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Jim Daves | UVa
Receiver Miles Gooch (left) makes a catch while defended by cornerback Maurice Canady during UVa practice Thursday.
Friday, August 9, 2013
BLACKSBURG - Virginia Tech's football series with Wisconsin has been pushed back again, although the Hokies are in the process of lining up a "major conference opponent" as a replacement.
The Hokies and Badgers won't play their long-anticipated football series now until 2019 and 2020, according to Virginia Tech athletic director Jim Weaver.
The teams will play at Wisconsin, Sept. 14, 2019, and in Blacksburg on Sept. 12, 2020. Weaver said he has a signed addendum to the original contract confirming the change.
Weaver said the Hokies are in talks to replace the Badgers with a "major conference opponent" in 2016 and '17 but declined to say what team. He said an agreement is in place and that he thinks it will be finalized within the next week.
The news came not long after word got out that Wisconsin and LSU will play neutral site games to start the 2014 and ‘16 seasons, a pair of ESPN matchups that prompted the change to the Hokies game. Virginia Tech was scheduled to play Wisconsin at home in 2016 and on the road in 2017.
The series with Wisconsin has now twice been postponed. It was originally supposed to start in 2008, although the Badgers asked to move it back. Tech replaced Wisconsin's spot on the schedule with Nebraska.
The Hokies have openings for a BCS-level foe on the schedule in '17 and '18, although the unnamed major conference opponent should fill slots in 2016 and '17 and Notre Dame will pop onto the schedule again once between 2017-19.
UVa practice report
CHARLOTTESVILLE - Virginia coach Mike London said two players who switched positions after the conclusion of the 2012 season - Trent Corney and Rob Burns - are off to great starts in fall camp.
After a year at linebacker, Corney, a sophomore, is now at defensive end, running second-team opposite Mike Moore. A high-energy renowned former Canadian track and field athlete has turned plenty of heads.
The 6-foot-3, 250-pounder's camp highlight was an interception return for a touchdown on Wednesday.
"He's picked up everything from terminology to concepts," London said of Corney. "And you saw where he took an interception and took it to the house. He understands how to play the defensive end position. He's improving."
Burns is a former defensive end who is now listed as No. 3 at tight end behind Jake McGee and Zach Swanson.
The 6-7 redshirt sophomore made consecutive tough catches on Monday, prompting London to announce, "It's Rob Burns Day!"
"It makes me feel great," Burns said of London's appreciation. "It makes me feel like the offseason's really paid off. It's great so far."
Also on Thursday at UVa:
NCAA to stop jersey sales on website
Less than a week after ESPN basketball analyst Jay Bilas launched a series of Twitter posts that depicted the football and basketball jerseys of specific college athletes being sold through the NCAA Shop website, NCAA President Mark Emmert said the sales would end.
"There's no compelling reason the NCAA should essentially be reselling paraphernalia from institutions," Emmert said on a conference call Thursday. "I can't speak to why we entered into that enterprise, but it's not appropriate for us, and we're going to exit it immediately."
The NCAA is defending itself in a lawsuit filed on behalf of former athletes who are asking for compensation for the use of their likenesses on NCAA-approved merchandise, like video games and, yes, jerseys. The NCAA has claimed in the lawsuit that images of the players on the video games and jersey numbers aren't specific to individual athletes.
Manziel family hires attorney
Johnny Manziel's family has hired an El Paso, Texas, attorney with experience in NCAA matters as the Heisman Trophy winner reportedly faces an investigation into whether he was paid to sign autographs.
The Manziel family said in a statement Thursday that Jim Darnell would be representing the Texas A&M quarterback.
ESPN has reported that Manziel is being examined for allegedly signing autographs for money before last January's BCS title game between Alabama and Notre Dame. Such a deal would compromise Manziel's status as an amateur.
Autopsy reveals former QB died of pneumonia
A former college football star who disappeared in the Michigan wilderness during a fishing trip died of pneumonia caused by inhaling his vomit, after he became disoriented possibly because of a painkiller combined with having a degenerative brain disease, according to a report released Thursday.
The updated autopsy said 30-year-old Cullen Finnerty's anxiety and paranoia in the woods the night of May 26 may have been exacerbated by an elevated level of oxycodone along with chronic traumatic encephalopathy, the brain disease that has been found in a number of ex-football players.
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