Woolard: New USF soccer stadium OK'd for '11
Few more nuggets and links to share this morning, and we'll start with notes from Monday's final "Around the Horns" dinner at Tampa Palms. USF athletic director Doug Woolard, who has been talking recently about adding a new $3.5-million soccer stadium to the ambitious package of facility upgrades, said Monday that he can now officially announce that USF has secured the funding to include soccer in this wave of construction.
That means USF soccer will have a new home immediately east of the athletic facility in time for its 2011 fall season. Woolard is saying that all the construction -- new stadiums for baseball and softball, the Muma Center practice facility for basketball and new practice fields for football -- will be completed by a year from now.
-- In talking about the "Iron Bulls" -- USF's top tier of supporters who donate at least $10,000 a year to the athletic department -- Woolard proudly introduced the newest member of the group: football coach Skip Holtz. Holtz said his wife Jennifer deserves to have her name on the list.
-- Twice in the past week, I've heard Holtz run through his starting offensive line, and it's been the same: Sampson Genus at center, Chaz Hine and Jeremiah Warren at guards and Jamar Bass and Jake Sims at tackle. That means Mark Popek is on the outside looking in going into fall camp. Holtz points out that all five are at least 300 pounds -- Bass is listed on USF's site as 290, but Holtz had him at 305, jokingly calling him the "runt of the litter."
-- Another common thread as Holtz has talked about his team this fall: concerns about the young secondary. He pointed out Monday that when defensive linemen miss a tackle, it's 2nd-and-5; when linebackers miss a tackle, it's 1st-and-10; but when defensive backs miss a tackle, it's 7-0. ... Holtz talked about a continuing battle at kicker between Eric Schwartz and Maikon Bonani -- there's considerably more confidence there than at punt, where Holtz joked about having "tryouts" -- sophomore Justin Brockhaus-Kann and true freshman Chris Veron will compete in August for that job.
-- Interesting development in basketball recruiting over the weekend as another senior transfer, Memphis guard Roburt Sallie, signed with Louisville. Stan Heath would have had him for USF two weeks ago, but Sallie wasn't accepted into grad school at USF -- my understanding is that the academic committee that reviews incoming athletes was not involved in that decision. Sallie hasn't been accepted into Louisville yet, but if he is, it'll be twice in a year (following football's Kamran Joyer) that the Cardinals have taken a recruit USF wouldn't. That looks good for USF's academic standing, but doesn't help the Bulls from a recruiting standpoint.
-- USF baseball signee James Ramsay, a Brandon grad still deciding between the Bulls and the Yankees, won the prestigious Saladino Award, given to the top senior baseball player in Hillsborough County. Ramsay started summer classes at USF on Monday, and while that doesn't lock him in to playing for the Bulls, it's a good development for coach Lelo Prado. Another signee, Kyle Waldrop (a 12th-round pick of the Reds), is not attending summer classes, but again, hasn't made a decision between college and the pros.
-- Onto the links: ESPN.com's Jamie Newberg writes about the talent on hand for the "SuperBull" recruiting event at Raymond James Stadium on Saturday night. ... The folks at Every Day Should Be Saturday aren't impressed by the design of USF's "Beat Florida" T-shirt. ... The Bradenton Herald's Alan Dell writes about Dominique Jones' fit with the Mavericks, and talked to Woolard in Lakewood Ranch on Friday.