Georgetown Football: 1998-99 Off-Season News Archive
(Note: External links may not be active.)
Washington Post '99 Preview: Thanks For Nothing...
Sep. 5--After last year's lack of coverage in its annual football preview, one could only hope the Washington Post would have given the 1997 MAAC champions a better view the following year. Well, guess again. No features, not even a schedule. Instead, a paragraph under "Local Colleges", along Catholic, Bowie State, and Montgomery-Rockville. And this week's game was not even listed in Saturday's "College Football Gameday" column! A complete lack of initiative on the part of the Washington Post sports staff for the coverage of a Division I football program.
USA Today On GU's Football-Basketball Connection
August 25--In case you missed it, the August 20 USA Today's "College Football" section carried an article about junior wide receiver Gharun Hester and freshman punter Trenton Hillier, each of whom have been selected to walk on to the Hoyas' basketball team this fall.
There is no online link to the story, but we wanted to pass along this quote from the story, which should be required reading for next year's recruits:
"Hoyas basketball coach Craig Esherick said football coach Bob Benson's ability to recruit top-notch athletes has led to an interest in the availability of two-sport players. 'The level of player they've been getting lately is so good, it gives us a chance to look at kids who've excelled in high school in both sports,' Esherick said. 'You can just walk around the campus and see how big some of these kids are.'"
MAAC Media Day
August 20--The latest issue of Street & Smith's football annual picks Georgetown third in the MAAC behind Fairfield and Duquesne. The Sporting News picks Georgetown second to Fairfield. The MAAC coaches think otherwise, though.
The Hoyas were chosen as the preseason pick to win the 1999 MAAC race, according to links from the official MAAC site and GUHoyas.com. In addition, senior QB J.J. Mont was selected as Pre-Season Offensive Player of the Year.
The poll results are listed below, voted on a 8 votes first, 7 votes second, etc. basis. Fairfield received no votes as it is ineligible for the league title due to financial aid violations discovered in 1997.
Here are a pair of articles from MAAC media day from the Newark Star Ledger and the Bergen Record. The Record article notes, somewhat ironically, that Georgetown has more talent from Bergen County than does St. Peter's.
Onward And Upward
Aug. 1--Approaching its season opener, it's a busy summer for the Hoyas. Expectations continue to grow for a program which is only beginning to reach its potential as a program capable and prepared to compete with its academic and athletic peers.
In this sense, non-scholarship football is a good fit at Georgetown. The program must not only balance competitive concerns, but the recruitment of capable and motivated students who can affirm the positive benefits of intercollegiate football at the nation's oldest Catholic university.
But what about the MAAC? Here are a few thoughts on the matter from the football message board:
"As an alumnus who went through GU in the 50s without football, I would like to compliment everyone involved with restoring the program and bringing it to its present level of achievement. I believe we are at a crossroad now as to the future of this program.
We have clearly outgrown the MAAC and have every reason to aspire to bigger things. The obvious choice is the limited or non-scholarship Patriot League, especially since when not playing each other they are playing the Ivy League schools. Since these are the caliber institutions we compete with for students its a logical extension to compete with them on the football field.
Having said that, it is naive to think we can accomplish this while playing in the miserable facility we have now. A new, on-campus, multi-purpose stadium is essential.I couldn't agree more with the person who wrote that alumni would come out of the woodwork if we had a decent facility and a worthy opponent. How we accomplish this remains to be seen.(I wonder if Fr. O'Donovan ever reads this board).
I for one have and will continue to earmark my donations to football and attend as many games as possible and encourage others to do the same. I also believe that unless we improve this situation soon we run the risk of losing our very talented coach and having to start all over. See you in Worcester on Sept. 11th." --59 Hoya
Two Football Players Walk On To Hoya Hoops
July 22--The pre-season basketball prospectus, normally seen in November just prior to the beginning of the season, is now posted at GUHoyas.com. Among the important items of note is that a pair of GU football players will join the team at the conclusion of football season. 6-4 WR Gharun Hester returns as a shooting guard for his second season, while 5-10 Trent Hillier joins the football team as a place kicker and will join the basketball team as a point guard. Hillier, an all-state honoree in both sports, has already been playing in the Kenner League this summer with the other freshmen.
Charter Bus Heading to Worcester
July 21--Planning to catch the opener versus Holy Cross this September? Be sure to check out this item from the message board concerning a charter bus from Washington to Worcester for the season opener. The bus will depart from Georgetown at midnight on Saturday morning the 11th and return to Georgetown late Saturday night.
The projected cost of $47.50 (round trip) is a great price! Traveling to Worcester and back on Greyhound would cost $99, up to $150 on Amtrak, and nearly $300 on the airlines. If you're in the Washington area and would like a ride to see the big game, check it out.
WGTB Confirms Radio Broadcasts
July 19--WGTB has confirmed they will be carrying Georgetown football broadcasts this fall at 92.3 FM, although the signal is largely inaudible off campus. However, according to a WGTB official, "We hope to have RealAudio (Internet broadcasts) running by this fall, however that depends on if we get a new computer to be able to run the RealAudio programs...If we carry the football games on the FM broadcast, then it will be carried on the webcast signal."
Corcoran Still An All-American
June 30--A recent letter from the Gridiron Club correctly pointed out the absence from our All-America list of Jim Corcoran (B'82), selected to All-America teams in 1980 and 1981. So why wasn't he listed?
Well, our source on All-Americans was the "NCAA Official Football Records Book", which does not have Corcoran listed. He's back on our list, and if and when other additions come to light, we'll let you know.
Corcoran had many big games for the Hoyas from 1978 to 1981, none bigger than a 17-7 win over Duquesne in 1981. According to the HOYA, the defensive back/place kicker was named ECAC Player of the Week for 14 tackles (eight unassisted), a 42 yard punt return, an interception, a field goal and two PAT's in the win. Corcoran shares the record for interceptions in a single game, 4, with Tom Hardiman (1948-50) and owns the career record with 23.
Ivy Schedules: No MAAC Schools Listed
Jun. 16--The Ivy League has posted its future schedules for the next three years, and other than a single open date in October 2001, the Ancient Eight's schedules are booked solid for the next three years and well beyond. Some interesting matchups were announced:
No MAAC schools are included within these schedules.
Georgetown Announces 1998 Recruits
Jun. 8--Georgetown's list of 1999 football recruits has the markings of a major recruiting class for the Division I-AA Hoyas, who return 16 starters from last season's 9-2 season.
The list, released by the Football Office, announced 26 freshmen recruits from 12 states, plus a pair of ACC transfers arriving from Virginia and North Carolina.
More than a few of these players come to Georgetown with some significant high school credentials:
From various web articles, Coach Benson and the staff scored big across the board, signing 13 linemen and the first recruit from DeMatha HS in many years.
The Hoyas will also welcome a pair of transfers, as it was announced that 6-4 WR Glennard Johnson (from Virginia) and 6-3 linebacker Joe O'Connell (from North Carolina) will each have two years of eligibility with the Hoyas.
Here's the freshmen list. Welcome Hoyas!
Thanks again to the Football Office for their assistance with the list.
St. John's Drops From MAAC
May 1-In the first round of what could be a major realignment in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference, St. John's University has given the equivalent of a 30 day notice to withdraw from the conference, effective June 1, 1999. Here is the link to the MAAC press release.
St. John's will, at first, pursue a financial aid system similar to what Ivy and Patriot league schools offer. These schools exercise the discretion within a need-based scholarship to offer more of a grant and less of a loan (or work study) component to a prospective player--the MAAC expressly forbids this and has put three of its teams on probation in the last three years (St. John's included) for doing so. As a result, MAAC teams are at an extreme disadvantage recruiting talent at the I-AA nonscholarship level.
"St. Johnís has been a valuable founding member of the MAAC Football League since its inception in 1993, consistently finishing in the top half of the league standings," said MAAC Commissioner Rich Ensor in the release. "The league membership spent over two years studying and debating the merits of SJUís request that football financial aid grants be acceptable in the league. Ultimately, the league membership thought it best to maintain its current non-scholarship format because of cost containment, recruiting and Title IX concerns."
What's also at issue here is the MAAC's balance of power. Teams like Georgetown and Duquesne would welcome the same financial aid opportunities as Ivy and Patriot schools (and thus better compete with them), but the MAAC keeps these restrictive rules in place, in some part, to prop up some MAAC teams which cannot afford to compete without these restrictions in place.It is not clear how this affects MAAC scheduling, other than St. John's no longer counts in league standings. The press release said that "many" MAAC schools would play St. John's this fall, suggesting that some schools might consider dropping St. John's, or vice versa. (Already, the LaSalle web site lists its Oct. 30 game with the Red Storm as "tentative".) With most team schedules set, it's unlikely that any games would be affected in 1999, unless one of the lower-level MAAC teams adds a Division III school to its schedule instead. Here's a follow-up article from Newsday, sugesting that St. John's may eventually end up in the Northeast Conference.
Second Scholarship Gift Received
Feb. 24--In the second major gift for football this spring, the son of former Hoya FB Bob Nolan (C'38) has endowed an athletic scholarship in his father's name, according to the "Hoya Saxa" newsletter published by Hoyas Unlimited.
Robert Nolan, Jr. (B'74) has established the Robert B. Nolan Endowed Scholarship to provide need-based football assistance to a Georgetown student athlete.
The elder Nolan was a tailback and backup quarterback for the Hoyas from 1935 throught the 1937 seasons. His senior year was cut short in a freak accident, suffering a broken leg in a mid-week scrimmage between the Hoyas and the NFL's Washington Redskins. (Above photo courtesy Hoya Saxa newsletter.)
The Nolan scholarship is designed for football aid consistent with aid granted in the Ivy and Patriot Leagues; however, because of the MAAC's restrictive rules on financial aid, the award can only be given to a two-sport letterman that plays football, and then only to the other sport he is playing (even if that sport is not among MAAC schools). This, at a distance, makes no sense whatsoever.
Readers Discuss Scholarship Gift
Feb. 17--The issue of the Hoya Saxa discussing the Nolan Endowed Scholarship (previously discussed on this page) pointed out that "At any time in the future when the University is permitted to award football related scholarships, the scholarship will be awarded to a student athlete for participation in football." The Nolan scholarship is designed for football aid consistent with aid granted in the Ivy and Patriot Leagues; however, because of the MAAC's restrictive rules on financial aid, the award can only be given to a two-sport letterman that plays football, and then only to the other sport he is playing (even if that sport is not among MAAC schools). This, at a distance, makes no sense whatsoever.
"I have a few suggestions that may increase the number of students who attend games...
Attendance at this past homecoming was extremely low with regard to alumni. This is definitely because of the much publicized tailgate restrictions. In order to build student support of the program you need to incorporate all of the aspects of the college experience that would regularly be associated with a Division I program. That includes the open approval by the University of pre-game tailgate activities. The game then becomes a social function which students look forward to.From that the students will develop pride in the team and respect for its players. Right now the majority of the students who attend games, go out of obligation to friends who are on the team, rather than in support of the team and the program... Tailgating is more than just drinking. Barbequing and general congregation before the game give the students a social atmosphere. This way they have more to do on Saturday than sit around their dorms and watch TV."
Scholarship Gift Created At Georgetown
Feb. 13--From Hoyas Unlimited's Hoya Saxa January 1999 newsletter:
'John (C'72), Paul (B'76) and Dwight Kuhns (C'73) have joined together to establish the Kuhns Family Football Endowment Fund... The [fund} will create a permanent endowment to support the football recruiting program. The generous support of the Kuhns brothers will ensure that Georgetown Football will continue to attract the most elite student-athletes in the future, and enhance Georgetown University's 126 year tradition of academic and athletic excellence...'
Coach Bob Benson commented on the announcement in the newsletter as follows:
'Recruiting is the fundamental basis for all successful football programs. Establishing a recruiting budget which will allow the Georgetown Football program to successfully recruit against the Ivy League and the Patriot League has been one of our primaty goals since I was hired in 1993. The Kuhns' gift will allow us to continue to expand our recruiting activities and help us effectively recruit student-athletes from all across the country.'
Football Alumnus Joins Pro Wrestling Ranks
Feb. 10--Many Georgetown football fans are familiar with Murray Happer (B'95), a four year letterman and team captain of the 1994 Hoyas. Contrary to teammates who pursued law school or investment banking after graduation, Happer had other dreams--namely, of being a professional wrestler. Well, Happer and his alter ego Otto Schwanz recently took home the heavyweight title of Southern Championship Wrestling, a regional promotion in North Carolina.
No Signings Announced
Feb. 3--Georgetown did not announce any signings for the national signing day on February 3, in large part because Georgetown does not participate in the National Letter of Intent program. The Hoyas are still vying for a number of top prospects who will not decide until offers of admission and financial aid issues are received in April from Georgetown and other I-AA schools.
The Bergen County record listed a half dozen New Jersey seniors which listed Georgetown on their commitment lists. The Washington Post, which failed to cover Georgetown for most of last season, also failed to list any verbal commitments for the Hoyas.
Hoyas' Recent Record Outstanding
Jan. 31--Even though the Hoyas have lost their season finale three straight years, its combined record over the past four years is impressive. In fact, there are only five Eastern I-AA schools with 30 or more wins over the past four seasons; Delaware (37), Duquesne (34), Hofstra (32), William & Mary (31), and Georgetown (30). Right behind the Hoyas on this list include schools like Villanova, Connecticut, Dartmouth, and Bucknell.
And obviously, while no one is equating A-10 or Ivy competition to that of the MAAC, it nonetheless suggests a continued standard of excellence for Georgetown Football over the past four years.
And here's a statistic that may not have an equal in college football history--has a Division I coach ever guided his team to a better record in six consecutive seasons? Well, Bob Benson has, from 4 wins in '93, 5 in '94, 6 in '95, 7 in '96, 8 in '97, to 9 in '98.
Lafayette Remains In Patriot League
Jan. 31--Lafayette College trustees ended three months of speculation January 16 by reaffirming its Division I-AA football program and its place in the Patriot League. here's the copy of the press release announcing the decision.
Georgetown Players Named To All_America List
Jan. 5-- Eight Georgetown players were selected to the I-AA All-America team for Don Hansen's Football Gazette, a publication which covers divisions below I-A. Here is the link to the press release.
Senior Anthony Bartolomeo was named to the All-ECAC second team, one of only two MAAC players honored among all Eastern I-AA conferences. And congratulations to Bob Benson on being named 1998 MAAC Coach of the Year, along with Fairfield's Kevin Kiesel. Benson's second consecutive award highlights the list of 1998 all-conference selections announced by the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference.
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