CU News and Notes

CU senior V-back Lawrence Vickers is on the Doak Walker watch list. Also inside, news on CU's lucrative contract extension with Nike, Bruce Plasket's book and a CU-CSU ticket update.

Lawrence Vickers is one of 47 running backs on the 2005 Doak Walker Award watch list, the award given to the top running back each year. This makes it seven years in a row a CU running back has appeared on the watch list, and 10 of the past 13.

Rashaan Salaam won the award in 1994, the same season he won the Heisman Trophy. Chris Brown was the runner-up for the award in 2002.

"Lawrence is the emotion of our offense, said senior quarterback Joel Klatt. "In any situation or any stadium that I'm in, I would always want him on my side. And that's the best compliment I can give."

Semifinalists for the award will be selected on Nov. 17, and the finalists will be determined a day later. The winner will be announced by the Doak Walker Award National Selection Committee on Nov. 28.

Buffs ink new deal with Nike
Athletic director Mike Bohn announced CU's 10-year, $20-million contract extension with Nike at a press conference on Thursday. The deal takes effect July 1, 2006.

A press release from the CU athletic department said the deal is estimated to be valued among the top 25 such deals in the country among universities.

The deal will include both an influx of cash and athletic supplies for all 17 of CU's sports teams. Interim AD Jack Lengyel laid the groundwork for the contract, and Bohn — with a team of Tom McGrath and Chris May — led negotiations to finalize the deal. Bohn hinted that the school had drawn interest from other shoe/apparel companies recently, as well.

The contract comes in the wake of nearly two years of bad publicity for the university and its football program. According to CU men's basketball coach, Nike's investment shows they have faith in the future of Colorado athletics.

"For them to want to be a part of the University of Colorado speaks volumes," Patton said.

Bohn, who took over the department in April, said that Nike will also provide products at special pricing to CU club sports, intramural and marching band participants.

Chancellor Phil DiStefano praised Bohn when he addressed those gathered at the press conference.

"In five months, he has really turned around this athletic department," DiStefano said.

Disaster relief
There will be 25 volunteers from the American Red Cross at Saturday's CU-CSU game collecting money for disaster relief in the wake of Hurricane Katrina.

CU-CSU ticket update
As of 10:30 a.m. Thursday, just 400 tickets remain for Saturday's CU-Colorado State football game (1:30 p.m., TBS).

While some Denver-based sports radio talk show hosts spent considerable time Wednesday taking shots at CU for not selling the game out, or, in one yakker's case, accusing CU of sabotaging the CU-CSU series for reasons that he never made clear, there's a distinct possibility Saturday's attendance mark will eclipse last year's 54,954. That's because all 41 suites are sold, and only 300 seats remain in the club seat section. Both totals are better than last year's game.

If CU sells its final 400 tickets, the only thing that would keep it from beating last year's mark is if the number of media credentials and on-site workforce are down. (Those numbers are always included in the total, which accounts for why attendance figures sometimes eclipse stadium capacity). Call 303-49-BUFFS for tickets.

Plasket Book to be published in October
Bruce Plasket's book that looks back at the turmoil that surrounding the Colorado football team over the past two years, titled "Buffaloed: How Race, Gender and Media Bias Fueled a Season of Scandal," will be available in October, Plasket said Thursday.

The journalist-turned-author finished writing the book earlier this year after spending last fall behind the scenes with the Colorado team. Prior to last fall, Plasket covered the Denver courts for the Longmont Times-Call. He published a story in the Times-Call that detailed a PR firm's role in the so-called scandal that enveloped the university in 2003 and 2004.

Plasket's first publisher, Prentice-Hall, backed out of publishing the book earlier this year after reportedly receiving a lengthy letter of warning from Baine Kerr, lawyer for two women who sued the university for Title IX discrimination. Kerr is also the husband of CU regent Cindy Carlysle.

Plasket has always maintained the book passed two libel reads by editors.

On Thursday, Plasket said his wife, Julie McCabe, helped secure a deal with AuthorHouse, a self-publishing firm that helps authors publish their works. AuthorHouse allows writers more creative control, Plasket said.

Plasket wouldn't reveal the exact date the book will be published, but said he will send a press release the day before people can buy the book online at AuthorHouse.com. He said it will eventually be available in bookstores and via Amazon.com.


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