According to Colorado State Associate A.D. of Facilities and Scheduling Doug Max, the construction of luxury suites, new press box and Rams Horn seating area at Hughes Stadium are ahead of schedule. The construction crew has already begun installing the windows on the backside of the Rams Horn atrium and will continue on the front facade of the suites and press box. According to Max, they hope to furnish the suites by August 15. The Rams' first home game isn't until September 24 (vs. Nevada).
College Football News lists tight end Matt Bartz on its 2005 All Welcome Back team for second-team offense. Bartz is anticipated to be 100 percent by this fall following rehabilitation after surgery to repair a torn ACL during last year's game at USC. The publication says Bartz's return "will soften the departure of all-conference tight end Joel Dreessen". It also says, he has an "underrated" combination of hands and ability to move a pile.
Much was made of the Mountain West Conference's reprimand of Sonny Lubick when he made unkind comments about the conference allowing ESPN to move Colorado State's football game vs. Air Force from Saturday October 1 to a Thursday night game on September 29. Lubick called ESPN’s moving of the game “unfair” because the Rams have a game the previous Saturday, but Air Force will not have played since the previous Thursday, giving the Falcons two more days to prepare. Lubick has shrugged off the reprimand, but should he slip up again, additional reprimands could result in a two-game suspension.
Texas Christian University head football coach Gary Patterson attended a "Welcome TCU to the MWC" event put on by TCU and CSU alumni associations at Dave & Busters in Denver Thursday evening. Upon addressing the fans in attendance, Patterson started by saying that the 2002 Liberty Bowl (a 17-3 Horned Frogs win) was much more enjoyable than the 1998 thumping they received at Hughes Stadium when "that white running back ran all over us" (in a 42-21 CSU win). Patterson, who was the defensive coordinator in that 1998 game under former TCU and current Texas A&M head coach Dennis Franchione, was referring to Kevin McDougal. The only problem is, McDougal didn't play in that game due to injury. Damon Washington, Jamie Blake and Duan Ruff combined for 160 yards. Of course, he could have been thinking of a year earlier while he was the defensive coordinator at New Mexico. In the 1997 WAC Championship game, McDougal ran for 255 yards and three long touchdown runs en route to the Rams' 41-13 win over the Lobos. Patterson, by the way said he believes the MWC is best place for TCU, but added that a coaching staff has to do double the work to get ready for a season when joining a new conference because it has to learn the styles of each new team. This is TCU's third conference affiliation in five years (they left the Western Athletic Conference after the 2001 season to join Conference USA). To help prepare, Patterson said TCU has already acquired game film from each MWC school for every game last year.
Speaking at a Colorado Springs Sports Corp. luncheon at the Penrose House, new University of Colorado athletic director Mike Bohn addressed questions on recent talk that CU and Air Force might resume playing each other for the first time since 1974. Although the two schools likely wouldn't begin playing until 2009 at the earliest, Bohn cited public interest, inexpensive travel and an opportunity to make money as key reasons why he is interested in setting up a possible home-and-home series. But, before Ram fans get concerned that a CU-Air Force matchup might bump CSU out of its series with CU, Bohn made clear that a deal with Air Force "would be the first option we look at after Colorado State and a marquee national game".
Officially, a date for the Colorado State-Colorado women's basketball game has not been announced. However, according to new CSU coach Jen Warden, who is a CU graduate, the date of the game is Wednesday November 30 at Moby Arena. She offered up that tidbit during her hiring press conference when she was asked an unrelated question about CU. She immediately blurted out the date, leading to a chorus of laughter from fans and media in attendance.
Warden's departure from Boise State, by the way, hasn't led to any player defections there. All five of BSU's signed players are honoring their signed national letters of intent. It also appears that all athletes who had given a verbal commitment to BSU before Warden left are still in a holding process, but still appear to be committed to signing with BSU. A new hire to replace Warden has not yet been made.
Last week we reported here that former CSU women's basketball coach Greg Williams was a finalist for the vacant head coaching job at Rice. Williams, a 1970 Rice graduate, was hired Wednesday. He coached at Colorado State from 1990-97, posting an overall record of 108-88.
TheFacebook.com is an online website directory that was launched in February 2004 that now connects 573 college campuses and 2.4 million users through social networks. Interestingly enough, CSU has a throng of registered athlete and fan groups, including one for men's basketball called "CSU Hoopsquad" and a women's basketball group called "Women's Basketball: Taking a Turn for the Better." There are also fan groups ("Come on Rammies Foundation" and "Colorado State Ramfans") and one group, "Green and Gold Army", is dedicated to sending annoying chain messages to fans at opposing schools. There are also three fan groups that advocate the firing of Dale Layer. Click here to visit the website, but only users with university email addresses can login and access the pages.
CSU's incoming distance runner Scott Sanders, a star at Oregon's Brookings-Harbor high school and one of the most dominant distance runners the state of Oregon has ever seen, overcame a plot against him by two rival 1500 meter runners last week to win yet another 3A state championship. The two rival competitors, from two different high schools, talked before the race, agreeing to let Sanders set the pace through the first three laps. Then, when they heard the sound of the bell signaling the start of the final lap, they would start their kick much earlier than usual, in hopes of putting enough distance between themselves and the strong-finishing Sanders to hold him off in the final few meters. Up until the final 100 meters, it appeared the plot was going to work, but Sanders kicked it into high gear, catching the two rivals in the final 50 meters and beating each by less than a second with a time of 3 minutes, 58.82 seconds. It was the second fastest 1,500-meter time of Sanders' distinguished prep career. He also won the 3000-meter event, matching the sweep he accomplished in 2004. Sanders is also a two-time state champion in cross country. He arrives at CSU this fall.
Talk about a large, golf-loving family, CSU junior golfer Nate Pettitt is one of 12 children--six boys and six girls--most of whom golf, and three of whom have won Iowa 3A state championships. Pettitt's siblings range from age 28 (brother Ben is currently on the Canadian pro golf circuit) to two twins aged one and a half years old. Pettitt, who won an Iowa state championship in 2000, shot a team-best 218 (tied for ninth) at the MWC Championships at the end of April.
Incoming women's golfer Stefanie Ferguson, from Broomfield High School, shot a 77-76 (153 two-day total) at the Colorado Class 4A state championship at Gypsum's Cotton Ranch Golf Course to take a career-best third-place. She enrolls at CSU this fall.
The CSU club baseball team will battle for the National Club Baseball Association World Series championship game today in Bradenton, Fla. The Rams opened defense of their 2004 title by beating Wisconsin Eau-Claire 4-0 Wednesday and then Oregon 6-1 Friday. They then played Wisconsin Eau-Claire again twice Sunday, the first a 6-3 loss, and the second a 10-2 victory to advance to the championship. The No. 1 seeded Rams (28-4) face Illinois' club team at 3:30 p.m. today in a winner-take-all.
As of last Thursday, the Ram Club fundraising drive was at $1.27 million dollars pledged, which is around $200,000 shy of where the drive was at this time last year. CSU officials are hopeful that last week's Hughes Stadium beer policy announcement will prompt people to send in their renewals. This year’s goal is $1.7 million. The volunteer segment of the drive ends June 30. If you would like more information on the Ram Club or how to join call 970-491-4666, or contact firstname.lastname@example.org.