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About The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current | View Entire Issue (Jan. 29, 2001)
No. 1 high
Pa., held a press conference to
announce the college he would
attend to play football.
Here’s a running back (it isn't
as though the No. 1 player could
be anything but except a quarter
back or maybe a linebacker)
choosing between Penn State and
Virginia Ttech. He had their corre
sponding jerseys on a table.
"The school I’m going to..."
Jones said as he picked up the
Penn State jersey.
“...is not Penn State."
Oh, the dramatic turn of
theatrics. The cunning sleight of
the hand, right out of the mouth
of a 17-year-old babe.
Jones’ little work-up isn’t the
first time much ado was made
about a verbal, non-binding
commitment. It will not be the
last But its prevalence increases
with every year.
College football recruiting is a
big deal. It’s fun to pick a team,
eighth-grade recess hoops and
national pigskin powerhouse
alike. When I start the dynasty
mode on the Playstation college
football gafne, I fast forward
through a season to get to the
recruiting What is actual playing
matched against the considera
tion of potential? Peanuts.
It started in the South, I think.
This onus on recruiting that is. It
has clouded our thoughts ever
since. It is a lucrative business
A Daily Nebraskan story last
week outlined the case very well'
Internet sites that specialize in
tracking and securing informa
tion regarding thousands of high
school football players make
good money. They have more
resources than the old standby,
newspapers, and operate without
the cross of accuracy to bear;
indeed, the speculation is the
most fun part
In fact, die only reason these
Web sites exist at all is to consis
tently and categorically not know
the answers, which they then
report to the interested fan:
Where is Dick Smith going?
Well, we don’t know, but when we
talked to Dick Smith, here's what
Dick Smith said about his indeci
sion. And even though we’ve only
seen video of Dick Smith and
talked to Dick Smith a few times
and maybe his coach, here’s where
we think he’s going and how good
we think he is.
Ithink most fans, in places they
won't expose to their chat buddies,
understand how little most of this
means, too. Few of them are look
ing at this information with a belief
that it is nothing more than frivo
lous, at least until these players
actually sign some paper.
Like fantasy baseball, college
football recruiting season fills the
void left by an actual appreciation
for the game. Just as your neighbor
knows die point value for stolen
bases, he also knows when the offi
cial visit period for coaches starts
up again after the holidays. He may
not know, however, the foggiest
thing about the game itself
It is part of a growing media of
punditocracy, as our recently
shamed friend Jesse Jackson once
wrote. In politics, in music, in
stocks (the holy originator of this,
methinks), we are more interest
ed in what could be than what is.
We use information systems in an
attempt to bridge the gap.
We fixate on heights and
weights and what one Web site
calls a “force rating” rather than
And just as we have compli
cated politics to the point where
Capitol Hill is run like a chess mas
ter thinking three years ahead of
itself, football has been needlessly
complicated by innuendo.
Kevin Jones’ father reported,
on one of these Web sites, of
course, that high school
prospects were calling James
himself to determine where they
would go, according to where he
I'm not as critical of the hype
as much as I’m wary of it It's hard
to believe high school players,
coaches or parents, most of whom
are going through die process for
Please see RECRUITING on 9
Women's gymnasts shatter team record
■ Ingram wins the all-around,
Lamb returns from an injury and
Broce surprises as NU dominates.
FROM STAFF REPORTS
You can throw in any of a slew
of superlatives to describe the
Nebraska women gymnastics
team’s win over Missouri - domi
nating, amazing, special. One
adjective works best, though -
Ninth-ranked NU broke a
school record with 197.025
points while coasting to a victory
over the Tigers. The record score
easily bested the previous team
also is the
ed by any team m the country so
far this season.
“Today we showed the quali
ty of routines and the depth we
have," Coach Dan Kendig said.
"We wanted to make a statement
and we did.”
The Huskers didn’t make that
collective statement without
some sterling individual per
Freshman Alicia Ingram con
tinued her dominance in 2000,
winning the all-around title for
the third time in NU’s four com
petitions. Her 39.625 score was
the highest ever for an NU fresh
man as well as the third-highest
ever for a Husker gymnast
Even those lofty achieve
ments don’t surprise Kendig.
“When the lights come on,
she's always ready,’’ he said. “She
didn’t have a great warm-up, but
she came out and did an amaz
ing job today.”
Ingram was far from the only
Husker gymnast to turn heads.
Freshman Gina Bruce fin
ished second in the all-around
despite being a last-minute addi
tion to the competition because
of a Bree Dority O’Callaghan calf
injury suffered during warm
Bruce earned three top-three
finishes, including a second
place score of 9.90 on the vault,
which, because of the difficulty
of Bruce’s vault, was the highest
score she could receive.
Sophomore A.J. Lamb, in her
return from a back injury that
kept her on the sidelines for the
first part of the season, placed
second in the balance beam as
she tied a career-high with a 9.90.
While the NU stars shined
against Mizzou, nearly every
Husker had a hand in the record
*Today we showed the
quality of routines
and the depth we
Women’s gymnastics coach
team score. Needing to score a
49.05 on the balance beam in
their last rotation, the Huskers
got that and more, as all six gym
nasts competing in the event
scored a 9.8 or higher.
It left even Kendig searching
“For us to go above a 197 on
the road is impressive,” he said.
Huskers drop fifth straight
BY JOHN GASKINS
The bleeding continued for the
Nebraska women’s basketball team
Saturday night, and once again
there were no band-aids in sight.
Missouri became the fifth con
secutive team and the eighth team
in nine games to find the formula to
draw Big Red blood: Get Casey
Leonhardt in foul trouble, force an
NU panic attack with full-court
pressure and let the Huskers’
offense melt as the shot clock winds
The Tigers (13-5, 4-3) plugged
away with that formula all night to
beat NU 65-58.
Neither playing its first
unranked opponent in five games or
a season-high 6,432 Bob Devaney
Sports Center fans could stop NU’s
worst losing skid in six years and the
worst skid of Coach Paul
Sanderford’s 19-year Div. I career.
NU fell to 9-11 and into the Big 12
cellar at 1-6.
“I’m experiencing things this
year I’ve never experienced before,”
Sanderford said. “We’re a struggling
With Leonhardt - NU’s only
player who averages double figures
in scoring - on the bench with three
fouls, the Huskers failed to score a
field goal in the final eight minutes
of the first half.
During that stretch, Mizzou’s
Amanda Lassiter scored 10 of her
game-high 27 points dining a 20-6
MU run en route to a 40-27 halftime
The Huskers surged on a 10-2
run to start the second half. But 15
seconds after Amanda Went’s three
point play cut the Tiger lead to five,
Leonhardt picked up her fourth foul
and sat back down.
Mizzou smelled blood and never
“Not having Casey in there takes
away from our offense,” Went said.
“One thing we’ve really been search
ing for is consistency, and Casey is
the closest player we have to it.”
Mizzou rolled when they didn't
Please see TIGERS on 9
NU center Casey Leonhardt backs off of Missouri's Terianne Wolford, who goes up for a rebound
Saturday night Leonhardt got in foul trouble early with three fouls in the first half of NU's 6S-58 loss.
Husker swimmers sweep weekend duals
BY DOUGLAS SHEPPERD
The Devaney Center proved to be a
stronghold for the Nebraska swimming
and diving teams, as the NU women (7
3,4-0) and men (6-2,3-1) dealt confer
ence foes Kansas and Missouri losses.
Interim Coach Paul Nelsen was
pleased with both the men’s and
women’s overall performances in the
back-to-back duals on Friday and
“Overall, we did everything we need
ed to do, such as getting out of the blocks
hard, being consistent, and having confi
dence in ourselves,” said Nelsen.
On Saturday, which was Senior Day,
the Huskers hosted the Missouri Tigers
and sent them home with losses to the
women (130-112) and to the men (134
Hve seniors - Bern Karaica, Bert
Locklin, Peter Fry, Joe Burgard and
Charles Law - were honored before the
dual The ceremony meant something to
Karaica, who led the Huskers with two
event victories in the 50 and 100-yard
freestyle in her second-to-last home
"My time here at Nebraska will
always be remembered; I’m really going
to miss my teammates. The closeness of
our team is unbelievable.”
On Saturday, the NU women took
home eight of thirteen events.
Three freshmen Jackie Lobdell,
Carmen Cosgrove and Rebecca Wolfe,
aided the Huskers with first place finish
es in the 500-yard freestyle, 100-yard fly,
and 1000-yard freestyle, respectively.
Sophomore All-American Lindsey
Highstrom took part in the victory by
chipping in a 200-yard IM victory, while
fellow sophomore Keri
Hehn won the 100-yard
The NU men left
their mark on the Tigers
by defeating them 134
109 despite winning
only six of the 13 events.
The Huskers were
led by the trio of junior
Oliva took the men’s
Javier Botello took home
a win in the 200-yard
freestyle and Anthony
Rogis earned a victory in
the 100-yard fly.
On Friday, the
Husker women were
again led by senior All
American Karaica, as
she won both the 50
and 100-yard freestyle
en route to a 125-118
victory over Kansas.
The NU women set
the tone early by open
ing up the dual with a
NU senior Joe Burgard competes in the 1,000yard freestyie Saturday.
The NU men and women swept Mizzou and Kansas this weekend.
first-place finish in the
200-yard medley relay. During the day,
five different Husker women won an
individual event. Sophomore All
American Highstrom won the 200-yard
freestyle, while Lobdell, Wolfe, Kristen
Souppa and Barbara Auer each won
titles in 1000-yard freestyle, 200-yard
butterfly, 200-yard breaststroke and200
yard backstroke, respectively.
NU took only a 52-41 lead into inter
mission, and, after KU finished both first
and second in the 500-yard freestyle just
after intermission, an NU victory was
very much in question. The Huskers
secured the win with first-place finishes
in the 200-yard breakstroke, 200-yard
backstroke and 400-yard freestyle relay.
On the men’s side, NU won 10 of 13
events, paving its way to a 161-76 victory.
The Huskers were in total control
throughout the evening. Senior Charlie
Law and freshman Brent Menghini each
won a pair of events to lead NU. Law
contributed by capturing victories in
both the one- and three-meter spring
Menghini won the 500-yard freestyle
and 400-yard IM for the Huskers.
fall short at OU
■The Huskers battled back after Sooner guard J.R.
Raymond led his team to a45-29 halftime lead,but
NU couldn't quite overcome the first-half defidt
BY JOSHUA CAMENZINO
NORMAN, Okla. — Nebraska’s losing ways on
the road continued on Saturday in a 77-66 loss to
Oklahoma before 10,693 at the Lloyd Noble
The Huskers, who lost their 18th consecutive
game on the road, have prided themselves with
staying close on the road all season long with the
exception of Kansas, but looked as if they might
get blown out early.
Nebraska (9-10,2-4) and Oklahoma (15-4,4-3)
traded blows to start off the game, but the Sooners
blew the contest wide-open shortly after the
halfway mark of the first half.
A 14-0 run helped the Sooners gain a 42-20
lead with three minutes left before halftime.
“OU’s run in the first half was outstanding and
ultimately buried us,” NU Coach Barry Collier
"They (OU) gave such great effort and forced
us to scramble in order to even have a chance in
the second half.”
Two main factors contributed to NU’s first-half
demise: OU’s matchup zone and guard J.R.
Oklahoma Coach Kelvin Sampson switched
defenses about four minutes into the game - a
move that startled NU.
“They came out in a zone and kind of surprised
us,” said Belcher, who led NU with 20 points on
nine of 20 shooting. “We didn't penetrate enough
and just kind of stood out front.”
Oklahoma was forced to switch back to man
defense after Nebraska started attacking the back
of the zone, which OU Coach Kelvin Sampson said
was susceptible to the lob pass.
But the damage had been done - mostly by
Raymond, who was six of eight on 3-pointers in
the first half.
Raymond finished the half with 20 points, and
Nebraska was fortunate to only trail at half, 45-29.
“For the first time in a long time, I finally played
Please see OKLAHOMA on 9
All-star event serious
BY DAVID DIEHL
When Nebraska wrestlers Brad Vering and
Todd Beckerman compete at tonight’s NWCA All
Star Dual in Lancaster, Pa., the atmosphere won't
be the usual jovial one associated with most all
star festivities in other sports.
The dual, which pits the top wrestlers in each
weight class, is 100 percent business according to
NU's two participants. There’s no time for letting
loose as the All-Star matches aren't exhibitions.
“This is the real deal here," said Beckerman
who will take on Iowa’s No. 1-ranked Eric Juergens.
“The season's almost over, and I’m going against a
guy I won’t see again until nationals. It’s good for
me to see him and take a look at him.
“There’s no fim and games here.”
Beckerman is ranked fourth at 133 pounds and
has compiled a 16-2 record, losing only to
Minnesota's third-ranked Brett Lawerence. The
last time Beckerman and Juergens squared off,
Beckerman fell 6-1 at the 1999 National Duals.
Vering, the defending national champion at
197-pounds and No. 1 wrestler at that weight, will
face long-time nemesis Mark Munoz of Oklahoma
State. In Vering’s run to the national title last sea
son, Munoz had Vering's number, handing him all
three of his losses on his 38-3 record. The two did
not meet at nationals because Munoz fell in the
With Munoz having captured six of the nine
career meetings between the two, Vering is
focused on getting revenge and distancing himself
from his followers in the 197-pound weight class.
"It’s big because it's in the middle of the year,”
he said. "It’s going to affect our rankings. For me,
it’s a conference guy and that could affect confer
Bryan Snyder, ranked 2nd at 157 pounds, was
slated to wrestle in the meet but will not in order to
rest an injured shoulder.
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