Thursday, October 02, 2008

Will it be orange or blue Saturday?

Alexander expects to be opinionated

Doug Doughty

Doug Doughty's UVa Insider is exclusive to and is posted by 5 p.m. Thursdays in season.

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There is a reason that the Virginia Insider always comes out on Thursdays. Generally speaking, that’s the one day of the week when I’m not working on another UVa story.

That was not the case today, when I was actually working on three UVa stories, two on the same subject.

Just as I was beginning to get a handle on the student protest scheduled for Saturday night’s Maryland-Virginia football game and already had started writing, UVa distributed a press release in which Craig Littlepage repealed the ban on signs at UVa sporting events.

I’m still waiting for a response from the UVa Student Council, which had advised students to wear blue. Littlepage, in the news release, has urged spectators to continue to wear orange.

(I think I’ve made my feelings clear on UVa’s “Power of Orange” campaign? When a team ranks among the bottom 15 in Division I-A in seven offensive categories, exactly how much power is the color, orange, providing)?

The other story that merited my attention was the departure of Jim Hobgood as analyst on the UVa basketball network. Hobgood is quick to admit that Virginia Sports Properties told him it was moving “in another direction,” but he thinks the athletic department was behind the move.

UVa would like us to believe that Virginia Sports Properties wanted a new look and new sound to compliment 32-year-old radio voice Dave Koehn. But how can you say that when longtime football analyst Frank Quayle kept his job and Quayle is older than Hobgood?

If you want to give UVa the benefit of the doubt, you could say that Koehn was on the job for barely a month before the Cavaliers’ first game and there wasn’t enough time to re-assess the football analyst’s job.

Plus, there wasn’t a candidate with the obvious credentials of a Cory Alexander, who said Thursday that he has “a great relationship with coach [Dave] Leitao and I think that was one of the factors.”

Alexander reminds me of Marty Fletcher, the one-time VMI basketball coach who had a weekly, state-wide TV show. We used to call Fletcher “Mr. Microphone,” after a toy that was being marketed at the time.

Alexander was Mr. Microphone before he had a microphone.

“I like the sound of my voice and maybe some other people do, too,” Alexander said.

And, he’s never been at a loss for an opinion.

“That’s the good thing about being color analyst,” said Alexander, one of UVa’s most dynamic former point guards. “I can provide more opinion than I have to do facts. Once again, I like my opinions. I don’t know if anybody else does.”

Alexander was once in the car restoration business but said the $4-per-gallon price of gas has curtailed some of those opportunities. He still accessorizes cars for old NBA contacts but is working on a new venture, a foundation, from his Goochland County home.

“For somebody who really didn’t want to go [to Virginia], it turned out to be a really good place,” Alexander said. “You know I really didn’t want to go to Virginia while I was in high school.

“I wasn’t wild about it once I made the decision. But, it turned out to be maybe one of the best decisions I ever made in my life. I love the place, I love the people. It’s afforded me so many opportunities, just being part of the UVa family.”

THE READERS REALLY sunk their teeth into last week’s poll question, with 440 of 835 voters (52.69 percent) saying they supported athletic director Craig Littlepage in his dismissal of football quarterback Peter Lalich.

After reading the comments, I regretted not provide the readers a third option: Need to know more of the facts.

I don’t think all the facts will ever be known, even by Littlepage and Co., but I believe that Lalich’s punishment stemmed mostly from his body of work and not from underage possession of alcohol or a parole violation.

This week’s poll question:

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