Coors Invitational

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Aug 312006
 
Authors: JEFF DILLON The Rocky Mountain Collegian

Coach Tom Hilbert is always competitive, but practice this week has been particularly intense.

The Rams have been pushing hard all week preparing for the Coors Invitational this weekend at Moby Arena. After losing two of three games to open the season last weekend in the Hilton Classic, Hilbert has been extremely vocal about what the Rams must improve on.

No one is surprised, nor is anyone complaining.

“It’s been intense,” said junior right side hitter Tonya Mokelki. “You practice how you play. We know what we have to focus on and we need to do it better.”

The Rams (1-2) will play three matches this weekend, the first against Wake Forest today at 7 p.m. They then face Florida Atlantic at noon, and James Madison at 7 p.m. on Saturday.

None of these three teams have played yet this season. Wake Forest and Florida Atlantic, like the Rams, advanced to the NCAA tournament in 2006.

But the Rams aren’t thinking about the competition. They’re thinking about themselves.

“It doesn’t really matter how good those teams are,” said sophomore outside hitter Jamie Strauss. “All that matters is how we play.”

The Rams had an inconsistent start to the season in the first three matches. Good points were often followed by mental mistakes. They had 25 hitting errors and 15 service errors in Friday night’s loss to Texas A&M alone. For a team that prides itself on keeping balls alive, it was a disappointing beginning.

“We’ve got to keep our errors down,” said Mokelki. “We just need to keep the ball in play and make the other team play. We gave away too many points.”

Strauss said some of those mistakes might have been a result of the eight newcomers this year, including six freshmen. But she thinks having a few matches under their belts should cure the problem.

“We can’t be nervous,” she said. “We have a lot of young players, but they’ve all had a weekend to play.”

Mokelki agreed with her teammate.

“People were definitely nervous last weekend,” she said. “We should be over that now. We’ve got to focus on being competitive.”

Unfortunately for the Rams, time is running out to sort through their concerns. After this weekend, the Rams have a road trip to play against California, Pepperdine and American. After that, it’s straight into conference play, with the Rams opening against preseason MWC favorite Utah on Sept. 16.

“We don’t have time to settle into our roles,” said Strauss. “It’s important we take things seriously because we don’t have long to get it right. Conference play is soon.”

The conference play could be all the more reason for practice to continue being as intense as it has been. When asked about the team’s goals this weekend, Mokelki summed up the feeling of the week.

“We have to win,” she said.

Staff writer Jeff Dillon can be reached at sports@collegian.com.

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Support new alumni building

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Aug 312006
 
Authors: Collegian Editorial Staff

Van Wilder stretched his college career to seven years. Seven glorious years of parties, fund-raising events, intramural sports and even some classes.

While some of us extend our college tenure past the typical four, a lot of students cram the requirements into only eight semesters. But the proverbial party shouldn’t stop there. What happens after graduation?

CSU graduates should be proud to be alumni of this establishment, and the alumni center must reflect that pride.

The Alumni Board is pushing to build a new Alumni/Welcome Center complex on the east side of campus – and they should.

Visitors often see the alumni building first when they take a campus tour. If the Alumni Center is our first impression, $18 million to $20 million of private funds is a small price to pay.

Supporters say the project’s goal is to improve student/alumni relations.

A new, more student-friendly alumni center would do just that.

Not only that, but providing better headquarters for alumni would help us network in the future.

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Ram Talk

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Aug 312006
 
Authors:

So, Kyle Bell complains about the school pulling Fum’s Song. Then he suffers a season-ending knee injury. I shudder to think what the school would do to me if I openly opposed them.

*Newsflash* The Athletic Department changes fight song:

Compromise, you stalwart Ram Team, on to the goal

Join the (opponent’s nickname) line together

Skipping down the field, that’s better

Knights of the Green and Gold,

P. C. (politically correct) we must be,

Compromise, you stalwart Ram Team-

Right! Right! Right!

Go RAMS!

Does anyone else miss the “News of the Weird,” or is it just me?

First they stop the pre-semester riots and take away Fum’s song, now Kyle Bell’s injured for the season? Is there any reason to live?

Be sure to wear neutral clothing to the game this weekend. We wouldn’t want to look offensive in the green and gold. Oh, and when we score, politely clap and commend Weber State for trying its hardest.

Infuriated by the ban on Fum’s Song, Chuck Norris roundhouse kicked all these so-called “officials,” until they were forced to reinstate it.

I work in the CSU ticket office and when I gave a student her ticket she turned to her friend and said, “Can you hold on to my ticket? There’s no way I won’t remember not to lose these.” Does that make any sense at all???

 Posted by at 5:00 pm

Student supports Paccione

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Aug 312006
 
Authors:

As a student who was present at the Paccione “campaign visit to CSU” I take issue with the Collegian’s coverage of the event. True, it was an event to “rally support” but in a very specific sense. The entire meeting was designed and geared toward recruitment and rallying volunteers and interns.

So when the incumbent’s own staffers show up and attempt to videotape and sabotage the meeting, I don’t understand why they would be so surprised that they were asked to turn off the camera. Paccione was polite enough in letting them stay.

Clearly they weren’t there to sign up for the walk lists, they were there to intimidate students trying to participate in the democratic process. Students in this election will be a key driving force up until Nov. 7. It’s absolutely no wonder why Paccione is tapping into this ready-made resource. You don’t have to look too far to see why students would support a candidate like Paccione.

One simply has to juxtapose the facts: our current congresswoman voted to cut 12.7 billion dollars from federal student aid programs in February 2006, just months after we almost lost funding for higher education altogether in the state of Colorado last November (Referendum C anyone?).

How could anyone say that this is best representation we students merit? I, for one, would prefer real representation for a change.

Stephanie Gibbs

senior

political science

 Posted by at 5:00 pm

Behave like a Ram

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Aug 312006
 
Authors:

Welcome Rams to another year full of athletic events and tradition here at CSU. As ASCSU president, I am committed to ensuring the best experience for all Colorado State students.

As part of that experience, I hope that you enjoy some of the university’s traditions, including fall football games at Hughes Stadium, athletic events at Moby Arena, Homecoming, the President’s Fall Address and much more. Our tradition continues this week with the first home football game of the season against Weber State. Ram Pride, in conjunction with positive school spirit, is a critical part of our tradition.

As students, we are representatives of CSU – and that role extends into the community during athletic events. While we rally around Ram athletes, encourage each other to practice good sportsmanship and most importantly take care of each other.

While attending football games at Hughes Stadium, sporting events at Moby Arena or away games, I encourage everyone to represent the Rams as enthusiastic, respectful and supportive fans. We want everyone to have a great time, but in order to do so we need to make sure we are not acting in a manner that will negatively affect others.

If you are 21 and choose to drink, please do so responsibly and make sure to take care of yourself and each other. The university expects all students to exemplify integrity and act in a way that is respectful to everyone and in an adult manner. We want to limit the amount of destructive acts and poor behavior. I want to make sure we are all representing the university and ourselves as best we can.

While you are wearing green & gold and singing the Fight Song and “other school-spirited songs,” be excited and enthusiastic to represent CSU and make sure to show all the Ram Pride you can. Go Rams!

Jason Green

ASCSU President

senior

psychology major

 Posted by at 5:00 pm

Song degrades opponents

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Aug 312006
 
Authors:

I am not entirely sure what I missed here. This song, a one-year “tradition,” seeks to degrade our football opponents. It is a rallying cry for our fans and players, sung with heart and soul so our beloved stars might play the best final quarter they have ever played.

Never mind the fact it debases our opponents, making them lesser and us greater. Never mind the fact it baselessly chides other schools (and in effect, a major world religion). It saddens me that our student body would suggest they would rather be dead than at BYU, or any of the universities mentioned.

I have always viewed universities as a place for academic enlightenment, a place where people and ideas are respected and valued, even if they are different.

Perhaps I have been playing the role of CSU’s own Charlotte Simmons, seeking a life of the mind, only to discover colleges have a more important agenda. Perhaps I thought I would be getting an education in a place far-removed from the narrow-minded hometown from whence I came.

All this furor over a silly song, which carries all the “tradition” of a “first annual” event, that does not advance any of the academic, encompassing principles CSU claims to stand for…

CSU’s mission statement declares, “The values that support our operating practices” include: “promote civic responsibility; demonstrate inclusiveness and diversity; act with integrity and mutual respect.”

Nowhere in the statement does it so much as mention athletics, nor does it mention the singing of songs which seek to devalue athletic opponents, or any person for that matter.

For some time, I have been a vocal opponent against Larry Penley and the Athletics Department here at CSU; our mission statement says the university is “committed to excellence, setting the standard for public higher education,” while Athletics has one of the largest departmental budgets, and is the only department Penley has been an outspoken supporter for increasing its funding.

What we have seen here at CSU is athletics supersede academics, and it makes me sick. All this fuss about Fum’s Song simply reinforces my belief that CSU, from the students on up, have more interest in sports and “a good time” than in education and educational issues. I think it is a real black eye for a university that claims to be “the premier system of public higher education in the nation.”

Ryan D. Speaker

Senior

history

 Posted by at 5:00 pm

The bell tolls for sidelined star

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Aug 312006
 
Authors: MIKE DONOVAN The Rocky Mountain Collegian

Wednesday’s was the first football practice Kyle Bell had ever missed.

CSU’s sidelined star began playing when he was 7, but now, thanks to a torn anterior cruciate ligament, it’s over for a while.

“When I first found out, it was indescribable – that initial feeling of shock, I’ll never forget it,” Bell said Thursday. “It was surreal. It still is surreal the next day. I’ve never been injured before.”

Bell, a running back who ran for 1,288 yards as a sophomore last season, found out the extent of his injury from Head Trainer Terry DeZeeuw on Wednesday morning. Later that day, his team practiced without him.

Bell’s ACL tore on Tuesday when CSU cornerback Darryl Williams tackled him near the end of the day’s practice drills. A stunned Bell took about a minute to get back on his feet after the collision.

He told the Collegian he’d ice his knee and return to the practice field on Wednesday. He didn’t realize his season was over.

“For a lot of athletes and football players especially, it is the worst fear. But you don’t really think about it until it happens,” Bell said.

But he places no blame for his injury.

“I talked to Darryl, I don’t blame him. I don’t blame the coaches for running live drills,” Bell said. “It’s football. It’s easy to blame someone, but it really is nobody’s fault.”

Bell now finds himself on the sidelines as a medical redshirt this season.

He will have two more years of eligibility left for the Rams. The coaches have told Bell that he will still be expected to be an integral part of the team this season.

“I am still going to be a big part of the team,” Bell said. “Whether it’s on the sideline, in the locker room, off the field, I’ll be there.”

Head Coach Sonny Lubick will miss seeing Bell on the field but is not worried about Bell’s psyche regarding the injury.

“The thing he has got going for him is that he is smart enough to recognize that he has got a lot of hope and a good future,” Lubick said Thursday.

Bell, who had 3.65 GPA during his sophomore year, was named second-team Academic All-American at the end of last season. Lubick thinks Bell’s athletic injury may work to his academic advantage.

“He’s got two more years of football, he’s got three more years of college; he could end up with a couple of majors, if not a master’s,” a joking Lubick said Thursday.

After finding out about his injury Wednesday, Bell took the advice of his coaches and made the 60-mile drive to his family’s home in Keenesburg for the night.

His father, Dave Bell, said that despite his son having no prior experience with injuries, eventually he will be able to return at the highest level.

“It’s a tough situation, but he’ll work it out,” Dave Bell said. “He’s a tough kid. He has been through a lot.”

If Bell needs to ask anyone about overcoming a season-ending knee injury, he simply needs to look down the locker room at senior safety Ben Stratton.

Stratton, who is struggling to regain his starting status, gave Bell advice on overcoming the injury.

“I talked to Ben for about 15 minutes (Wednesday) and he just told me how he was able to get through his situation,” Bell said.

The responsibility of being CSU’s starting back now falls on the shoulders of sophomore Gartrell Johnson III. The team will not miss a beat with Johnson at the helm, according to Bell.

“He may not have experience but I didn’t have any experience when I first started either,” Bell said. “I may be in a battle for the starting spot next year.”

With surgery scheduled within the next two weeks, Bell is already prepping for the future.

“With the type of surgery I’m looking to get, rehab can start within two weeks of the surgery,” Bell said. “I don’t think it is unrealistic to say I may be able to get some reps during spring ball, I won’t be 100 percent, but I think I can be out there. I’ll be back.”

CSU opens their season Saturday at 3 p.m. against the Weber State Wildcats.

Collegian staff writers Sean Star and Matt Planalp contributed to this story.

Sports editor Mike Donovan can be reached at sports@collegian.com.

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Weber State coach ready for Saturday

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Aug 312006
 
Authors: MATT PLANALP The Rocky Mountain Collegian

Quality football programs are not born – they are built. Just ask Weber State Head Coach Ron McBride, who also coached at the University of Utah. McBride has spent the past 40 years building and rebuilding football programs.

“Coaching is a way of life, it’s what you do,” he said. “I wouldn’t know anything else to do.”

McBride is entering his second season at the helm for the Wildcats, and said he is hoping the team will “take a step forward” from last year. A year ago, the Wildcats finished 6-5 and placed fifth in the Big Sky Conference.

McBride admits that progress still needs to be made if the Wildcats expect to compete with Division IA teams like CSU.

“We know that CSU will be a good measuring stick for us,” McBride said. “Your goal is to obviously win the game, but that is a stretch.”

CSU can’t afford to look past Weber State in the season opener, however, with the Rocky Mountain Showdown just nine days away.

Division IAA teams have made a habit of upsetting Division IA teams lately. Last year, UC Davis upset Pac-Ten opponent Stanford. This year, Big Sky Conference teams Montana and Montana State go on the road looking for wins against perennial powers Colorado and Iowa respectively.

McBride expects his Wildcats will pay no more attention to the Rams than any other opponent on the 2006 schedule.

“You can’t get all paranoid just because you’re playing a DI team,” McBride said. “You just want to prepare for them, do your homework and go out and do the best job you can.”

McBride has stressed the importance of keeping an even keel in the week leading up to a big game.

“You don’t want to go crazy (because you are playing a certain team),” he said.

“The excitement then leaks over to your players, who then get emotional.”

McBride, a long-time Utah resident, returned home after a stint with the University of Kentucky as a linebackers coach. He spent 13 seasons as head coach of the University of Utah, posting an 88-63 record. Under McBride, the Utes put up impressive bowl wins over Southern California, Arizona and Fresno State.

Coaching has been a lifestyle for McBride, who started his career in 1965 as the defensive coordinator at San Jose State. McBride made his fourth return to the “Beehive State” to take over the 1-10 Wildcats because he “wanted another opportunity to rebuild another program.”

His teams have had limited success against Head Coach Sonny Lubick and the Rams. Under McBride, Utah dropped its last five games against CSU (a streak spanning from 1995-2002).

He hopes to end the streak on Saturday: “We just need to have a game plan, and play the game.”

Sports writer Matt Planalp can be reached at sports@collegian.com.

 Posted by at 5:00 pm

Life without Bell officially begins

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Aug 312006
 
Authors: SEAN STAR The Rocky Mountain Collegian

The Weber State Wildcats had twice as many players drafted into the NFL last spring than CSU.

Although the score was only two players (Paul and Pat McQuistan) to one (David Anderson), Weber State still won – something that would shock the city of Fort Collins if it happened again Saturday when the two teams face off for the Rams’ first season-opener at home since 1997.

Saturday marks the second time the Wildcats and Rams will play each other, the first being a 31-7 CSU victory at home in 2003.

Weber State, picked sixth in the Big Sky Conference preseason coach’s poll, is one of 122 teams in NCAA Division I-AA football this season.

The difference between I-A and I-AA lies in the number of scholarships allotted for each team: 85 and 63 respectively.

Football is the only collegiate sport with a I-AA classification.

WSU owns a 3-36 record against NCAA Division I-A opponents, with two of the wins coming against Nevada in the early ’90s.

WSU’s most recent game against a Division I-A opponent was a 55-17 loss at Fresno State last season.

However, Head Coach Sonny Lubick is sure not to underestimate his opponent.

“If I could maybe equate it to something, it’d be like going into a chemistry test or history test,” he said. “You got to look at it with a pretty damn good attitude or you’ll flunk it.”

The coach Lubick will be matching up against is former Utah Head Coach Ron McBride.

McBride coached the Utes from 1990 to 2002 and recorded a 4-6 mark against the Rams.

“It will be nice to see him, I haven’t really seen him since he left Utah,” Lubick said. “I have a lot of respect for what he’s done as an assistant as well as a head coach.”

Further linking the two teams is the misfortune of losing a starting running back.

WSU senior running back Zach Hall was scheduled to be the Wildcats’ starting running back until he suffered a ruptured Achilles tendon earlier this fall.

And, like CSU’s Kyle Bell, Hall will spend this season watching his team from the sideline.

Life without Bell will officially begin for CSU on Saturday. Junior quarterback Caleb Hanie said his presence will be missed.

“Without Kyle in there, I don’t want to say it changes the game plan, but it changes the feel of the game,” Hanie said.

Offensive coordinator Dan Hammerschmidt says he expects the Wildcat defense to be very aggressive.

“McBride’s style is a close defense that will get up in your receivers’ faces,” he said. “We’ve got to get the run game rolling and if it’s tight coverage, then we got to go over the top.”

Hanie also said he expects to see some fireworks out of the Rams passing game.

“I think we’ll definitely try to go deep,” he said.

Sean Star can be reached at sports@collegian.com.

 Posted by at 5:00 pm

Nothing’s free at CSU

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Aug 312006
 
Authors: Kaitlin Snook

In student’s eyes, one of the more irritating problems on campus today is that of limited parking and the fines and tardiness that come with it. With this year’s closing of Laurel Street to student parking, the issue has only become more controversial.

Laurel has been one of the largest sources of convenient parking in the past, so it leaves little wonder why the demand for parking on campus, including available parking passes, has increased so dramatically.

This is even worse in the eyes of the pass-using students who live on campus. A student planning to live on campus pays $110 to park in their specific residence hall’s designated lot, day and night for the entirety of the school year.

Too bad very few people are actually getting what they paid for.

Corbett and Parmelee, two of the largest dorms on campus, actually have some of the smallest lots. The students living in these dorms have alternative places they are able to park, but only the one small lot is close enough to be considered convenient.

Apparently, buying a parking pass doesn’t actually give you the right to park on campus, but the right to look for a spot. On the occasion that a spot is not available and missing class is not an option, students are forced to pay the meters.

I’m glad I paid $85 for a pass, and thousands of dollars to attend class, while the university can’t even provide enough spots to assure that students have adequate parking.

This parking situation doesn’t only affect the students living on campus, but also the upperclassmen living too far away to walk or bike to school. Sure, there is always the option of taking the bus, but I tried that last year and let’s just say it wasn’t really for me.

In my opinion, leaving the house 30 minutes early just to sit outside of class for 15 minutes isn’t exactly the best way to start a day. And, for those of you that think, “Well, hey, at least the bus is free,” in your dreams! As if anything the university provides would be free.

The cost for a bus pass is included in everyone’s general fees, so whether you’re riding it or not, you’re paying for it.

To me there is clearly a problem facing CSU that needs to be addressed. With so many students contributing so much money for a convenient parking situation, it is time that we get what we are paying for.

Kaitlin Snook is a junior technical journalism major. Her column runs Fridays in the Collegian. Replies and feedback can be sent to letters@collegian.com.

 Posted by at 5:00 pm