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Friday, January 06, 2006

Virginia Tech Kicks Marcus Vick Off Team - Associated Press

Virginia Tech quarterback Marcus Vick was dismissed from the team Friday, the result of numerous legal transgressions and his unsportsmanlike conduct in the Gator Bowl.

University president Charles Steger announced the dismissal on the same day that coach Frank Beamer met with Vick and his mother in their Hampton Roads home, the school said in a statement. Beamer informed them of the decision during the meeting.

Vick, the younger brother of Atlanta Falcons quarterback Michael Vick, was suspended from school in 2004 for several legal problems. The junior came under new and intense scrutiny this week after replays showed he stomped on the left calf of Louisville All-American defensive end Elvis Dumervil during the Jan. 2 bowl.

No penalty was called on the play and Vick claimed its was accidental. He further hurt his cause by claiming to have apologized to Dumervil, but the Louisville player said no such apology was ever offered.

On Friday, it was revealed that Vick had been stopped for speeding and driving with a revoked or suspended license in Hampton on Dec. 17, Cpl. James West said. Vick's license had been taken away in August 2004 when he was cited for reckless driving and marijuana possession in New Kent County.

Steger suspended Vick from school at that time, and warned that any additional problems would effectively end his time as a member of the Hokies' football team.

"The university provided one last opportunity for Vick to become a citizen of the university and readmitted him in January 2005, with the proviso that any future problems would result in automatic dismissal from the team," Steger said Friday.

Beamer said in a statement that he was disappointed with the outcome. "We wanted what's best for this football team and Marcus," he said. "I certainly wish him the best."

School officials said in a statement that there would be no further comment until a news conference Saturday. Beamer, Steger and athletic director Jim Weaver, who said the stomping embarrassed the university, were all expected to attend.

Vick said before the Hokies' 35-24 comeback victory in the Gator Bowl that he planned to return for his senior season. Now, his choices are to declare for the NFL Draft by the Jan. 15 deadline or transfer to a Division I-AA school so he can play next season.

Vick entered this season knowing he would face hostility from opposing fans, mostly stemming from his drug arrest and another for serving alcohol to underage girls during the 2003 school year.

He said he was ready for it, but reacted to chants of "rapist" and "child molester" at West Virginia on Oct. 1 by making an obscene gesture in the direction of the crowd. He met with Beamer following that incident and apologized to the team.

In the ACC championship game against Florida State, he drew an unsportsmanlike conduct flag for spiking the ball after a touchdown run with the Hokies trailing, and following the 27-22 loss, walked by reporters after the game without commenting, saying he didn't have to.

He finished that game 26-for-52 for 335 yards with one interception and a fumble near his goal line that teammate Duane Brown recovered. Vick threw one scoring pass and ran for two more touchdowns, but also was sacked six times for minus-35 yards.

On the field, he was often dazzling, but sometimes tried to do too much.

The Hokies started 8-0 and were No. 3 in the polls when they hosted Miami on Nov. 5. But Vick threw two interceptions and fumbled the ball away four times in a 27-7 loss.

This season, he was runner-up to Wake Forest's Chris Barclay as the conference's offensive player of the year, and was voted the first team quarterback on the all-conference team.

In 24 career games, the last 13 starts, Vick was 207-for-346 for 2,868 yards, 19 touchdowns and 15 interceptions. He also rushed 184 times for 492 yards and six TDs.

A little known fact: 33 percent of ND Football Coach Weis' staff is African American

Yep. That's right. For all of the criticism Notre Dame received about the way it handled Head Coach Tyrone Willingham, his replacement Charlie Weis quietly assembled a staff that's 33 percent black, including his offensive coodinator.

I'll double check, but I think that may be a higher percentage than for Willingham's staff.

Willingham or Weis, the problem's the same for Notre Dame: a lack of speed

After their 37 to 20 pasting by Ohio State in the Fiesta Bowl, many Notre Dame fans are waking up to the fact that the team's basic problem -- a lack of speed and athletic skill on a par with the top BCS competition -- still remains.

Notre Dame Head Coach Weis had the players Tyrone Willingham recruited, and my theory -- that they were simply responding to a new voice and a different scheme, which is why the went 9 and 2 -- holds. The coup de grace will be when Notre Dame fails to sneak up on their opponents next year and posts a 7 and 4 record.

In other words, I'm predicting the same slide that Ty experienced during his short tenure. Weis brought in the plays and approach he established in New England and now the NCAA's richer for it. Next year, they can't sneak up on opponents, because there's a "book" on what they do now.

Let's see how Weis and the alumns get along in 2006.

Texas QB Vince Young's on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno

On this evening's The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, Texas QB Vince Young -- one day after his team's victory over USC in The Rose Bowl -- explained that he's going to sit down and "pray with my posse, talk to my Mom, and then sit with Coach (Mack) Brown, and see what the NFL guys say about me" before he decides whether to enter the NFL Draft.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

A Young Man's Game: Texas' Vince Young Powers The Longhorns Over USC for National Title

In an exciting, edge-of-your-seat contest, Texas Longhorn's QB, Vince Young willed his team to victory over USC in the Rose Bowl, capturing the College Football National Championship.

I've got to admit I missed a good chunk of this game because I was at a going away event in San Francisco's Tenderloin District, and at a place -- Olive -- with no television!

So, some of us marched over to some bar called GRB and caught it there. I went back to Olive after USC scored making it 37-26 in their favor in the fourth quarter. I must admit to total shock that Texas came back to win -- good, as I was rooting for them.

Young is 6'5 and about 235, and reminds me a lot of Tennessee Titans QB Steve McNair. Should Young come out of Texas for the NFL Draft, he will upset the current "favored" list of first picks: USC's Reggie Bush and Matt Leinart.

In my view, Young is a true first round pick. I think the Texans would pass on him, and take Reggie Bush, because they have David Carr -- but, I can't see such a major hero as Young being allowed to leave the state. Maybe the Dallas Cowboys will trade up to get him, or perhaps the Texans will take him, and trade Carr.

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