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BREAZEALE, WFU BASEBALL FINISHING STRONG

NO. Wake Forest men’s tennis team reaches pinnacle in collegiate tennis MAY 2017

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WAKEFORESTSPORTS.COM


VOL. 26 // ISSUE 7

Sierra Sims has proven to be a true senior leader for the Wake Forest women’s golf team. See story, Page 16.

(USPS 014-373) EDITOR

Jim Buice PHOTOGRAPHERS

Donnie Roberts, Brian Westerholt WRITERS

Sam Walker, Stephanie Hudson, Rachael Bari, Lauren Close Design & Layout

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Gold Rush is published eight times a year in August/ September, October, November/ December, January, February, March, April, May/June and July by IMG College in conjunction with Wake Forest Athletics. Periodicals postage paid at Winston-Salem, NC 27102 and at additional mailing offices. The price of an annual subscription is $20. Members of the Deacon Club receive a one-year subscription as part of their membership. Persons wishing to subscribe to Gold Rush should send a check or money order (credit cards not accepted) to:

CONTENTS

4 20 22

// M AY 2 0 1 7

FROM THE AD 100% COTTEN INSIDE THE DEACON CLUB

26 27 30

WHERE ARE THEY NOW? CALENDAR COMPLIANCE CORNER

// 6 SERVING UP AN ACE Under the guidance of head coach Tony Bresky, No. 1 Wake Forest has developed into a collegiate tennis powerhouse.

IMG College 540 N. Trade St. Winston-Salem, NC 27101 All material produced in this publication is the property of Wake Forest University and IMG and shall not be reproduced in whole or in part without permission.

// 12 IN FULL VIEW Senior catcher Ben Breazeale can see more clearly after eye surgery, and he likes what he sees with the No. 17 Wake Forest baseball team.

POSTMASTER: Please send all address changes to the attention of Stephanie Hudson, Wake Forest Athletics, 519 Deacon Blvd. Winston-Salem, NC 27105. The appearance of advertising in this publication does not constitute an endorsement of the advertiser and/or the advertiser’s product or service by Wake Forest or IMG. The use of the name of the University or any of its identifying marks in advertisements must be approved by WFU and IMG.

// 16 SENIOR LEADER Sierra Sims has been a “steady workhorse” for a Deacon women’s golf team that has been impacted by an unprecedented variety of injuries this spring.

ON THE COVER Skander Mansouri (left) and Petros Chrysochos top the lineup for the No. 1 Wake Forest men’s tennis team. MAY 2017

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FROM THE A.D.

// R O N W E L L M A N

RON WELLMAN DIRECTOR O F AT H L E T I C S

A spring to remember for Deacon teams Dear Demon Deacons, Spring has sprung, and the Deacons certainly have a spring in their step! I cannot recall a year when all of our spring teams have been ranked as high as they have climbed this year. We are past the halfway point in their seasons and as I write this message, our men’s tennis is ranked No. 1 in the country, men’s golf is No. 9, women’s golf is No. 15, baseball is No. 17 and women’s tennis is No. 26. Men’s and women’s track and field do not have conventional national team rankings, but there are many encouraging signs in those programs as well. This is definitely shaping up to be a spring that we will all remember for a long time! One exciting possibility is that the Deacs could

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potentially host the NCAA Baseball Regionals as well as the NCAA Men’s Tennis First and Second Rounds. Those decisions will be made in a few weeks, but both teams will be strong candidates to host. If we host, let’s make sure that both teams enjoy a home court or home field advantage with stadiums filled to capacity with Demon Deacon fans! As you may have heard, John Collins has decided to enter the NBA draft in June. While we would have enjoyed John returning to our program next year, we wish him much success in the NBA. He is a talented young man who is equally impressive off the court. I am confident that he will join the long list of former Deacons in the NBA who are not only outstanding

players but also a credit to their organizations. Although John will not be playing for the Deacs next year, there is every reason to be excited about the 2017 season. Great programs regularly lose players to professional basketball before they graduate. We anticipate being in that category also. With our returning nucleus as well as another outstanding recruiting class, 2017-18 should be another season of progress. Enjoy your Deacs the rest of the spring! I look forward to seeing you at the games and matches!

Go Deacs!

Ron Wellman


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NO.

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DEACONS CLIMB TO THE TOP IN THE COUNTRY IN COLLEGIATE TENNIS BEHIND THE GUIDING HAND OF HEAD COACH TONY BRESKY By Jim Buice

O

n a beautiful sun-splashed Sunday afternoon, Tony Bresky stood in the bright glow on one of the courts at the Wake Forest Tennis Center. His Wake Forest men’s tennis team, in the spotlight as the nation’s No. 1-ranked squad, had just finished off a doubleheader sweep with easy wins over Miami and N.C. A&T as the regular season was winding down. Just two days earlier, the Deacons emerged victorious over perennial ACC powerhouse Virginia, a team they had defeated last spring to win the school’s first conference tournament championship. No doubt, Bresky and his team are enjoying the best of times, including their perch at the top of collegiate tennis, but he knows there is plenty of work left to do. “It’s great to have perspective on it,” Bresky said. “It’s nice to be No. 1. Obviously, we want to be No. 1 at the end of the year, which is the ultimate goal. But I think the nice part about being No. 1

now and for a few weeks is you kind of set that as the expectation for the program.” Now in his sixth year as the head coach, Bresky has put together a program built to last. He took over prior to the 2011-12 season at WFU with a roster of only three players with significant collegiate experience. The team had a ranking of No. 69 in the country. “It’s like a puzzle putting the pieces together,” Bresky said. “We had some work to do changing the culture, expectations, the practice habits, stuff like that. So we started with that, then we had to bring in the talent, which is tough when you’re ranked low.” But that’s exactly what he did, bringing in some “really good, tough American kids to establish the culture for us to start.” That was followed the next year by landing Romain Bogaerts, a standout junior player from Belgium who transferred after his freshman year at Mississippi State where he climbed to No. 6 in the ITA rankings in singles. However, what Bresky called the “amazing” recruiting class for the 2014-15 season put the Deacons on the fast track to national prominence. That’s when Bresky landed top international recruits and current standouts – Skander Mansouri from Tunisia and

Wake’s top players represent their countries in Davis Cup Not only is the Wake Forest men’s tennis team ranked No. 1 in nation, the Deacon program has the distinction of having its top two players representing their countries in the Davis Cup. Sophomore Petros Chrysochos of Cyprus and junior Skander Mansouri of Tunisia took a break from a magical

CHRYSOCHOS

collegiate season to participate in the prestigious international competition. But what made this most unique is that they were paired against each other, meaning they traveled to Cyprus together and stayed at the childhood home of Chrysochos before joining their respective countries before the match.

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Christian Seraphim from Germany – along with Noah Rubin, a Wimbledon junior champion who was ranked as the ITA’s top newcomer for NCAA Division I. “At the last minute, we added Noah, and that really changed everything,” Bresky said. “Noah was arguably the best American kid to go to school in the last 30, 40 years, something like that.” Rubin only played one year in the Black and Gold but was ranked No. 5 in the nation and became the first player in conference history to be the ACC Player of the Year and Freshman of the Year in the same season. The Deacons climbed into the top 15 in 2015 and won a school-record 24 matches with the latest influx of talent before adding Petros Chrysochos, who is No. 1 on the team and ranked No. 2 in the nation in singles, from Cyprus and American Dennis Uspensky last year. That’s when WFU took the next step, opening the 2016 season at No. 11 in the country before finishing a school best No. 8 while winning a new school-record 31 HEAD COACH: 6th season at Wake Forest (102-52 overall record in first five seasons; 32-24 in ACC); One season at Cornell in 2011 (26-5 overall record, 7-0 in Ivy League, matches and the thrilling ACC tournament school’s first-ever NCAA Tournament berth) championship over Virginia, ending the Cavaliers’ nine-year reign. TOP ACHIEVEMENTS AT WAKE FOREST: Team posted a team record 31 wins in The steady stream of talented newcomers 2016, breaking the previous record of 24, which was set the season before; Team has continued this season with freshmen Borna finished in the ITA Top 20 at season’s end three times, including highest finish ever of Gojo from Croatia and Alan Gadjiev from No. 8 in 2016; Team has hosted NCAA Tournament Regionals in 2015 and 2016; Won 2016 ACC Tournament; Team opened 2017 ranked No. 2 in the country and has been Uzbekistan being part of the top six. No. 1 since mid-March “We have continued to progress and have a great group now,” Bresky said. “We QUOTABLE – BRESKY ON WAKE FOREST HOSTING THE NCAA are where we want to be six years in. They CHAMPIONSHIPS IN 2018: “It’s amazing to have that here. The NCAA’s are the pinnacle of college tennis – two weeks of unbelievable team tennis, then another are very talented, they’re a fun group, a week of some of the best singles and doubles out there. The level is comparable tight-knit group, and they’re friends. They to mid-level pro tennis. The fans around here will get to see some amazing tennis. continue to work hard to get better and Hopefully we’ll a big part of that as a team and individuals.” better as the season progresses.” The Deacons are led by Chrysochos and Mansouri (see related story) at the top of the singles lineup. Gojo, who arrived on campus in January, “We had a great crowd for that match,” Bresky said. “At 4 p.m., has settled in at No. 3 in the lineup, followed by the 6-foot-10 that was by far the biggest crowd I’ve ever seen since I’ve been Seraphim, Uspensky (who had the clinching victory in last spring’s here. You couldn’t walk through the Tennis Center. There was ACC tournament victory over Virginia) and Gadjiev. nowhere to park. It was crazy. The latest victory over the Cavaliers came on March 31 in a “It was important to the guys that people in the community and match that was delayed two and a half hours by rain before Wake from the university came out to support them. We’ve had a really Forest prevailed 5-2. road-driven schedule this year and had a couple of matches with

TONY BRESKY bio

Chrysochos admitted it was “strange playing against each other, wearing different jerseys and sitting at a different table for dinner.” Chrysochos, who is ranked No. 2 in the nation in singles, plays No. 1 for Wake Forest and Mansouri, who is No. 14 in the singles rankings, plays No. 2. Skander and teammate Christian Seraphim are the No. 1 doubles team in the country.

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The Deacon schedule included a weekend off in early April, so head coach Tony Bresky headed to Cyprus to see his players compete against each other and then went to Israel to mix in a little recruiting there. “I think it’s a great statement for our program that our guys are playing each other in the Davis Cup, which is the highest level of pro tennis there is when you represent your country,” Bresky said.

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huge crowds, and the guys have kind of been like, ‘Why don’t we get this at home, especially since we’re No. 1?’ It was a great match to win. We might see them again.” Bresky certainly knows a lot about Virginia, having served as an assistant coach from 2002 to 2010 under head coach Brian Boland, who is still in charge there. During that time, the Cavaliers developed into a national power, earning the top national ranking on multiple occasions and winning seven straight ACC regular season titles and six consecutive ACC Tournament championships. But again, Bresky was part of a similar building process when he arrived with Virginia not even being in the top 75 in the nation in his first year there. “When you’re part of that, you saw the way that program climbed and progressed, and you kind of understand what it takes to do that,” he said. “It was a great learning experience for me to be part of that. Wake is also a very similar academic school in the ACC. It took a little time to get it going here.” Certainly, the Deacon program has established a solid foundation now and for the future, which includes hosting the

As it turned out, Chrysochos and Mansouri played in the doubles competition with Mansouri’s side (his partner was Malek Jaziri) prevailing in five sets – 7-5, 3-6, 5-7, 6-4, 7-5. The doubles win propelled Tunisia to victory over Cyprus, meaning Tunisia moved into Group 2 of the Davis Cup for 2018 while Cyprus fell into Group 3 for next season’s competition.

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NCAA Championships in 2018. Along with Chrysochos at No. 2 in the singles rankings, Mansouri is No. 14, and Seraphim and Gojo are in the top 60. Mansouri and Seraphim are No. 1 in the country in doubles. All six starters – two juniors, two sophomores and two freshmen – return next year. WFU took a 22-1 record (the only loss came early in the season against Ohio State) into the final week of the regular season, and Bresky hoped the team could wrap up its first ACC regular season championship before heading to Rome Ga., to defend the league’s tournament title. The Deacons, who were a perfect 12-0 at home in the regular season, are virtually assured of hosting an NCAA Regional for the third straight year. “I think you have lots of goals,” Bresky said. “Everybody understands you want to win the National Indoors, the ACC regular season, which is something we’ve never done here, the ACC tournament, the NCAA teams, singles and doubles. You want to keep them motivated for each segment of the season. It’s a long season, and you want to make sure you’re playing your best tennis at the end.”

Chrysochos was paired with Marcos Baghdatis, a longtime professional who reached as high as No. 8 in the world in the ATP rankings. Baghdatis has been a frequent competitor at the Winston-Salem Open at Wake Forest’s Tennis Center, which is, of course, the home courts of Chrysochos, Mansouri and the Deacons.

The next day Chrysochos defeated Tunisia’s Azis Dougaz 6-4, 7-6. Chrysochos said that it was a great experience for him and Mansouri and “one we will both remember for the rest of our lives. I’m really honored to represent my country and am really happy I can share these memories with Skander.” – Jim Buice


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BASEBALL

// B E N B R E A Z E A L E

SEEING

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SPECTACULAR SENIOR SEASON COMES INTO FOCUS FOR CATCHER BEN BREAZEALE AND NATIONALLY RANKED DEACONS

By Sam Walker

D

uring the career of senior catcher Ben Breazeale, there have been periods when he wasn’t able to play, or perhaps wondered if he was playing his best. Injury took away precious weeks and many games one year, and another physical condition might have made him wonder “what if” at one point after his junior season. But now in his senior year, Breazeale is enjoying playing college baseball at a clearly superior level. Now he only wonders about just how far the Deacon baseball team can go. To be clear, it wasn’t like Breazeale wasn’t performing well in the past. In fact, he adjusted to collegiate baseball quickly his

freshman season and started 41 of the 51 games in which he played. He worked his way into becoming the everyday starter at catcher and recorded 30 hits and 17 runs with seven doubles and 11 RBIs. It was a great start to his collegiate career. He picked up at a higher level his sophomore season, starting 27 games behind the plate, and finished the year hitting .274 with a .378 on-base percentage, including home runs against Marshall and Florida State. But he missed a month and a half of the season due to an injury, and that hurt both physically and psychologically. Head coach Tom Walter said that Breazeale had a fluke injury, and it cost him a bunch of games, but he decided to come back and catch the last couple of weeks of the regular season,. “It just meant a lot to me personally that he decided to forfeit the extra year of eligibility with a redshirt year although he was only going to catch six or seven games,” Walter said. “It’s those little things you appreciate as a coach as far as how you feel about the person and their loyalty, and you want to return that loyalty to them.”

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BASEBALL

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Breazeale had a solid junior season where he played in 54 games, made 53 starts (51 behind the plate) and finished the year with a .246 average, three home runs and 32 RBIs. “As a junior, he would tell you it was not the season he wanted to have, and there are a lot of reasons for that,” Walter said. “Part of it was he had to catch so much, so I think he was disappointed in his junior year, and he wanted to come back here his senior season and prove to himself, his teammates and scouts that his value was more than what they anticipated, and it has paid off. He’s a guy that will be in the conversation for all-conference, All-America and all those different awards.” But there was another hurdle to clear before he could have the senior season for which he hoped. It was following his junior season he began to have suspicions there was something wrong with his eyesight. After doctors examined him, his suspicions were confirmed, and he elected to have LASIC eye surgery this past August. Following surgery there was a four-week recovery period, and the timeline worked to his favor as he was able to resume normal activity and baseball when he returned to Wake Forest this past fall. The results were amazingly positive. “The first time I saw a live pitch was back here at school at batting practice, and it was different,” Breazeale said. “It was like I had more time to see the ball and react, so it was pretty cool. Over the summer I just knew something wasn’t right, and it had gotten worse over the course of the year. I was having trouble seeing at night. I just wasn’t myself at the plate, and I didn’t know if it was my mechanics, didn’t know what was going on. I just knew I couldn’t see very well.” Breazeale is now seeing everything quite well – having his best statistical season yet. Through 35 games, he has played and started 32. He is batting .362 with 32 runs scored, 46 hits, 12 doubles, 33 RBIs and five home runs. And accolades have followed. Breazeale was rated the No. 2 catcher in the country by D1Baseball (as of March 22), and he was named to the 2015 and 2016 Johnny Bench Award Watchlists. “I’ve always been a good hitter but had ups and downs,” Breazeale said. “I don’t know if it’s getting my eyes fixed for my senior year, it being my senior year and my approach, the coaching staff and all the work we’ve put in, but I couldn’t ask for a better senior year. It’s been awesome. The team is winning and everyone is doing well, so it’s just going right.” There is one other factor to Breazeale’s senior season story. After having to virtually catch every game his first three seasons at Wake Forest, he has caught just 17 so far this season. He’s been a designated hitter the other 15 games, and the breaks from being behind the plate have made a considerable difference. “When he came in, we didn’t have a lot of catching depth,” Walter said. “We had a kid who was supposed to come in but signed a pro contract and never made it here, so he has had to catch more than we would have liked his first three years. Now we have somebody capable beside him in Logan Harvey, but Ben is always in our lineup as the five-hole hitter, so he has had games where he can DH and give him some days off from catching, and I think that is making a big difference. “And the other thing is the LASIC eye surgery he had in the offseason. I think he’s seeing the ball better. He’s always had bat speed and power, and now his strengths and awareness have just gotten better. His commitment to work in the weight room and his nutrition have just made him a really good player we’ve been lucky to have for four years. He’s definitely going to play professional baseball when this year is over.”

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BEN BREAZEALE CLASS: Senior MAJOR: Psychology HOMETOWN: Louisville, TN (Pigeon Forge HS) FAVORITE FOOD: Ribeye Steak FAVORITE BOOK: American Sniper FAVORITE ATHLETE: Ivan “Pudge” Rodriguez FAVORITE WAKE FOREST MOMENT: Advancing to the NCAA Regional 2016

BREAZEALE IS NOW SEEING EVERYTHING QUITE WELL – HAVING HIS BEST STATISTICAL SEASON YET. THROUGH 35 GAMES, HE HAS PLAYED AND STARTED 32. HE IS BATTING .362 WITH 32 RUNS SCORED, 46 HITS, 12 DOUBLES, 33 RBIS AND FIVE HOME RUNS. AND ACCOLADES HAVE FOLLOWED. BREAZEALE WAS RATED THE NO. 2 CATCHER IN THE COUNTRY BY D1BASEBALL (AS OF MARCH 22), AND HE WAS NAMED TO THE 2015 AND 2016 JOHNNY BENCH AWARD WATCHLISTS. Breazeale said that it keeps him sharper by not being behind the plate for every game. “If you go 35 games right now and you have to catch every one of them, then there’s fatigue, and it’s definitely not fun,” he said. “It’s changed a lot this year having that (situation). And last year we didn’t have quite the staff we have this year, so there’s a lot more pitch counts. It’s just rough on your body, and that takes a toll. It’s nice not have to do that this year. I’m not complaining. It’s fun, and it’s fun to win.” Winning cures much as the Deacons were ranked No. 17 in the country as of the middle of April with a 28-10 overall record (12-6 in the ACC). And Breazeale, now healthy and seeing clearly some very positive possibilities for the Wake Forest baseball team, is no longer wondering about the ills of the past. Both Walter and Breazeale agreed one couldn’t have scripted a better outcome for his senior season.


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WOMEN’S GOLF

// S I E R R A S I M S

STEADYING

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INFLUENCE A SEASON OF PROMISE TOOK ON SOME UNEXPECTED CHALLENGES FOR THE WAKE FOREST WOMEN’S GOLF TEAM THIS SPRING. FORTUNATELY, SIERRA SIMS HAS BEEN THERE TO SERVE AS A TRUE SENIOR LEADER. SIERRA SIMS CLASS: Senior MAJOR: Economics with a minor in Statistics HOMETOWN: Austin, Texas FAVORITE FOOD: Spaghetti with Bolognese sauce FAVORITE BOOK: The Girl on the Train FAVORITE ATHLETE: Tiger Woods FAVORITE WFU MOMENT: My first tournament win as a team at Landfall my sophomore year

By John Justus

“I

n my 29 years, I’ve never had anything like this.” Dianne Dailey became head coach of the women’s golf program at Wake Forest in 1988 and has known many successes – 29 tournament titles, four ACC crowns, 24 NCAA appearances – as well as the expected occasional difficulties. But the spring 2017 season has brought her and her team new meaning for the word “challenge.” After a fall schedule that saw the Demon Deacons finish third in the Charleston (S.C.) Cougar Classic, win the Lady Tar Heel Invitational and tie for the top spot at the Landfall Tradition tournament in Wilmington, N.C., hopes were high for an even more productive ’17 performance. However, in four spring events prior to the ACC Championship in mid-April, Dailey’s squad was able to field a full line-up (five individuals) just twice due to an unprecedented variety of injuries that have impacted almost every team member at some point. Thank goodness for Sierra Sims. The senior from Austin, Texas, has not missed a tournament all year, been a consistent presence on the leaderboard almost every outing and served as a stabilizing force for her younger teammates. “Sierra is probably the only one who has not dealt with some form of injury at one time or another,” Dailey says. “She has been very steady … a real workhorse for us. “As our team captain, she’s also been very good at talking with her teammates, sharing her experience with younger players and guiding them through what has been such a challenging semester.” In nine tournaments during the 2016-17 season, Sims has finished among the top 10 individuals seven times. She has recorded 13 rounds of par or better while finishing below par in five events. “My play this year has been really consistent, which I’m pleased with,” Sims says, “As the only senior on our team I’ve tried to keep everyone positive, although our spring has been a little disappointing because of all the injuries. “I always tell my teammates that I’m here for them for anything and remind them that you’re not always going to have ‘up’ times. I’ve tried to be there to listen to them whenever needed, and hopefully they’ll be able to do the same thing and know what to do as they grow older.” Sims recalls what it was like to be a freshman and takes great pride in her maturation as a player – and as a person – the past four years. “When I first came (to Wake Forest), I was so busy,” she says. “It was almost overwhelming because it seemed like you always

MAY 2017

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WOMEN’S GOLF

// S I E R R A S I M S

Coach Dianne Dailey (left) credits Sierra Sims with being a leader on and off the course for the Demon Deacons this spring.

“AS A GOLFER, I’VE CERTAINLY DEVELOPED MORE CONFIDENCE IN MYSELF. I’VE LEARNED HOW TO BE A HARDER WORKER YET BE MORE EFFICIENT IN EVERYTHING I DO AT THE SAME TIME.”

had something to do between school work Sims intends to continue that shot-making and golf. I’ve really grown in my ability to beyond Wake Forest. She has already qualified manage my time better. for the Symetra Tour, the official development “As a golfer, I’ve certainly developed more tour of the LPGA, and plans to participate in confidence in myself. I’ve learned how to her first tournament as a professional soon be a harder worker yet be more efficient in after completing her WFU career. everything I do at the same time.” When she does make that huge step, Sims The Deacon record book over the past knows she will have two ardent supporters four years reflects a solid career for Sims, in her parents, both of whom have played but it’s a career that almost never happened key roles in her progress as an athlete and as – at least not at Wake Forest. a student. As a junior at Westlake High School, Father Bryan, who enjoyed a brief career Sims had initially elected not to join older as a college basketball player, taught both of sister Mariana on the Deacon golf roster his daughters to play the game of golf and and committed to Florida. While the sisters has been an incredibly loyal “fan” of Sims were very close and WFU was among her throughout her Deacon days. final three schools, Sierra felt it would be “He’s only missed one tournament in my better for her to plot her own course on the four years,” she says. “I know I’ll see him college level. wherever we’re playing, and it’s always great However, later that year she received a call to have him there.” informing her that the coach at Florida was Mother Marguerita has provided leaving her position with the Gators. motivation and support in another SIERRA SIMS “When I heard that news I immediately important area. called Wake, and fortunately there was still an available “She’s not as knowledgeable about golf,” Sims notes, “but she’s scholarship in my class,” Sims says. been very supportive of me in other ways, especially encouraging Fortunate for Wake Forest, too. me to do well with my academics.” “Sierra is an excellent ball-striker,” Dailey says in describing And just as Sims has come to know she could rely on her her team captain’s playing style. “Her driver is as good a club as parents, Dailey has learned that she can count on Sims as a she has in her bag, and she can control her distances well with her consistent, dependable and integral member of Wake Forest’s irons. She doesn’t hit many errant shots.” successful golf program.

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100% COTTEN

// S TA N C O T T E N

Going through the seasons

S TA N COTTEN VOICE OF THE DEMON DEACONS

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It is the afternoon of Easter Sunday, and I am taxed. The Cotten Clan spent the last several days in Pinehurst celebrating the wedding of my oldest daughter. There was golf, fellowship, more golf, food, family, a little more golf, a rehearsal, more food and then the wedding followed by a party that I think the late Payne Stewart would have enjoyed. His statue just behind the 18th green at famed Pinehurst No. 2 oversaw our reception at the Members Club (and no, I’m not a member) where nobody seemed to putt nearly as well as Stewart did in winning the 1999 U.S. Open. I’ll admit it was an emotional time for me as it is for any father of a daughter beginning a new season of life. Mostly I felt joy for my daughter who was as happy as

GOLD RUSH MAGAZINE

I’ve ever seen her, and that made it much easier for me. The joy I felt this past weekend was in stark contrast to the pain and sorrow of two weeks ago when we said goodbye to my coach, friend and mentor Ken Sparks, who died in Tennessee after a lengthy battle with cancer. I wrote about Ken in this space two years ago and knew this time was coming sooner than later. We had time to laugh, cry, pray and just sit with each other over the last several weeks. And I got the chance to speak with him over the phone a couple of days before he died to tell him how much he meant to me and how dearly I loved him. I knew he didn’t have long, but when I got the call that he had died, I was still knocked off center. He truly was one of a kind, the fifth-winningest college football coach of all-time. And he really didn’t care all that much about the won-lost column. Other than my parents and grandfather, Ken Sparks had the biggest influence on my life. These last few weeks have had my mind and emotions all over the lot. The seasons of life come and go whether we are ready or not. It has been said after all, that time waits for no man. The sports seasons come and go, too, whether or not teams are prepared. But getting prepared isn’t an issue with Wake Forest football, not with Coach Dave Clawson in charge. He’s as engaged and intentional in the preparation department as any coach anywhere, and he and his staff recently put the Demon Deacons through their paces in the annual Black and Gold spring scrimmage winding up work ahead of Clawson’s soon to be fourth fall in Winston-Salem. I must admit that the scoring system devised for the scrimmage was unique with various amounts of points awarded to the offense and the defense based on things like first downs, explosive plays,

stopping a drive, making a fourth down stop and to nobody’s surprise – forcing a turnover. It was like experimental rules in basketball preseason or some postseason tournaments. Kind of fun, but it takes time to get used to. Based on the new Clawson Scoring System, the offense won the game 43-24. “The offense is coming along, we’re making progress on offense,” Coach Clawson proclaimed after the game.” “We’re older, and I think our talent level is better. You saw some explosive plays…” Receiver Tabari Hines and quarterback John Wolford connected on a 66-yard pass – the longest of the day. Quarterback Kyle Kearns tossed a 45-yard aerial to promising redshirt freshman Greg Dortch, and Kearns also revved up the crowd with a 38-yard toss to Brandon Chapman. “I think there was a huge gap between the offense and the defense when we got here, and I think the gap is starting to get closed a little bit,” Clawson added. And so we wait for a new season under Clawson, who guided the Deacons to a bowl game and seven wins this past fall – most for the Wake program in nearly a decade. He has the Deacs on the rise, and he wants to keep it that way. “I think our goal is to always get better,” says Clawson. “Our theme for this year is ‘Keep Building’. We don’t want 7-6 to be the standard for great here. We want a higher standard. We have higher aspirations than that, to get more wins and compete for an ACC title. That’s where we want to get, and it’s going to take a lot of work over the summer to get there.” The season will officially begin on Aug. 31 when the Presbyterian Blue Hose comes calling. Emotions will be high as preparation is tested and the journey begins. I’m glad the summer comes first, though. I don’t know about you, but I need a vacation.


Toll Free: 1.800.852.1504 www.timwelborn.com

PROUD SUPPORTER OF WFU ATHLETICS MAY 2017

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INSIDE THE DEACON CLUB

May 31 Is Not Only a Giving Deadline, but an Opportunity

BA R RY FA I R C L O T H SENIOR A S S O C I AT E AT H L E T I C DIRECTOR, DEVELOPMENT

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As our spring sports approach post-season play and our personal calendars begin filling up with summer travel and vacation plans, May feels like a month when one chapter closes and another opens. From a college athletics standpoint, we start thinking about graduation and celebrating the student-athletes who have earned a degree and are leaving campus ready to make a difference in the world. It’s easy — almost too easy — to lose sight of the hard work and dedication necessary for our student-athletes to not only complete one successful season, both academically and athletically, but to do so for the entirety of their Wake Forest careers. It is our responsibility to recognize the tremendous effort put forth by Wake Forest studentathletes and truly support that effort in every way possible. One way we accomplish this is through our Deacon Club Annual Fund, which, as you know, funds the scholarships, academic support, recruiting and training necessary to attract, develop and graduate elite student-athletes. Even as we sit here — with our minds again drifting off to summer vacation plans — many of our studentathletes are already focusing their thoughts on an offseason of work. Rather than enjoying the luxury of summer vacation, they will instead be dedicated

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to making the most of the opportunities provided to them through the support of Deacon Club members. This includes enrolling in summer school, while simultaneously training, practicing and following strict nutrition plans laid out by the new, Deacon Club-funded, staff nutritionist. It is in part because of these summer investments — summer school housing, academic support and meal plans — as well as to help us budget for the upcoming academic and athletic year, that our Deacon Club Board of Directors and Athletic Advisory Council recommended that we move our annual membership renewal deadline to May 31, beginning with May 31, 2017. As we look to close the chapter on this year, I ask that you help us build the foundation for an even better future. You can help us achieve this goal by increasing your contribution to the Deacon Club prior to the May 31 deadline — and encouraging former classmates, colleagues and friends to contribute, as well. To renew and increase your contribution, please visit deaconclub.com/donate or call our offices at (336) 758-5626. Go Deacs!


INSIDE THE DEACON CLUB

REMINDER:

DEACON CLUB DONATION DEADLINE IS MAY 31 Don’t forget to renew your Deacon Club membership! Please note that payments on all outstanding pledges and balances for the 2016-17 year are due by May 31. Payments can be made online at deaconclub.com/donate or by phone at (336) 758-5626. You can also mail checks (made payable to Wake Forest University) to 499 Deacon Blvd., Winston-Salem, NC 27105.

Keep up with the Deacon Club on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram! For the latest news and information from the Deacon Club and to connect with other members, be sure to find us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram! @WFUDeaconClub Facebook.com/DeaconClub @WFUDeaconClub | @DeacOnTheRun | @BarryFaircloth

IS WAKE FOREST ATHLETICS IN YOUR WILL? Planned giving ties your legacy with the future of Wake Forest Athletics. To learn more about the many ways you can support Wake Forest Athletics through planned giving, please contact Paul Kennedy at (336) 758-3875 or kennedpj@wfu.edu.

SAVE THE DATE:

VARSITY CLUB WEEKEND AND HOMECOMING We hope you’ll be able to join fellow Deacon fans, Varsity Club members, Wake Forest coaches and staff on Friday, Sept. 15 and Saturday, Sept. 16. The Deacs will play Utah State at the Homecoming football game on Saturday (game time TBA). More information will be provided in the coming months.

MAY 2017

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DONOR PROFILE

// A R N O L D L A K E Y

Arnold Lakey evolves into big-time supporter of WFU Athletics

T

he connection that exists between an individual and their alma mater is truly special. For some, however, attending a college or university isn’t a precursor to establishing a strong and meaningful relationship with a respective school. Arnold Lakey is a perfect example of how a lasting connection can come to fruition between a non-alumnus and a university. Lakey first got involved with Wake Forest in 1971. At the time, he was working for Lowe’s Companies, where he spent 41 years, and a coworker by the name of Richard Willard invited him to a Wake Forest basketball game on a Saturday afternoon. Lakey greatly enjoyed his first Demon Deacon basketball experience and quickly realized that Wake Forest was a special place. While he had previously heard of the Deacon Club, attending that basketball game with Willard, who was a loyal member, provided Lakey with greater insight on the mission and goals of the organization. A few days after the game, Lakey called Willard and stated that he was ready to become a member of the Deacon Club. Prior to officially committing, however, he had one simple request. “Before I joined, I said I wanted to meet Bob Bartholomew, who was the Executive Director of the Deacon Club at the time,” Lakey said. Willard was able to assist in facilitating that request and the group went to lunch together, where

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they spoke about various aspects of a membership and what could be expected. Later that day, Lakey officially joined the Deacon Club and he hasn’t looked back since. In fact, Lakey’s involvement with Wake Forest Athletics and the Deacon Club has considerably evolved over the years, growing into what it is today. Not only is he a season ticket holder for football and basketball, he supports the Deacon Club Annual Fund, as well as capital projects, including the Sutton Sports Performance Center. Additionally, Lakey and his wife, Becky, even started their own scholarship to help support Wake Forest student athletes. “Having a feeling that we’re helping to improve the lives of Wake Forest student-athletes is something that my wife and I really value. Just knowing that our contributions are allowing these individuals to get a top-tier education, who may not otherwise have that opportunity, means the world to us.”

WHILE HE HAS ALREADY WITNESSED MANY GREAT ATHLETIC MOMENTS, LAKEY KNOWS THERE ARE PLENTY MORE TO COME AS WE CONTINUE STRIVING TO DEVELOP CHAMPIONS. Not only did he establish a strong connection with Wake Forest for himself and his wife over the years, Lakey also got all five of his kids, and now seven grandchildren, on board as Deacon fans. In reminiscing about the past 46 years, Lakey has countless fond memories of Wake Forest Athletics. What stands out most for him is traveling with friends to watch the men’s basketball team compete in the ACC Tournament each year in Greensboro. One of his favorite memories was watching the Deacs claim the ’95 ACC Championship, beating UNC in overtime and seeing Randolph

Childress win the Tournament MVP award as a senior. While he has already witnessed many great athletic moments, Lakey knows there are plenty more to come as we continue striving to Develop Champions. “Over the past few years, we continue to show improvement each year and I feel strongly that trend will continue.” What started off as a simple basketball game turned into so much more for Arnold Lakey. He has created a lifelong bond with Wake Forest, not only for himself, but for his entire family. Lakey wouldn’t want it any other way, stating, “It is an absolute joy to be involved with Wake Forest.”

deacon club photos Deacon Club members are encouraged to submit photos for publication in the Gold Rush. Send your photos in digital format to deacclub@wfu.edu. Submission of a photo does not guarantee that it will be published. Thanks for showing off your Demon Deacon pride!

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1 A group of Sigma Chi parents tour Haddock House, the home of Wake Forest golf.

2 Bill Straughan (’64), John

2

Bray (’64), Coach Bill “Big Daddy” Faircloth (’64) and Wilbert Faircloth (’64) play in the 2017 Football Alumni Reunion Weekend golf tournament.

3 A thletic Advisory Council members Anthony Tang (’11) (left) and Todd Lynch (’98) (right) engage in a friendly competition of writing thank you cards to benefit the Deacon Club. In the end, an astounding 740 cards were handwritten for donors.

MAY 2017

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WHERE ARE THEY NOW?

//

PORSCHE JONES

I

n each issue, Where Are They Now showcases a former Wake Forest student-athlete. Porsche Jones (’06) was a member of the Wake Forest women’s basketball team from 2002-06 and appeared in 65 career games while making 54 starts. Jones scored 531 career points (8.2 ppg) while collecting 121 steals and 229 assists as a Demon Deacon. On Jan. 10, 2005, Jones tallied 10 steals in a win over Savannah State, setting a program record for most steals in a single game. During her redshirt sophomore season of 2004-05, Jones dished out 151 assists, the third most assists in Wake Forest single-season history. Over the course of her career, Jones averaged 1.58 assists for every turnover, which still stands today as a program record for career assist to turnover ratio.

Porsche Jones When did you graduate from Wake Forest? 2006 What was your major and/or minor? Communication What does being a Demon Deacon mean to you? It means the world to me. Wake Forest taught me discipline, respect, time management skills, pride and ultimately how to prioritize goals. Why are you still involved in Wake Forest Athletics? I believe there is a rich culture of support at WFU. It’s essential to stay involved and be a part of the growing process that encourages success for present and future students. Why do you feel it is important to give back to the University? I believe that continuing to build a culture of success at WFU is the most important role as an alumnus. This ensures that the University’s growth and overall progress to remain respected and competitive is intact. What is your current occupation? Community Wellness Educator, Novant Health Inc. What is your favorite memory of your time at Wake Forest? All my memories are grand! Every moment we rolled the Quad... unforgettable! What makes you most proud of Wake Forest? Being a student-athlete and experiencing the support from alumni and staff members who focused specifically on our individualized and collective success. When you come back to Wake Forest, you always… Walk the Quad and then Wait Chapel. I was there when… The men’s basketball team beat UNC at UNC (Chris Paul, Justin Gray and Eric Williams were together!) Great day to be

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a Deac (especially celebrating on Franklin Street)! Who is your favorite coach at Wake Forest, current or past? All the coaches did a wonderful job representing WFU at the highest level. I think all athletes respected Coach Prosser and were affected by his presence and encouraging methods. Natasha Adair was my assistant coach and has served as a mentor beyond my college years. Overall, I’m thankful for all my coaches, especially Coach Charlene Curtis who recruited me and gave me the opportunity to attend Wake Forest University ... forever grateful!


SUN MAY 07

MON 08

MAY // JUNE 2017

WAKE FOREST ATHLETICS

Baseball vs. Boston College 1pm

Deacon Club members at or above the Deacon Bench level may present their 2016-17 membership cards for free admission to Olympic Sport events (immediate family only). Olympic Sport single game tickets and season passes are available at WakeForestSports.com or by calling (336) 758-3322. SPORTS MARKETING (336) 758-5011 TICKET OFFICE (336) 758-3322 GROUP TICKETS (Football & Basketball) (336) 758-4030 DEACON CLUB (336) 758-5626 www.deaconclub.com deacclub@wfu.edu

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2016-17 DONATION DEADLINE - MAY 31, 2017 Don’t forget to renew your commitment to Wake Forest Athletics. Donations can be made online at deaconclub.com/donate or by calling (336) 758-5626.

SAVE THE DATE FOR VARSITY CLUB WEEKEND AND HOMECOMING We hope you’ll be able to join fellow Deacon fans, Varsity Club members, Wake Forest coaches and staff on Friday, September 15 and Saturday, September 16. The Deacs will play Utah State at the Homecoming football game on Saturday (game time TBA). More information will be provided in the coming months.

FAMILY WEEKEND - OCTOBER 27-28, 2017 Wake Forest football vs. Louisville - Saturday, October 28

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DEACONS IN THE PROS BASEBALL Coaches/Scouts Ross Atkins Neil Avent TJ Barra Development Danny Borrell George Greer John Hendricks Michael Holmes Crosschecker Kevin Jarvis Bill Masse Matt Price Mike Rikard Eric Schmitt Adam Wogan Tommy Gregg

WOMEN’S SOCCER

MLB MLB MLB

Toronto Blue Jays Oakland A’s New York Mets

General Manager Area Scout Manager of Baseball Research &

MLB MLB MLB MLB

New York Yankees St. Louis Cardinals New York Mets Oakland A’s

Rehab Pitching Coordinator Minor League Offensive Strategist National Pitching Crosschecker Asst. Scouting Director/National

MLB MLB MLB MLB MLB MLB AAA

Los Angeles Angels Seattle Mariners Kansas City Royals Boston Red Sox New York Yankees Boston Red Sox Kansas City

Special Assignment Scout Area Scout Area Scouting Supervisor Director of Amateur Scouting Director of Minor League Operations Area Scout Omaha Storm Chasers Hitting Coach

MAJOR LEAGUES Mac Williamson

San Francisco Giants (AAA)

MINOR LEAGUE RANKS Pat Blair Tim Cooney Will Craig Michael Dimock Aaron Fossas Brian Holmes Connor Kaden Garrett Kelly Nate Mondou Joe Napolitano Matt Pirro

Tampa Bay Rays (AA) St. Louis Cardinals (AAA) Pittsburgh Pirates (Short Season A) San Diego Padres (AAA) Cincinnati Reds (Rookie) Houston Astros (AA) San Francisco Giants (A) Minnesota Twins (Rookie) Oakland Athletics (Short Season A) New York Mets (Rookie) Washington Nationals (Rookie)

WOMEN’S GOLF Laura (Philo) Diaz LPGA Played in 21 tournaments in the 2015 season Jean Chua Symetra Played in 16 events in 2016, best finish t-11th at Island Resort Championship Nannette Hill LPGA Played in 14 tournaments in 2016, qualified for U.S. Women’s Open Natalie Sheary Symetra Played in 22 tournaments in 2016, won W.B. Mason Championship in May Michelle Shin Symetra Played in 13 events in 2015 Cheyenne Woods LPGA Played in 20 events in 2016 Marissa Dodd Symetra Played in 18 events in 2016 with two top-30 finishes Olafia Kristinsdottir LET Plays on the Ladies European Access Tour Allison Emrey Symetra Played in 21 events in 2016, had first top-10 at Tullymore Classic in July

MEN’S SOCCER Corben Bone Brian Carroll Sam Cronin Austin da Luz Chris Duvall Sam Fink Akira Fitzgerald Jack Harrison Tolani Ibikunle Michael Lahoud Andy Lubahn Collin Martin Justin Moose Ben Newnam Ike Opara Sean Okoli Michael Parkhurst Jalen Robinson Ross Tomaselli Jared Watts

FC Cincinnati Philadelphia Union Colorado Rapids Carolina RailHawks New York Red Bulls Saint Louis FC Carolina RailHawks New York City FC Ekenas Sport Club (Finland) Miami FC Louisville City FC D.C. United Wilmington Hammerheads Louisville City FC Sporting Kansas City FC Cincinnati Columbus Crew DC United FC Cincinnati Colorado Rapids

COACHES/MLS FRONT OFFICE James Riley Kurt Schmid Zack Schilawski

MLS Director of Player Relations Seattle Sounders (Head Scout) Carolina RailHawks U23s (Assistant Coach)

Aubrey Bledsoe Kim Marshall Annick McBryar Katie Stengel Kelsey Zalimeni

Orlando Pride (NWSL) Boston Breakers (Reserves) Boston Breakers (Reserves) Washington Spirit (NWSL) Crystal Palace Ladies FC

MEN’S BASKETBALL Al-Farouq Aminu James Johnson Chris Paul Ishmael Smith Jeff Teague Justin Gray C.J. Harris Jamaal Levy Travis McKie Codi Miller-McIntyre Aaron Rountree Devin Thomas Ty Walker David Weaver

NBA NBA NBA NBA NBA Belarus Turkey Argentina Lebanon Belgium Slovakia Turkey Bahrain Japan

Portland Trail Blazers Miami Heat L.A. Clippers Detroit Pistons Indiana Pacers Tsmoki-Minsk Sakarya BSB Bahia Basket Louaize Leuven Lucenec TED Kolejilier Al Muharraq Shiga L-Stars

WOMEN’S BASKETBALL Dearica Hamby Sandra Garcia Chelsea Douglas Alex Tchangoue

WNBA Puerto Rico Germany France

San Antonio Stars Manatee Freiburg Lyon

FOOTBALL Tommy Bohanon K.J. Brent Josh Bush Michael Campanaro Brandon Chubb Chris Givens Josh Harris Kevin Johnson Joe Looney Nikita Whitlock Kyle Wilber

NFL NFL NFL NFL NFL NFL CFL NFL NFL NFL NFL

FB WR S WR LB WR RB CB OL FB/DL LB

Free Agent Oakland Free Agent Free Agent Detroit Free Agent BC Lions Houston Dallas NY Giants Dallas

COACHES/STAFF Jim Caldwell Charlie Dayton Pat Flaherty Joe Kenn Ricky Proehl John Spanos Brad White Jeff Triplette James MacPherson

NFL Detroit NFL Carolina NFL NY Giants NFL Carolina NFL Carolina NFL San Diego NFL Indianapolis NFL NFL Chargers

Head Coach Vice President Offensive Line Coach Strength Coach Wide Receivers Coach Executive VP of Football Operations OLB Coach Referee Scout

MEN’S GOLF Billy Andrade Bill Haas Jay Haas Gary Hallberg Scott Hoch Len Mattiace Kyle Reifers Webb Simpson Curtis Strange

Champions Played in 22 events in 2016 with nine top-10s, 9th in 2016 Charles Schwab Cup PGA Played in 24 events in 2016, first major top-10 at British Open, No. 44 in World Golf Rankings Champions Played in 18 events in 2016 with one win, 26th in 2016 Charles Schwab Cup Champions Played in 16 events in 2016 with one top-10, 65th in 2016 Charles Schwab Cup Champions Played in 19 events in 2016 with two top-10s, 59th in 2016 Charles Schwab Cup Web.com Played in 17 events in 2016 PGA Played in 34 events in 2016 with five top-10s, No. 114 in World Golf Rankings PGA Played in 20 events in 2016 with seven top-25s, No. 72 in World Golf Rankings Champions Played in three events in 2016

FIELD HOCKEY Lauren Crandall (Captain) Michelle Kasold

USA National Team USA National Team

MEN’S TENNIS Noah Rubin

ATP

MAY 2017

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COMPLIANCE CORNER

// T O D D H A I R S T O N

BENEFITS ASSOCIATED WITH GRADUATION

TODD HAIRSTON A S S O C I AT E AT H L E T I C DIRECTOR, COMPLIANCE

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With graduation just around the corner, it’s probably a good idea to think about what (if any) NCAA rules still pertain to former student-athletes once they have graduated. For example, is it permissible to buy a gift for a graduating student-athlete? We all know that benefits to a current student-athlete are not permissible, however, one might assume that once a student-athlete graduates, all NCAA rules are lifted. In reality, the NCAA does still place certain restrictions on the types of benefits these individuals can receive. These stipulations exist to prevent the promise of benefits after graduation from being used as a recruiting inducement. However, NCAA rules do permit donors and other institutional representatives to provide gifts and benefits of nominal value to studentathletes on an occasional basis following graduation. So it would be permissible to provide a graduating student-athlete with a gift, provided the value does not exceed $50,

GOLD RUSH MAGAZINE

which is the NCAA’s general definition of “nominal value.” The one condition to this exception, however, is that such benefits are only permissible if Wake Forest is not currently recruiting a relative of the former student-athlete. Therefore, prior to providing a benefit to a former studentathlete, it is extremely important that you check with the Athletics Compliance Office beforehand. Additionally, it is permissible for an athletic department to provide a gift to a graduating senior. NCAA legislation allows each senior student-athlete to receive a gift up to a value of $425. Typically, these gifts are in the form of the framed jerseys and commemorative balls that student-athletes receive on their respective senior nights. For other questions related to this, or any other compliance-related issue, please contact me at hairstct@wfu.edu.


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MAY 2017

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From rookie to Rookie of the Year. Wake Forest Baptist Health offers athletes of all ages and skill levels a full range of orthopaedic treatment and physical therapy delivered by the region’s most experienced sports medicine team. Our Stratford location has extended and weekend hours. And we’re a proud partner of D1 Sports Training. To make an appointment with a physician or a physical therapist, call 888-716-WAKE or visit WakeHealth.edu/SportsMedicine.

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Profile for Wake Forest Athletics

Gold Rush - May 2017  

The official publication of Wake Forest Athletics

Gold Rush - May 2017  

The official publication of Wake Forest Athletics