Sponsored by:

Comment, blog & share photos

Log in | Become a member
The Honolulu Advertiser

Posted on: Friday, July 25, 2003

Players favor a two-tier or two-division league

By Stephen Tsai
Advertiser Staff Writer

2003 UH schedule

Aug. 30 —
Appalachian St.

Sept. 6 — Open
Sept. 13 — at USC
Sept. 19 — at UNLV
Sept. 27 — Rice

Oct. 4 — at Tulsa
Oct. 11— Fresno State
Oct. 18 — at La. Tech
Oct. 25 — Texas-El Paso

Nov. 1 — at San Jose State
Nov. 8 — Open
Nov. 15 — at Nevada
Nov. 22 — Army
Nov. 29 — Alabama

Dec. 6 — Boise State
BOISE, IDAHO — If the players ruled the Western Athletic Conference, they would split the 10-school league into two sides and stage a championship football game between the division winners.

The WAC, with members in four different time zones, already is a league divided. There are five teams in the Southwest, including four in the Central time zone. WAC commissioner Karl Benson favors a two-division league, although current NCAA rules require a minimum of six teams in each division to stage a football title game.

"Splitting up into East and West would be good for the conference," said quarterback Kyle Herm of Rice, which is located in Houston. "It's hard to build up rivalries when you're traveling 1,500 miles to play teams."

Linebacker Brian Bischoff of Southern Methodist in Dallas said: "It would be nice to see SMU in a regional conference because it's pretty tough for us to fly out to California or Hawai'i and get back that same weekend and go to school."

Boise State quarterback Ryan Dinwiddie, who favors a two-division format, offered another option involving the Mountain West Conference, which was formed by eight schools that seceded from the WAC in 1999.

"I think you should take the top teams in the WAC and the top teams in the Mountain West and put them in a conference," he said. "Then let the teams on the bottom join their own conference and work their way up."

• Changes at Fresno: Fresno State athletic director Scott Johnson yesterday announced that the school would no longer accept players who did not meet the NCAA academic requirements to play as freshmen.

While football coach Pat Hill voiced support of the decision, despite accepting up to seven non-qualifiers a year, the move appears to make Fresno State more attractive to the Mountain West Conference, which is exploring the possibility of expanding membership.

• Come on down: Proving he's a money player, Fresno State linebacker Marc Dailey won nearly $22,000 in prizes on "The Price is Right" game show three years ago.

Dailey attended the show with his mother after being ditched by his friends. "When I got back, they called and I told them how much I won," Dailey said. "They were, 'Oh, my gosh, what were we thinking?'"

Dailey said the show is filmed at CBS Studios in Hollywood. The participants, Dailey revealed, are "not really picked by random. You do a quick 15-second interview with the producer of the show."

Dailey said the audience was cheering so loudly he did not hear the announcement of "Marc Dailey ... come on down!"

"They show these big huge cue cards," Dailey recalled. "Sure enough, there was my name. I kind of jogged down, but I made a point I wasn't going to be one of those people who loses his mind just for the chance to win a fridge."

Dailey won the "Showcase Showdown," receiving two miniature boats, a computer and a trip to Disney World. Then reality bit.

"The taxes kill you," he said. "You have to pay a sales tax on everything you win and you have to claim it on your income tax. I was a freshman, and I never really claimed anything in my life. It was a shock to claim almost $22,000 on my income taxes."

He ended up selling both boats, using the money to pay his taxes and for souvenirs at Disney World.

• The Smart Guy: Quarterback Scott Rislov is one of 55 San Jose State upperclassmen with a 4.0 cumulative grade-point average.

"I've had a few close calls, but I've come out on top," said Rislov, a senior majoring in psychology.

Rislov's streak of perfect report cards dates to his sophomore year at Riggs High in Pierre, S.D. "I had a B-plus in health my ninth-grade year," he recalled.

• Sack and savor: Nevada defensive end Jorge Cordova knows it is not enough to lead the WAC in sacks.

Cordova, who was voted as the preseason Defensive Player of the Year after amassing nine sacks in 2002, is working on a new sack dance in which he motions his right hand as if he were rolling dice.

"I started doing it in spring practice," said Cordova, who used a chest-pounding celebration last year. "I'm trying to make it a little fancier. I'm trying to limit it because of the referees."

Cordova is one of the few Hispanic football players in the WAC. "I've never had anybody to look up to," said Cordova, who wants to become a role model.

• Gilligan survives: In consecutive games two years ago, Boise State punt returner Tim Gilligan was floored by a cover defender while the ball still was in the air.

That led to the so-called Gilligan Rule, which increased the penalty from 5 yards to 12. The rule has since been rescinded. "But it was kind of cool I got my own rule," said Gilligan, who still returns punts.

"It's still in the back of my mind," he said of the early hits, "but I can't let it sit there in my head while I'm returning punts."

Gilligan credited Boise State coach Dan Hawkins for helping him rebound.

Gilligan said he looks forward to playing against Fresno State's Kendall Edwards, whose early hit caused a concussion.

"Last year, I wanted to play against the guy who did it, but he was hurt," Gilligan said. "Hopefully, this year he'll be back and I can return punts and show him I'm back. I want him to know: 'You've got to do more than that to get rid of me.' "