Spartan roundup

Michigan State football coach John L. Smith will take a group of 25 Spartan fans to Africa to climb Mt. Killamanjaro July 9-20.

(DETROIT) - A weekly roundup of Spartan news:

Smith to climb mountain with Spartan fans
Michigan State football coach John L. Smith will take a group of 25 Spartan fans to Africa to climb Mt. Killamanjaro July 9-20. For $5,700 per person a few select MSU fans will accompany the coach and his family on the trek and will no doubt have opportunities to pick the adventurous head man's brain on everything involving the Green and White football program.

Spartans hit the books for summer school
Nearly two dozen Spartan football player will be hitting the books this summer in a bid to stay eligible for this fall's football season. According to a source close to the team, MSU has "around 22 players" enrolled in classes this summer who need to pass them in order to keep their eligibility. Due to NCAA regulations and student privacy laws, no names are being released of the players who are hitting books instead of beaches this summer.

Neitzel making a splash in summer workouts
Incoming freshman point guard Drew Neitzel is giving everyone who has gotten a look at his summer workouts something to smile about. Neitzel appears to be the real deal to all observers and a cinch to start when the Spartan basketball program opens its season this fall.

MSU-Notre Dame clash to be under the lights
In a bid to avoid conflicting with the Ryder Cup coverage, Michigan State has elected to move their third game of the 2004 season, a September 18th matchup with the Fighting Irish of Notre Dame to the evening. The event will be only the fifth night game ever at 81-year old Spartan Stadium.

"The MSU-Notre Dame night game is the perfect way to kickoff MSU's sesquicentennial celebration," Michigan State Athletics Director Ron Mason said. "Earlier that day, a statue will be dedicated in honor of former MSU President John Hannah."

The Spartans will open their football season on September 4th against the Scarlet Knights of Rutgers.

National publications say dismal year on tap for Spartan football

Several national publications are predicting a dismal outcome for Spartan football this fall on the heels of an outstanding freshman season for head coach John L. Smith. The Spartans are tabbed for no better than 7th in the Big Ten by Street and Smith's and the Sporting News, while Athlon's, Lindy's and Phil Steele's publications all say the Spartans will be 8th of 11 teams in the Big Ten. Spartans Insider will release its Big Ten preview next week.

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