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Good Morning, Welcome to FIU

First day of the spring semester at FIU brought 3 new Golden Panthers to campus and ready to hit the Jg Ts_2 Wca_4 off-season conditioning program.

Quarterback Wesley Carroll (left), defensive end Thatcher Starling (middle) and kicker Jack Griffin (right) all are Golden Panthers and were there for their 6 a.m. wake-up calls with the rest of their new FIU teammates.

FIU began its off-season conditioning program at 6 a.m. on Monday with 30 110-yard sprints. How's that for a good morning on the first day of school.

We'll have more with the 3 newest Golden Panthers in separate GPP interviews in the coming days along with our wrap up on the recruiting prowl: receivers/tight ends and offensive line.

Logo GOLDEN PANTHER PAWSE

Gppaw Talkin' a little baseball here. Spoke with TT today and he will be visiting the GPP Tt sometime in late January. TT also hired a new coach today to replace Rod Delmonico, who will be coaching the Dutch team in the upcoming World Baseball Classic. Frank Damas from Miami Dade College was hired by TT today. FD has a strong recruiting background in Dade, Broward, Palm Beach and in FIU Fanatic's homeland of Puerto Rico.

The FIU Baseball/Softball Diamond Dinner is Feb. 7 at 6 p.m. on a Saturday. For ticket info call 305-348-7403.

Gppaw_2 They'll be playing futbol at FIU Stadium on Sunday, Jan. 18 with a match between Chile and Honduras national teams. You can get tickets at 1-877-877-7677.

To the questions:

FIU Fanatic: Are we really still in the hunt for Greg Reid? You seem to include Wayne Times already as a FIU commit....If so, that info hasn't transpired publicly until this blog...is this so?

GPP: FIU and about every other team in the nation is in the hunt for GR. WT is on his way to FIU.

FIU Fan For Life: Men's hoops lose AGAIN! Pete, I heard you mention the return of Souto and Hicks @ the end of Feb. What for?

GPP: Just answering another reader's question and you're probably right the return of Souto and Hicks may not be enough.

Newdazz Clawing Cancer: any new news on the FIU Beach, Pete? Is that idea going anywhere?

GPP: Nothing new. FIU Beach needs someone to donate sand and palm trees. FIU already has the co-ed scenery.

Gooch7: Now that the Football Stadium is half way done, do you think FIU will start a project on redoing the Soccer/Track stadium.

GPP: I think the hoops arena is next on the to-do list. Which has kind of started already with all the bathrooms being re-done inside the arena.

CJ: Pete on rivals it is showing ATM as visiting on the 12th this month do you know if he will be keeping that visit?

GPP: That was Dec. 12th.

ERIC: There's a back by the name of Orwin Elkins chewed it up real nice this season against Carol City,Btw  Cypress Bay, Northwestern and Deerfield went for over 120 against each team is he on FIU's radar. Also do you think Kambriel will be moved to OLB kid has a motor but is 5-10 and 200 LBS. at DE.

GPP: Not sure about Elkins. As far KW (No. 50 right, with No. 6 JJ and No. 38 Franklin Brown), you might see him line up at both DE and LB it all depends on what kind of defensive personnel FIU has next season and what kind of gains KW made in the off-season weight training program.

FIUGPanther: hey pete i know you said that the construction crew doesnt have an off season. can you update us on whats being going on at the cage and what should we expect for 09. thanks

GPP: The fieldhouse and west end zone meeting rooms/patio area/club suites are all expected to be done before the 2009 season. The fieldhouse should be open by May and we'll tour it and have photos for you on here. The west end zone rooms/patio/suites should be good to go before the 2009 home opener. Of course, if ML$ makes it way to FIU Stadium, the north side of the stadium could go up quicker than expected.

Gppaw_3 We moved down south on our last poll question reaching Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. Our friends to south add to our scorecard that keeps going north with readers and with the Herald rankings:

GPP WORLDWIDE READERSHIP SCORECARD:

The GPP is now read in: 39 STATES: ALA, ARI, ARK, CA, COL, FLA, GA, HI, IDAHO, IL, IND, IOWA, KAN, KY, LA, MASS, MD, MICH, MIN, MISS, MO, NEB, NEV, NC, NJ, NY, OH, ORE, PA, RI, SC, TEN, TEX, UTAH, VA, VER, WASH, WEST VA., WISC.

24 COUNTRIES: Antigua and Barbuda, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Croatia, Czech Republic, Dominican Republic, Honduras, Hungary, Italy, Japan, Lebanon, Netherlands, Netherlands Antilles, Nicaragua, Panama, Peru, Serbia, Spain, Thailand, United Kingdom, U.S.A., Venezuela, Vietnam.

1 DISTRICT: Washington, D.C. and 1 TERRITORY: Puerto Rico.

We've reached the halfway mark in the FIU hoops season and let's get your thoughts....

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Good info Pete, thanks for the nuggets ;)

Indeed, some good nuggets. Gracias, Pete.

Just some semi-serious thoughts here... couldn't Odebrecht (hope I spelled that right) donate the sand for the beach? I mean, they are a construction company. There has to be a lot of sand being used in the football stadium construction... it's an ingredient in mixing concrete. And there are just TONS of palms all around FIU. Couldn't they just uproot one or two and plop them in the stadium? It'd probably be easier to grab a baby palm and use that instead, though.

As for hoops... I have to disagree that the season's over already in men's hoops. Sure, we probably won't finish over .500 at this point, but there's no reason that this team, once fully healthy, couldn't get hot and make a run in the conference tournament.

Besides... FIU could be a 20-win team and they'd still need to win the conference tournament to get in the Dance. The regular season matters if you're in the running for an at-large bid, and few Sun Belt schools are ever in that discussion. Really, only WKU.

Plenty of teams with bad overall records have gotten hot in their conference tourney and made the tournament. Hell, FIU was an 8 or 9 win team, with a coach who had already lost his job, when they made the post-season in 1995. And it was all thanks to them getting hot in the conference tournament.

The season's far from over yet. Let's wait for that to happen before we call it quits, OK, people?

Great info Pete.

You got FIU sports covered like white on rice.

Any sense on if Rouco is going to get a free pass on this awful season or is he done come March?

I heard from a friend that you can buy beer at the Stadium if you are an Alumni Association member.

I thought it was only if you were a season ticket holder.

Can you confirm which it is?

FIU FPL

First of all can you hook up another Golden Panther with some free Lect.. Ha ha ha..

As for your question about buying beer: You can buy beer and other drinks down at the Club Suit. My wife and I are Season Ticket Holder, and Alumni Memebers, but they never ask for my membership card. The only thing is that Club/Suit ticket holders can only go into that section. It makes the old guys feel good to have a little more freedom then the student section. Can you imagine if they sold beer in the student section!! We might sell-out the stadium every Saturday..

Hey Pete:

When you do the recruitment update for DBs/Athletes can you look into a kid from Doral Academy (Carlton Callender) has good size at 6'1" 185lbs and has offers from Colorado State, K-State, Louisville, Pitt, and West Virginia. I'd like to know if we are recruiting him ??

I noticed he made the Herald All-Dade 3A-1B list. On rivals they list him as a 3 star sleeper, probably because of the comp. level with the small schools in Miami-Dade.

**Also Phillip Thomas made the Herald 1st team DB, but I see that FIU has not offered him yet, is he still on Mario's radar ??

Thanks.


C. Cancer, I agree with you. No one expected this horrible rash of injuries, however (I know this will piss-off FIU Fan For Life) when that team is complete, you never know.

I was Alumni Director in '95 when the men's hoops team made their ONLY Big Dance appearance (I traveled to Boise to seem them play eventual Natl. Champs UCLA!), and that FIU team got smokin-hot @ conference tourney time. BTW FIU Coach Weltlich had not been fired, he had resigned because he was not much of a South Florida guy plus the AD at the time Ted Aceto was extremely difficult to work with in and out of athletics. Just a little insight.

My motto from that '95 season was "UCLA had to come through FIU to win the title"! It was always good for a laugh!

GO FIU!!!

Thanks for updates PP.
It was I that triggered a vote from the DR. I started school here and miss FIU lots so I visit the blog often to stay up to date with fiu sports.

Great to hear that we picked up Wayne times! I'm really looking forward to watching him play at The Cage! I can't wait for football season to start again!

Pete,

Heard West Virginia was down at MNW today speaking with Times, and also that he has a meeting set up with UF tomorrow. He seems more like a silent/soft commit than anything else right now. Have you heard the same?

"Doc Holliday" making his rounds in Dade County...

Come on Mario !! Close this kid out, as well as Hargrett and send a message to everyone else that these are our kids and they belong at FIU or UCG.

Imagine that one folks FIU vs. UCG for the National Championship sometime down the road ??

Thanks for the information, Pete. I'd love to see some of these other Northwestern HS kids into FIU, plus land at least one of the "unthinkable" guys we are recruiting....that would be just huge for FIU recruiting.....Again, thanks...

I don't like having four QBs duking it out seriously. What happened to all the potential Colt was brining to the table. Seeing all these new QBs makes it seem that Mario has little faith in Colt, no?

FWIW, saw a young lady with an FIU cap in Paris today, sporting the old FIU logo. Ironic considering how damn cold it is, most are wearing much more than a cap. Didn't get a chance to talk to her, but was cool to see FIU love outside of South Florida.

Awesome bit of info on Paris, Quijote....

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