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The Dig: 4.20.10

Dwayne Polee officially visited UTEP last week.  Can Tim Floyd land the L.A. star over  St. Johns and Georgia?
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Dwayne Polee officially visited UTEP last week. Can Tim Floyd land the L.A. star over St. Johns and Georgia? via

The Battle for Los AngelesTim Floyd is still chasing L.A. City Player of the Year Dwayne Polee, Jr., but he has some competition from former UCLA coach Steve Lavin.  In The Dig.


Big Lights Will inspire You: Former UCLA coach Steve Lavin is rolling out the red carpet for Dwayne Polee, Jr.  Central Park and the Garden don't have anything on Rafa's Burrito's and Memorial Park, right?

Because the Red Storm joined the recruiting process late after the hiring of Lavin, the former UCLA coach, the source said Polee's parents, Yolanda and Dwayne Polee Sr., want to make sure their son is not simply experiencing infatuation with the Big Apple. Polee was given a tour of the Garden, had lunch in Central Park and dined at a Harlem restaurant. Having starred at Westchester High in L.A., Polee is a city kid who immediately felt comfortable in the environment.

Official Visit:  Polee has not ruled out UTEP yet.  In fact, we finally have confirmation that he visited with the Miners last weekend.  It is kind of odd that we have to get confirmation for these sort of things from the L.A. Times.

The intrigue grows in the recruiting of Dwayne Polee Jr. of Westchester, the City Section player of the year. He took a visit to St. John's this past weekend. St. John's is coached by former UCLA Coach Steve Lavin. Polee took a trip to UTEP earlier, which is coached by former USC Coach Tim Floyd. Where's USC and UCLA in the equation?

Culpepperesque:  Polee Can Fly.  Watch This.

A Steep Price:  This is something that deserves it's own post soon, UTEP students are voting this week on a tuition fee increase that will supplement the athletic department and generate $12 million dollars for coaches pay and team travel.  Tuition at UTEP has risen astronomically since the legislature ok'd the deregulation of college tuition. I think it's a bit much to force students to pay an additional $360 in fees to give Mike Price or Tim Floyd more money.  I know, we need to pay more to get the best coaches (or keep them), but there are better ways to raise this money.  Bob Stull and Diana Natalicio need to hit up the Alumni and local leaders for pledged donations.  That, and they need to re-examine the way existing funds are spent.  $360 is a lot of money for any student, at any level.  Anyway, expect more commentary on this issue to come your way.

Students will vote Wednesday and Thursday on an athletic fee that could increase tuition up to $240 a year beginning in fall 2011. The changes could increase tuition up to $360 annually by fall 2013. The fee would go toward a fund for coaches' salaries and team travel. With the new fee, the athletics department could receive $5 million from students in 2011 and $7 million in 2013.

Not Your Ordinary Position Switch:  Hunter Nix was a star quarterback in high school, now he's working hard to become the best linebacker he can be.  Nice work from the guys at MI.

Nix’s change occurred due to his position switch. Prior to his arrival at UTEP, the freshman linebacker had played quarterback at Prosper High School in Prosper, Texas. He threw for more than 1,800 yards in his senior season, while also recording 22 touchdowns. Despite having those successful numbers, which followed a more than 2,100 yard, 18 touchdown season, Nix said he had to work hard individually to get into linebacker shape.

Good Genes:  5 Time Super Bowl Champ Charles Haley's son (Charles, Jr.) will play football for UTEP.  It'd be nice if he was a hybrid OLB/DE with Haley's speed and strength, but I'll take another DB too.


Central Florida

A Tough Loss: The Knights have lost their most productive running back, Brynn Harvey, for the rest of spring and for the start of the 2010 season.   Freshman Brendan Kelly is now atop the depth chart.

Central Florida running back Brynn Harvey could miss the beginning of the 2010 season because of a knee problem he suffered during spring football.

A Starter Named:  UCF's Rob Calabrese will enter fall practice as the #1 quarterback.  He looked good at the spring game.  He held off freshman Jeffrey Godfrey.

Calabrese completed 11 of 17 passes for 126 yards and a touchdown and had 90 rushing yards, including a 66-yard run for another score. He made decisions on the field that he hadn’t in the past two years as a part-time starter and played like he was in total command of the offense.

Pitino, really?  Louisville coach Rick Pitino thinks the Big East needs to begin lining up potential conference expansion candidates.  And, he thinks UCF should be their #1 draft pick.

"We have to be pro-active and make sure we have three teams. It happened once before and the BIG EAST and they immediately had Louisville, South Florida (and Cincinnati). Right now we've got to be ready for Central Florida and to get two other programs into this equation."

George O'Leary thinks the Knights might find themselves in the ACC.

East Carolina

Texas Tech East:  Ruffin McNeill has stocked ECU's staff with former Red Raider assistants.  Brian Mitchell is the new defensive coordinator and he's in a tough spot as ECU has been injury depleted on D.

Stupid Is:  ECU offensive coordinator Lincoln Riley wasn't pleased with his QB play during ECU's spring game.

The 26-year-old coordinator called the effort disappointing and said at times the trio of untested quarterbacks made "stupid passes."