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TU Athletics Blog

TU FANS, GET VOCAL!!

More often than you would think, I get a voice mail, email or someone just comes up to me with the question - why doesn't TU get more media coverage? I am asked that question at least a few times a week when football season begins.

Don't ask me, ask the media. If TU fans want to read more, watch more and hear more about Tulsa athletics, then the suggestion I make is show the media you want more TU coverage.

When it comes to football and men's basketball, I believe Tulsa gets very good coverage from the local media. It's when it comes to Tulsa's Olympic sports that the coverage is lacking, but in the local media that's the same case for ORU, OU and OSU.

Yes, I don't always understand it either - why does the local newspaper give extraordinary coverage to high school Olympic sports? If it bothers you, ask. Where there's demand, there will most likely be coverage,

Is the Tulsa market like Arkansas, where all there is to report on is the Hogs. No, Oklahoma and Oklahoma State, both with large alumni support bases in Tulsa, is TU's competition for coverage, as well asOSU and high schools.

Show the media there's a demand for TU Golden Hurricane sports coverage. That includes attendance at athletic events, traveling to road games and calling radio talk shows,and if you feel so strongly about it, even writing the sports editors and sports directors at the various news outlets.

I've been asked, there's my answer. We'll continue to do everything possible to create more media interest in our sports teams, but media cover what FANS want. Show them what you want.

By Don Tomkalski, Tulsa Media Relations (9-18-09)

OH NO! HOW CAN YOU FORGET TULSA?

A Tulsa World story last week "Former BYU coach brought passing to college game" dated September 3rd overlooked one major item. It wasn't so much the story, a well-written piece by John Hoover, but it was the headline -- one that is not quite accurate -- probably stemming from a statement that former OU Coach Barry Switzer made in the story "LaVell Edwards at BYU was really the first guy that put the ball in the air a lot."

Ever heard of Glenn Dobbs and The University of Tulsa.

Yes, Lavell Edwards is one of the great passing minds in college football, no doubt, and he developed a BYU offense that was potent on offense in the late 1970's and early 1980s. But, Glenn Dobbs did it as a player in 1942, and advanced the passing game in the 1960s.

If memory serves me, Tulsa led the nation in passing in 1942, 1944, 1962, 1963, 1964, 1965 and 1966.

As a player, Glenn Dobbs threw for 1,066 yards in 1942 as the Hurricane threw for an NCAA-best 233.9 yards that season. As the Tulsa head coach from 1961-68, Dobbs' teams led the country in passing for five straight seasons (1962-66) and the passing numbers topped out at 346.4 yards 1965.

TCU, Nevada, Washington State and Fordham each led the nation in passing two years from 1937 through 1966, while the Tulsa Golden Hurricane led the country in passing for seven years in that time span

Sure, BYU led the nation in passing for eight years, but the first of those rankings didn't come until 1976, 10 years after Tulsa had already led the NCAA in passing seven times.

As has been written numerous times before in various publications -- it was Tulsa and Glenn Dobbs that brought the passing game to college football.

Let's give credit where credit it due.

Although LaVell Edwards may have advanced the passing game, if there's any credit to be given for the passing game revolution in college football, it is Glenn Dobbs and The University of Tulsa.

By Don Tomkalski, Tulsa Media Relations (9-12-09)

IT'S GAME WEEK . . .

Good Morning College Football Fans!

One of the most anticipated weeks of the year has arrived - the opening of college football. Two-a-days are behind us, the hot August days are now cooling off (at least in some places), starting lineups have been set (well maybe). It's Sunday, August 30th and the first game on the college gridiron is less than a week away.

At Tulsa, as coach Graham has said, "we began our preparations for Tulane", the season opening opponent for the Golden Hurricane, "three weeks ago."

But now it's game week. The two Conference USA teams kick-off Friday night on ESPN in the Superdome. "It's mental now" is what you'll hear a lot of coaches talk about with their teams. So much mental, that the man-off the-street, needs to know that today is really not Sunday, but today is Monday. Coaches operate on a week-to-week basis, if the game is Saturday everything is normal, Monday is Monday, Tuesday is Tuesday, ect.... And Saturday is game day.

But (in coach jargon), for a Friday game, Sunday is Monday, Monday is Tuesday, Tuesday is Wednesday and yes, Friday is game day, meaning it's Saturday. But wait a minute, for Tulsa, if Sunday is Monday, then there's no practice today. Let me check my practice schedule? Yes, just what I thought. There is practice today. So is Sunday, Tuesday? But what's Monday, there's no practice. So Monday is Monday this week as well. What does that make Tuesday? Tuesday must be Tuesday, but it can't be Tuesday because game day is Friday, and Thursday is travel day, so Wednesday is... what about those teams that play on Wednesday or Thursday? Then, is game week actually last week? Monday will be Friday of last week, or will it be Thursday? Can Saturday be Tuesday? Saturday?? But it's the day college football is to be played.

Oh gosh, I better figure this one out, we have two Wednesday games this year.

Okay, confused yet? You and me both, let's just play some football. Remember, game day is Friday this week for Tulsa-Tulane on ESPN at 7 pm. The great thing about a Friday game is, you can wake up on Saturday and still have more college football to watch.

By Don Tomkalski, Tulsa Media Relations (8-30-09)

A SMILE THAT NEVER STOPS . . .

When hit with the horrific news of being diagnosed with hodgkins lymphoma in the spring of 2008, Tulsa red-shirt freshman offensive lineman Wilson Holloway took the news in stride. With a smile on his face, no one would ever know that this 19-year old was battling cancer. Every time I'd see Wilson there was that contagious smile. He went through his treatments, beat it and was back on the playing field with his teammates.

In late September, Wilson was told that he had just been named a finalist for the FedEx Orange Bowl Football Writers Association of America (FWAA) Courage Award. But, it was that same day he found out that the cancer had returned. It was something that I didn't know at the time when I told him of the news, and he never let on. He just smiled and said "thanks'. Wilson had played in five games up to that point, and even while undergoing his second round of treatments was able to play in one more game, Tulsa's 49-19 win over UCF on October 26th. Once again, he battled that cancer and conquered it. He won the Courage Award and was presented the trophy at the National Championship Game between Florida and Oklahoma in January.

This past spring, the news from his check-up was not what anyone would want to hear once, let alone for the third time. But the lymphoma had returned. His response --with a smile -- "third times a charm, we'll whip it this time."

Last Sunday, there was a light that shined in Coach Herb Hand's office. It wasn't the office light, it was a smile -- Wilson Holloway's smile. That's right, just less than two weeks from a stem cell transplant, taken from an older brother, Wilson was smiling while watching his teammates go through a Sunday night scrimmage. Prognosis is good.

We've all heard the famous Jim Valvano words "don't give up, don't ever give up." Well, that's Wilson Holloway. He's never given up, nor will he ever. He enjoys life, even the precious small moments, and he continues to keep his dreams alive.

A dream that, I believe, will put him back on the Chapman Stadium turf contributing in a big way to Tulsa football's success.

By Don Tomkalski, Tulsa Media Relations