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Running On Empty
Ivan Maisel
September 29, 1997
Florida State's passing is high-octane, but its ground attack needs refueling, Penn State pays poll tax, Internet espionage
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September 29, 1997

Running On Empty

Florida State's passing is high-octane, but its ground attack needs refueling, Penn State pays poll tax, Internet espionage

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From his vantage point some 10 yards away, Dartmouth placekicker Dave Regula felt a growing sense of dread as he watched Penn return man Brandon Carson burst through a seam at the Quakers' 25. "It started to dawn on me that I might have to make the tackle," says Regula. "Unfortunately, I was kind of standing still, and this guy had a full head of steam. All I could think was, This is a major pain in the rear end. It's the last thing I need right now."

As Regula rather reluctantly approached Carson, he saw teammate Dan Liebsch fly into Carson from the side, jarring the ball loose. Regula scooped it up on one bounce at Penn's 32 and ran into the end zone. NCAA officials believe it is the first time a kicker has scored a touchdown on a kickoff play. For Regula, it was the first touchdown of his life. While growing up in Akron, he had played soccer and basketball. Not until his junior year at Walsh Jesuit High did he join the football team, and then only as a kicker. "I was never prepared for scoring a touchdown," he says.

He also wasn't prepared to be on the field for such a long stretch either. Just before scoring the touchdown, Regula had kicked a 23-yard field goal. After scoring the touchdown, he stayed on the field to kick the extra point and then to kick the ball off again. "What I want to know is how guys play a whole game," says Regula, who accounted for 17 points in the Big Green's season-opening 23-15 victory. "I was dead, and so were the other guys."

Bugged by a Bug

ABC Sports came up with a nice gimmick for its Florida State-Southern Cal telecast on Sept. 6. It received permission from Seminoles coach Bobby Bowden to tap into the line between offensive coordinator Mark Richt in the coaches' box and quarterback Thad Busby on the sideline. The network recorded the conversations and then aired sound bites later in the game. The ground rules: Bowden ruled out discussions of strategy, and all other dialogue had to be vetted by Florida State sports information director Rob Wilson before being used.

By tapping into the line, ABC attempted to skirt a rule that stipulates, "No coach, player or assistant can be wired to communicate with the media during the game." The NCAA was neither impressed nor amused by the network's ingenuity and banned the ABC gimmick after the one game. At a time when college football is redoubling its efforts to promote itself, the NCAA's decision was shortsighted.

Extra Points
Before Stanford's 27-24 win at Oregon State, the Cardinal had lost four times in Corvallis since 1977. No other Pac-10 school had lost there more than twice in that time.... The Collegiate Commissioners Association, which meets in Chicago this week, is likely to endorse a $2,000 cap on employment earnings by a student-athlete during the academic year.

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