Sunday, July 22, 2007

Bay Area Husker ENews 7-19-07

Hey Bay Area Husker Fans!

Hope everyone that plans on attending our picnic this Sunday has made their reservations. The price goes up if you have not told us you were coming in advance. At last count we have over 80 confirmed Husker fans coming, and boy are we going to have a great time! The weather looks like its going to be perfect, and I can smell those ribeye steaks cooking and taste that home grown corn (thanks Don!) already! Hope to see you there! There's still room for some last minute reservations so if you still want to attend, let Mac know ASAP! Call him at 408-241-3514 or email him at And see our terrific website for more information about the picnic and other upcoming events:

Lots of other Husker news to pass along, so I'll cut this short.

Go Big Red (White and Blue),

Husker Football Countdown Website!
Click here: Husker Football Countdown


The Nebraska baseball media guide was named Best in the Nation by CoSIDA.

Lincoln - The University of Nebraska Media Relations Office earned 18 publication awards from the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA) during the 2006-07 season. The awards were officially announced during CoSIDA’s national convention in San Diego in early July.

Nebraska’s 18 CoSIDA awards led the nation, as the NU Media Relations Office has finished among the top five schools nationally in the overall publications contest for seven consecutive years. The University of Oklahoma finished second nationally with 15 awards.

Among Nebraska’s impressive list of award-winning publications, five Husker media and recruiting guides were ranked "Best in the Nation" for their respective sports, while seven other publications ranked among the top five nationally in their contests.

Nebraska Media Relations Keith Mann, Director of Media Relations Operations Jeff Griesch, Assistant Media Relations Directors Shamus McKnight and Jerry Trickie, Athletic Department Photographer Scott Bruhn, Athletic Department Design Coordinator Megan McLaughlin and Administrative Assistant Vicki Cartwright all assist in coordinating and producing Nebraska’s award-winning publications. Nebraska's interns and student-assistants also play a major role in the Huskers' success.

"We enjoyed another outstanding year by leading the nation in the number of award-winning guides that we produced as a team in the Nebraska Media Relations Office," Griesch said. "Our success in winning publication awards over the past seven years is just another example of the entire athletic department’s commitment to all of its programs. We have talented students, interns and full-time employees who come together and work as a team to produce all of our guides."

The Nebraska baseball media guide created and designed by McKnight was voted "Best in the Nation," as was intern Matt Smith's Nebraska softball media and recruiting guide. The men's track and field guide created by intern Andy Anderson added "Best in the Nation" honors, while media relations student-assistant Jess Schwager added a pair of No. 1 publications with her Husker bowling guide and rifle guides.

The Nebraska wrestling media guide designed and edited by Nate Rohr produced runner-up honors, while Schwager's rifle guide added another national award by finishing third in the single-sport brochure contest.

Another NU student-assistant, Brandon Gries, added a pair of fourth-place honors with his work on the Nebraska women's swimming and diving media guide and on the men's and women's cross country media guide.

Anderson's track and field guide added a fourth-place honor on the men's side, while the Nebraska soccer guide added a fifth-place showing under the direction of student-assistant Kelli Kremlacek. Griesch added a fifth-place award with the Nebraska women's golf guide.

The Nebraska football media guide designed and edited by Mann and Trickie added district runner-up honors, as did McLaughlin's Nebraska baseball poster.

Although CoSIDA formally announced its publication winners, the results of two contests remain unannounced, including volleyball and men's basketball.


University of Nebraska Baseball Coach Mike Anderson announced Wednesday the signings of three student-athletes to National Letters-of-Intent to play baseball for the Husker program next season. The trio includes a pair of right-handed pitchers in Casey Hauptman (Omaha) and Aaron Pribanic (Plano, Texas) and catcher Drew Gray (Harrisonville, Mo.).



Erik Bird is 1-0 with a 0.77 ERA in eight appearances in the Cape Cod League.

With the summer leagues at the midway point, makes a quick swing around the country to check on Nebraska players in nation's best summer baseball leagues.

Two Huskers have spent the summer in the Cape Cod League, competing in the nation’s toughest summer league. Reliever Erik Bird has enjoyed a dominant summer, going 1-0 with a 0.77 ERA and two saves in eight games. The right-hander has allowed just seven hits in 11.2 innings and has an 8-to-0 strikeout-to-walk ratio. Second baseman Jake Opitz has also played a significant role for the Harwich Mariners, hitting .189 with a pair of RBIs in the wood-bat league.

A pair of Huskers helped Fayetteville (N.C.) to the Coastal Plains League first-half title with a 23-5 mark. Left-hander Brian Feekin has been one of the most impressive performers during the summer, going 4-0 with a 1.80 ERA in five starts. He allowed and struck out 30 over 30.0 innings and opponents are hitting just .103 off the southpaw. Feekin earned player-of-the-week honors last week, allowing one hit and striking out six over nine innings against Outer Banks, a game Fayetteville eventually won 1-0 in 10 innings. He is joined in the Fayetteville lineup by Brett Sowers, who is hitting .198 with a homer, six doubles and five RBIs in 26 contests.

Another team that is on the verge of clinching a league title is Beatrice in the M.I.N.K. League, and it is no surprise that a couple of Huskers are leading the way for the Bruins. Thad Weber has been a strong two-way performer, hitting .357 with 18 RBIs in 13 contests, while also going a perfect 5-0 with a 1.20 ERA in five games. The right-hander has struck out 37 and surrendered just 15 hits over 30.0 innings of work for the Bruins. Another pitcher who is excelling in Beatrice is left-hander Zach Herr, who is 2-0 with a 0.69 ERA as the team’s closer. He has struck out 18 and allowed just eight hits in 13 innings on the mound.

A number of Huskers are spending the summer in the Northwoods League. DJ Belfonte has followed up an impressive freshman season for the Big Red by hitting .250 with a pair of triples, 18 runs scored and swiping eight bases for the St. Cloud Riverbats. In Alexandria, third baseman Jeff Tezak is hitting .271 with 16 RBIs and eight stolen bases. Left-hander Dan Jennings has moved to the starting rotation for the Waterloo Bucks, going 0-2 with a 2.70 ERA in 30 innings of work, averaging nearly a strikeout per inning.


All-American Jason Peter led Nebraska to three national with fellow Hall of Fame inductee Eric Anderson.

All-American Jason Peter, who was a member of three national championship teams for the Huskers between 1994 and 1997, headlines a list of seven former Huskers players to be inducted into the Nebraska Football Hall of Fame this September, Nebraska Chapter President Irving Veitzer announced Thursday.

The Nebraska Football Hall of Fame is sponsored by the Nebraska Chapter of the National Football Foundation and College Football Hall of Fame. The 10-memberinduction class, which includes seven former Huskers and three members from the state college ranks, will be enshrined at a special reception on Friday, Sept. 21, and will be introduced at the Ball State game on Sept. 22.

The seven-player class of Huskers includes Lincoln native Eric Anderson, who helped NU to three national titles in 1994, 1995 and 1997 as a teammate of Peter's. Donta Jones helped Coach Tom Osborne claim his first title in 1994. Erik Wiegert was a captain on NU's 1991 Big Eight title squad and joins his younger brother Zach (1995) in the Hall of Fame. Peter also joins his older brother Christian (2006) in the Hall. Tyrone Legette, Kevin Ramaekers and Pioneer Division selection Adolph Wenke, round out NU's contingent in the 2007 Hall of Fame class.

The Nebraska Football Hall of Fame is sponsored by the Nebraska Chapter of the National Football Foundation and College Football Hall of Fame. The College Football Hall of Fame opened in South Bend, Ind., in 1995.

In addition to the Hall of Fame class, the Nebraska Chapter will present its Clarence Swanson Memorial Award to Joe Silverman of Lincoln, and its Lyell Bremser Special Merit Award to former Husker assistant coach George Darlington.


Josh Bullocks will enter his third season as a safety with the New Orleans Saints in 2007.

By Jeff

All this summer on, we are featuring football players who have enjoyed outstanding professional careers by making the transition from Nebraska to the NFL. Twin brothers Josh and Daniel Bullocks both played in the defensive backfield for the Huskers and have made their moves to the NFL with the New Orleans Saints and Detroit Lions.

Daniel, a captain for the Huskers as a senior in 2005, enjoyed a strong rookie season with the Detroit Lions in 2006. The native of Chattanooga, Tenn., led all NFL rookie defensive backs with 70 tackles, including 52 solos. The Hixson High School graduate added seven tackles on special teams and five pass breakups. He appeared in 15 games for the Lions, including seven starts.

Daniel joined the Lions after being chosen in the second round of the 2006 NFL Draft with the 40th overall pick.

The younger of the twins by one minute, Josh preceded his older brother in the NFL by choosing to enter the draft following his junior season at Nebraska. Like his brother, Josh was chosen with the 40th overall pick in the second round of the draft, heading to the New Orleans Saints. Josh enjoyed a strong second season in the Big Easy, leading the Saints' secondary with 95 total tackles, while adding a pair of interceptions. In the NFC Championship Game against the Chicago Bears, Josh led the Saints with 11 total tackles.

In the NFC Divisional playoff win over Philadelphia, Josh added five tackles and three pass breakups to help the Saints. On the season, he started all 16 games for the club. His second season followed a solid rookie campaign in 2005, when he appeared in 16 games with 13 starts. He posted 70 tackles and an interception from his free safety position.

Josh earned All-America honors as a defensive back for Nebraska in 2003, when he ranked second nationally with 10 interceptions, which he returned a total of 154 yards. He tied a school record by intercepting a pass in four straight games, helping the Huskers lead the nation with 32 interceptions and 47 forced turnovers as a team on the season.

By Jeff

All this summer on, we are featuring football players who have enjoyed outstanding professional careers by making the transition from Nebraska to the NFL.

Russ Hochstein has helped New England to a pair of Super Bowl titles in his five seasons with the Patriots. He enters his seventh NFL season in 2007.

Hochstein, a native of Hartington, Neb., and a graduate of Cedar Catholic High School, earned All-America honors from The Sporting News as an offensive guard at Nebraska in 2000. A team captain for the Huskers as a senior, Hochstein helped Nebraska to an NCAA rushing crown in 2000, when NU averaged 349.3 yards per game on the ground.

Hochstein was a contributor to Nebraska's 1997 national championship season as a freshman, and helped the Huskers to a Big 12 championship and a No. 2 final national ranking in the ESPN/USA Today/Coaches Poll as a junior in 1999. His senior season, Nebraska ended with a 10-2 mark that included a 66-17 pounding of Northwestern in the Alamo Bowl. He started the final 29 games of his NU career.

Following his All-America career at Nebraska, Hochstein was chosen in the fifth round of the 2001 NFL Draft by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He spent just one season in Tampa, before joining the Patriots in 2002. He has spent five seasons in New England and helped the Patriots to championships in Super Bowl XXXVIII and Super Bowl XXXVIV. He is one 45 former Huskers to make an appearance on football's grandest stage.


Incoming freshmen Ashley Guile and Kelli Linke were named first-team high school All-Americans.

Incoming freshman softball players Ashley Guile (Olathe [Kan.] East) and Kelli Linke (Lincoln Northeast) were both named to the 2007 Louisville Slugger/NFCA High School All-America first team, released on Tuesday, July 17, by the National Fastpitch Coaches Association.

Guile and Linke were two of 16 players selected to the first team, with Guile being named as a first baseman and Linke as a utility player. Guile was named a first-team All-American for the second straight season, joining former Olathe East teammate and current Husker sophomore Alex Hupp as a two-time high school All-American. Linke was honored as an All-American for the first time in her career.

Guile helped lead East to its fourth consecutive Kansas 6A state title as a senior in 2007. She hit .507 with 30 RBIs and posted a .526 on-base percentage and .826 slugging percentage in her senior season, while ending her career as a four-time state champion in Kansas’ largest class.

Linke is the younger sister of former Husker Katie Linke (2003-06). In her senior season at Northeast in 2006, Kelli led the city with a .509 average, 11 doubles, seven triples, nine home runs, 37 runs scored and 34 RBIs, while earning her second straight first-team Super State selection from the Lincoln Journal Star.

Guile and Linke are among seven freshmen who will join the Nebraska softball team this fall. Fans can get their first look at the newcomers when the Huskers host their annual Big Red Fall Classic on Oct. 6 and 7 at Bowlin Stadium.


Oklahoma to appeal NCAA decision

By MURRAY EVANS, Associated Press WriterJuly 12, 2007OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) -- The University of Oklahoma plans to appeal the NCAA's ruling that the school was guilty of a "failure to monitor" the employment of players and must erase eight football victories from the 2005 season.

The NCAA also said Wednesday that the Sooners must cut two scholarships for the 2008-09 and 2009-10 school years in the case involving two players kicked off the team last August for being paid for work they didn't perform at a Norman car dealership.

Oklahoma president David Boren said the university will appeal the NCAA's "failure to monitor" finding and the ruling that Oklahoma must erase the 2005 wins. As of Thursday, Oklahoma had 14 days to notify the NCAA in writing of any such appeal.

"We do not believe that erasing the 2005 season from the record books is fair to the over 100 student athletes and coaches who played by the rules and worked their hearts out for a successful season that year," Boren said.

The Sooners went 8-4 and beat Oregon in the Holiday Bowl to end the 2005 season. Records from that season involving quarterback Rhett Bomar and offensive lineman J.D. Quinn must be erased, the NCAA said, and coach Bob Stoops' career record will be amended, dropping it from 86-19 in eight seasons to 78-19.

Oklahoma also will have two years of probation added to an earlier penalty, extending the Sooners' probation to May 23, 2010.

Those sanctions are in addition to those already self-imposed by Oklahoma, which has banned athletes from working at the car dealership until at least the 2008-09 academic year and moved to prevent the athletes' supervisor at the dealership, Brad McRae, from being involved with the program until at least August 2011.

Oklahoma also will reduce the number of football coaches who are allowed to recruit off campus this fall. The Sooners also dismissed Bomar, Quinn and walk-on Jermaine Hardison from the team.

Paul Dee, the athletic director at Miami and the interim chairman of the NCAA Division I Committee on Infractions, said Oklahoma will be allowed to keep the money it received for playing in the 2005 Holiday Bowl, because the NCAA does not regulate bowl games.

"Although this case centered on a few violations involving three student-athletes, the committee finds this case to be significant and serious for several reasons," the NCAA report said, noting the length of time of the violations and the fact that Oklahoma had appeared before the committee in April 2006 regarding violations in its men's basketball program.

On Aug. 3 -- the day before the Sooners began preseason practice -- Stoops dismissed Bomar and Quinn from the team after the university determined they had been paid for work they didn't perform at Big Red Sports and Imports.

That led to an NCAA investigation, which found that Bomar, Quinn and Hardison had been paid for time they didn't work at the dealership and that Hardison had received payment for time he spent participating in a scrimmage and spring game.

The players and McRae engaged "in a deliberate scheme to deceive both the employer's payroll system and the university's employment monitoring system in an attempt to violate NCAA rules of which they were real aware," the report stated.

The committee found that Oklahoma "demonstrated a failure to monitor" the employment of several athletes, including some football players who worked during the academic year. The NCAA said that failure led to the university not detecting NCAA rules violations.

During the investigation, the university disputed that allegation, arguing that the NCAA should applaud, not penalize, its efforts to root out violations and noted that NCAA president Myles Brand told one news outlet that the university "acted with integrity in taking swift and decisive action."

Dee said Wednesday that Oklahoma should be praised for quickly dismissing the players from the team, calling that action "very influential on the committee."

Still, the committee said Oklahoma should have undertaken more extensive efforts to monitor the players' employment, because the dealership apparently was the largest employer of Oklahoma athletes.

Boren disagreed, saying in a statement that "any mistakes made by the athletic department compliance staff while monitoring would not have prevented the intentional wrongdoing by the student athletes and the employer involved."

Stoops said he "strongly supported" Boren's decision to appeal.

"Our current team is focused on the upcoming season," Stoops said. "The university is dealing with a matter that relates to the 2005 season. This group of players and those that will join our program later have no reason to be concerned about our goals or the direction of our program. Those things remain unchanged."

Both Bomar and Quinn lost a season of eligibility. Bomar has been ordered by the NCAA to pay back more than $7,400 in extra benefits to charity, while Quinn was told to pay back more than $8,100. Both players transferred to Division I-AA schools -- Bomar to Sam Houston State and Quinn to Montana -- where they can resume their careers this season.

Through Sam Houston State athletic department spokesman Paul Ridings, Bomar declined comment Wednesday.

When reached on his cell phone, Quinn said he didn't pay any attention to the infractions committee's ruling on Oklahoma, calling it "dumb" and referring to it with an expletive.
"I have no idea," Quinn said. "I don't care."

Oklahoma officials also appeared before the Committee on Infractions in April 2006 following an investigation into hundreds of improper recruiting phone calls by former basketball coach Kelvin Sampson's staff.

Oklahoma escaped major sanctions in that case, as the infractions committee also found the university guilty of a "failure to monitor," a less severe ruling than "lack of institutional control," which had been recommended by the NCAA's enforcement staff.

The committee mostly accepted the university's self-imposed sanctions, which included reductions in scholarships, recruiting calls and trips and visits to the school by prospective recruits.

Updated on Thursday, Jul 12, 2007 2:58 am EDT


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