August 26, 2011
NC STATE FOOTBALL
COUNTDOWN TO KICKOFF: 8 DAYS!!!
Chip Alexander (N&O)
Pack’s Overgaard leads team in GPA
N.C. State’s Mikel Overgaard doesn’t have the fastest 40-yard dash time on the Wolfpack football team. He doesn’t lead the Pack in the bench press or any other weight-room category.
What Overgaard does have is the best grade-point average. The senior offensive tackle has a 3.65 GPA, the highest among N.C. State’s returning players this year.
In an age when the term “student-athlete” can draw snickers, when a plagiarized paper by a former UNC football player has drawn so much attention, when academic support budgets are on the rise and Academic Progress Rates are on everyone’s minds, Overgaard said he tries to do things the right way.
“It’s something that’s always been important to me,” he said this week. “I like to try and be the best in anything I do.”
Akula Wolf (BackingthePack.com)
Liberty, Position By Position
Liberty has I-A caliber talent in several places, and this is a case in point. Ayers was a four-star recruit out of high school who left Georgia Tech for Liberty this spring. He quickly claimed the job at free safety, though he is light on both experience and size.
There are nagging questions elsewhere, particularly in the trenches. They have four new starters to acclimate at OL, and they’re going to have to live with a downgrade in size from last season. Four of the five weigh between 275 and 285 pounds.
Cole Looking to Lead Pack’s Defense
After sweating through another sultry morning football practice, Audie Cole looked forward to spending a leisurely afternoon searching for prime hunting spots around Jordan Lake.
But wait. There was still a long interview session, followed by a photo shoot for a TV network that required NC State’s senior linebacker to shed his red shorts, dark T-shirt and blue baseball cap and suit up again in full uniform.
It’s been that way this preseason for the media friendly Cole, whose athletic prowess, move to middle linebacker, and photogenic features attract attention.
Jacey Zembal (TheWolfpacker.com)
NC State reshuffles defensive tackle rotation
NCSU defensive line coach Keith Willis Sr. prefers to rotate at least four defensive tackles, and sometimes will work in a fifth to have him gain experience for the future.
“[J.R.'s injury] is a blow with him being established,” Willis said. “I thought he made unbelievable improvement with technique and his approach to the game. The good thing about it for the other guys, though unfortunate for him, is there is an opportunity to step up.”
Junior Brian Slay was the fifth defensive tackle two years ago as a true freshman. He had six tackles in 115 snaps in 2009, and then increased his total to 24 in 284 last year. The 6-foot-3, 290-pounder will be thrust into the starting lineup opposite fifth-year senior Markus Kuhn in the season opener Sept. 3 against Liberty at Carter-Finley Stadium.
“It’s a big opportunity,” Willis said. “I’m confident that Brian will step up and do a very good job. He’s one of the guys when it comes to playing the game of football, he understands it. He’s pretty good.”
Ryan Tice (TheWolfpacker.com)
Bryan Underwood is ready to contribute
Redshirt freshman wide out Bryan Underwood originally signed with the Wolfpack in 2009. However, he didn’t get on campus until last fall and redshirted after arriving with a trio of seniors atop the depth chart at receiver. He feels that now is his time to make an impact on the field for NC State, although he admits that he welcomed the adjustment period last season with open arms.
“Last year, I was redshirted and that kind of helped me slow the game down, get up to the college speed and stay focused on getting better for what I’m trying to come in and do this year,” he said. “I learned a lot [from last year's seniors]. They showed me different ways to release, different combos that you can do with routes, how to get open with different routes. I learn a lot from just watching them on the field and watching film of them. It was really helpful.”
Lou Pascucci (PackInsider.com)
Glennon Talks Improvement, Receiving Corps
We caught up with NC State’s newest leader, Mike Glennon, to find out how ready he thinks he really is and what we can expect out of a wet behind the ears receiving core.
NC STATE BASKETBALL
Jacey Zembal (TheWolfpacker.com)
Eight NCSU recruiting targets in updated Rivals150
NC State senior point guard commit Tyler Lewis had a productive summer and relatively held steady in the updated Rivals.com class of 2012 rankings, which were released Thursday.
The 5-foot-11, 160-pounder from Statesville, N.C., was ranked No. 56 in the country and No. 7 point guard. The Mouth of Wilson (Va.) Oak Hill Academy floor general was previously ranked No. 54 overall July 2.
Eight NC State recruiting targets were ranked among the top 61 players in the country.
Raleigh Upper Room senior combo guard Rodney Purvis climbed two spots to No. 7 in the country, and is the highest ranked player NC State is recruiting.
Brooke Cain (N&O)
Stars queue up for Jimmy V Classic
Plenty of Carolina Hurricanes also should be on the course, as well as ESPN personalities and NBA Hall of Famer and TNT sports analyst Charles Barkley.
For the first time, the golf classic this year will have a Kids Zone, where youngsters can schmooze with Looney Tunes stars Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck, get their faces painted and play video games.
Golfing kicks off Sunday at 9:30 a.m. (gates open at 8:30) at the Lonnie Poole Golf Course on Centennial Campus. But official Jimmy V festivities begin tonight with a reverse raffle at the Raleigh Convention Center. The big prize at the raffle will be a new BMW 128i. That’s open to the public and begins at 6:30 p.m.
Riddick & Reynolds
R&R Podcast: Bonus “Crossover” Episode With “Postmodcast”
Among the topics they discussed:
• Their failed attempts to fake excitement over the release of the ACC hoops schedules.
• Why Duke’s expensive trip aboard isn’t really that extravagant.
• Their thoughts on the latest Miami developments and on criticism of Charles Robinson’s Yahoo! Sports piece.
• Tornado, earthquake, hurricane … is it all just setting the stage for Duke to make a bowl game this season?
• And will Jim and Joe’s ACC fantasy league actually happen this fall?
Inside Wolfpack Sports
In today’s episode, Don Shea visits with Defensive Coordinator Mike Archer after practice.
The Department of Athletics kicked off the 2011-12 sports year in a unique way on Wednesday afternoon, as coaches and student-athletes from a variety of programs gathered at an iconic landmark on campus to show a bit of their artistic side and get students excited about State athletics. The Wolfpack group painted the free expression tunnel with “Wolfpack Unlimited” and “STATE” logos, while others took cans of spray paint and free-styled.
Ryan Tice (TheWolfpacker.com)
The Wolfpacker Podcast double episode
NC State football and football recruiting update
Basketball recruiting update
Miami has determined that eight football players, including quarterback Jacory Harris, are believed to have committed NCAA violations by associating with booster Nevin Shapiro and have been declared ineligible, said a person with knowledge of the process.
The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity Thursday because no one is authorized to discuss the ongoing investigations by the university and the NCAA. Shapiro is a convicted Ponzi scheme architect serving a 20-year prison sentence for bilking $930 million from investors, and his claims have cast a long shadow over Miami’s season before it even begins.
Simply being declared ineligible now doesn’t necessarily mean a player would miss any time this season. The Miami Herald first reported the decision to declare the players ineligible.
Spencer Hall (EDSBS.com)
The Curious Index, 8/25/11
NEVIN SHAPIRO HAS ALWAYS BEEN A DICK. He started young. He finished strong. Remember: being a dick doesn’t happen overnight. It is the culmination of years of work, and of countless unsuspecting and defenseless people being punched in the face. (And of course his flag football team was “Public Enemies.” Of course it was.)
Oh, and 12 Miami players may be ineligible for the opener against Maryland. The Butch-er’s Dozen, if we can give a name to the act of suspending a good chunk of your roster immediately before game one. #RIPButchDavis
Stewart Mandel (SI.com)
Concurrent scandals will put ACC leadership to test; more Mailbag
Stewart, what are the odds of ACC commissioner John Swofford issuing an apology to the league’s fan base for inviting Miami to join the conference? I don’t blame Swofford for wanting to expand the league, but Boston College was not and is not a good fit and all Miami brought was its outlaw reputation and a mediocre football team that is a shadow of its glory days. The only school that has fit in is Virginia Tech, and it was a last-minute replacement for Syracuse when the Virginia legislature stepped in and demanded that Tech be invited or else.
— Vince, Raleigh, N.C.
The odds are zero. But you raise an excellent point that’s gone largely unnoticed outside Tobacco Road.
Eight years ago, Swofford set the college football world ablaze with the ACC’s backroom courtship of Miami, infuriating his then-Big East counterpart, Mike Tranghese, and setting off a domino effect that rippled all the way to the WAC and Sun Belt — all to turn his traditionally provincial basketball-driven league into a veritable football power conference. It certainly paid off financially: The league has gone from earning $20 million a year for its football television rights in 2003 to an average $155 million for football and basketball beginning this season. At the time, however, there was genuine debate about whether the expanded ACC had gained equal on-field footing with the SEC. If anything, the gap has widened. But the league has come to mirror the SEC of the late 1990s/early 2000s in one area: rampant rule-breaking.
Later this year, North Carolina will go before the Committee on Infractions for violations involving academic fraud, extra benefits and employing an assistant coach who was allegedly employed by an agent. While we don’t know what the sanctions will be, the scandal cost Butch Davis his job and will likely doom that program to extended mediocrity. Meanwhile, Georgia Tech just went on probation for the second time in the last six years. And now Miami is accused of massive booster-related violations that will likely result in a lengthy investigation (over/under: three years) and heavy sanctions.
The ACC has always prided itself on integrity, and while there’s nothing to suggest this is some sort of conference-wide epidemic, the UNC and Miami scandals are two huge stains to be dealing with at once. The Tar Heels were never particularly relevant in football to begin with, but the league has been banking heavily on the eventual resurgence of Florida State and Miami, the latter of which is likely now shelved indefinitely. Swofford has never been a particularly outspoken commissioner — he mostly echoes what Mike Slive and Jim Delany say first about the NCAA or BCS — but the next few years will be a real test of his leadership. If the SEC does in fact go forward with expansion, most assume it will talk to Virginia Tech, the ACC’s recent stalwart. AD Jim Weaver was pretty vehement about his school’s allegiance to its current conference when rumors first surfaced a couple of weeks ago, but you have to wonder whether the Miami situation will give Virginia Tech (or Florida State or Clemson) reason to reconsider.