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Former UVa football standouts selected to ACC anniversary team
/ Daily Progress sports editor
Jul 24, 2002
PINEHURST, N.C. - Five Cavaliers gained a little of football immortality Tuesday when they were chosen among the ACC's 50th Anniversary football team.

University of Virginia players who made the team were: running back Tiki Barber (1993-96); offensive tackle Jim Dombrowski (1981-85); wide receiver Herman Moore (1987-90); running back Frank Quayle (1966-68); and defensive end Chris Slade (1989-92).

They joined the likes of legends such as Maryland's Randy White, Florida State's Charlie Ward, N.C. State's Roman Gabriel and Ted Brown, Georgia Tech's Joe Hamilton, Clemson's Terry Kinard and William "the Refrigerator" Perry, North Carolina's Amos Lawrence, Don McCauley and William Fuller, Wake Forest's Brian Piccolo and Duke's Mike McGee.

The 50-player squad was selected by a 120-member panel, considering players who competed for their schools after those universities joined the ACC 50 years ago. Each school had one player present at this week's ACC Football Kickoff festivities at the Pinehurst golf resort.

Dombrowski, who dominated offensive line play during his era, was the representative for UVa at the event. He was the Cavaliers' first unanimous first-team All-American in 1985, the fourth year of former coach George Welsh's career in Charlottesville.

"It's a great honor and I'm proud to be part of this," said Dombrowski, who went on to play his entire NFL career for the New Orleans Saints. "In my mind, it's something that happens when you're a little older than I am. But this is a wonderful group of guys here. This is a hell of a group of guys to be associated with."

The 38-year-old left tackle, who grew up in Williamsville, N.Y., still resides in New Orleans with his wife, the former Sandy Greene of Charlottesville, and their three children. Dombrowski is now a financial advisor.

A two-time Jacobs Blocking Trophy winner, a four-year starter and the fifth player in UVa history to have his jersey retired, Dombrowski was one of only five offensive linemen on the 50-man team.

"In one respect, I'm sort of surprised. But in a way, I'm not," said the hulking tackle who still looks like he could play. "Who do people talk about? Guys who handle the ball, because they have statistics. It's easier to measure how they play. The offensive line is a difficult position to judge."

Other offensive linemen named to the team were N.C. State's Jim Ritcher, Maryland's Bob Pellegrini, Clemson's Joe Bostic and Duke's Mike McGee.

Dombrowski was one of the high-profile players during the early Welsh days when the program transformed from one of the worst in college football to one of the most consistent in terms of stacking up winning seasons.

"Maybe it's a little egocentrical but I think the teams I was on at Virginia laid the groundwork to have the number of consistent winning seasons and helped establish UVa as a quality football program," said Dombrowski.

At 6-foot-5, 296 pounds, the big No. 73 helped lead the Cavaliers to three straight winning seasons and a 27-24 victory over Purdue in the 1984 Peach Bowl before becoming a first round draft choice of the Saints in the 1986 draft.

The highlight of his UVa career?

"That one's easy," said Dombrowski. "The 1984 Peach Bowl. That was a big part of my career in helping take the school to its first bowl game. I still have vivid memories of returning to the team hotel in Atlanta after the game and there were people on the balconies all the way up inside the hotel. It was one big party."

Barber was the 1996 ACC player of the year and led the conference in rushing, punt returns and all-purpose yardage, the first player in 40 years to accomplish that feat. Barber may be best remembered for helping lead UVa to an upset of second-ranked Florida State at Scott Stadium in 1995, the Seminoles' first loss in ACC play. He now plays for the New York Giants and twin brother, Ronde, is a standout cornerback for the Tampa Bay Bucs.

Moore was a two-time All-American and a consensus first-team selection in 1990, when he teamed with quarterback Shawn Moore to create one of the nation's most lethal passing attacks. The Moore-to-Moore connection helped lead UVa to a national No. 1 ranking for three weeks during that season and to an appearance in the Sugar Bowl. Herman Moore rewrote most of the Cavaliers' pass receiving records and finished his career as the NCAA record-holder for the most yards per catch in a career (22.0). Moore went on to star for the Detroit Lions.

Quayle, who still resides in Charlottesville, was the ACC player of the year and athlete of the year in 1968. At the end of his career, he held ACC records for the most rushing yards in a career, season and game, the most points in a career, the most career TDs and the most all-purpose yards in a season and career. He led the ACC in rushing with 1,213 in 1968 and led the nation in all-purpose yardage during the 1966 season with 1,616. Quayle is president of Roy Wheeler Real Estate Company.

Slade was the 1992 national defensive player of the year and is still the ACC and UVa career sacks leader with 40. He had a school-record 15 sacks in 1992 and 14 in 1991. He also holds the UVa record for tackles for losses with 56, including 21 in 1991. A first-team All-American in 1991 and a consensus first-teamer in 1992, he became the first Cavalier to earn those honors for two consecutive years. He struck fear in the hearts of opposing quarterbacks for his ability to shed blockers and put pressure on the passer. After an All-Pro career with the New England Patriots, Slade is currently with the Carolina Panthers.



ACC's top 50 is not what it claims to be


   Shawn Moore is the best University of Virginia football player of the last 25 years, maybe the last 50 years. Shawn Moore was not one of the 50 players named to the ACC's 50th Anniversary football team.

    That tells me all I need to know about the team announced Tuesday at the end of the ACC Football Kickoff in Pinehurst, N.C.

    I hate to label the team a travesty. That would be an injustice to a group of distinguished and respected honorees, including former Cave Spring High School and UVa running back Tiki Barber. At the very least, the team is flawed.

    That became apparent when ACC officials announced this week that the top 50 players would be listed in alphabetical order and there would be no top 10. When you don't release the votes or even the point totals, what it tells me is that the team is not a completely accurate reflection of the voting done by a 120-member committee. I strongly suspect that some manipulation was involved.

    Although I was unable to reach Barber at the New York Giants' training camp, I'll take a guess at his reaction to his selection. Odds are, he would have asked, "Where's my brother?"

    Barber's twin brother, Ronde, didn't make it. Tiki Barber was the 1996 ACC Player of the Year, but Ronde was a rare three-time, first-team All-ACC selection, as well as 1994 ACC Rookie of the Year.

    Ronde Barber was at least as accomplished a college player as his brother. Ex-Cavalier Thomas Jones deserves to be mentioned in the same breath as Tiki Barber, too. Jones holds the ACC season rushing record of 1,798 yards and is fifth on the ACC's all-time list.

    The five ex-Virginia players on the 50th Anniversary team are Barber, offensive lineman Jim Dombrowski (1982-85), wide receiver Herman Moore (1988-90), running back Frank Quayle (1966-68) and defensive end Chris Slade (1988-92).

    Dombrowski, who was at Pinehurst, N.C., for the announcement, was a terrific college offensive lineman and an NFL standout for the New Orleans Saints, but did he really get more votes than Anthony Poindexter, UVa's heat-seeking safety of the late 1990s?

    Of course, they didn't release a top 10. There wasn't a top 10. There couldn't have been.

    The baseball Hall of Fame has an old-timers' committee to plead the case of deserving players not recognized when first eligible. What the ACC needs is a modern-day players' committee.

    The 50th Anniversary football team includes six players from the 1950s, including Norman Snead, whom I remember as a Washington Redskins quarterback before he was traded for Sonny Jurgensen (a turning point for the Redskins' franchise).

    At Wake Forest, Snead completed less than 50 percent of his passes in each of three seasons and had a 27-47 touchdown-interception ratio for teams that went 11-19.

    Snead does not belong on the team ahead of former Martinsville resident Shawn Moore, who still holds the ACC record for touchdown responsibility in a career (55 passing, 28 rushing), led the nation in passing efficiency in 1990, had his team No.1 in the country for three weeks and was fourth in balloting for the Heisman Trophy.

    Herman Moore was a great receiver at Virginia and went on to NFL stardom with the Detroit Lions, setting an NFL season receptions record that still stands. Here's a news flash: Herman Moore didn't have the college career that Shawn Moore did. Plus, he played only three years.

    I was still seething at being duped in the football "voting" when Tuesday's mail brought a ballot for the top 50 male and female athletes in the ACC's 50 seasons. Earlier, I had submitted a ballot for the top 50 men's basketball players in ACC history.

    At 50, I guess I've been around for each of the ACC's seasons, but clearly I'm far too young for this assignment.



State's evidence: ACC list showcases Virginia talent


PINEHURST, N.C. - Only one of the nine schools that make up the ACC is in Virginia. Yet the state contributed mightily to the conference's 50th anniversary football team, which was announced yesterday.

Nine products of Virginia high schools were among the 50 former greats selected by a committee of 120 media members, former coaches and administrators well-versed in ACC football lore. Five of the nine Virginians starred for the University of North Carolina, three for the University of Virginia and one for Wake Forest.

The states of South Carolina and North Carolina each had nine representatives on the 50th anniversary team, too. No other state had more than six.

Clemson had the most players among the top 50, with nine. Florida State and UNC had eight representatives apiece. South Carolina, which withdrew from the league in June 1971, had one representative: Alex Hawkins, the 1958 ACC player of the year.

Chosen from U.Va. were tailback Tiki Barber, defensive end Chris Slade, wideout Herman Moore, offensive lineman Jim Dombrowski and running back Frank Quayle.

Notable omissions from U.Va. included tailback Thomas Jones, the school's all-time leading rusher; offensive lineman Ray Roberts; quarterback Shawn Moore, the school's career leader in total offense; and safety Anthony Poindexter, a two-time All-American.

In 1990, Shawn Moore completed 144 of 241 passes for 2,262 and 21 touchdowns and became the first ACC quarterback to lead the nation in passing efficiency. He also ran for 306 yards and eight touchdowns and finished fourth in balloting for the Heisman Trophy.

In addition to Barber (Roanoke), Slade (Tabb) and Herman Moore (Danville), former Virginia High School League stars on the ACC's all-time team are quarterback Norm Snead (Newport News) of Wake Forest and cornerback Dre' Bly (Chesapeake), linebacker Lawrence Taylor (Williamsburg), tailback Amos Lawrence (Norfolk), defensive lineman William Fuller (Chesapeake) and tailback Mike Voight (Chesapeake) of UNC.

Yesterday's announcement officially kicked off the ACC's 50th anniversary celebration, which will conclude May 8. The conference was founded in Greensboro, N.C., on May 8, 1953, when seven schools - Clemson, Duke, Maryland, North Carolina, N.C. State, South Carolina and Wake Forest - banded together to form a new athletic conference. U.Va. joined the seven charter members on Dec. 4, 1953.

Georgia Tech joined in April 1978, and Florida State was added in July 1991. The Seminoles began playing ACC football in 1992.

The ACC declined to release vote totals, choosing instead to simply list the 50 players in alphabetical order. The top vote-getter, though, might well have been former Maryland defensive tackle Randy White, a two-time All-American who's been inducted into the national college and NFL halls of fame.

"Sitting here at 49 years old and hearing people say that," White told reporters yesterday at Pinehurst, "I'll be honest with you: It makes you feel good that that's what you did and people appreciated it and respected you."



ACC official doesn't see conspiracy


    There was no conspiracy. That was the response Wednesday from ACC assistant commissioner Mike Finn, chairman of the committee that selected the 50 players on the ACC's 50th Anniversary football team.

    Finn was hot over a column in Wednesday's Roanoke Times that suggested the voting had been rigged.

    "We put together a committee," Finn said. "We asked for votes. The committee voted and we compiled the votes. We didn't get all 120 ballots back. Maybe 100 people voted, but there was no discussion.

    "We didn't sit down and say, 'We need such and such number of players from this era,' or, 'We need to have more offensive lineman.' You can disagree with the choices. But, there were a lot of [voters] who have been around the ACC and have a depth of knowledge about the conference."

    So, why weren't point totals announced? Why wasn't there at least a top 10?

    "If you want to see the list, you can see the list," Finn told a reporter, "but the committee didn't want to make it public. We felt that making the top 50 was enough of an honor in itself. We didn't want people to be concentrating on why somebody was No.32 or 33."

    Finn said the ACC would reveal top 10s when it announces the list of the top 50 male and top 50 female athletes in school history because "the thinking was ... that was the most important team."

    Finn was the sports information director at Georgia Tech when Shawn Jones quarterbacked the Yellow Jackets' football team that shared the 1990 national championship. Some people believe that Jones, who finished his career as the ACC's all-time total-offense leader, was the most glaring omission from the 50th Anniversary team.

    BOWDEN BOND: Florida State football coach Bobby Bowden said he's not worried for son Tommy, said to be on the "hot seat" by several preseason publications despite taking Clemson to three successive bowl games (the first Tigers coach to do that in his first three seasons).

    "I don't think they're ready to push the button just yet," Bobby Bowden said Monday at the ACC Football Kickoff, "but I think they're the kind of school who might do something like that."

    If West Virginia fans had been a little more patient, the older Bowden might not have left West Virginia. After being hanged in effigy in 1974, Bowden went to Tallahassee, Fla., after going 9-3 in 1975.

    "If we had not gone 4-7 in '74 and they had gotten on my case and tried to run me out of town, I would not have left in '75," Bowden said. "We had a good year in '75. My loyalty would not have allowed me to leave, but that [1974 experience] showed me how fickle fans were.

    "It was humiliating. I went for a bite to eat and there it was, sitting up there in a tree. I wanted to hide. Tommy tried to climb the tree and they told him, 'No, you can't. It's personal property.' He told them, 'I'm not trying to cut it down. I just want to put more stuffing in the belly.'"

    SPEAKING OF BELLIES: Maryland football coach Ralph Friedgen, whose weight was a closely guarded secret during the Terrapins' run to the 2001 ACC championship, told reporters this week that he is down to 319 pounds from a high of 355.

    Two Maryland boosters have committed $500 each for every pound that Friedgen loses. The money will go toward the fund-raising campaign for the expansion of Maryland's football-support facility.

    RECRUITING: Fontel Mines, a 6-foot-5 wide receiver from Hermitage High School in Richmond, said he's leaning toward Virginia "because the offense [the Cavaliers] run suits me more." Mines said he thinks his teammate, tight end Duane Brown, favors Virginia Tech.

    GILLEN ELABORATES: Alexis Sherard, elevated to full-time recruiting status on the Virginia men's basketball staff, benefited directly and indirectly when former UVa assistant Tommy Herrion was named head coach at College of Charleston.

    Sherard probably would have joined Herrion's staff at Charleston as a full-time assistant if not given a chance to recruit at Virginia. As a result, Scott Shepherd slipped into Sherard's former position as director of basketball operations, which is mostly an administrative job.

    " Walt [ Fuller ] is our top assistant, but we don't go 1-2-3-4," said UVa coach Pete Gillen, who hired ex-Boise State head coach Rod Jensen to help retool the Cavaliers' defense



Cavalier football mettle will be tested against hottest programs
By Jonathan Evans
Cavalier Daily Columnist

With less than a month until the August 22nd showdown between Virginia and Colorado State, thoughts begin to turn to long bombs, breakaway runs, hard hits and a roaring Scott Stadium.

But before you transport yourself to one of those lovely bleachers, with a "Pepsi" in hand surrounded by sun dresses and orange bow ties, one question needs to be answered. After a tough 5-7 season, what type of squad will Virginia faithful have to cheer on?

The buzz about the Virginia program centers on the phenomenal recruits that Al Groh and company found to commit to the Wahoos.

The top 10 recruiting class has an all star lineup: linebackers Ahmad Brooks (who could end up at Fork Union Military Academy this season because of academic reasons) and Kai Parham; running backs Michael Johnson and Tony Franklin; wide receiver Ron Morton; left tackle D'Brickashaw Ferguson; defensive backs Stefan Orange and Marcus Hamilton and quarterback Anthony Martinez.

So thanks to Groh, the Virginia future seems well taken care of as the pieces of the puzzle that will take the Cavaliers to a place of national prominence start to fall into place.

But while he may have dreams of the future direction of the Virginia program, Groh must worry about the Cavalier present. And with a monster schedule ahead of them, he might have a lot to worry about.

Unlike the Virginia men's basketball team, the football team will face a cupcake-free schedule. In their 13 scheduled games, nine will pit Virginia against teams that made bowl games in 2001. This tough schedule will force the Cavaliers to play to their potential every Saturday. Consequently, there will be little room for growing pains for the true freshmen, a dozen of whom Groh said will receive playing time this season.

Thankfully, one story surrounding the Cavaliers that will no longer be a problem is the quarterback controversy that hounded the team last season. Junior Matt Schaub will be the Cavalier signal caller this season after splitting time last season with Bryson Spinner. Spinner's transfer makes Schaub the Virginia quarterback by default. Although Schaub did pass for 1,524 yards in six starts and 12 games last season, the fact that he could not win the position last season should raise some eyebrows about his ability to lead the Cavaliers. So expect sophomore Marquis Hagans and Martinez to challenge Schaub for some playing time. But then again, no matter who is the quarterback, Virginia can breathe easy as long as they have No. 11 running downfield.

Wide receiver Billy McMullen will lead the Cavalier offense in his senior season that could possibly earn him a spot in the NFL. Last season McMullen emerged as the number one target for both Schaub and Spinner, totaling a Virginia record 83 receptions, 1,060 yards and 12 TDs for the season.

Senior linebacker Angelo Crowell will anchor the Cavalier defense in 2002. Virginia's defense, or quite possibly the lack thereof, was a major hindrance to success last season as the Cavaliers finished toward the bottom in several defensive categories among Division I schools. The defensive-minded Groh obviously realizes this and the situation should improve, considering the team now has a year under its belt with the new defensive schemes.

So with this column almost over the question still remains - what can we expect from these Virginia Cavaliers? In the second season of the Groh rebuilding project, Virginia certainly isn't helped by having to take on one of the nations most difficult schedules in the country with a team that will throw true freshmen on the field like they are seniors. In the seemingly shaky, but still yet indeterminate Virginia season, one thing does remain especially certain, it should be fun to watch, so pass me a "Pepsi."