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deacons in the pros

Young basketball team showing improvement as ACC season unfolds



Deacon coach looks back at 2011 season and another bowl trip


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ORTHOPAEDICS | Call 336-716-WAKE for an appointment.


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Gold Rush is published eight times a year by IMG College in conjunction with Wake Forest Athletics. The price of an annual subscription is $20. Members of the Deacon Club receive a oneyear 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:

READY TO PLAY: The Deacons prepare to take the field for the Music City Bowl on Dec. 30 in Nashville. Mississippi State edged the Deacons 23-17. For more on the bowl game, see Pages 16 and 20.

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// 6 Q&A: A look back with Jim Grobe Deacons again confound experts by winning five ACC games, going to bowl game

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Controlling the Accelerator Sophomore point guard Tony Chennault learning about the speed of the game

Please send all address changes to the attention of Stephanie Hudson, Wake Forest Athletics, 499 Deacon Blvd., WinstonSalem, NC 27105

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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 PepperwoodAd_NoBleed_7-15-11.pdfPage 1 approved by WFU and IMG.

deacons in music city Wake Forest fans enjoy visit to Nashville over the holidays for another bowl game

ON THE 7/28/2011 COVER 3:40:01


Junior C.J. Harris has been one of the top scorers in the ACC this season for the young Deacons.





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Fans show their support in Nashville for bowl game Dear Deacon Club, Happy New Year! I trust that 2012 is off to a great start for you and that this will be a fantastic year for you and the Demon Deacons.


On Dec. 30, more than 6,000 Demon Deacon fans gathered in Nashville for the Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl. The feedback that we have received from those who attended has been extremely positive. The events surrounding the bowl game were well-organized and fun. The city of Nashville was a gracious and hospitable host. It was another superb bowl experience for the Demon Deacons. Thank you for another great turnout. Wake Forest has developed a reputation of having good traveling bowl fans and the Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl was another example of the enthusiastic support that our fans give our football team. As you undoubtedly know, the University will be embarking upon a capital campaign sometime in the near future. The athletic department will be a major component of the campaign. We have numerous facility needs in our department including the continuation of renovating BB&T Field, the Wake Forest Baseball Park, Deaconizing the coliseum, renovating

Bridger Field House, building a golf house at the Arnold Palmer Golf Complex and renovating Spry Stadium. Another critical need is a new recreation center that will also include the athletic department’s strength and conditioning center. Our student-athletes need a much improved strength and conditioning center that will become a reality in the new recreation center. Additionally, all Wake Forest students need a recreation center. We have one of the most active student populations in America but have inadequate facilities to meet their needs. A new recreation center will not only serve our students well once they get to Wake Forest but also help our admissions office and coaches recruit the very best students and student-athletes to our University. I look forward to sharing the plans for all of our projects with you very soon. Thanks again for your tremendous response in attending the Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl. I look forward to joining you again next year at another bowl game.

Go Deacs!

Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton LLP is proud to support the WAKE FOREST UNIVERSITY athletic program. Whether on the court or in the courtroom, in the classroom or the boardroom, we understand the vision, dedication and teamwork that it takes to win. Go Deacons! ATLANTA AUGUSTA CHARLOTTE DENVER SEATTLE SILICON VALLEY STOCKHOLM


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F OOTball

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Q&A: A look back with Jim Grobe Longtime Deacon coach proud of the play of his team against a demanding schedule


During the ACC Football Kickoff media gathering in August, Wake Forest coach Jim Grobe and his players outlined their hopes for the coming season, and they were surprisingly specific. If everything goes well, they all said, we can win six games and qualify for a bowl. The media looked at the quantifiable facts — three wins the prior year, some lost personnel, a tough schedule — and disagreed, picking the Deacons to finish last in their division. Well, yet again, the team confounded the experts and looked downright prescient in doing so, winning six games and qualifying for the Music City Bowl in Nashville. Grobe took time out from the recruiting trail to talk to Gold Rush’s Jay Reddick about the season. Gold Rush: Considering where you came from and what was expected of you, you have to be pleased with the season as a whole. Grobe: It was a good season for us. Anytime you lose a game you’re not happy, but I thought we had a pretty good season. The media picked us last. We weren’t even in the conversation for a title or bowl contention, but I think we did some


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really good things. There are two or three games we’d like to have back, certainly the bowl game, but we played a really tough schedule and played well. I’m proud of our team, proud of our coaches, and the ride from preseason over the course of the year was something to be proud of. We played as hard as we could. Gold Rush: At the same time, after a 5-2 start, was there disappointment in the way you finished? Grobe: I think what people miss is that in that stretch, we went through some teams that were pretty good football teams. Against Carolina we turned the ball over too many times, but now you’ve got Notre Dame at home, and we had a shot to be right there with Notre Dame. Against Clemson we missed a chip shot late, but we were right at the wire against the eventual champs. That was a brutal stretch. As many bowl teams as we played, you have to look and say the guys played pretty well. Gold Rush: Did the first part of the season raise expectations too much among some fans who were upset by the finish? Grobe: Maybe so, but high expectations are not a bad thing. When we first

came, there were no expectations. Supporters were hoping we’d be competitive. Winning wasn’t a focus. The focus was to not be embarrassed. We’ve changed expectations and that’s a good thing. We expect to win bowls, championships — that was never a guarantee at Wake Forest. We’re not a “reload” football team. Everything is a challenge for us. Gold Rush: Who were the pleasant surprises for you this year who exceeded expectations? Grobe: I think we had some individuals. For a freshman like Merrill Noel to tie for the national lead in pass breakups, most players would feel pretty good about that, but to do it as a freshman is pretty amazing. Josh Bush at safety, after playing corner for most of his career, to be an all-conference player with six interceptions, and even to make an All-American team, is pretty special. Nikita Whitlock, to play as well as he did at nose guard; Tanner Price, to bounce back after a tough year at quarterback and do the kind of things he was able to do; Chris Givens finally having the kind of year we hoped for after he had been streaky in the past. We forced more turnovers on defense; offensively we were one of the better scoring teams in school history. So there were some surprises but really just a competitive team. Gold Rush: What was the biggest change you saw in Tanner Price? Grobe: It was a little bit of everything. Physically, he got bigger and stronger. Mentally, no question, he really made great improvement understanding the offense we were trying to get. His leadership got better and better. He got a little more vocal. He’s still the ultimate team player, not all about individual awards. In every way, all the things you need in a quarterback, he improved. Now, he’s got to be a little more accurate. Sometimes he’ll make the most amazing throws, but sometimes the easy ones he’ll miss. If he can improve as much from sophomore to junior as he did from freshman to sophomore, we’ll have a guy that continues to be special. We’ll probably ask him to do more running the football. He rushed for 1,000 yards his senior year in high school, but we haven’t used him much in that role, partly to keep him healthy. Gold Rush: How would you grade the team’s running game? Grobe: Depth became an issue as the year went on. I thought Brandon Pendergrass did a lot of good things. We probably should have let him run earlier in the year — he really closed his senior year out well. In the future we can hopefully keep Josh Harris healthy. He had problems with his hamstring all year long, but he’s a guy with ability. I see really good things out of Orville Reynolds. He’s really unselfish, played the last few games when he didn’t have to to burn a redshirt. He stepped in and did a great job. We just got a lot out

egos, just a good group. I didn’t feel the last couple of years that the young guys and the old guys really clicked, but this year was just fun. The team cared about each other, and that starts with your seniors. Gold Rush: You’ll also lose Chris Givens, who has entered the NFL draft. What have you seen from him? Grobe: He grew up a lot, developed a better work ethic. He was always a bigplay guy, you just didn’t know when those big plays were coming. This year, instead of below-average plays in between, he had a lot of average plays, and that was a big improvement. He was a pleasure to coach. He can improve a lot, but he’ll be doing it at the next level. I hope it works out. Gold Rush: The coaching staff will look a little different next year with the departures of Keith Henry and Tim Billings. What other team changes can we expect? Grobe: I think your team is constantly in a state of flux. It’s the nature of college sports. As players, you have old guys moving on and new guys stepping up. We’re doing one of the things I’ve been wanting to do for three years — get Lobo (Steed Lobotzke) off the offensive linemen and get somebody who can take it over full time. It’s the perfect time with so many seniors along the line leaving. I think for the first time in a while, we’re going to stay with similar schemes on both sides of the ball. Offensively, we’re doing good things with X’s and O’s, we might add a few more zips, zaps and zos, but really we’ll stay with what we’re doing and add a couple of wrinkles, because we’re pretty good right now. Defensively, we went back and forth between even and odd fronts. We still dabbled in four-man fronts, but I think we’ll kind of settle into three-man fronts for the most part. We’ll have changes personnel-wise because of the seniors we’re losing up there, but we feel good going into spring practice. ■

“I’m proud of our team, proud of our coaches, and the ride from preseason over the course of the year was something to be proud of. We played as hard as we could.” of Brandon. The kid gave us everything he had, and that was critical to our success. Gold Rush: Looking back on the senior class and the other guys you’re losing, what will you remember? Grobe: We’re going to lose some talented players, but much more than the talent, the character, the commitment to team rather than themselves, was what got us to a bowl this year. We didn’t have guys who were selfish, no big FEBRUARY 2012



Photo by Donnie Roberts

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Controlling the Accelerator Sophomore point guard Tony Chennault learning about the speed of the game By Sam Walker


Playing fast, as fast as you can, is the style good basketball teams like to play. Great ones are fun to watch, and the speed of the game played well is a thing of beauty. Speedy point guards are attractive prospects when it comes to the modern game of college basketball. Tony Chennault fits that mold, and he can be a real change of pace player for the up-and-down Deacons, who are enduring inconsistent results but showing flashes of improved play and growth. But Chennault, who didn’t become a real contributing player for the Deacons until last Jan. 19 after rehabilitating a fractured foot in the season opener a season ago, is still learning how to be a speedy point guard on a team that has to pick and choose its times to push the pace and play in transition. He appeared in 15 games coming off the bench and averaged 4.5 points, 2.5 rebounds, and 1.9 assists in 17.5 minutes of action


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as a freshman. Wake Forest is not a team comprised of players who can play the up-tempo pace game. They must play methodically, work the ball around using most of the shot clock and search for good looks at the basket in the waning seconds of each possession. They need to maximize the number of quality shots they can get while limiting the number of looks and possessions their opponents receive. If the math works out right, Wake Forest wins. Playing fast, however, will be an exception rather than a rule on this Wake Forest team — much different from Deacon teams of the recent past. That makes Chennault play a little out of character, a little against his grain, a little unnatural, but it doesn’t diminish what he can contribute to the team. Through 16 games, Chennault has started 16, and he was averaging 11.1 points, 3.1 rebounds, 2.8 assists and just over 30 minutes per

Tony Chennault Position: Point Guard Class: Sophomore Hometown: Philadelphia, Pa. Major: Undeclared Coming to Wake Forest: Chose Wake Forest over Pittsburgh, Providence, St. Josephs, Villanova and Virginia Top athletic achievements: Ranked by Scout as the No. 25 point guard in the class of 2010; rated by ESPN as the No. 36 point guard; part of a 2010 Wake Forest recruiting class that was ranked No. 8 in the country according to ESPN; a 2010 graduate of Saints Neumann and Goretti High School in Philadelphia; four-year letter winner at Neumann-Goretti; 200910 Gatorade Boys Basketball Player of the Year for the state of Pennsylvania; two-time first team all-state selection.




contest. He’s learning to pick his spots to push it into overdrive, but he’s also looking to play smarter when the possession takes time to develop and how to make adjustments on the fly. C.J. Harris, a natural off guard/ shooting guard, who had to play the point after Chennault went down a season ago, says he sees Chennault learning every day how to be a better point guard in a tough league and in a year of building something new and different. “I know what Tony is going through,” Harris said. “I’ve been there playing the point, but I have confidence in him and I think he’s been doing a great job. It’s the way he leads us on the court, gets us into our offense, gets us to attack, and how he develops will ultimately determine how far we can go.” “Tony Chennault played extremely well at Maryland (on Jan. 11), but at times, as with all our players, sometimes he tries to do a little too much,” Jeff Bzdelik, the Deacons’ head coach, said. Looking at the season as a whole, Chennault has been streaky. He had six assists in an early win over NC Central, six assists and 20 points in arguably his best game of the season at High Point University in a victory over the Panthers, and six

assists in the one-point victory over Yale. But in the games Wake Forest has lost, Chennault has been less effective. He has never used youth as an excuse, but he knows there is no replacement for game experience either. “Every game we go in feeling like underdogs, and that gives us extra motivation,” Chennault said. “We don’t have any superstar guys on this team. I feel like sometimes I just need to slow down. I go at different speeds at times and sometimes get myself in unnecessary trouble and try to force things. But I’m a young player, so I’m learning and I can get better.” “Tony, in many ways, is really like midway through his freshman year in minutes he has played and his health,” Bzdelik said. “The great thing about Tony Chennault is he has passion, he has grit, he has determination, he has great will, and that is contagious to our basketball team, and he’s a worker. He works. He is one of those guys who just wills himself to be better and is constantly asking me what he needs to do to be better. That’s a wonderful thing, and he makes a great leader. He does a great job driving, but just needs to make decisions a little bit better. He’s learning.” ■

Photo by Donnie Roberts

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SECILY RAY Class: Senior

The Joy of Rebounding

Secily Ray crashes the boards with a smile

Major: Sociology Position: Forward Hometown: Thomasville Favorite WFU memory: “Every year in the first round of the ACC Tournament, it seems like we always play close, intense games. I love the atmosphere there, and those games are probably the most memorable. If I had to pick one, beating Miami in overtime my sophomore year (2010) would be it.”

By Jay Reddick


Secily Ray grew up as the fifth of seven kids. With a family that big, waiting your turn for things is hard to do — better to be assertive, fight for what you want and don’t let anyone take it away. Ray has brought that same attitude to the basketball court, which has helped her become one of the ACC’s best rebounders and one of the Deacons’ most valuable weapons. The 6-foot senior forward was averaging nearly seven rebounds per game in mid-January to go along with eight points. She was durable, too, as one of only two Wake Forest players to start each of the team’s first 18 games. So what makes Ray such a good rebounder? Coach Mike Petersen said she has the right body type for it: “She’s long, wiry, bouncy, good for getting through angles.” She’s obviously athletic, with skills honed from years of playing at Thomasville High School and in AAU (where she was coached by WFU alumnus Delaney Rudd).


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She’s got the intelligence and instincts to know where the ball will be. But more than anything, it’s this: She wants it. “Rebounding is something I enjoy,” Ray said. “I just like soaring in the air for a ball, especially on the offensive end. They think they got a stop, but then they drop their energy because you got a rebound, and now you get to play a little longer on offense. It’s a burst of energy for me.” Her love for offensive rebounding shows up in the numbers, too — nearly half of her boards this season have come on the offensive glass. “She’s an especially good offensive rebounder because she sees herself in that way,” Petersen said. “It makes her go every time. She goes and pursues the ball, and that’s half the battle.” Ray was brought up on basketball. She said her father encouraged the entire family to take to the court at a young age, and this is one spot where Secily developed toughness. That’s what you have to have when you’re playing against siblings who are three, four, even 10 years older. “I started playing when I was 5,” Ray said. “When

Favorite book: “Staying Fat for Sarah Byrnes,” by Chris Crutcher Favorite sports movie: “Love and Basketball” Favorite food: Pepperoni pizza or a simple hamburger Athlete you admire most: Lisa Leslie What item tops your bucket list? “Go to all the amusement parks in the U.S.” If you could have dinner with anyone, who would it be? Lamar Odom, Sanaa Lathan and Hines Ward

I was the youngest, it wasn’t always the easiest or the most fun thing to do, but by the time I was 12, I really enjoyed it and knew I was good at it.” By high school, she was good enough to make the N.C. East/West All-Star roster and attract attention from several ACC schools. She knew early on that Wake Forest was her likely destination, because she liked the campus and the people, but also because it was close to home. Her family had always come to watch her games growing up, so why should they have to stop now? “I wanted to be close to my family,” Ray said. “My dad comes to a lot of games, my brother and one of my sisters, other friends from home. It’s really great.” The presence of family helps keep Ray composed and centered in stressful situations, an attribute she takes pride in. But other factors contribute to that peace: The maturity that comes from being a senior. The support of teammates. And Winnie the Pooh. Ray has been a fan of the bear for “as long as I can remember,” but at some point it crossed the line from fanhood to devotion. She said she has a large collection of Pooh memorabilia, including posters, a lamp, a bedspread, and countless stuffed bears. The steering-wheel

cover in her car is Pooh-themed. And anyone who spends any time with her has seen the Pooh bear she carries with her everywhere — it’s well-worn, a little frayed around the edges and doesn’t have a nose, but it’s her lucky bear. “It’s the one I’ve had the longest, and we’ve been through a lot,” Ray said. “Part of me wants to get it fixed, but part of me wants to keep it like it is.” She said she likes Winnie the Pooh because it makes her laugh, it reminds her of family (her grandmother watched it with her often as a child) and, yes, it helps her keep her composure. “I’ve just been used to it so long,” Ray said. “It’s very calming to me.” The total package is complicated — aggressiveness, unquestioned maturity and a willy, nilly, silly old bear. But it works, and Petersen’s glad it does. “Ses is easy to be around,” Petersen said. “She’s a good teammate, she plays hard, and she’s grown so much. Every time we go on the road and I see (the bear in) her backpack, it reminds me she’s still just a kid in a way, like they all are. They’re young adults, but that joy is still there, and I like to see that.” Ray’s other joy: the thrill of victory. She’s hoping to feel that a lot more before the year is over. ■

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One for the Road

S ta n Cotten Voice of the Demon Deacons

There’s something about playing on the road in sports that makes winning tough. Ask 10 coaches and 10 players, and you might get 20 different answers as to why it’s true. But they all will agree. It’s true. If a team plays really well, a hostile crowd can be somewhat neutralized. But a juiced-up crowd often gets the jump on a visiting team and makes it hard to catch up. Ever been to a basketball game at Maryland? But for players, I think a lot of it has to do with things that are not related to the actual game itself. It’s being away from home and all things familiar. Lousy pillows in strange hotel rooms. Some great meals — but others that are just OK, certainly different. The way you get around — planes and a crowded bus rather than your own car. And the down time can numb you. Sometimes by the time the game starts, the visiting team is already behind. It plays seemingly on an inclined treadmill — hard to make any headway. The Demon Deacons’ recent win at Boston College was Wake’s first in the ACC away from Winston-Salem since Feb. 6, 2010, at Charlottesville against Virginia — and it took an extra five minutes to win

that one 64-61 in overtime. It’s simply hard to win a road game. And any time you do, you feel like you’ve stolen something. Coach Jeff Bzdelik likes to keep his team at the hotel before heading to the arena longer than any coach I’ve ever worked with. At Boston College, Dinger and I got a little jumpy and took a cab, leaving about an hour and 20 minutes ahead of the team. It was snowing, and I had the radio gear to set up so we took off just to be safe. When we got there, we had a chance to chat with other members of the media, TV crew, etc. All agreed on one thing. This was a game that Wake Forest needed to win. Dinger and I both felt that way, but for the simple fact that the game was in Chestnut Hill — on the road — I was worried. The Deacs left Durham following the loss at Duke and headed straight for the airport. Snow was falling in New England, and Wake’s charter flight was diverted from its original destination of a small airfield near the team hotel to Boston’s Logan Airport. That fouled up the ground transportation. And by the time we all got into bed it was about 3 a.m. Friday morning. Not a great start.

Practice the next day was not at the Conte Forum, where the game on Saturday would be played. The Deacs could not get access to the court due to a Friday evening hockey game. That meant the first time the Deacs saw the court, they would face the Eagles on was when they got to the arena 90 minutes prior to tip. Not ideal, but not a whole lot anybody could do about it. So the Deacons just went out, threw the first punch and won the game. They led wire to wire against a BC team that had found a way to win its first two ACC home games despite being one of the youngest teams in the country. Wake played like it did at home in early January when the Deacs outrebounded a stunned Virginia Tech team by 11 to win their first conference game 58-55. The Deacons built a double-digit lead against BC, withstood a run from the opposition, and then won going away 71-56. A road win is tough — but of course not impossible. And when you get one, you savor it. You bottle it if you can. As of this writing, the Deacons have three officially — Nebraska, High Point and Boston College. All three took hard work, work that will hopefully pay dividends. Down the road. ■

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i n s id e t h e d e a c o n c lub

Music City Memories

barry fair c l o t h A s s o c iat e At hl e t i c D ir e c t o r f o r E x t e r n al Op e rat i o n s

In my opinion, any bowl game is a good bowl game, and I would have been happy as can be in Shreveport, La., over Christmas, if that was our calling. However, Christmas came early for the Deacs, and we earned a trip to the Franklin American Mortgage Company Music City Bowl. What a gift it was! As I mentioned in the December Gold Rush, bowl games are memory makers, and Nashville hosted the Deacs for one of the most memorable bowl game experiences of my time. What truly makes a bowl experience so much fun is being able to enjoy it with family, and we were fortunate enough to have that opportunity this year. Joining me and my wife and kids were one of my brothers, Scott, and his family of five, my parents Bill and Becky Faircloth, our cousin Lisa Faircloth Kelly, her husband Michael and their children, my Uncle Wilbert and Aunt Mary Lou, and two more of their grandchildren. In all, we had close to 20 Faircloths in Nashville. The memory makers that stand out in my mind started with the hotel. The Gaylord Opryland Hotel was a destination in itself. It took us a full day to get our bearings by getting lost a few times, but what an amazing property! When I first heard that both Mississippi State and Wake Forest would be staying there, I was somewhat concerned, but those concerns were alleviated when we arrived and observed just how awesome the complex

turned out to be. With its multiple wings, many shops and restaurants, enormous glass atriums, indoor gardens, cascading waterfalls, and even an indoor river, it was truly a sight to behold. One of the highlights from the hotel was a simple caricature drawing of our youngest daughter, Olivia, created by one of the “street vendors” on the Delta Island. In addition to the atmosphere created by the hotel itself, it is also special to be staying at the same place as the team. The simple things like running into team members at restaurants or in the lobby, talking to them, getting autographs and wishing them well really adds to the magic of the experience. Although there was plenty to keep us entertained within the hotel, Music City was calling, and we took advantage of all it had to offer. Simply walking around downtown and dropping in on the various Honky Tonk bars was a real treat. At first, I was a little leery of walking into bars with young kids, but the owners and musicians were so kind and accommodating, welcoming us and letting the kids on stage to pose for pictures. We even


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ran into Elvis, and he was gracious enough to pose for a picture! Shopping for cowboy boots is another “thing to do” in Nashville. Although all kids weren’t very interested

in this activity, we did have fun using the stockings to cover our heads and pass the time while the ladies checked out the boots! Nashville certainly lived up to its “Music City” name. One night, I had the privilege of attending a singer-songwriter event at the Country Music Hall of Fame in which we enjoyed a performance by Dave Turnbull, who co-wrote the Kenny Chesney hit “ The Boys of Fall.” Although I was sadly not a part of it, another group of Wake Forest fans went to dinner at the renowned Blue Bird Café and were treated to a surprise performance by the great Vince Gill — now that is Nashville! But the city is about more than just music. We also had the opportunity to attend a Nashville Predators hockey game. The overtime thriller in front of a packed house was great entertainment for the many sports enthusiasts among us. The official Wake Forest events provided the perfect opportunity to make more memories with family and reconnect with old friends, starting with the Kickoff Party at the Country Music Hall of Fame & Museum on Thursday night. Despite the meltdown of one of our kids (who shall remain nameless), it was a great party with well over 1,000 Deacons packing the truly unique venue. We were able to tour the museum at our leisure and enjoy great food and outstanding music provided by two bands, including Wake Forest’s own Parker Bradway (’11). Parker is no stranger to Wake Forest bowl games and has even written a song about his Orange Bowl experience, but his performance that night in the Hall of Fame Rotunda was really cool. His dad and brother were on hand to watch him perform, and seeing the Bradway family enjoy the bowl experience together was yet another highlight of the trip. see

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Spring Coaches Tour – Save the Date – Attention Football Alumni

– More Information Coming Soon

2012 Football Reunion

Be on the lookout for more information regarding the

Mark your calendars for the 2012 Football Reunion on April

2012 Spring Coaches Tour. Tentative locations for this

13-14. Join your friends and former teammates for a fun-

year’s events include Greensboro, Charlotte, Statesville,

filled weekend culminating in the annual Football Spring

Raleigh, Wilmington, Richmond, Dallas, Jacksonville,

Game on Saturday, April 14. Be on the lookout for more

Nashville, Boston, Los Angeles, Washington and New York.

details coming soon.

Locations are subject to change. More information will be communicated when details are finalized.

Keep up with the Deacon Club on Facebook & Twitter For the latest news and information from the Deacon Club and to connect with other members, be sure to find us on Facebook and Twitter. @WFUDeaconClub or @DeacOnTheRun

Giving 110% just got more rewarding Most Deacon Club members are aware of the successful 110% campaign that is now in its third year, but we are excited to announce some additional rewards that may be available to those who give 110% to the Annual Fund. Everyone who pledges 110% on or before the Deacon Club pledge deadline (March 15, 2012) and pays the pledge in full by June 30, 2012, will receive a commemorative 110% gift, be invited to an exclusive event for 110% participants and will be recognized in the football game program, basketball yearbook and on In addition, those people will be eligible to win great prizes including VIP football and basketball experiences or 2012 football season tickets with an exclusive reserved VIP parking space.

Every Gift Counts!

Every Gift Counts! Renew your membership by the March 15th. When you make a pledge by the 2012 pledge deadline, it allows the athletic department to better plan for the upcoming year and ensure that we are able to continue offering the best athletic and educational opportunities for our talented student-athletes. If you haven’t already, please consider making your gift or pledge today. Gifts and pledges can be made online at or by calling (336) 758-5626.



d o n o r pr o fil e

// M i k e a n d R h o n a Sh e rrill


Mike and Rhona Sherrill live in San Ramon, a small town in northern California, over 2,700 miles away from Winston-Salem. Yet, they still feel deeply rooted in Wake Forest University’s community. A love of Wake Forest — its campus, academics, athletics and student-athletes — has kept it that way nearly 25 years since Mike Sherrill graduated and 17 years since the Sherrills left home. While they were both born and raised in North Carolina, Mike and Rhona did not meet until they were in college — Mike at Wake Forest and Rhona at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. They were introduced through mutual friends at Myrtle Beach. When the Demon Deacons and the 49ers faced off in basketball, however, Charlotte’s allocation of tickets was sold out, and Rhona asked Mike for tickets. Though Rhona cheered for Charlotte on that day, she soon switched sides to Mike’s alma mater, and the Sherrill’s decadeslong love affair with Wake Forest athletics began. In Rhona’s words, “(Wake Forest) adopted me.” Mike and Rhona were married in 1978.

could see a young student-athlete on the field who’s had a chance to go to Wake Forest as a result of the small contribution that we’ve made to the program.” The Sherrill Family Athletic Scholarship was established in December 2011 and will be awarded to a football student-athlete. The scholarship is need-based, available to student-athletes who could not otherwise attend Wake Forest. Rhona cites her mother’s dedication to giving her and her brothers the “tools” of college so they could be successful, safe and independent for the rest of their lives as motivation for endowing a need based scholarship. “I know how hard it was for my Mom to be able to get (my brother) and I through college and I knew how much of a sacrifice it was for her,” Rhona said. “I hope that one day, I can look back and say that, hopefully, it was a little easier for somebody else’s child because there was a scholarship available.” The Sherrills hope to see student-athletes take advantage of the opportunities provided by this scholarship to work hard on and off of the field and become successful Wake Forest alumni. “It was more about helping a student,” Rhona added. “It’s about allowing somebody to go to Wake Forest.” This scholarship is in this sense actualizing the Sherrill family’s dedication to education, but more specifically, a Wake Forest education. With a deep understanding and love of Wake Forest athletics, academics and alumni, the Sherrills’ scholarship will allow an athlete to succeed on the field and in the classroom. There are many fans of Wake Forest athletics across the globe, but the Sherrills’ dedication goes beyond fandom: Mike and Rhona Sherrill are giving back to the school that they love, making it possible for the football program to continue to improve and giving a student-athlete the chance to be a part of something special both on and off of the field. ■

deacon club After Mike graduated from Wake Forest with a degree in Biology, the Sherrills moved to Chapel Hill where Mike earned a Master’s degree in microbiology at UNC and began a career at GlaxoSmithKline. While Mike was in school, Rhona worked for the North Carolina Department of Corrections and then moved on to become the first woman employed by Raleigh’s WRAL in sales and marketing. Then, in 1995, Mike was offered the opportunity to transfer to a new job in northern California, and the two North Carolina natives headed west, carrying with them their passion for Wake Forest and its athletic programs. Even though they live on the West Coast now, the Sherrills have made plenty of treks back east to watch their beloved Demon Deacons. Their favorite highlights include the magical Orange Bowl run in 2006, this past December’s Music City Bowl in Nashville and Wake Forest men’s basketball’s last victory over North Carolina. “Win, lose, or draw: it’s always fun,” Rhona said. The Sherrills are lifelong supporters of the Deacon Club but had always thought about giving back to Wake Forest athletics in a more substantial way. They had planned to wait until later in life, though, until something changed. “If we can swing it, then let’s do it now,” Mike said, recounting the decision to endow a scholarship sooner rather than later. “Maybe we


gold rush magazine


Deacon Club members are encouraged to submit photos for publication in the Gold Rush. Send your photos in digital format to Submission of a photo does not guarantee that it will be published. Thanks for showing off your Demon Deacon pride! 1


1 Dr. Kyle Young poses with country great Vince Gill at the Bluebird Cafe in Nashville.

2 Dillon, Shawn,


Jack and Charlie McCann were excited to Witness History at BB&T Field. 3 Taylor and Tucker Swails are ready to race with the Deacs.

fr o m

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Before we knew it, it was game day, and with more than 400 alumni and fans in attendance, the Wake Forest tailgate offered the perfect environment to catch up with friends and family and get pumped up for the game. Our kids kept the face painters busy, making sure they were appropriately “decked out,” while Jason Levasseur (’94), another talented Wake Forest alumnus, provided the musical entertainment throughout the afternoon. Jason, a part of the popular duo “Life in General,” played at many of our fraternity parties when I was in school, and it was neat to hear the familiar voice of someone who has made a successful career out of his passion for music. After the tailgate, thousands of Wake Forest fans found their way into LP Field to cheer on the Deacs. Even through the chorus of cowbells, you could hear the Deacon faithful chanting “Wake” and “Forest” as loud as they could, and it made me proud to see so much Black & Gold in the stands.

Although we lost the game, I would say that we won the bowl. I came away with a real appreciation for the city of Nashville, its people and the infrastructure they have in place to pull off such a wonderful event. The entire city came together to welcome us, entertain us and provide us with a bowl game experience that was second to none. Thank you to Nashville for creating such a wonderful event; thank you to Coach Grobe, your staff and your players for winning five ACC games and earning this wonderful bowl bid; and thank you to Wake Forest fans around the country for turning out in such great numbers. The Faircloth family has memories of Music City that will last forever, and I hope that you and yours have great memories as well. I can’t wait for next year, and wherever we end up going for the 2012 bowl game, I look forward to seeing you there. ■



f o o t ball

// M U S I C C I T Y b o wl

Deacons in

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THE TEAM: Warm Welcome The Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl held its Welcome Party for Wake Forest and Mississippi State aboard the General Jackson Showboat in Nashville on Dec. 27.

Juke Box Heroes Wake Forest claimed a victory over Mississippi State during the Welcome Party Rock Band Competition, compiling approximately 75,000 points to MSU’s 66,000. The Demon Deacon quartet of Keenon Rush on drums, Matt James and Gabe Irby on guitar and lead singer Cyhl Quarles, bested the Bulldogs in their rendition of Foreigner’s “Juke Box Hero.” Quarles combined his appreciation of classic rock with some modern freestyling rap style to bring the crowd to its feet.

On the Ice

THE GAME: Total Attendance: 55,208 Television viewers: 4.21 million

The Music City Bowl treated both teams to a Nashville Predators game, where senior offensive lineman Joe Looney was named the O’Charley’s Fan of the Game, getting some time on the scoreboard video screen while playing air guitar.

Getting Down to Business Throughout the week, the Deacs hit the practice field at Father Ryan High School in Nashville.

THE EVENTS: Showdown at the Saloon The Franklin American Mortgage Coaches Luncheon brought Wake Forest and Mississippi State together again at the Wildhorse Saloon in downtown Nashville.


Thousands of Deacon fans descended upon Nashville to paint the town Black & Gold.

Deacons Go Country More than 1,400 Wake Forest fans spent the night celebrating in style as the Deacons took over the entire Country Music Hall of Fame and partied well into the night at the Wake Forest Kickoff Party.

Tailgating, Deacon Style Before the game, it was time to tailgate. Wake Forest fans gathered under a large tent between the parking lots and LP Field, enjoying catered food and drinks and music from Jason LeVasseur (‘94).

For more stories from the 2011 Music City Bowl, please visit the Bowl Blog at FEBRUARY 2012


Sp o n s o r Sp o t ligh t

// D e a c o n T o w e r G rill e

Deacon Fans Can Dine in Deacon Tower All Year Long Some Deacon fans may not think about going to BB&T Field again until next football season. Think again. Dining at Deacon Tower Grille is good reason to go to BB&T Field all year long. The restaurant, located on the fourth floor of Deacon Tower, has become a popular destination for weekday lunches and is rapidly becoming a local favorite for upscale evening dining. Deacon Tower is a joint venture between the Wake Forest Athletics Department and Catered Affairs, which operates the restaurant and provides catering services. In addition to lunch and dinner, Deacon Tower Grille is occasionally open for special events such as the ACC and NCAA Basketball Championships. Hint: Make your reservation now for graduation and other spring special occasion dining. Deacon Tower Grille has become known not only for its incredible views of BB&T Field but for the wide variety of fresh foods served at the restaurant. There’s good reason for the restaurant’s reputation for great food. Owner and Wake Forest graduate Jack Welker and his wife Pam are passionate Deacon fans and are equally passionate about serving great food and drinks to fellow fans. Deacon Tower Grille’s menu ranges from soups and salads to full-course meals. If you’re looking for smaller portions, the Deacon Tower Grille offers appetizers of such favorites as black bean cakes, crab dip and bruschetta. In addition, the menu includes a number of salads that can be topped with


DeacTowerGoldRush.indd 1

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chicken, steak, salmon and shrimp. An assortment of pizzas, all priced under $10, is also available, and this includes the option to customize your own pizza with vegetables and meats of your choice. Deacon Tower Grille’s evening menu features a fresh approach to Southern Regional Cuisine with an emphasis on local products and ingredients. Entrees includes angus filet, shrimp & grits, grouper, center-cut pork chops, angus chopped steak, grilled salmon, prime rib, Cajun catfish, rosemary chicken and scallops. Evening desserts include banana pudding with a homemade custard base, key lime pie, bread pudding topped with Blue Ridge vanilla ice cream or pound cake with fresh strawberries. In addition to dining, Deacon Tower Grille offers a wide range of catering options through Catered Affairs and a great atmosphere for events such as wedding receptions, awards dinners, nonprofit gatherings and holiday parties. Catered Affairs offers a variety of other dining/event spaces at BB&T Field, including the Moricle Level and Bridger Field House. Deacon Tower Grille is open Monday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. for lunch and Wednesday, Thursday and Friday evenings from 5:30 to 9 p.m. for dinner. To find out more or make a reservation, please visit DeaconTowerGrille. com or call (336) 896-8624. ■

8/15/11 12:16:08 PM

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wh e r e ar e t h e y n o w ?

// t o m wi s e


In each issue, Where Are They Now showcases a former Wake Forest student-athlete. This issue highlights Tom Wise, a former men’s basketball player. Wise was named Academic All-ACC four times from 1988 to 1991. In 1990, he received the Murray Greason Award, an award voted on by Demon Deacon players that honors the individual who had sacrificed the most to the squad with his determination and season-long efforts. Wise went on to serve as team captain during his senior year.

Tom Wise When did you graduate from Wake Forest? 1991 (BS); 1995 (MD) What was your major? Biology What does being a Demon Deacon mean to you? Being a Demon Deacon means being a part of a lifelong community that strives to compete and succeed on a national level in athletics and academics while maintaining its integrity. Why are you still involved in Wake Forest Athletics? My wife, children and I love following WFU athletic teams and programs. Spending time together pulling for the Deacons has grown to be one of our favorite family activities. Why do you feel it is important to give back to the University? I have always enjoyed the competition and camaraderie that exists in sports, and 20 years later, giving back makes me feel like a part of that today. I am grateful for the opportunities given to me as a Wake Forest scholarship basketball player. I am proud to help offer the current and future student-athletes the same opportunities. What is your current occupation? I am an orthopaedic surgeon with Winchester Orthopaedic Associates in Winchester, Va. What is your favorite memory of your time at Wake Forest? My favorite basketball memory is playing in the NCAA tournament my senior year (1991). Upsets of UNC and NCSU in 1988 and Duke in 1989 and 1991 rank up there as well. My overall favorite memory is meeting my wife at the 1987 ACC Tournament the spring before we entered Wake Forest as freshmen. What makes you most proud of Wake Forest? I am most proud of Wake Forest’s ability to compete and excel on a national stage in academics and athletics, all the while maintaining its integrity. I believe that Wake Forest has always and continues to place the appropriate emphasis on a balance between academics and athletics.


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When you come back to Wake Forest, you always… Walk with my family on campus, share college stories and eat at our favorite Winston-Salem restaurants. My children always want to visit the Deacon Shop to stock up on Deacon gear. I was there when… Lawrence Joel Veterans Memorial Coliseum opened, and Wake Forest hosted its first presidential debate. Who is your favorite coach at Wake Forest, current or past? Jerry Wainwright. His distinct voice remains a favorite. He recruited me, coached my position and coached me all four years. I loved his voice and his coaching style. Still today, my teammates and I always break into our Coach Wainwright imitations every time we get together.

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Anyone can join. Stop by a Financial Center, visit us online at or call 336.774.3400 to learn more. NCUA

Š 2012 Allegacy Federal Credit Union

wa k e f o r e s t at hl e t i c s

Deacons in the Pros BASEBALL Mike MacDougal


Los Angeles Dodgers

Neil Avent Adam Bourassa Matt Briggs John Hendricks Michael Holmes Kevin Jarvis Bill Masse Matt Price Mike Rikard Eric Schmitt Ross Atkins


Danny Borrell


Adam Wogan


Tommy Gregg


George Greer


Oakland A’s Area Scout San Diego Padres Area Scout Toronto Blue Jays East Coast Supervisor Toronto Blue Jays Area Scout Oakland A’s Assistant Scouting Director San Diego Padres Pro Scout Seattle Mariners Area Scout Kansas City Royals Pro Scout Boston Red Sox National Cross Checker New York Yankees International Scouting Cleveland Indians Director of Player Development New York Yankees Minor League Pitching Rehab Coordinator New York Mets Director of Minor League Operations Kansas City Omaha Storm Chasers Hitting Coach New York Mets St. Lucie Mets Hitting Coach

Al-Farouq Aminu


Tim Duncan


Josh Howard


James Johnson


Chris Paul


Ishmael Smith


Jeff Teague



Minor League Ranks Matt Antonelli Dave Bush Josh Ellis Eric Niesen Allan Dykstra Phil Negus Mike Murray Garrett Bullock Steven Brooks

Washington Nationals Philadelphia Phillies Arizona Diamondbacks New York Mets New York Mets Chicago White Sox San Francisco Giants Houston Astros Kansas City Royals

New Orleans Averaging 5 points and 5 rebounds after being traded from the Clippers for Chris Paul in December San Antonio Averaging 12 points and 7 rebounds in leading Spurs to one of best records in the West Utah Averaging 10 points off the bench in first season with the Jazz Toronto Averaging 5 points in second season with the Raptors L.A. Clippers Has led Clippers to one of league’s best records after being traded from Hornets in December Golden State Played in six games before being waived by the Warriors in Jan. 13 Atlanta Averaging 12 points and 6 assists as Hawks’ starting point guard

OTHER PRO BASKETBALL Justin Gray Jamaal Levy Chas McFarland Darius Songaila Trent Strickland Kyle Visser David Weaver Eric Williams L.D. Williams

Germany Argentina Japan Turkey NBDL Germany Poland Kazakhstan NBDL

Fraport SKY Lanus Yokohama Galatasaray Canton Charge NY Phantoms Energa Czami BC Astana Springfield Armour




TRACK & FIELD Michael Bingham Competed nine times in 2011; Training for 2012 Summer Olympics

WOMEN’S GOLF Laura (Philo) Diaz Maria Beautell Nannette Hill Stephanie Kim Jean Chua Dolores White Natalie Sheary

LPGA Will be playing in her 14th season on Tour this year European Finished T9 at the LET Q-School; will play full time on that tour this season LPGA/Fut. Has status on both tours; recovering from surgery on both elbows in the offseason Futures Finished 21st last year in first full season Futures Was 38th on the money list last season. Futures Made four cuts last season but is coming off a good showing at PGA Q-School Futures Had 3 top-10s and finished 35th on the money in her first season in 2011

SOCCER Men’s Cody Arnoux Corben Bone Brian Carroll Sam Cronin Austin da Luz Brian Edwards Amir Lowery Akira Fitzgerald Will Hesmer Stephen Keel Michael Lahoud Justin Moose Ike Opara Michael Parkhurst Pat Phelan James Riley Zack Schilawski Scott Sealy Marcus Tracy Wells Thompson Jeremiah White

Real Salt Lake Chicago Fire Philadelphia Union San Jose Earthquakes DC United Degerfors IF (Sweden) Montral Impact Baltimore Blast (MISL) Columbus Crew New York Red Bulls Chivas USA Sriracha FC San Jose Earthquakes FC Nordsjaelland (Denmark) New England Revolution Chivas USA New England Revolution San Jose Earthquakes Aalborg (Denmark) Colorado Rapids Alemannia Aachen

Women’s Bianca D’Agostino Kaley Fountain


gold rush magazine

Boston Breakers Western New York Flash

TORI BOYSEN Member, Women’s Golf ACC & East Regional Championship Teams 1994 & 1995



Chairman’s Circle Gold Winner 2005, 2006, 2007 & 2008

OAKWOOD OFFICE 336.659.3239 / 336.345.3499


After we score at the game, come score a free cup c p of soup so p or featured Demon Dem Deacon appetizer at Noble’s. Bring in your 2012 Wake Forest basketball ticket for the featured game that week and enjoy a free treat when you order an entrée. Whether you’re in the mood for chilled gazpacho, warm and creamy tomato basil bisque or a Deacon-worthy appetizer, we have the cure for your pre or post game craving. Go Deacs! To learn more about specials and events, go to

3 8 0 K N O L LW O O D S T . , W I N S T O N - S A L E M , N C 2 7 1 0 3 | 3 3 6 . 7 7 7. 8 4 7 7 | W W W. N O B L E S G R I L L E . C O M



wa k e f o r e s t at hl e t i c s

Deacons in the Pros FOOTBALL Tyson Clabo Aaron Curry Chris DeGeare Brandon Ghee Ovie Mughelli Calvin Pace Fred Robbins Alphonso Smith Steve Vallos Joe Zelenka



Atlanta Oakland Minnesota Cincinnati Atlanta NY Jets St. Louis Detroit Cleveland Atlanta


Carolina Carolina NY Giants St. Louis Buffalo Carolina Carolina Minnesota San Diego

Linebackers Coach Vice President Offensive Line Coach College Scout Wide Receivers Coach Strength Coach Offensive Consultant Defensive Assistant Director of College Scouting


Toronto Argonauts Chicago Slaughter Arizona Rattlers

Coaches/Staff Warren Belin Charlie Dayton Pat Flaherty Mel Foels Stan Hixon Joe Kenn Ricky Proehl Diron Reynolds John Spanos

OTHER PRO FOOTBALL DJ Boldin Ben Sankey Riley Swanson

MEN’S GOLF Billy Andrade Brendan Gielow Bill Haas Jay Haas Gary Hallberg Scott Hoch Len Mattiace Kyle Reifers Jay Sigel Curtis Strange Webb Simpson Leonard Thompson Lanny Wadkins Travis Wadkins Ron Whittaker

PGA Was an analyst for the Golf Channel last season; Missed the cut in 3 events Nationwide Advanced to final stage of PGA Q-School and will have limited status on NW Tour PGA Started his season at the Humana Challenge on Jan. 18 Champions Will be starting his 7th full season on Tour; Has 15 Champions Tour wins Champions Is playing in his 5th season on the Champions Tour Champions Played well at the end of 2011; has three Champions Tour titles Nationwide Played well at Q-School and will play primarily on the Nationwide Tour this year. PGA Missed the cut in his first event, the Sony Open Champions Played six times in 2011 Champions Had one top-10 in seven starts in 2011 PGA Finished T3 at the season-opening Tournament of Champions Champions Started five tournaments last year Champions Played in just one event in 2011 Nationwide Advanced to final stage of PGA Q-School and will have limited status on NW Tour Nationwide Had 5 top-25 finishes last year; will be playing his 5th full season on the NW Tour

‘Gentleman Carl’ Former Wake Forest basketball coach Carl Tacy is recognized during a timeout during the N.C. State game. He compiled a 222-149 record from 1972 to 1985. (Photo by Donnie Roberts)

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gold rush magazine

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Be a part of a social network where having hundreds of friends still means something. When you get behind Wake Forest, we stay ahead of the competition. To find out more about how you can stay involved with Wake Forest and connected to your fellow alumni, visit

c o mplia n c e c o r n e r

// t o dd hair s t o n

Benefits Resulting from a Pre-existing Relationship

t o dd hair s t o n A s s o c iat e At hl e t i c D ir e c t o r , C o mplia n c e

We all know that an athletic representative, or “booster” is not permitted to provide any benefits to a prospect or an enrolled student-athlete unless there is an established, pre-existing relationship. So, what exactly constitutes a pre-existing relationship? Unfortunately, like so many things where the NCAA is concerned, there is no clear-cut answer to this question. Whether a relationship is considered to have been pre-existing is often times a case-by-case analysis of the specific circumstances; however, the NCAA has provided some general guidelines to help us in our analysis. 1) Was the relationship between the athlete (or their parents) and the booster initiated prior to the individual becoming a prospective studentathlete? Under NCAA rules, a prospective student-athlete is anyone who has started classes in the ninth grade. Therefore, even if an individual is not actively participating in sports at that time, he or she would still be considered a prospective student-athlete for NCAA purposes. 2) Did the relationship between the athlete (or their parents) and the booster develop as a result of the athlete’s participation or notoriety in athletics? To answer this question we would need to examine how the booster and the athlete came to know each

other. For example, if a booster were to initially meet an individual as a result of serving as his or her youth coach, this would likely still not be considered a legitimate “pre-existing relationship” even if the individual had not yet started ninth grade because the origin of the relationship had to do with athletic participation/notoriety. Further, if a relationship between an athlete and a booster does meet the standard to be considered “pre-existing,” the pattern of benefits provided to the student must remain consistent throughout the duration of the relationship. So if a booster had regularly provided a $25 birthday present to an individual with whom he had a pre-existing relationship since middle school, he could not then begin providing $500 birthday gifts once the student entered college. It would be permissible for the booster to continue providing birthday gifts of similar value, however. Although these guidelines are helpful, each situation is unique. Because the penalties associated with providing impermissible benefits to prospective and current student-athletes are severe, please contact Todd Hairston in the Athletics Compliance Office at with questions related to this issue.

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Profile for Wake Forest Athletics

Gold Rush - February 2012  

The official publication of Wake Forest Athletics

Gold Rush - February 2012  

The official publication of Wake Forest Athletics