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Doughty College Notebook: Ivy League's fall sports decision directly affects VMI

Doughty College Notebook: Ivy League's fall sports decision directly affects VMI

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VMI football coach Scott Wachenheim during the 2018 season.

VMI football coach Scott Wachenheim was hoping for some answers earlier this week when he spoke to Princeton coach Bob Surace about their scheduled meeting Sept. 19, in Lexington.

“I said, if he knew, could he give me a heads-up,” Wachenheim said Wednesday afternoon, before the decision was officially announced, “and he said, ‘Scott, I don’t know anything.’ He’s just waiting for the presidents to tell him. If he doesn’t know, I’m certainly not going to know.”

The news came down early Wednesday evening, when the Ivy League announced that it was canceling all fall sports. The Ivy presidents had been scheduled to meet and discuss alternative plans, including a move of the fall schedule to the spring.

Without the Princeton game, VMI currently has just 10 games on its schedule, including four home games — with the first set for Oct. 3 against Furman. The Keydets are scheduled to open the season on Sept. 5 at Robert Morris. They visit Virginia on Sept. 12.

“For me, nothing has changed,” Wachenheim said after hearing of the Ivy League’s decision. “I’m just taking things one day at a time. I’m dealing with things that I’ve got to do for our football team to report Aug. 6.

“It’s requiring a lot of brainpower, We’re reinventing everything we’re doing.”

Clearly, the coronavirus is being taken seriously in the VMI athletic department.

“Our meetings are changing — the way we meet, the way we shower, the way we tape,” Wachenheim said. “Everything is being revamped to create more space.”

Along the way, he recently welcomed a grandson, Oliver Scott Wachenheim.

VMI athletic director Dave Diles was quoted in a release issued Wednesday night that “[the athletic department is] considering all scheduling options for the Sept. 19 date as the landscape continues to shift.”

What does Waschenheim expect?

“I like to be positive,” said Wachenheim, who made a comparison to Winnie-the-Pooh. “I have no idea whether there’s going to be a season or not but I like to be positive.

“I’d like to be a Tigger and say, ‘Hey, we’re going to have a football season,’ rather than be an Eeyore and go, ‘Oh, no, woe is me.’ ”

“If you ask me factually, I don’t know whether we’re going to play football or not, If you ask me, through my emotional viewpoint, I think we will.”

Recruiting

  • Virginia is tied for 10th and Virginia Tech is 12th among ACC teams in the most recent Rivals.com football rankings of the 2021 class. UVa’s class is rated 38th nationally and Tech’s is 51st.
  • North Carolina football coach Mack Brown, who enjoyed recruiting success in an earlier stint with the Tar Heels, has a commitment from Tony Grimes, a cornerback from Princess Anne in Virginia Beach who is rated the No. 1 prospect in the state by rivals.com.
  • LSU has an oral commitment from Ocean Lakes outside linebacker Naquan Brown, rated No. 5 on the list, and the 19th-rated prospect on the list, cornerback Nate Evans from Cox High in Virginia Beach, has committed to North Carolina State.
  • East Carolina has taken a commitment from Jacob Coleman, a wide receiver from Matoaca High School whose older brother, Jonathan, was one of two Matoaca players who signed with ECU this year.

Staffing

Former UVa men’s basketball and Roanoke Dazzle player Jamal Robinson has joined the coaching staff at LaSalle after spending the last two seasons as an assistant at Hampton. Robinson played on UVa’s Final Eight team in 1995 and later in the NBA for the Miami Heat.

Local angle

Former Salem High School and Richmond football standout Stephen Barnette has accepted a position in offensive quality control at Towson. He previously worked at Fork Union Military Academy for five years.

UVa lore

The death of Southern rock and country music star Charlie Daniels brought back memories for UVa basketball fans who were at John Paul Jones Arena on April 6, 2019, when attendees at his concert were made aware of Virginia’s 63-62 overtime victory over Auburn in the NCAA Tournament semifinals.

From the ODAC

According to an email sent to Emory & Henry students by school president Dr. John Wells, the ODAC program is contemplating a change in its nickname, the Wasps, because of its similarity to the WASP acronym for “White Anglo-Saxon Protestant.”

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Doug Doughty is in his 44th year at the Roanoke Times, having produced an estimated 10,000 by-lines, a majority of them on University of Virginia athletics.

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