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About The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current | View Entire Issue (Nov. 10, 1998)
to new rules
For college wrestlers, gone are the days of plas
tic suits, saunas and hot rooms.
Gone are the days of procrastinating to make
weight for a duel or tournament.
Now, because of new wrestling weight rules
created by the NCAA Safety Committee in April,
collegiate wrestlers around the nation are focusing
on healthy lifestyles rather than quick water loss as
their means of making weight.
And NU Wrestling Coach Tim Neumann said
the new rules have made the sport of wrestling a
“scientific game” in which the players must keep
up with strict diets and training regimens.
“It’s a whole new mind set now,” Neumann
said. “The guys used to stay 10 pounds overweight
until 24 hours before they had to make weight.
“Now, they’ve had to act like they were in sea
son two months before the season actually started.
They have to eat right, sleep right and take vita
mins. They simply have to be healthier.”
And being healthier has been the focus of the
Comhusker wrestling team this year. Neumann,
along with Assistant Coaches Mark Cody and
Jason Kelber, has drilled into the NU wrestlers’
minds the importance of staying hydrated and eat
ing proper foods.
That concept has been difficult for the NU
grapplers to grasp. In previous years of weight cut
ting, wrestlers became accustomed to dropping
excess pounds by way of shedding water weight
through the use of plastic suits, saunas and 85
degree work-out rooms.
“In the past, guys in general would procrasti
nate to lose their weight until too close to the time
of weigh-ins,” Kelber said. “Then we’d lose a lot of
water weight, which is easy to lose fast, but it’s hard
on your body.
NEBRASKA WRESTLER Jose DeAnda of South Sioux City is one of the many wrestlers across the nation dealing with the new regulations the NCAA
has implemented for this season.
“Now the guys have to be more nutritionally
sound. They have to be conscious of their diet
instead of eating all junk food.”
With the help of Dave Ellis, NU coordinator of
performance nutrition, the Nebraska coaches
began in late August to teach the wrestlers how to
be more health conscious.
“Teaching this new lifestyle has been hard,”
Kelber said. “The guys had to watch their weight
toward the end of the summer when most students
were out having fun and eating cheeseburgers and
“They had to be disciplined enough to start
watching their weight and trimming down so they
could establish their minimum weight by Oct. 1.”
On Oct. 1, the Huskers took a series of tests,
including a hydration check and a body fat check,
that determined the minimum weight at which they
could compete at this season. The wrestlers’ hydra
tion levels will be tested again on Dec. 1.
Because of these early tests, the team had to
begin intense training early in the season - some
thing members had never done before.
“We’ve never gone this hard this early before,”
Neudjann said. “These rules are making the
wrestling season very long. We’ve been going hard
for 2Vi months, and we haven’t even competed yet”
With a few exceptions, the NU coaches agreed
the team has done well with understanding that
procrastination and water loss are not the ways to
shed excess pounds.
“I think the majority of the team has become
really health conscious,” Kelber said. “There’s
about a quarter of them who are still having a hard
time, but it takes a lot of discipline to be so con
scious of what you eat and how much you work
Because this season marks the inaugural year
of these new rules, many consider this season as
somewhat of an experiment
“I don’t know if all of these new rules are pol
ished yet” Ellis said. “I think there will have to be
some changes made next year, but this is definitely
a step in the right direction for the sport of
Sanderford builds upon
success of NU’s victories
NU coach focuses on promoting the program in new ways
By Jay Saunders
When people look at Paul Sanderford, they
may think he is just in the business of coaching.
But the Nebraska women’s basketball coach
says he works in another profession: construction.
“Building a basketball team is a lot like build
ing a house,” Sanderford said. “You start with a
solid foundation and good fundamentals and hard
When Sanderford came to Nebraska from
Western Kentucky two years ago, he left a 15-year
old house behind.
With Sanderford as its foreman, WKU notched
365 wins and went to the NCAA tournament 12
The Sanderford Construction Company start
ed with a 23-5 foundation last season at Nebraska,
but the coach said he doesn’t want to make the
Huskers a one-year phenomenon.
“I am not interested in having a good team,”
Sanderford said. “I want a good program.
“I want to win 25 games next year, and 28 the
year after that.”
Sanderford, who grew up on a farm in North
Carolina, has never been accustomed to losing.
In his third season at Western Kentucky, the
Lady Toppers made it to the NCAA tournament.
And last season, Sanderford’s first Cornhusker
team advanced to the postseason.
But even before basketball, Sanderford
achieved success. He was a two-sport athlete in
high school, and was an All-American in baseball
at Louisburg (N.C.) Junior College. That happens
to be the same school NU Volleyball Coach Terry
Pettit started his coaching career.
Sanderford went on to play minor league base
ball five years as a catcher.
It was in the minor leagues, Sanderford said,
that introduced him to all different kinds of mar
He has carried that knowledge of marketing to
When he arrived in Lincoln, Sanderford
wanted the Athletic Department to make home
games free for students He also sends shuttles to
and from residence halls before and after games.
“I very much believe in promoting the pro
gram and the players,” Sanderford said. “If I have
to act crazy, I'll do it.”
Perhaps Sanderford’s craziest marketing
scheme was the creation of “Heavy P.”
Last season, in a commercial for the
CableVision Classic, Sanderford rapped a song
written by senior Kate Benson to promote the two
This year, “Heavy P” is back. But this time, he
is singing the basketball blues. A bass player and
three dancers fill out the Sanderford band.
“I think rap is more my style,” he said. “But I
think it is a good idea that I stick with my day job.”
On the sideline and in practice, people may see
Sanderford with a gruff exterior. His no-nonsense
attitude on the court has gotten him victories, but it
also creates headlines.
At a practice last season, Sanderford drop
kicked a basketball into the stands at the Bob
Devaney Sports Center. Then there’s the speaker
system Sanderford uses in practice, which makes
former Alabama Football Coach Paul “Bear”
Bryant’s tower pale in comparison.
Sanderford attaches a microphone to his shirt,
making sure every player - and anyone who might
be in Bob Devaney Sports Center at the time - can
hear him when he yells at a player. It’s Sanderford
But those same players say the people that crit
icize Sanderford are the ones that don’t know him.
NU WOMEN S BASKETBALL COACH PAUL SANDERFORD says all he asks of his players is every
thing they have to give. This season, he is hoping to create a flurry of excitement and victories.
“There is Coach Sanderford on the court, and
there is Paul Sanderford off the court,” junior
Brooke Schwartz said. “He’s a teddy bear.”
In his first season at Nebraska, it was Coach
Sanderford the players had to deal with first.
Both Benson and Schwartz said Sanderford’s
style and coaching system was a far cry from the
previous season when Angela Beck prowled the
“I personally felt I wouldn’t live up to his
expectations,” Benson said. “We weren’t the play
ers he recruited. But I felt it was an easy transition.”
Schwartz said she respects Sanderford because
he is not afraid to take the blame if something is his
The 5-foot-9 guard from Gering said what she
really loves is the Sanderford system of offense
that encourages scoring and rebounding.
“I lil Ns style,” Schwartz said. “There is not a
better offense than what he has.”
The offense is just part of the house that is the
Last season, Nebraska led the Big 12 in scoring
with 77.5 points per game. NU also tied a school
record for wins in a season.
This year, Sanderford said he is hoping the
team can take a step forward in building the Husker
“Some years you have wood siding, some
years you go vinyl and some years you are able to
use a brick siding,” Sanderford said. “It just
depends on how much you are willing to put in it.”
Sanderford saidhe is willing to put a lot into his
job at Nebraska, in part because coaching really
beats the alternative.
“I don’t know how to do anything else except
for farm,” Sanderford said. “And I don’t want to go
back to the farm.”
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