also have influence in all Boards of Visitors across the state. The commission’s function is to vote on candidates they feel would be appropriate for different governing bodies of state universities. McDonnell can then choose to take their advice or not. The governor can replace members at will at any time, though typically commission members serve four-year terms.
in the morning and high school students attend school in the evening. Under this split schedule, half of middle schoolers would attend classes in the morning and the other half would attend in the evening.
Americans can only watch while thousands of gallons of crude oil erupt each day out of the ruined pipe a mile below the surface in the Gulf of Mexico, yet prices for gasoline in the area have steadily declined, affecting travelers and operations around Virginia Tech alike. Last week’s average in Blacksburg was $2.426 per gallon, down 29 cents from the average at the beginning of the month, $2.715 per gallon, according to AAA. Not only have prices declined in the past weeks, current prices in Blacksburg are also lower than the national average of $2.696. Falling gas prices have enabled many summer travelers to afford vacations, and here at Tech, where gas is an important part of many groups’ budgets, changing prices have other effects. According to AAA, the average price to fill a 15-gallon tank right now month is $36.59. This is down $4.03 from the last month’s average of $40.62.
see BOV / page three
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A $4 difference is substantial for summer travelers. However, these differences are magnified for groups on campus and around Blacksburg for which driving as a major part of their operations. The Virginia Tech Police Department is one such group, relying on the fleet of cars it leases from Fleet Services to perform its operations. Fuel is just one part of Tech Police’s budget, so it must determine how much it will use when setting that budget. “Our average fuel bill is $3,600 per month,” said Jamie Rasmussen, Blacksburg Transit business manager. “That’s dependent not just on fuel prices but also on what’s going on around campus.” She explained that during game days or graduation weekend, Tech Police uses more money for gas than at other times, such as during the summer. “The cost of fuel doesn’t alter any of the services we offer, but we do adjust the budget throughout the year. Our monthly budget for gas ranges from $2,500 to $4,500,” Rasmussen said. Tech Police receives a set amount see GAS / page three
collegiatetimes.com June 17, 2010
Huckleberry Trail to get face-lift Judge denies Zhu appeal SARAH WATSON news reporter The town of Christiansburg has made plans to expand the Huckleberry Trail, thanks to a $1 million donation made by a local resident. Renva Weeks Knowles passed away in November 2007 and left $1 million to the town. Knowles, who spent her later years in Christiansburg, left this gift to improve roads, sidewalks and walkways. “The gift by Ms. Knowles was so generous,” said Becky Hawke, spokeswoman for the town. While Christiansburg has yet to receive the money, it is currently making plans to use it to expand the Huckleberry Trail. Town council members collaborated to develop a project that would match the intentions of her will, Hawke said. Knowles’s donation will create a pedestrian bridge across Peppers Ferry Road. “(The cost) is extensive to build a bridge, but the $1 million gift will cover that,” Hawke said. Christiansburg recently applied for a grant with a revenue sharing program through the Virginia Department of Transportation that is used to help improve roadways. The town could receive up to $1 million additional dollars through this program that would go toward the project and allow expansion of the Huckleberry Trail to the Christiansburg Recreation Center. Depending on funding, construc-
A $1 million donation from a local resident will expand the trail. tion could begin as early as late 2010, according to Hawke. The town will oversee the project, and will provide most of the labor. Hawke said the town might contract out if it receives enough funding, but it would prefer to keep the work force local as a cost savings measure. “We have the ability to complete that work,” she said. The Huckleberry Trail currently extends throughout Blacksburg and Christiansburg, stretching more than 5.8 miles of land. In addition to this construction, Friends of the Huckleberry has also been working toward expanding the trail in all directions. FOTH is currently working on a $70,000 expansion that will move past New River Valley Mall and end at Peppers Ferry Road, adding 0.4 miles to the trail. The town of Christiansburg is contributing labor and forces while the FOTH has supplied $70,000 in materials. FOTH President Bill Ellenbogen is currently working on two additional projects.
The first is a collaboration between FOTH, the town of Blacksburg, and Virginia Tech, which will expand the trail from the west of Route 460 to Hethwood. Tech has contributed $465,000 in grants and FOTH has raised $30,000 in funding, according to Ellenbogen. The second project will connect Prices Fork Road to Glade Road as part of the Jefferson National Forest portion of the trail, also to be funded by FOTH. Ellenbogen said engineers are still currently working toward a final cost estimate. FOTH was formed in 1991 to raise funds and help promote and expand the trail, explained Ellenbogen. The organization has worked closely with the Blacksburg, Christiansburg, Tech and Montgomery Country to improve the trail. Since its inception, approximately five miles have been added to the trail. “The Huckleberry is a great facility and we hope the people of the community continue to use it,” Ellenbogen stated.
COURTESY OF THE ROANOKE TIMES
Zhu pled guilty in December and was sentenced to life in April. LIANA BAYNE news editor Montgomery County Circuit Court Judge Bobby Turk refused Tuesday to reduce the life sentence on former Virgiania Tech graduate student Haiyang Zhu, who received the life sentence at a hearing in April for the Jan. 21, 2009 killing of former Tech graduate student Xin Yang.
Zhu attacked Yang with a knife and decapitated her in the Au Bon Pain in the Graduate Life Center last January. Zhu’s attorney Stephanie Cox filed a motion last week asking Turk to reduce the life sentence to a 40-year term, after he pleaded guilty to the murder in December. Turk cited the brutality and the premeditation of the crime as his main reasons for denying the request.
BHS: School board reviewing options from page one
be around 1,705 if this option were used. In Tuesday’s school board meeting, many voiced concerns about creating too large of a middle school population at CMS. Some board members advocated for other, different uses of the old Christiansburg Middle School. If any sizable population of students were to be sent to the old Christiansburg Middle School, it is estimated that as
many as 20 portable classroom units would have to be utilized at a cost of $35,000 each. Blackburn has said she wants to come to a decision on a course of action by July 6. Four community meetings will be held to discuss the options. At 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. on Monday, June 21, two separate meetings will be held at BMS. Two meetings will be held at CMS at 3 p.m. and at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, June 22.
Programs help faculty use new technologies
Truman Capone, director of the School of Visual Arts, praised the program and its ability to create effective communication across the university. Four visual arts instructors are participating in workshops, while Capone encourages all younger faculty in his department to become involved. “I’ve been involved with it since its inception. ... I started when I needed to learn software for classes I taught in graphic design,” Capone said. The FDI was established in 1993 as part of the Instructional Development Initiative. Capone also noted his pleasure with the FDI’s ability to supply computers, software and training to all instructors. All workshops are free to faculty, staff and graduate students. The FDI, as part of Learning Technologies, is paid for by the computing center at Tech, according to Ed Schwartz, director of development, programs, administration and collaboration for Learning Technologies. Most classes are part of a series, but faculty members are not required to attend all classes within the series. They are approximately two hours and are also offered in the fall and spring. The maximum enrollment is 25 people, while most classes reach about 15 people, according to Grey. Those interested in attending workshops can register online at the FDI homepage, fdi.vt.edu.
SARAH WATSON news reporter The Faculty Development Institute at Virginia Tech provides faculty, staff and graduate students with workshops on the that teach them how to utilitze new technology in the classroom. According to its website, the mission of the FDI is based on “teaching faculty how to effectively and efficiently integrate technology into their teaching and research activities.” FDI is currently offering summer courses ranging from “Brand Certification — Writing for our Brand” to “Dreamweaver CS4: Webpage Creation and HTML Coding.” Karen Gray, coordinator of instruction for FDI, said the main goal for the summer is to train faculty and graduate students to work with the Website Scholar. “We want to help faculty be able to use technology to its highest level,” Gray said. These workshops are used to help faculty with the transition from Blackboard to Scholar. Various courses instruct faculty members on how to use Scholar tools such as blogs, wikis, podcasts and the grade book. Other courses instruct faculty on how to utilize the Tech brand and maximize the efficiency of online courses. All of the workshops update faculty, staff and graduate students on the latest technology offered, Grey said.
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Realignments call loyalties into question O
ver the past week, the rapid pace of the conference realignments that are currently taking place has amazed those of us that follow college sports. While there had been hints that the Big Ten was carefully exploring expansion, it was the PAC-10 that unexpectedly and out of the blue started the ball rolling and sent shock waves throughout the country. Virginia Tech is all too familiar with the nature of conference realignments, having gone through the process in Summer 2003 when it was courting the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) and fully joined in 2004. Some of us can vividly remember the revolving news cycle of information and the special meetings taking place on the issue. A look back at Virginia Tech’s conference history shows the fickle and evolving nature of conferences from the Southern Conference, Metro Conference, Atlantic 10 and the Big East. Some have even indicated that Virginia Tech could be caught up in possible future realignments depending on how things shape up across the country. All of these realignments make you wonder the true intentions and meaning of it all. Is it merely about money and expanding revenues? Is it about recruiting? As we watch and wait what happens to the Big 12, PAC-10 and other con-
ferences, issues of conference loyalty, rivalry games, economics and other factors all become points of conversation. In some cases it raises other questions about whether or not it is about joining more academically focused peers. Is it about more regional similarities? Is it more about similar cultural traditions? It is true that institutions are impacted by whom they consider their peers, whether it is through athletics or through similar academic type or similar research funding. In this age of metrics and the comparison of information, these peers become powerful tools in arguing for or against efforts at an institution. This is especially true at Virginia Tech, where the list of State Council of Higher Education for Virginia approved peers becomes an important listing as well as the focus on our ACC peer institutions. Virginia Tech has benefited academically from the ACC affiliation through the ACC Meeting of the Minds and other academic-related initiatives. These affiliations have also been seen in departmental collaborations or within student affairs as housing officers from the ACC gather each year. As I think about the changing landscape of college sports, I think about what happens when faculty and/or
staff leave or are considering leaving the institution. For faculty, many things come into play, whether it is the potential for tenure somewhere else, the chances of tenure at Virginia Tech, the potential for advancement and the external variables impacting them such as family needs or other motivations. Other factors could be the nature of the discipline and the type of facilities needed to conduct the research or the general climate in the area. In terms of staff, it could be the potential for advancement, the opportunities available in the surrounding area, or the nature of the work environment. While the departure of faculty or staff won’t make the national headlines like Colorado going to the PAC-10 or Nebraska going to the Big Ten, it still has an impact on the institution or the individuals or units that were closely aligned with those individuals. What happens to loyalty to an institution or to an ideal such as a conference of peers? What happens to faculty and staff that have dedicated themselves to the betterment of an institution in tough budget times? Are they merely swept aside for something better? Can institutions show a level of selfishness in the process and be fair to others? Should faculty and staff be more self-
How hard will you ﬁght to retain a tradition or rivalry? Or is it time to fold a tradition or go somewhere else and start something new?
ish to their own needs? Just as institutions evolve in this rapidly changing climate, so do faculty and staff. Perhaps the realignment of conferences is an expression of the evolving nature of things. How hard will you fight to retain a tradition or a rivalry? Or is it time to fold a tradition or go somewhere else and start something new? If anything, the next few weeks and months will be interesting in terms of the landscape of college sports and I suspect that the same will be said for the landscape at Virginia Tech in terms of its faculty and staff with the fiscal challenges taking place. It will certainly be an interesting experience to witness.
RAY PLAZA -regular columnist -director of diversity initiatives
Students experience ‘Aha moment’
collegiatetimes.com June 17, 2010
n the heart of Christiansburg, just up the road from Blacksburg, sits a brick building. The windows are boarded up. A chain and combination lock on the door serves as the security system. Tall, green grass grows around the perimeter. To someone passing by, the building looks like it could have served a purpose at some time or another, but appears as though it was abandoned long ago. However, if you look past the tall grass, the combination lock and the boarded up windows, the building tells a different story. Over the threshold and up an old wooden staircase, a group of middle school students are sitting in a circle in an empty room. They’re sharing stories and learning about the history of this old building by studying the people who built it. They are learning that the building used to be a part of a 185-acre campus of a school for African Americans that opened in the 1800’s. They are discovering that African American activist and educator Booker T. Washington served as the schools supervisor in 1895 and they are learning that all of this happened just down the road from Blacksburg.
Two hours later, the building no longer feels empty. The students leave feeling overwhelmed with the knowledge of all of the special people and events that came before them to help create the life they live today. Some people call that an “Aha Moment” or a “Moment of Truth.” Sounds pretty fulfilling, huh? It is. I know because as an AmeriCorps VISTA volunteer I see it happen all the time; it’s the moment when people make a connection to something bigger than themselves. What’s even better is that, as an AmeriCorps VISTA volunteer, it happens for me every day. You may already know a little bit about AmeriCorps; it’s sort of like the Peace Corps, but in America. Volunteers, like myself, live and work in communities around the country and provide support for organizations that do good things. I’m volunteering at Christiansburg Institute, the historic site of the first and only school for African Americans in the New River Valley. The school opened in 1866, just after the Civil War. It stayed open for 100 years, surviving
through the Great Depression and other major changes in American history. Today, four of the 185 acres of the original campus remain just off of North Franklin Street. Christiansburg Institute is a place for people to learn about history and diversity through programs like the one that takes place inside that beautiful, historic building. To be blunt, this article isn’t about Christiansburg Institute (however it’s a really awesome place, you should check it out sometime). This article is about the fulfilling and life changing decision to volunteer your time to do good things in the community where you live and to help others to have an “Aha Moment.” Whether you’ve volunteered before or if you are just beginning to consider it, congratulations! There’s something inside of you that wants to help make this world a better place and there are plenty of places that could really use your help. One of your greatest resources for starting your volunteering career is right here on Tech’s campus. The staff at the Center for Student Engagement and
It’s the moment when people make a connection to something bigger than themselves.”
Community Partnerships (CSECP) is one of the main reasons why I am currently serving as a VISTA Volunteer. They’ve got tons of opportunities to help you reach out to the community, whether it’s volunteering your time at a one-day event or making a longer-term commitment to serve. Bottom line: If you are looking to do good things in the community that also look good on your resume, stop by CSECP’s offices over in 1660 LittonReeves Hall. No promises, but you’ll probably have an “Aha Moment” of your own.
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LEXI EDWARDS -guest columnist -AmeriCorps VISTA volunteer
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Your Views [letter to the editor]
Local hotels: Hokie friendly?
Five Americans in Italy: Lessons learned on a bus I
was recently in Italy. Rome, Italy. There it was all about the food, the sights, the culture, the people — all as rich as the tomato sauce on my pizza at dinner. Italy was crazy; it was organized chaos. Here you can find Fiats and Vespas that run wild on the streets, Italian grandmothers yelling from restaurant kitchen windows and a bus system that makes sense to only a select few. It could easily be an engineer’s nightmare. But at the same time, the country that gave us the Ferrari, pasta and the Sistine Chapel is one of my favorite places in the world. The people were friendly, the landscape was stunning, and the food was phenomenal. I spent my afternoon in the Vatican. After my five-hour tour, I was a bit worn out, and like usual I was hungry. Like I do in any city, I pulled out my List, a piece of paper where I have scribbled down the must eat restaurants. Tonight, dinner was to be at Pizzeria da Baffetto. On the map it looked pretty close, but being exhausted from my day with The Pope, the bus seemed more appealing. My family agreed with me, and we made our way to the bus. The bus system in Rome is impressive for many reasons. Bus numbers start at one and to go to at least 990. Buses come in all sizes, large, small, extra small. Some are old, some are new. The bus system is also made to be as confusing as possible. A single bus stop can easily service 10 buses.
It is convenient as buses come all the time, but it’s nearly impossible to know where you are actually going. There is some logic, but mostly you get on a bus and hope for the best. After finding and missing Bus 172, we waited and waited for the next one. Nothing. Soon 10 minutes passed, then 15 minutes, and by this time, there was quite a crowd at the stop. Finally, 20 minutes later, Bus 172 arrived. Eagerly, we all got on the already crammed bus. We were only going two stops. Just our luck, the air conditioning on the bus was broken. At first things were fine. It was a little warm and there were lots of people on the bus, but we were getting off soon. Only two stops. And then we hit the traffic. And in Italian traffic, the only thing that moves are the Vespas weaving in and out of densely packed, merging vehicles. So there we stood, five Americans in a bus full of Italians, with no air conditioning, in traffic. After 10 minutes of going nowhere, we were getting hungry and impatient. We could have been eating at this point if we had walked. My dad leaned over and asked the bus driver to let us off. He said no. But that didn’t sit well with the Italians. Somehow, our simple request to be let off the bus early turned into “the five Americans in the front are very sick and very hot and the door must be opened immediately to give them some air!”
You think one backseat driver is bad, this bus driver was dealing with 20.”
You think one backseat driver is bad, this bus driver was dealing with 20. The rumbling from the back to help the dying Americans grew louder and louder until the bus driver stood up from his seat and demanded, “Who is sick?!” But before anyone could answer, the traffic finally cleared, and the topic changed instantaneously from our health problems to why the bus was still stationary. With the mob demanding advancement, the bus driver threw up his hand and got the bus moving again. We went about 100 yards to our stop, the bus pulled over and the Americans and the Italians spilled out. We could breathe again. Lessons learned: The Blacksburg Transit could use some extra buses, even if things get more confusing, I am sure the College of Engineering can get it done. All Tech students should be bowing to Italy for inventing pasta, the staple of almost every college students diet. And no matter how hot it is, winter will eventually come, or in this case, fresh air.
BRITANNY BURKHALTER -guest columnist
collegiatetimes.com June 17, 2010
hile staying at the Hawthorne Suites in Christiansburg in May 2009, I asked the front desk about reserving a room for our daughter’s graduation from Virginia Tech the following spring. The concierge said I could not reserve a room until June 1, 2009, when there would be a telephone lottery. After looking around at other options, I learned that many other hotels and motels in the Blacksburg area, including the two Holiday Inns, hold these “competitions.” Basically, prospective guests have to start dialing their telephone at an appointed hour. Whoever gets through to the reservations desk first “wins” a room. According to hotel staff, the Courtyard Marriott in Blacksburg used a telephone lottery the first year they were open. So many people were angered by it that the hotel switched to a lottery with printed forms. In spite of participating in both telephone and printed lotteries, I failed to book a room at a local hotel. However, two did offer to place my name on a waiting list. In February 2010, the Holiday Inn Express Hotel & Suites in Christiansburg notified me by e-mail that my name had been reached. The instructions said the hotel had to receive a postal money order or bank check for $468.16 for my two night stay within 48 hours to secure the reservation, and that it was nonrefundable I telephoned to tell them it was impossible to meet the deadline even if I ran to the post office. Staff said the owner of the hotel had imposed the requirements. Following additional telephone calls, I was told the hotel had had to liberalize the requirements (obviously no one could meet them), and that a personal check mailed immediately would suffice. My family and I arrived in Christiansburg on the afternoon of May 14, pulled into a parking space beside the entrance and proceeded to check in.
Although I had paid in full months in advance, I was surprised to hear the desk clerk/manager on duty request a credit card. When I raised questions, she said it was in case we made any telephone calls or broke something. Our check had clearly been good, but I guess we were not trusted to pay for any additional costs incurred or behave well. We moved our car closer to our hotel room at the suggestion of the desk clerk. I was dismayed to discover that a spike that anchored a concrete parking marker had pulled away our front bumper as we pulled out of the first spot. The marker was clearly in need of repair as the metal spike protruded several inches above the concrete. The desk clerk/manager on duty pointed to signs reading “Guest Parking User Assumes All Risk.” She said all she could do was call a truck to tow our car away full well knowing the evening graduation ceremony was only a few hours away. The owner/general manager was gone until the following Monday and the desk clerk was basically on her own until an additional staff member finally showed up for work. A very pleasant police officer prepared a vehicle incident report, looked at our automobile and said I did the right thing by taking a lot of photos. He told me earlier that day he had also been called to another hotel. A man with a long-standing contract with the hotel was told he would have to pay the much higher graduation weekend rates. I certainly understand that the goal of any business, including hotels, is to make a profit. However, that does not absolve them from maintaining their facilities and parking lots, treating guests in a fair and considerate manner and not exploiting graduation weekend to squeeze every last dime out of them. Sandra Mendyk mother of Tech graduate
BOV: Republican-heavy state commission to control appointments to state universities from page one
collegiatetimes.com June 17, 2010
across the state. In spring, before the members of the commission were established, speculation began around the Tech community that McDonnell’s election alone would be enough to put a conservative tilt to Tech’s BOV and others around the state. With two vacant seats and two BOV members up for re-appointment, Tech could see as many as four new members. It was initially speculated that Rocovich could be returning to Tech’s BOV. Rocovich, a Blacksburg native who has a history of providing major financial backing for both the university and the Republican Party, left the board when his term expired in 2005, after he served the maximum
continuous term of eight years. While serving on the BOV, Rocovich’s financial influence benefited the university. Two notable projects completed during his 19972005 term were the construction of ICTAS and the Edward Via School of Osteopathic Medicine. “I’d been serving on a sort of study committee since the middle ’90s, so we finally got that ICTAS started while I was on the board and that’s a very instrumental part of a major research institution,” Rocovich said in an interview with the Collegiate Times on April 5 (“March letter recalls 2003 BOV spat). He was also involved in the process of Tech’s admission to the Atlantic Coast Conference. “I was very fortunate to serve on the
board in a period of time when we were able to start a lot of new initiatives and do a lot of things that I think helped to propel the school forward. And we, for the most part, had a pretty aggressive board that was farseeing,” Rocovich said in April. But Rocovich, along with Kilgore, was also at the center of a controversy in 2003, when Rocovich was the rector of the BOV, as reported by the CT in April (“March letter recalls 2003 BOV spat,” April 5). The current BOV did not act upon Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli’s March 5 request to remove sexual orientation from the school’s discrimination policy. Several days after Cuccinelli sent the letter, McDonnell issued a directive that stressed against engaging in discrimination in
employment searches. In a similar incident in 2003, the board had a different reaction when then-Attorney General Kilgore attempted to ban affirmative action. Kilgore’s office sent a letter to the board, led by then-rector Rocovich, in 2002. The letter suggested that Tech discontinue the use of affirmative action when selecting employees and students and opt for “race-neutral” policies. Instead of denying Kilgore’s request, the board attempted to comply with it. The board did not address the Kilgore letter until March 2003. Then, without first placing it on the agenda of the March 10, 2003, meeting, Rocovich brought a resolution before the board that moved to create the office of equal opportunity and diversity and implement more raceneutral policies. However, while presenting this resolution, a clause granting protection from discrimination based on sexual orientation was omitted. This policy ended affirmative action, which had been in place at Tech for a number of years. Documentation presented to the BOV shows evidence of race-conscious recruitment of potential students from undergraduate admissions at that time, inviting African-American, Hispanic and American-Indian students to a number of special programs not open to Caucasian applicants. Rocovich stands by his position on affirmative action. “If I remember correctly, my position has always been that the only legitimate way to judge another human being is on merit,” Rocovich said in an interview with the CT in April. After about a month of public outcry and student protests, the board held an emergency meeting on April 6, 2003, to discuss the policy with David Johnson, a deputy attorney general, in front of a crowd so large that the meeting was held in the banquet room of Owens Hall instead of the usual boardroom in Torgersen Hall. At the end of the nearly four-hour meeting, the changes were overturned by a vote of eight to five. Sexual orientation was added back into the anti-discriminatory language and “narrowly-tailored” race-conscious policies were enacted that essentially reinstated limited, legal affirmative action, in which race could be considered as a factor — just not as one of the main factors — for admissions or hiring. Rocovich was not eligible for reappointment at the end of that term. Additionally, a resolution was
If I remember correctly, my position has always been that the only legitimate way to judge another human being is on merit. JOHN ROCOVICH FORMER BOV RECTOR
passed stating that all items up for discussion would have to be placed on the agenda at least three days in advance of the next BOV meeting. Now, Rocovich, along with Kilgore, will serve as McDonnell’s advisers in who to appoint to various Boards of Visitors. Both have been significant financial supporters of the governor and of the Republican party. According to the Virginia Public Access project, Rocovich contributed a total of $63,000 to McDonnell’s campaigns for attorney general and governor between 1996 and 2009, including $53,000 for travel expenses during both campaigns. “I admire the governor greatly,” Rocovich said in an April interview with the CT. “He, in my mind, has all the right stuff to be perhaps the best governor we’ve ever had. I’m a great supporter of his, and he’s certainly a very able and sensible, capable man.” Rocovich had also been a strong supporter of Kilgore. He donated a total of $53,850 to Kilgore’s various political campaigns for both attorney general and governor between 1996 and 2009, $10,850 of that before 2003. During his run for governor, Rocovich paid $40,000 of Kilgore’s travel expenses. Kilgore, in addition to his tenure as attorney general, has given a total of $15,614 to various Republican candidates and the Republican party since 1996, according to the Virginia Public Access project. Rocovich and Kilgore are not the only major party members to be appointed to the commission. Genovese donated $5,000 to the GOP-oriented Good Government for America PAC in 2002. And her husband, Frank Genovese, has given $421,300 to various Republican causes since 2009, according to the Virginia Public Access project — $110,000 of which has gone to Kilgore over the years and $80,000 of which has gone to McDonnell’s various campaigns. The commission will have the ability to appoint at least two and up to four new members to Tech’s BOV in July.
from page one
of money from Tech’s budget office and distributes that money throughout its different departments. “We pay money to Fleet Services for the cars, so our budget for the vehicles includes the lease, fuel, some maintenance costs, and we factor in an overage charge,” Rasmussen said. Because fuel is only a part of Tech Police’s budget, lower prices do not have a huge effect. Rasmussen explained that typically the money that they save one month is reallocated to another part of the department which may need the money. The Blacksburg Transit runs its buses on diesel instead of gasoline but is still noticing a slight difference in the cost of fuel. “We switched to low-sulfur diesel several years ago,” said BT spokeswoman Fiona Rhodes. “It is a better fuel for product for the environment.” While Rhodes noted that low-sulfur diesel is a slightly more expensive fuel than gasoline, she said the company buys bulk quantities of fuel, reducing costs. “We buy in bulk so the prices are lower for us anyway,” she said. “Because we buy such a large quantity, the effects of prices don’t hit us nearly as dramatically as you might see on gas station prices.” She also said that during the summer, while many routes operate on a “break service” schedule, BT uses substantially less gas, meaning that purchases are less frequent. She explained that changing prices do not have a great effect on the BT’s budget for gas because they might rise and fall between BT’s infrequent bulk purchases during the summer. While enjoying the current lows, data shows that gas prices are steadily on the rise, and BT has begun preparing for the future. Though a more expensive invest-
Gas: Lower prices help Fleet Services, Blacksburg Transit
ment now, hybrid and biofuel vehicles are intended to save money in the long run and make a more positive impact on the environment. BT has two experimental biodiesel fuel vehicles in use, and has purchased seven new hybrid electric buses. “We’ve received some but they’re not operational yet,” said Rhodes, adding that they hope to have the buses up and running by the end of the summer. Fleet Services is another group at Tech that deals with gas prices as a part of its daily operation. Fleet Services provides vehicles for Tech students, faculty, and staff to use for official university business. According to manager Gene Reed, Fleet Services used to budget money for gas years ago, but switched to a system where the customers pay for the gas they use. “It’s just a fairer system,” said Reed. In the older system, Fleet Services had to estimate the prices of gas when setting their budget. Some customers would have had to pay for more gas than they used, while others would have to pay for less. Like BT, Fleet Services is also looking into more sustainable means of transportation, finding the balance between paying more for electric and hybrid vehicles now, but making up for that in future years. It has a “green fleet” of cars that include hybrid Ford Escapes, hybrid Cheverolet Malibus, and Honda Insights. Though these cars have noted environmental benefits, they are more expensive for Fleet Services to purchase. “They are anywhere from $7,000 to $10,000 more per unit,” Reed said. Reed said he believes the cost of purchasing hybrid cars “will be a breakeven situation in the long run. But it takes about 100,000 miles to get to that point.”
Average gas price for the Central-Atlantic Region $1.368 1.485 2.006 2.184 2.930 3.101 4.111 2.695 2.698 Source: U.S. Energy Administration
collegiatetimes.com June 17, 2010
June 2002 June 2003 June 2004 June 2005 June 2006 June 2007 June 2008 June 2009 June 2010
Summer music kicks off downtown
Loop Wondering what’s going on around the ‘burg? Check out the events of the upcoming week. [Thursday, June 17] What: Music — Ben Kirkland Where: Gillie’s When: 7 p.m. Cost: Free
[Friday, June 18] What: Music — RTFM, Peebles, Dub Pery Where: Attitudes Bar and Cafe When: 9 p.m. Cost: $5 Note: 18+ with valid ID
[Saturday, June 19] What: Music — Carla Nelson Where: Gillie’s When: 7 p.m. Cost: Free
[Sunday, June 20]
Attendees sat on Henderson Lawn on Friday to enjoy live music at an open-air concert. The concert, by Gerry Timlin, marked the beginning of the Summer Arts Festival 2010. photo by niels goeran blume
What: Juneteenth celebration — Play: Having Our Say Where: Historic Smithﬁeld Plantation When: 3 p.m. Cost: Free Note: Public is invitied to bring a picnic meal and lawn chairs
[Monday, June 21] What: Summer Sessions Red Cross Blood Drive Where: Torgersen Museum (Room 1100) When: 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Note: Schedule your appointment by calling 800-GIVE-LIFE (800-448-3543), or by visiting www.redcrossblood.org. What: Center for the Arts at Virginia Tech Groundbreaking Ceremony Where: Shultz lawn When: 1 p.m. Cost: Free What: Summer Theatre Camp Where: The Lyric When: 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Cost: $150 Note: Register by calling 540-951-4771 between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.
[Tuesday, June 22]
collegiatetimes.com June 17, 2010
What: Play — Youre a Good Man, Charlie Brown Where: Studio Theatre, Squires Student Center When: 2 p.m. Cost: Free
[All Week] What: Viva Virginia International Festival of Music Where: Squires Student Center When: Runs from June 21 to July 3 Cost: $5 general public, $3 Virginia Tech students or children under 18 This week, the Lyric is showing “Oceans.” Check out TheLyric.com for showtime information.
International students assist refugees y name is Laura García. I come from Monterrey, Mexico — two flights and a 3-hour drive away. I came to Virginia Tech as a part of an exchange program with my home school, Tec de Monterrey. Every summer a group of students comes to Virginia Tech to work with the Center for Student Engagement and Community Partnerships (CSECP). Led by a fearless educator, Michele James-Deramo, the center works in community development programs with the refugee community in Roanoke. This year, I am part that special group and I hope to share my experience with you for the upcoming weeks. My story begins here, in Blacksburg. For the next four weeks, I will try to recreate what I see and learn from my class work with the Somali Bantu refugee community in Roanoke. So far my contact with the community has been somewhat limited: I attended a Board Meeting of the elders at Landsdowne, I baby-sat 2 year-olds so their parents could pay attention in their ESL class and I am working with a classmate to build a website for the community. For the next couple of weeks my work will be the same: Trying to help in anyway possible. It could range from cleaning and reading stories for children, to explaining how banks and supermarkets work and teaching children how to write their own name. It’s hard to imagine a life without ever knowing the soft glow of a light bulb, the sound of cars passing by or even the pitter-patter of water flowing out of a faucet. It is hard to imagine that waking up tomorrow is not a guarantee. It hard to imagine setting foot on an airplane for the first time only to land in a different continent, full of strange people who speak a language unknown to you. This is the story of the Somali Bantu who have been relocated to a resettlement community in the United States.
The Pilot Street Project The Pilot Street Project began with a phone call to the Roanoke Refugee and Immigration Office from Michele James-Deramo. “The program opened its doors in February of 2006 to serve the many needs of the 110+ African refugees who were placed at Maple Grove Apartments in Roanoke, which was located on Pilot Street in northwest city,” states the program’s web page. Since then, the program has relocated to four different communities in the Roanoke area: Landsdowne, Jamestown, Indian Village and the Villages at Lincoln. Students involved with the project normally help with ESL classes, tutoring, organizing activities for the kids or mentoring families through the adaptation process to life in the United States. The program has grown and is now forecasting to impact approximately 300 refugees by the end of the year. Upcoming Attractions On Saturday, June 19th, coinciding with the yearly remembrance of Juneteenth and the end of slavery in the United States, the Somali Bantu community will be very busy. It will
It is hard to imagine setting foot on an airplane for the first time only to land in a different continent, full of strange people who speak a language unknown to you.
host a soccer game at 5:00 pm against its brothers from North Carolina in the soccer fields adjacent to the Roanoke Carilion Clinic. The Roanoke team beat the North Carolina team the last time a match of this nature happened. The rematch promises to be an exciting event. As soon as the match ends, the whole congregation will migrate to the wedding reception of one of the board member’s sisters. As a part of the student group working with the Somali Bantu for the summer, I have been asked to attend both the match and the wedding. So, as the weekend unravels I will keep my eyes and ears open to capture as best possible the unbreakable spirit that this community shares. My purpose is to show you through my experience in Roanoke and through being an immigrant myself, the stories of the Somali Bantu. A wedding, a soccer match, and hopefully in the next weeks a summer camp for kids, will prove excellent starting points in understanding a people whose journey started centuries ago in Africa and now has brought them to the United States.
LAURA GARCIA -senior -journalism major -mexican exchange student
BY LAURA GARCIA
Learning a different language to get a job and support a family is the hardest challenge that Somali Bantu refugees encounter on American soil. Student/volunteers at the CSECP assist ESL teachers by baby-sitting toddlers during class time so parents can focus on their English. Like all 2 year-olds, they prove to be a handful.
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collegiatetimes.com June 17, 2010
A little bit of history Brought to Somalia as slaves by the Arab trade routes in the 1700’s, the Somali Bantu have been a minority discriminated against for centuries. Since its relative independence from European rule in 1960, Somalia has been a war-ridden country, experiencing endless fighting amongst internal factions hungry for power. Recently, Somalia has been without a stable central government since dictator Mohamed Siad Barre fled the country in 1991. The Somali Bantu have suffered the cross fire between the government and the rebels caught in warfare. Having their lands stolen, their women abused and their men killed led to a mass exodus of all Somali Bantus. Some found refuge in Ethiopia, Mozambique and Tanzania, but
eventually have all been relocated to refugee camps in Kenya. In 1999, the United States government recognized Somalian refugees as a priority. By 2002, 12,000 Somali Bantu were moved to the Kakuma refugee camp to be interviewed by U.S. Immigration for resettlement. Those Somali Bantus who were allowed to resettle in the States were sent to cities such as Denver, Tucson, Manchester, New Hampshire, Burlington, Vermont, Atlanta, Columbus, Ohio and San Diego. Last year, 4,189 Somali refugees were accepted into the United States.
collegiatetimes.com June 17, 2010
Karate Kid remake fun, but doesn’t stack up to predecessor It’s around that time when the industry has countless remakes and reboots to spur its creative juices. You can look at television, games, books and movies — all of it rolls back on itself. Take a look at titles like “The Karate Kid” and “The A-Team,” both ‘80s pop-culture icons that demand your attention because the people making the movies grew up in the era of these timeless films and genres. But are they as well conceived and constructed as their predecessor? Not at all, but you can’t blame a guy for trying. Directed by Harold Zwart, the mind behind movies like Agent Cody Banks and The Pink Panther 2, “The Karate Kid” has an air of both lackadaisical amusement and plot juxtaposition, neither of which really fit well into the film. It’s one thing to try and mimic an original, yet when you take its base essentials and go with it, that’s when
you run into a thing we call in the industry a problem. Relocating “The Karate Kid” to China, Zwart makes this a whole different film in terms of setting and action, just with the same archetypes that ‘80s kids grew up with. Dre (Jaden Smith) and his mother Sherry (Taraji P. Hensen), have picked up and moved to Beijing from Detroit for Sherry’s job, leaving Dre depressed and lonely in a new place. While he tries to make friends with the pretty Mei Ying (Han Wenwen), bully and chief antagonist Cheng (Wang Zhenwei) steps in and expresses his disdain for newcomers. The positive move for Dre suddenly becomes violent and lonely, without any friends for him to turn to. Sure there’s the random American kid that shows up in the film, and the 20 other Americans at his school, but he seemingly cannot see them— he only has eyes for Mei Ying. So while he comes
stepped it up, showing both serious “Chan style and an emotional side that hasn’t really been seen. home with black eyes and a bruised ego, a despondent handyman comes to his rescue to show him the meaning of kung fu. Arguably, when Jackie Chan is on screen that’s when both acting and action pick up. Even his intro into the real plot of teaching young Dre was both artfully done and appropriate. For a man that has made most of his money in the past ten years doing films with Chris Tucker and films for kids, Chan stepped it up, showing both his serious side and an emotional side that hasn’t really been seen. His apprentice Smith also showed signs of coming into his acting career. Standing at only 11 years old at the release of this movie, Smith shows both a great potential in his acting abilities and a great need for refinement. Yes, he is only 11, so there is a great deal of slack to be given, but when he would relax his deadpan face and loosen up the awkward pre-teen features, the star and prodigal teachings shone through. I almost had to wonder if some of the issues came more from direction, rather than Smith, since only Henson seems unfazed. Still, in a film that runs nearly two and a half hours, you can’t have characters bumbling around. Even with the exotic backdrops that are shown
Jackie Chan and Jaden Smith star in the recent “The Karate Kid.” like The Forbidden Temple, The Great Wall and Shaolin Temple, do nothing to speed up the progression of the plot. Training sequences and montages, which were many and extensive in showing how things were done, didn’t help extend the plot. You were left feeling like it was dragging on, and that was quite possibly because of the underdeveloped and childish tones. Don’t get me wrong, it is an enjoyable movie regardless of its faults. Is it something that would stand up to the
test of time like its predecessor? No. But it is still something for children to enjoy and learn cool things from — even if it is just to pick up their jackets off the floor.
WILLIAM CASE -features staff writer -senior -theater arts major
Tech hurdler completes triple crown sports editor
see QUEEN / page 12
Tech hurdlers Queen Harrison (right center) and Kristi Castlin (left center) lead the pack last year.
collegiatetimes.com June 17, 2010
Last weekend, Virginia Tech senior hurdler Queen Harrison did something no woman had ever done. Winning national titles in both the 400-meter and 100-meter outdoor hurdles competitions at the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Nationals in Eugene, Ore., she became the first woman in NCAA history to ever sweep both hurdles events in the same national meet. Her historic performance put an exclamation point, or two, on an illustrious college career. “It feels great, and I mean great with a lot of R’s behind the G,” Harrison said. “Not just for NCAA history, but great for my hometown Richmond and Virginia Tech too.” After winning the national title in the 60-meter hurdles competition at the NCAA Indoor Championships in March, Harrison picked up where she left off on the national level when she reached Eugene. Clocking a school and personal best time of 54.55 seconds in the 400meter hurdles competition on June 11, Harrison won her first outdoor national championship with grace. “Queen ran a beautiful race,” Dave Cianelli, Tech director of track and field said. “It was controlled and she was strong at the end, so I was pretty confident that she would win.” The following day, Harrison topped her career off by winning the 100meter hurdles title with a time of 12.67. It was her final race as a Hokie. “It feels really good,” Harrison said. “Coming from seasons past with injuries, changing coaches and changing training styles, this is kind of icing on the cake along with graduating and all the other great things that have happened this year.” “It means a lot to be able to bring those two titles, along with the 60-meter hurdle title, back to Blacksburg.” Harrison led the Tech women’s team to a fifth-place finish at the Outdoor Championships. “The women getting fifth is the highest we have ever been, I am a little disappointed we didn’t get fourth, but we just missed it,” Cianelli said. “Queen had a phenomenal meet.” Prior to her final few appearances as a Hokie, Harrison spoke of her career at Tech, claiming she wanted to make her school proud. “I think for anyone, it’s very important whenever you do something or go somewhere to leave your mark,” Harrison said. “That’s what I’m trying to do here.” Running in orange and maroon, Harrison spent four years in Blacksburg setting and resetting school records. In 2008, she made school history by becoming only the second Hokie and first female track athlete to earn a spot
on the U.S. Olympic team. Despite an untimely injury during her junior year, she entered her senior season synonymous among Hokies fans with the Tech track and field program. Over the course of her final season, she represented her school well. Winning ACC Women’s Track Performer of the Year honors during the indoor season, ACC titles in the 100-meter and 400-meter outdoor hurdles, while earning ACC Women’s Track MVP honors during the outdoor season, Harrison left no accolade behind. But still, Harrison felt she needed to do more to make her school proud in the waning weeks of her college
Queen: Two races, two national titles from page 11
hard to describe how well we bonded this year, in my first year, to achieve those feats.” With classes, meets and all things Tech finished, Harrison shifts her focus to the future. A return to the Olympics, she says, is definitely in order. “I was blessed enough to go (to the Olympics) when I was 19 in the 400 hurdles, but a lot of the big time 400 hurdlers are really successful when they’re older, at a more seasoned age because it’s a race where you have to really learn it,” she explained. “So, hopefully that’s an indicator that for at least the next two Olympics, I’ll hopefully be able to go there.” “My goal is 2012 in London and 2016 in Rio, and in between that time, running on a professional level.” Shoe sponsorships, international competition and all too familiar long days in the heat await Harrison as she enters life after college. From choosing an agent to facing much stiffer competition, Harrison faces an uphill climb. But, if her time at Tech is any indication, she’ll work through it. “I’m not ever surprised by what (Queen’s) able to accomplish here on the track,” Cianelli said. “I really believe that as long as she’s able to maintain her health she’s going to be the best in the world. I really do believe that.”
career. In her final effort last weekend, it’s safe to say she did just that — and for Harrison, it had been a long time coming. Her closing scene in Oregon marked the culmination of a trying college career. From her freshman year when she joined the Tech track and field team as a jumper, through her change to hurdler to her ensuing national dominance, Harrison’s work paid off. Charles Foster, Tech sprints, hurdles and jumps coach noted that work ethic throughout her final season. After Harrison won her first national title this year at the Indoor Championships, Foster praised her determination. “I’m watching her grow and mature,” Foster said. “She’s always had a willingness to accept a challenge. She doesn’t back off very well. That’s probably one of her greatest talents in that she’s not scared.” When Harrison claimed titles two and three last weekend, Foster reflected on the season, praising her coachability. “Our whole effort this year, we wanted to be undefeated and we wanted to complete the double with the 100and 400-meter hurdles,” Foster said. “The schedule allowed us ample time to do that, so we achieved it. We worked so well together. It is kind of
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collegiatetimes.com June 17, 2010
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collegiatetimes.com June 17, 2010
Keeper’s key mistake hardly a first in sports ALEX JACKSON sports editor A couple of weeks ago, Major League Baseball umpire Jim Joyce ruled a runner who was clearly out, safe with two outs in the ninth inning, ruining Detroit Tigers right-handed pitcher Armando Galarraga’s bid at a perfect game. Joyce apologized profusely after the game and into the next day. “I just cost the kid a perfect game… it was the biggest call of my career,” he said. He knew he blew the call and after a couple of days, the public forgave him, understanding human error as a fact of life. Oh, how hypocritical the public can be. Every few years, we are reminded of how one mistake can ruin an athlete’s life. Entering game six of the 1986 World Series against the New York Mets, for example, the Boston Red Sox sat a win away from its first championship since 1918. The Sox were heavily favored and had two games to take care of business. Everything was peachy. Then, in the bottom of the 10th inning with two outs, and the Red Sox leading 5-4, it happened. Mets left fielder Mookie Wilson hit a slow-roller up the first-base line where Sox first baseman Bill Buckner read the ball, positioned himself to convert the final out of the game, and
then watched as the routine groundball went under his glove and through his legs, allowing the Mets to score the winning run. This is why you know the name, Bill Buckner. The Mets went on to win game seven and the city of Boston, which had waited nearly 70 years to celebrate a Major League pennant, shook to its core as it was forced to wait longer, thanks to Buckner. It was a mistake of epic proportions and today, remains one of the most notable sports blunders of all-time. While Buckner wasn’t forced out of the city to work the cranberry bogs, or given a Hester Prynnelike scarlet letter, his life would never be the same in Boston. Buckner’s accomplishments, including 174 home runs and nearly 3,000 hits in his career, were immediately forgotten and now, this ultimate gaffe defines him. Then came Buffalo Bills placekicker Scott Norwood. In 1991, Virginia’s own Norwood walked onto the field at Super Bowl XXV after a stellar finish to his season. In his final eight games leading up to the Super Bowl, Norwood was solid, converting 11 of his last 13 field goals, helping his team win the AFC. Norwood, a graduate of James Madison University, was a family man. He had three children, and was just an overall good guy who tried out
for years in order to achieve his dream of making it onto an NFL team. Then, in the final seconds of Super Bowl XXV with the Bills down 20-19, it happened. Norwood trotted onto the field to attempt a 47-yard field goal, which would either give the Bills a Super Bowl championship, or a heartbreaking loss. His holder set, the ball was hiked, Norwood made solid contact and though his kick looked good for a split-second, it sailed wide right, giving the New York Giants the victory. He would play one more season with the Bills before retiring, finishing his career with 670 points and making a relatively acceptable 72 percent of his kicks over the course of his time in the NFL. As we know, it didn’t matter, though. Norwood could have converted on 200 of 200 field goals, averaging 70 yards per field goal, while outscoring Thurman Thomas and Jim Kelly combined on a game-by-game basis in his seven years with the Bills, and it wouldn’t have mattered. Maybe the Bills would have won at least one of the Super Bowl’s they so miserably failed to during the decade, but Norwood would still be haunted by that kick. “No good! Wide right,” commentator Al Michaels would scream in Norwood’s dreams either way. In July 2004, Norwood was tracked down by Sports Illustrated’s Kari Taro
DAVID M. WARREN/MCT CAMPUS
American midﬁelder Clint Dempsey celebrates a goal against Turkey. Greenfield. What Greenfield found was a realtor, still quietly hiding under a veil of shame, handing business cards out while suggesting affordable houses and condominiums in Chantilly. Tough break. These moments came to the forefront of sports discussion once again this week, after England goalkeeper Robert Green pulled his own Buckner/Norwood. In the United States’ opening World Cup match against the Brits, the U.S. trailed 1-0 until American midfielder Clint Dempsey lasered a ground ball directly at Green from well outside of his usual striking range. If you didn’t see it, which would be shocking considering you’ve read this far, the ball hit Green’s hands and inexplicably Mexican jumpingbeaned behind him and into the goal, knotting the score at 1-1. The game would result in a tie — a positive result for the Americans, but an oh-so negative one for the favored English. Suffice to say, Green’s “trending topic” status on England search engines isn’t positive press. The worst part for Green, as opposed to Buckner and Norwood, is that he’s living in a time when Youtube and Internet message boards give point, laugh and ruin anonymity to everyone in the world and of course, his mess-up was on the world stage. If just the reaction in America is any sign of how Robert Green will be remembered, he may want to sell his flat in Liverpool. “But, is it fair?” Truthfully, it prob-
ably isn’t. Human error, as the public was so eager to accept in the case of umpire Jim Joyce, is a fact of life. However, when it means the difference between your team winning and losing and the burden lies on one person — in the cases of Buckner, Norwood and Green — who else is there to blame? Bill Buckner was paid to make outs, just as Norwood was paid to make field goals, just as Green is paid to stop shots. Errors happen every day in baseball, there are over five missed field goals a week in the NFL and own goals happen all the time in soccer. At the end of the day, however, when an athlete’s performance determines a winner and a loser and the stakes are high, an athlete’s performance determines the happiness or sadness for the fans and the organization. When you’re paid to deliver in the clutch and you don’t, fans are rarely forgiving. A costly mistake at an inopportune time could very well result in eternal sadness for an athlete. That’s just the nature of the game. This column is dedicated to the chief executive of oil and energy company BP Group, Tony Hayward.
ALEX JACKSON -sports editor -senior -communication major
Tech alumnus pens first annual football guide sports editor Hokie alumnus Chris Colston, formerly of USA Today, recently took the time out of his busy schedule to discuss his forthcoming book, The Hokie Annual. Colston received his bachelor’s degree in marketing from Virginia Tech in 1980 and has been involved with Tech sports in some form since. COLSTON An 11-year veteran of the Virginia Tech athletics department as editor of The Hokie Huddler, Colston has written four books on Tech football. His most recent work is the Virginia Tech Vault: A History of Virginia Tech Football (1999). He also penned The Hokies Handbook (1996), Frank Beamer’s autobiography Turn Up the Wick (2000), and two editions of Tales from the Virginia Tech Sideline (hardcover 2003 and updated paperback 2007). For nearly three years at USA Today from January 2006 to December 2009, Colston covered the NFL and NBA, where he won several writing awards. He did one-on-one interviews with some of the biggest names in sports, including Peyton Manning, Kobe Bryant, and LeBron James. In 2007, he won first place in the Pro Football Writers of America national writing contest (features). From 1996-2005, he served as a writer and editor for USA Today Sports Weekly, where his work was mentioned in the Best American Sports Writing series. Look for The Hokie Annual at the University Bookstore after July 4. Also, you can follow Colston’s projects on Twitter: @chriscolston and get Hokie updates @hokieannual.
CT: How did you manage doing all that work by yourself? From the writing to the business side, did you have any help? COLSTON: Mostly. Because I had a vision of this project and to fully execute that vision you have to kind of do it yourself and for the writing part of it, I mean, let’s face it. I had a lot of free time. So, why was I going to hire people to write for me when there was a certain way to write this thing and there was a certain voice I wanted it to have? I didn’t want it to be a standard type of publication. I didn’t want it to be like what people see, like when they read in Lindy’s (Sports), or Athlon, or Sporting News. I wanted it to have a real voice to it and that was my strength as a writer. So, I wanted to write it. I want it to be informative and professional, but I also want it to be written from the point of view of a fan. I got (former CT sports editor) Thomas Emerick to write a little bit for me, I got the editor of Inside Hokies Sports, Jimmy Robertson to write a little bit for me. Mike Ashley did a little bit. But, mostly it was all me. CT: What can readers look forward to in the book? COLSTON: I consider myself a Hokie football consumer too, and I just asked myself, “Well, Chris. What would you want to read in something like this?” So, it’s going to have a lot of exclusive things. It’s got a one-on-one Q&A with Frank Beamer, and he divulges some personal things about himself that I don’t think has been out there before. I got a sit down Q&A with Bryan Stinespring, as you well know is the center of a lot of talk in the Hokie football community about his merits as an offensive coordinator — we address that. I actually sat down with every position coach and just got the inside scoop at each spot. So, we have interviews with them that lead in to sections on each position. We’ve got a profile on every player in the program ... the scoop on what you can expect from the players in 2010. There’s also a round table discussion where I’ve got myself, Will Stewart of Techsideline.com, and Kyle Tucker, the Hokies’ beat reporter at the Virginia Pilot. I got the two of them and we went over to Cabo Fish Taco and had a couple beers and some tacos, and I turned on my tape recorder and we
in next week’s issue...
Colston tells the CT more about his new book and his work as a Tech football writer.
just went through the season game-bygame, and I asked them how I thought the season would turn out. It’s got that, a profile of every beat reporter of a major state newspaper who covers Virginia Tech ... it’s got commentary by the voice of the Hokies, Bill Roth all through the book, which is exclusive. It’s got one section I’m extremely proud of, which is a season in review. I went back and did sort of a retrospective of the 2009 season with color photos and excerpts from the state newspapers. It’s sort of a fan’s perspective on each game and what it meant. If you want to have something on your shelf and you’re asking, “What happened in 2009?” Or, “What happened against Duke?” You pull your Annual out, and there it is. We’ve also got a section on tailgating, a retrospective on the 1986 Peach Bow. ... There’s also a major seven-page section on recruiting, analyzing this year’s recruiting class and past classes. Look for the second half the CT’s talk with Chris Colston in next week’s Collegiate Times, where he discussCOURTESY OF CHRIS COLSTON es his return to Tech and the shift from interviewing professional play- The Hokie Annual, written by Tech alumnus Chris Colston, formerly of ers every day to returning to college USA Today, will be available at the University Bookstore after July 4. athletes.
collegiatetimes.com June 17, 2010
COLLEGIATE TIMES: How did your idea for The Hokie Annual come to fruition? CHRIST COLSTON: I’ve been wanting to do this for quite awhile. I’ve done four books on Virginia Tech, I was the editor of the Hokie Huddle from 1985 to 1996, so I have a lot of friends in the athletics department. I’m a Virginia Tech graduate so I have a deep and passionate love of the school and the sports programs. When I was an undergrad, I used to keep scrapbooks — which I think actually helped me get that Hokie Huddler job (laughs). They knew I loved it. When I left in 1996 to go to USA Today Sports Weekly, then Baseball Weekly, I maintained season tickets and kept writing books about Virginia Tech just to stay involved. I’ve always loved it. And then, I got laid off from USA Today and I said well, this is an opportunity to do this. So, really I have to thank USA Today, because I would of never been able
to pull it off had I still been working there. It was just a major undertaking because I started a publishing company, James Doctor Press. I had to find a printer, I had to find a designer, I had to find a distributor. I had to do the interviews and everything. It was a tremendous amount of work. There were many times when I thought it just wasn’t going to happen, but we just forged ahead – you had no choice. This is it. This is my new job. So, I had no choice but to finish it.
collegiatetimes.com June 17, 2010