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Duke’s Cash, UNC’s Williams receive weekly ACC honors

Jeremy Cash.

Jeremy Cash.

North Carolina junior quarterback Marquise Williams received the nod as ACC Offensive Back of the Week while Duke junior safety Jeremy Cash was recognized as the ACC Defensive Back of the Week.

Williams accounted for four touchdowns (two passing, one rushing, one receiving) in the Tar Heels’ 50-43 loss at sixth-ranked Notre Dame. He became the first ACC player since 2000 to throw a TD pass and record TDs running and receiving in the same game twice in a career.

Williams finished 24-of-41 passing for 303 yards and rushed for a career-high 132 yards on 18 carries to become the first player in school history to throw for 300 yards and rush for 100 yards in the same game.

Williams played the entire game, leading the Tar Heels to 521 yards of total offense.

North Carolina’s 43 points are the most Notre Dame has ever surrendered in a win and came against the nation’s No. 3-ranked scoring defense.

The Tar Heels’ 521 total yards are the most allowed by Notre Dame since Alabama had 529 in the 2012 BCS National Championship Game.

Cash came up with two second-half takeaways that led to 14 Duke points in the Blue Devils’ 31-25 road win at previously unbeaten and 22nd-ranked Georgia Tech. His fumble recovery jump-started a nine-play, 46-yard touchdown drive that gave Duke a 21-12 lead.

Cash then intercepted a pass and returned it 23 yards to set up a three-play, 23-yard march for another touchdown that put the Blue Devils in front 31-12. Cash also broke up a pass on a Georgia Tech two-point PAT attempt with 5:04 remaining in the game, leaving Duke with a 31-18 lead.

He finished with seven tackles and broke up another pass in addition to the one on the PAT attempt. His effort led a Duke defense that held the Yellow Jackets to 9.6 points below their season average and forced three turnovers. Georgia Tech had committed a total of just four turnovers in its five previous games.

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Skate with the Hurricanes on Nov. 24

Carolina_HurricanesThe 17th Annual Skate with the Canes will take place on Monday, Nov. 24, at PNC Arena from 6:30 – 9 p.m. The Kids ‘N Community Foundation fundraising event allows fans and members of the Hurricanes to interact by rotating through an autograph session, a photo opportunity in the Hurricanes’ locker room and a skating session on the ice at PNC Arena. Tickets will go on sale for season-ticket holders on Oct. 15 at 10 a.m. and to the general public on Oct. 16 at 10 a.m.

Each guest will have the opportunity to interact each member of the Hurricanes team. For example, the participant may be in an autograph session with Jeff Skinner, take a photo with Justin Faulk or skate with Eric Staal. Fans may bring their own skates for the ice session or pick up a complimentary rental pair. Those who do not wish to skate may still attend and be a part of the event.

Event tickets are $75 each and include food, beverages, ice skate rentals and a gift, courtesy of the Carolina Hurricanes. Hurricanes Alumni, Stormy, the Eye Care Associates Storm Squad will also be in attendance, and select inflatables will be available throughout the night.

Fans can purchase tickets at the PNC Arena Box Office, Ticketmaster or by calling 919-861-5494. Season-ticket holders may purchase their tickets online before they go on sale to the general public through the Caniac Account Manager, at the PNC Arena Box Office or by calling 919-861-5494.

Children under 14 years of age must be accompanied by an adult with a ticket. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. and all participants are asked to enter through the East Entrance. Attendees should bring their own cameras for the photo session.

All proceeds will benefit the Carolina Hurricanes Kids ‘N Community Foundation, which provides funding to children’s charities and educational programs throughout North Carolina. During the 2013-14 season, the Kids ‘N Community Foundation donated $582,000 in grant money to 32 North Carolina children’s non-profit organizations.

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Capel to speak at Raleigh Sports Club Wednesday

Jeff Capel.

Jeff Capel.

Jeff Capel, Duke associate head basketball coach, will be the keynote speaker at the Raleigh Sports Club Wednesday, Oct. 15 at Bradley Hall in Highland United Methodist Church at 1901 Ridge Road.

Buffet lines open at 11:30 a.m. and the meeting is from noon until 1 p.m. Attendance fee for members is $15 while guest fee is $25.

Capel joined the Duke staff as an assistant in 2011 after spending the previous nine years as the head coach at Virginia Commonwealth (2002-06) and Oklahoma (2006-11). He was promoted to associate coach in July of 2013 and then named associate head coach prior to the 2014-15 season.

Capel owns a 175-110 record as a head coach with three NCAA Tournament appearances, including a trip to the Elite Eight in 2008 with Oklahoma.

Marcus Cox, a football player at Holly Springs, will be honored as the RSC Student Athlete of the Week.

The annual membership fee is $70, which helps to fund the club’s scholarship fund. Each week from late August to early April meetings include a Southern buffet, door prizes, pick sheets and introduction to a deserving Student Athlete as well as hearing from a prominent sports figure as our guest speaker.
Raleigh Sports Club Membership Form

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Track star to speak at the Raleigh Sports Club Wednesday

Johnny Dutch.

Johnny Dutch.

Johnny Dominique Dutch, a hurdler who starred at Clayton High, will be the keynote speaker at the Raleigh Sports Club Wednesday, Oct. 8 at Bradley Hall in Highland United Methodist Church at 1901 Ridge Road.

Buffet lines open at 11:30 a.m. and the meeting is from noon until 1 p.m. Attendance fee for members is $15 while guest fee is $25.

Dutch, who ran track at the University of South Carolina, has won medals in numerous international track meets the last several years.

Earl Gill, a football player at Cardinal Gibbons, will be honored as the RSC Student Athlete of the Week.

The annual membership fee is $70, which helps to fund the club’s scholarship fund. Each week from late August to early April meetings include a Southern buffet, door prizes, pick sheets and introduction to a deserving Student Athlete as well as hearing from a prominent sports figure as our guest speaker.
Raleigh Sports Club Membership Form

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UNC women’s soccer holds on to beat No. 5 Va. Tech

Anson Dorrance.

Anson Dorrance.

Eighth-ranked North Carolina scored the opening three goals of the match and withstood a furious rally by fifth-ranked Virginia Tech to prevail 3-2 in women’s soccer action Friday afternoon at Fetzer Field.

Carolina won its sixth match in a row and improved to 7-2-1 on the season. The Tar Heels also kept their ACC record perfect at 4-0. Virginia Tech, which opened its campaign with 10 successive wins, has now dropped two of its past three matches and is now 11-2 on the season and 2-2 in the ACC.

Carolina built a 2-0 halftime lead on goals by Megan Buckingham and Sarah Ashley Firstenberg and then made it 3-0 in the third minute of the second half on a goal by Joanna Boyles.

Virginia Tech answered UNC’s third goal just 1:05 later on an unassisted goal by Candace Cephers. That goal switched the momentum to the Hokies, who scored less than 10 minutes later to cut the lead to 3-2. The Hokies went on to outshoot the Tar Heels 10-3 overall in the second half but Carolina’s defense held strong over the last 31:45 of the match to prevail with the victory.

Other than a tie at defending national champion UCLA, Carolina has played nothing but one-goal games this year and has persevered to post a 7-2 record in those games.

UNC opened the scoring just 3:07 into the match as freshman Megan Buckingham scored her third goal of the season to finish off a nifty passing combination. Amber Munerlyn fed a through ball from 22 yards out through the penalty area to Summer Green who took it on the right side of the box in stride and sent a ball across the six-yard line. Buckingham ran on to the ball in stride and finished perfectly into the center of the goal.

The Hokies almost got the tying goal at the 9:47 mark of the half. After a foul by the Tar Heels near midfield, the Hokies’ Katie Yensen sent a dangerous free kick into the box where Murielle Tiernan headed it on from the three- yard line. Heaberlin held her line and gobbled up the shot to keep the Tar Heels in the lead. Just a couple of minutes later, Carolina had an excellent chance to score as Summer Green found Joanna Boyles in the box off a corner kick. Boyles sent a shot to the far post that was cleared off the line at the last second by a Virginia Tech defender.

The Tar Heels would outshoot the Hokies 9-4 in the first half and they capitalized with a second goal just 2:01 before halftime. Three reserves combined on the goal that resulted in a nifty header by Sarah Ashley Firstenberg finding the back of the net for her first career goal. Annie Kingman sent a ball from the center of the pitch to the left side where defender Danae O’Halloran sent a perfect cross to the onrushing Firstenberg who skied for the put away. O’Halloran’s assist was her first career point.

The Heels struck early in the second half as Joanna Boyles scored on a looping shot from the top of the penalty area. Carolina sent a ball into a dangerous area and Virginia Tech goalkeeper Caroline Kelly came off her line and was unable to snag it. Amber Munerlyn ran on to the ball and centered a pass back to Boyles who finished into the upper left corner for her third goal of the year.

Virginia Tech scored at 48:51 on Cephers’ fourth goal of the year. Shannon Mayrose of the Hokies sent a dangerous pass into the box that Lindsay Harris knocked down on the goal line. Megan Buckingham immediately cleared the ball off the line but it went right to Cephers who headed it in.

The Hokies struck again at 58:15 as Murielle Tiernan scored her ninth goal of the season, assisted by Ashley Meier. After a build up in the attacking third, Meier slipped a pass across the box to Tiernan who finished from 12 yards out past a diving Harris who had come off her line to cut off the angle.

Virginia Tech would continue to make things interesting for the Tar Heels but it produced only one more shot on goal. After a foul by Carolina, Jordan Coburn sent a shot from 35 yards out that Harris tipped over the bar at the 66:42 mark. Carolina’s defense then limited Virginia Tech to a single shot in the final 23:18 to earn the result.

Virginia Tech ended the match with a 14-12 edge in shots while UNC won seven corner kicks in comparison to six for the Hokies. Caroline Kelly finished with three saves for the Hokies. Bryane Heaberlin played the first half for the Tar Heels in goal and made two saves and improved to 4-1 in goalie decisions this year. Lindsey Harris made three second half saves for Carolina.

The Tar Heels will have a six-day break from action before continuing their three-game home stand next Thursday when they host Wake Forest at 7 p.m. Carolina will follow that up with a match against Pittsburgh on Sunday, October 12 at 1 p.m.

- News release

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Doeren news conference: Wolfpack needs to make plays in the 4th quarter

davedoeren3NC State football coach Dave Doeren says he’s proud of the way his team fought against Florida State but the team needs to make more plays in the fourth quarter against Clemson and beyond.

“We move on to a really good Clemson team,” Doeren said. “They’ve had two tough losses against two great opponents and a senior class that is 21-2 at home, 21-5 as a senior class. A really impressive group of leaders at Clemson and a freshman quarterback that’s lighting it up against a defense that has a bunch of seniors and graduate students on it. It’s going to be a great challenge. It’s an awesome atmosphere, I’ve been told, to play in. For us to have to play in the top two teams in our league back to back, it’s going to be a great challenge for our football team this week. Look
forward to the opportunity.”

Q. Going up against Clemson, you
come off an emotional game against Florida
State. What did your team learn from that loss,
and being able to score 41 points against
Florida State despite the loss, what did they
take away from that heading into Clemson.

DAVE DOEREN: I believe we can beat
anybody, and that game showed. There were so
many plays — even with the 41 points, our
offensive guys will tell you, we turned it over twice,
and one of them was in the red zone going in to
score. We know that we can score on anybody.
We have that confidence.
I think now we’ve had to deal with the
crowd noise that we’re going to get at Clemson,
but I think it was a confidence builder. Like I told
the guys after the game, we’re way better than we
were, but we’re not as good as we can be. So
we’ve got to keep fighting and scratching to move
and close the gap that existed between us and
where we were last year.

Q. When you look at that gap from last
year to this year, what’s going on that you’re
having maybe some difficulty in closing that
gap? I mean, obviously, you had a 4-0 start,
but against Florida State, what are some of the
those things that you still need to address to
get to where you really want to be?

DAVE DOEREN: We’re the third youngest
team in college football. That’s the problem.
We’re just young. We’re playing teams like
Clemson with seniors and graduate students, and
freshmen and sophomores on our side. We’re a
really young football team. We’re playing hard.
We’re playing with passion. We’re practicing hard.
We just don’t have the experience or the years in
the weight room that our competitors do in some
areas.
We tell our guys, we’ve got to be great
technicians. We’ve got to play above our heads
from an effort standpoint to meet up with the two
and three differential on the teams we’re playing.
That’s all it is. It’s just a youth thing. We’ve got 51
freshmen and sophomores and 15 true freshmen
that are playing. It’s a lot different than Florida
State and Clemson’s lineup.

Q. What challenges does Watson pose
for you this week? What’s going to be the
message to the pass rush or the pass defense
for how to contain that Clemson passing
game?

DAVE DOEREN: Similar to playing Florida
State, he’ll run. He’s one of the best spread
runners in the country coming out. Right now he’s
throwing the ball really well, one interception and
ten touchdowns, I believe.
His receivers are strong. They’ll go up and
get the football. They play with confidence. We’re
going to have to have tight coverage. We’re going
to have to be able to go up and play jump balls,
and our pass rush lanes and our pressures are
going to have to be disciplined.

Q. I’m just moving away from the game
on Saturday and just discuss a hot topic in
sports, in particular, football — concussions.
Clearly, there were some mistakes made
through some miscommunications with
Michigan dealing with the head injury of the
quarterback, Shane Morris. What’s in place at
NC State that would prevent this from
happening during the game?

DAVE DOEREN: Well, any time there’s an
injury, whether it’s a head in
jury or a bodily issue of the player, our training staff
will take that student-athlete to our team physicians that are at
the game. Once they have a diagnosis, they’ll
report to me. Hey, Coach, he’s out, he’s
concussed. Hey, Coach, he sprained his knee.
We’re going to see if we can get him back. Hey,
Coach, he sprained his ankle. He’s going to be all
right. We’ll retape him.
They give me the information, and I really
have no say-so at that point. They’re just going to
tell me so I can get on the headphones with
offense, defense, and special teams coaches and
let them know that so and so is out for a while or
so and so is out for the game.

Q. I know after the Florida State game
you mentioned that you guys really liked the
matchup you had with Bo Hines. He’s played
really well and had a really good start to the
season. What kind of makes him so good? I
know he took advantage of a guy who’s a
freshman All-American in James Ramsey last
week a little bit. Wonder what you guys have
seen to give you so much confidence in him.

DAVE DOEREN: Just watching the film,
we felt like there were certain routes that that guy
struggled against, and he’s really good. There’s no
question. He’s on an island the whole game,
playing man to man. When you play in the slot, it’s
not easy. Bo is such a good route runner with
good timing, we felt there were things we could
take advantage of. Sometimes we did, and
sometimes we didn’t. He won some, and we won
some.
Some of the routes that Coach Canada
came up with just worked against the leverage he
was playing, and I think that’s the biggest thing.
When you’re man to man, you can’t play head up.
You’re either inside or outside, just trying to take
advantage of leverage.

Q. With an offense like you guys, you
mentioned you guys have a lot of young guys,
certainly the case especially with Bo. For him, I
think he’s pulling in something like four or five
catches a game. He’s among the ACC leaders
in just receptions. How impressive is that for a
freshman to come in and be that reliable, be
that kind of player?

DAVE DOEREN: It’s impressive. Bo
came in early, so he was benefited from going
through spring ball with us, and I think that’s a big
part of why he’s playing so fast.
He’s different. Just his dad was an NFL
player. He played in a great football program at
Charlotte Christian. He was well coached. He’s
one of those guys that football is not hard for him
to learn. You say it once, and he gets it, and he
has great effort when he plays.

Q. Coach, maybe the most impressive
stat among the good ones that Jacoby Brissett
has put up, 13 touchdowns and just one
interception.

DAVE DOEREN: Let’s knock on some
wood right there.

Q. What does that say about his
judgment and that sort of thing?

DAVE DOEREN: I think Jacoby is
managing the game. We’ve really worked hard
with him because he is so good, just trying to make
every throw. If it’s not good and it’s not there, just
throw it away and run. He’s been able to do that,
extend some drives and scrambles, and third and
seven, if everybody’s covered, run for eight. He’s
been able to do that.
And some quarterbacks will stand there
and stand there and stand there, throw it away or
get hit late and fumble, which happened to him a
couple of times in the game. He’s really smart. He
learns from his mistakes. He has a great
understanding of what Coach Canada wants him
to do from a timing standpoint.
Just got to keep working it and keep
working it because we saw a great pass rush last
week. He threw the ball extremely well and
probably held it too long one time. This week he’s
going to see maybe even a better pass rush with
(Vic) Beasley.

Q. His poise seems to be one of the
best things about him too.

DAVE DOEREN: He’s super competitive.
He loves the spotlight — not the look at me part of
it, but the competition part of it. He just loves
competing and being on that stage and seeing if
he’s better than anybody. He loves that.

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What Beamer says about playing the Tar Heels

Frank Beamer.

Frank Beamer.

Here’s what Virginia Tech coach Frank Beamer had to say about North Carolina, his team’s opponent this weekend.

“They’re fast,” he said. “We’ve had some success speeding it up. We try to set the tempo. Sometimes it’s not as fast as other times. I think we’ve got to think about that in this ball game.”

What are some of the biggest things you’ve seen on film from them and your anticipation of this game and what
they’re bringing forward?

“Well, I think playing two quarterbacks, and both of them are extremely capable, good results. I think like 64 percent passing,” Beamer said. “The running yards per game is good. I think they can put up a lot of points, averaging 41, if I’m not mistaken.

“And defensively, they’re extremely athletic, like all of us. They’ve had some big plays against them, and I think all of us are trying to cut down on the big plays. A punter that’s been there a few years, Hibbard, he’s a weapon for them. I think they’ve got a good football team.”

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Fedora news conference: Heels can’t afford to give up big plays vs. Va. Tech

Larry Fedora.

Larry Fedora.

North Carolina football coach is looking forward to playing in front of a home crowd but he knows the Tar Heels will have to not give up big plays like it did against Clemson if they expect to win.

Q. Just kind of wanted to — obviously
looking at that last game against Clemson and
what happened going to this, what did you
learn the most about your team in that game
that you can bring forward into this match-up?

LARRY FEDORA: Well, we did a lot of
things better, and then we did some things not very
good. I will say that our team fought throughout
the entire game all the way till the end, and we just
didn’t make enough plays. But there were some
very bright spots in the game and we had some
guys that made some really nice plays, and we felt
like we did a really good job of stopping the run,
but we gave up too many mental mistakes and big
plays to win a football game of that caliber.

Q. As you look forward with this team
and you look at your upcoming match-up, I
know you spoke on it a little bit, but what can
you say about what you’re heading into this
week and what your expectations are of your
team and this game against Virginia Tech?

LARRY FEDORA: Well, we’re going to
have to play better, there’s no doubt about it.
Virginia Tech is very well coached. Bud Foster,
starting with their defense, does a tremendous job
of pressuring, getting people to the quarterback,
playing man coverage on the outside and daring
you to beat them, and they’ve done a tremendous
job of that. Having given up many points playing
the game that way, and they’re very confident in
the way they do it.
You know they’re going to be very sound
in everything they do on special teams. There are
not going to be any mistakes there. And
offensively I think they’ve evolved and they’re
throwing the ball much better than they have in the
past. They’ve got some big receivers and tight
ends, and the quarterback is doing a great job for
them.
We’re going to have to play a really good,
complete football game.

Q. I’m curious, they’re a different
football team when they’re able to run the ball
effectively, and obviously with what you guys
do on offense, they’re going to want to possess
the football. What do you see from their run
game, and why were you guys so effective
against it last year?

LARRY FEDORA: You know, I think — I
mean, I’ve always thought they’ve done a good job
of running the football, and we felt like last year we
were going to have to stop the run. We
concentrated our efforts at that point, and we’re
going to have to do the same thing this year.
We’re going to have to stop the run. If we allow
them to be two-dimensional, it will be a very
difficult day for us. They will stay on the field. For
us to get off the field, we have got to stop the run,
and then we’ve got to hold up in the passing game.

Q. And on the other side of the ball,
Kendall Fuller, and they have some very
accomplished guys in that secondary, but
they’ve struggled some in pass defense. What
do you see there that’s been a problem for
them?

LARRY FEDORA: Well, I’d like to know
where was the struggle on pass defense.

Q. Well, they gave up late scores
against Georgia Tech and ECU and ECU threw
for a ton against them.

LARRY FEDORA: Yeah, they threw for a
ton. ECU is going to throw for a ton on a lot of
people. I’ll tell you this, watching them, Virginia
Tech, with as much man, free and zero coverage
that they play, I think their secondary does an
unbelievable job of accomplishing what they
accomplish, because you’re not just bouncing in
and out of it, you’re majoring in it, and I think that
says he’s got complete confidence in those guys
on that back end and what they’re doing.

Q. Are Landon Turner and Jon Heck
healthy again and ready to get back on the field
this week?

LARRY FEDORA: They’re both getting
better. That’s the best I can tell you. They’re both
getting better.

Q. Even though you put up some pretty
good offensive numbers the last couple of
weeks, how much would both of those guys
being in there help your attack?

LARRY FEDORA: Well, it would definitely
help us. I mean, it’s your two most experienced
starters that we have in the offense. We already
had a very young offensive line, and then without
those two guys in there we’ve become much
younger and a whole lot less experienced. Yeah, it
would help us tremendously for the continuity that
we could eventually get going in the offensive line.

Q. My question was about Landon
Turner. You said he was going to play on
Saturday. What would his presence on the
field as well as the leader of the line mean if he
were to come back, especially with the defense
you’re facing Saturday?

LARRY FEDORA: Yeah, if we can get him
back, he still brings some definite leadership up
front, a calming effect for guys when things aren’t
going exactly as expected, and a guy that can
bring those guys together and just keep them
focused and keep them going in the right direction.

Q. I think it’s fair to say based on the
last few games, the secondary is an area of
concern. What have you done this week to
improve the secondary and shore up the
mistakes that were made against Clemson and
just get better on that part of the defense?

LARRY FEDORA: Yeah, well, mental
mistakes are basically a lack of focus. I mean,
that’s what it is. When you have a missed
assignment, unless you have not been taught your
job and don’t know your job, then I would say it’s a
lack of focus, and so we really haven’t changed
what we’ve done practice-wise. It’s not like we’re
not practicing those things. It’s more of
challenging guys to make sure they do their job
and they understand the importance of doing their
job on every snap, both in practice and in games.

Q. And after the two tough losses, how
is the morale in the locker room and how is
practice this week in regards to the kids’
attitudes going forward and heading into
Virginia Tech?

LARRY FEDORA: Morale is fine. Morale
is fine. The locker room is fine. I mean, energy
level, practice is fine. I mean, these guys, you
have to learn how to put things to bed and move
on so that they don’t bite you twice. Our guys have
done a good job of that, and they’re ready to roll.

Q. Talk about playing against Frank
Beamer. What does he mean for this league as
the elder statesman for the league?

LARRY FEDORA: Well, I mean, he’s a
legend. 28 years at the school is — I don’t know if
you’ll ever see that again in this day and age of
college football. I mean, you can’t say enough
great things about Frank Beamer, what he means
to the game of football, what he’s brought to
Blacksburg and to the ACC.

Q. And talk about the new guys. I
know the last couple weeks have been tough.
What do you guys have to do to improve on
Saturday?

LARRY FEDORA: Well, offensively we’re
going to have to — we have to move the chains. I
mean, we’re going to have to stay on the field and
move the chains. To do that we’re going to have to
play — we’re going to have to run the ball
effectively, and I can’t say that probably anybody
but Georgia Tech ran the ball effectively on these
guys, so we’re going to have to do a very good job
of that to be able to move those chains.
Defensively we’re going to have to stop the
run, and we’re going to have to create some
takeaways. That’s going to be huge for us to get
off the field on 3rd downs, and then special teams
we really need to create a game-changing play on
special teams.

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UNC women’s soccer hosts Va. Tech in big sportsmanship week game

uncsoccerThe ACC will continue its sportsmanship awareness campaign by recognizing Fall Sportsmanship Week from Sept. 29 – Oct. 5 with No. 5 Virginia Tech traveling to Chapel Hill to play UNC Friday night, Oct. 3.

The game will be live on Regional Sports Networks (RSN) so check your local listing.

ACC Sportsmanship Weeks are a campaign to emphasize sportsmanship as it relates to ACC teams, the conference and fans by designating one week during the fall, winter and spring seasons.

Seven ACC women’s soccer matches are a part of Fall Sportsmanship Week. The other top 25 matchup this week as No. 4 Virginia going to No. 14 Notre Dame. Notre Dame sophomore goalkeeper Kaela Little is this week’s ACC Player of the Week. Little played an integral role in a pair of ACC victories for the Irish including a 2-0 upset at No. 2/3 Virginia Tech Sept. 25.

The ACC boasts six teams ranked in both the NSCAA and Soccer America Top 25 polls, the most of any league. Three teams are among the top five in the NSCAA poll (No. 2 Florida State, No. 4 Virginia and No. 5 Virginia Tech).

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ACC Council of Presidents set forth initial priorities balancing academics, athletics

Donna Shalala.

Donna Shalala.

The Atlantic Coast Conference is submitting its initial priorities as part of the new autonomy structure that will help every student-athlete better achieve the kind of rewarding experience they deserve as part of the collegiate model. The priorities are being sent forward to the NCAA by the October 1 deadline.

Each of the priorities builds upon the ACC’s overall mission to emphasize both academic excellence and athletic competitiveness, seeking to maximize the educational and athletic opportunities of its student-athletes while enriching their quality of life.

“The ACC has consistently been a leader in appropriately balancing academics and athletics,” said Donna Shalala, Chair of the ACC Council of Presidents and President of the University of Miami. “The list of priorities that we are submitting to the NCAA reflects our determination to continue improving our student-athletes’ experience as an integral part of the educational missions of our world-class universities.”

“The collegiate model is a very special part of this country’s educational system and culture, and we believe the priorities set forth continue to focus on the importance of better addressing the needs of our student-athletes,” said ACC Commissioner John Swofford. “The work that’s been done by our membership and now sent forth by the Council of Presidents shows a commitment to highlighting a more effective structure where these benefits can be realized.”

The Council’s priorities are a principled and disciplined approach to reform with a continued commitment to both male and female student-athletes and our broad-based programs.

The initial priorities being sent forward by the ACC include:

· Examination of scholarship protections for student-athletes;

· Meeting a student-athlete’s cost of attendance;

· Ensuring institutional flexibility to provide educational support for former student-athletes;

· Examination of career-related insurance options for student-athletes; and

· Ensuring that nutritional needs of student-athletes are met in a reasonable way.

Additional topics were also identified for further discussion and possible inclusion within future legislative cycles. These topics include, but are not limited to, exploring the time demands on student-athletes and safeguarding the right of student-athletes to enjoy the full educational opportunities and benefits available to other students.

The Council previously charged three subcommittees to evaluate the new NCAA autonomy topics relative to three subsets of student-athletes (prospective, current and former). Each subcommittee was chaired by a President and included a broad-based group of university practitioners that have expertise in the topics within each respective subcommittee. All 15 member institutions were represented between the three subcommittees. Following this work, the league’s 5-5-5 committee on autonomy reviewed the recommendations, which were then forwarded to the Council of Presidents.

- News release