Monthly Archives: August 2010
By Jonathan Lintner
WKUSports.com put out a release Sunday morning detailing which providers will be offering pay-per-view for this Saturday’s WKU-Nebraska football game.
The game will be produced by Fox Sports and is available nationally on DirecTV and Dish Network. But while a plethora of Nebraska cable companies will also offer the game, Insight Cable from Kentucky isn’t on the list.
The release said Ron Thulin will call the play-by-play, with Richard Baldinger as analyst and Brent Stover as sideline reporter.
Suggested retail price for the game, according to the release, is $39.95. That should (not) bode well for ratings considering you can get season tickets to WKU games and have enough left over for concessions for $40.
A Nebraska connection
Check out this interesting link from the Omaha World Herald. It talks about Head Coach Willie Taggart’s connection to Tommie Frazier of Nebraska.
Frazier preceded Taggart as quarterback at Manatee High School (Fla.) And in timely fashion, Manatee’s showdown with Plant High School (Fla.) is featured tonight as part of ESPN’s High School Football Kick Off. The game begins at 6 p.m.
We’ll get some comments from coach Taggart and see how closely he’ll be watching tonight’s game at today’s practice.
Multiple sources reported earlier today that Middle Tennessee quarterback Dwight Dasher — essentially the best player in the Sun Belt Conference entering this season — will be suspended for the Blue Raiders’ first four games of the season.
The news was broken with a statement by MTSU Athletic Director Chris Massaro.
While there are a lot of sides to the story involving student-athlete Dwight Dasher, all parties agree that there was a $1,500 loan. Therefore, due to a violation of the NCAA amateurism legislation, we are declaring Dwight Dasher ineligible for competition but will be seeking his reinstatement. While we are seeking reinstatement, Dasher will be allowed to practice. It is anticipated that Dasher will miss some competition.
Click her to read the full story from the Daily News Journal in Tennessee, which includes Massaro’s complete statement.
Local lineman offered by Western
Chad Bishop, preps reporter for the Bowling Green Daily News, said on his blog today that Joe Manley has been offered by Taggart after watching the Bowling Green High School football team last Saturday.
Bishop’s blog has some great information on Bowling Green-area prospects. Check it out here.
Don’t call him Sherry
Former Louisiana-Lafayette wide receiver Jason Chery — now a Green Bay Packer — made a name for himself last night with a punt return against the Indianapolis Colts.
What’s on tap
The Western volleyball team begins its season today on the road at Purdue, and the women’s soccer team will look for its first first win Friday at Ole Miss before playing its home opener this Sunday.
The penultimate fall camp session for the Topper football team takes place this afternoon. Look for reports on that later from our beat writer, Zach Greenwell, and find us at tomorrow’s Family Fun Day.
By Emily Patton
Although Head Coach Travis Hudson said he doesn’t like to look at the preseason polls, it is something that he will use as a fuel for his athletes.
The Lady Toppers volleyball team was voted to finish third in the Sun Belt Conference East Division by SBC coaches, the league announced Thursday.
Junior Tiffany Elmore was also named to the preseason All-SBC Team.
Western received 51 points and one first-place vote. The Lady Tops were picked to finish behind Middle Tennessee, ranked first with 65 points and six first-place votes and Florida International, who finished with 63 points and five first-place votes.
“I’m not completely surprised,” Hudson said. “Both teams that finished in front of us were those who beat us last year, but they both took significant hits from graduation.”
According to Hudson, the polls are heavily based on last year’s performances, including the reason behind Elmore’s place on the preseason team.
“Tiffany played so strongly for us last year, so it just makes sense we see her on here again,” Hudson said. “She is an all-conference caliber type of player.”
Elmore is the only returning Lady Topper who was named on the All-SBC team in 2009. In last year’s play, she posted a .331 hitting percentage in 114 sets, 94 blocks, and ranked second on the team with 265 kills.
“As the season goes on, you’ll see more Lady Toppers show up on that list,” Hudson said.
Western’s season kicks off at 6 p.m. Friday against Purdue on the Boilermakers’ home court in West Lafayette, Ind., as part of the Mortar Board Premier tournament.
PRESEASON VOLLEYBALL POLL
1. Middle Tennessee – 66 points (6 first place votes)
2. FIU – 63 points (5 first place votes)
3. WKU – 51 points (1 first place vote)
4. Troy – 28 points
5. Florida Atlantic, South Alabama – 22 points
1. Denver – 68 points (8 first place votes)
2. Arkansas State – 57 points (4 first place votes)
3. UALR – 47 points
4. North Texas – 43 points
5. Louisiana-Lafayette – 24 points
6. Louisiana-Monroe – 13 points
PRESEASON ALL-SUN BELT CONFERENCE VOLLEYBALL TEAM
Natalia Valentin, FIU
Izabela Kozon, Middle Tennessee
Cayla Fielder, Arkansas State
Jovana Bjelica, FIU
Stacy Oladinni, Middle Tennessee
Maria Szivos, Middle Tennessee
Tiffany Elmore, WKU
Kacie Wikierak, Denver
By Zach Greenwell
And so it begins.
Head Coach Willie Taggart said the Toppers began their introductory prep for Nebraska at Wednesday’s practice, implementing the basics of the Huskers’ offense, defense and special teams.
Taggart said the simplest fundamentals of Nebraska’s game plan were introduced, and that he didn’t expect anybody to be “spectacular” with it right away.
He also said that Western would continue to work on its own game over the next few days, slowly putting in bigger pieces of Nebraksa information.
I’ll have a whole lot more on Nebraska in a notebook at wkuherald.com later today, including what Taggart sees from their personnel and why senior linebacker Orlando Misaalefua feels Nebraska might overlook the Toppers.
— The other big news from today was that former Kentucky Mr. Football Antonio Andrews did practice with the Toppers at running back.
Andrews committed to Air Force in February but left its prep academy and enrolled at Western last weekend. He had been waiting for clearance from the NCAA to begin practicing with the team.
Andrews, wearing No. 24, worked with the second-team offense on several plays late in practice.
Taggart said that Andrews is on scholarship and just like all the other true freshmen, would have a chance to play right away if he could show that he can immediately help the team.
Look for more on Andrews’ debut in my notebook later, as well as a feature later tonight on two of Western’s linebackers, seniors Chris Bullard and Orlando Misaalefua. Those two, along with senior Thomas Majors, will make up a veteran linebacker corps that Taggart said he expects big things from.
— Lastly, junior quarterback Matt Pelesasa was back on the field for a few reps today, although sophomore Kawaun Jakes and freshman Brandon Doughty took most of the snaps.
Sophomore linebacker Chuck Franks, who was carried off the field Tuesday with a knee injury, was on crutches today with a compression cast on his right leg. Taggart said the staff would know more about the extent of the injury after Franks has an MRI this afternoon.
By Jonathan Lintner
I’m out at Western’s Wednesday football practice, where Antonio Andrews — a former Fort Campbell star — is practicing with the team and has been cleared by the NCAA.
Andrews was working as a running back with the second team offense and true freshman quarterback Brandon Doughty.
Mark Santoro made a comment to another player on the sidelines regarding Andrews’ speed already.
We’ll have more after practice on Andrews, as Head Coach Willie Taggart can now officially comment on the situation.
By Jonathan Lintner
Just a note I passed over once the MLB signing deadline passed, but pitcher Rye Davis (now a junior) and catcher Matt Rice (a senior) will return to play for Western after not signing contracts this past summer.
Davis was selected by the Cleveland Indians with the fifth pick of the 36th round, and Rice was taken by the New York Yankees as the last pick in the 50th round — also the last pick of the draft.
This was confirmed by Michael Schroeder, Western’s baseball SID last season.
Mike Mosby, a junior college recruit of Western’s, was selected in the 14th round of the draft by the Baltimore Orioles and signed with that organization. Justin Hageman, a Hopkinsville High School product, heard his name called by the Kansas City Royals in the 32nd round but did not sign and will play at Western this season.
Former Topper second baseman Matt Payton signed with the Philadelphia Phillies, pitcher Matt Ridings with the Royals and pitcher Bart Carter with the Minnesota Twins.