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February 14, 2012

News and Notes

By: Jimmy Robertson

ACC announces new football and basketball scheduling formats

On Feb. 3, the ACC unveiled new future scheduling formats for football and men’s and women’s basketball, announcing that league schools will play nine conference games in football and 18 conference games in basketball. These formats go into effect once Pittsburgh and Syracuse become playing members.

The league also announced that Syracuse would be in the Atlantic division, with Pittsburgh joining the Coastal in football. Those two schools become primary crossover partners.

We have been engaged in discussions on the various options for integrating Pitt and Syracuse since early fall," ACC Commissioner John Swofford said in a statement. "It's a tremendous tribute to the leadership at our schools that we will be able to seamlessly add Pitt and Syracuse at the appropriate time when they become full playing members."

In football, the format consists of each school playing all six teams in its division each year, plus its primary crossover partner each year and two rotating opponents from the opposite division. Tech’s primary crossover opponent is BC.

This six-year cycle allows each team to play each divisional opponent and its primary crossover partner six times (three home and three away), while also playing each rotating crossover opponent two times (one home and one away).

In basketball, the league announced that each team will have one primary partner instead of two, and the Hokies’ primary partner is Virginia. Primary partners play twice a year, and thus, Tech will continue to play the Cavaliers twice each year (home and away).

The rest of the hoops scheduling format has the other 12 teams rotating in groups of four – one year both home and away, one year at home only, and one year away only. Over the course of the three-year cycle, primary partners play a total of six times and all other conference opponents play four times.

The ACC has not announced the format for the league basketball tournaments, but every team will play in the tournament.

Former Tech grad named trainer of the year

Bob Liebau, a former Tech student who worked as a graduate assistant in the athletic training department with legendary trainer Eddie Ferrell, was named the 2012 Clinical and Emerging Practice Athletic Trainer of the Year by The Virginia Athletic Trainers’ Association. He received the award at the VATA’s annual meeting and symposium in Richmond on Jan. 14.

Liebau has worked at the University of Mary Washington in Fredericksburg, Va., for the past 25 years and currently serves as the associate director of campus recreation and the director of the fitness center at Mary Washington. He founded the university's wellness program and has expanded his sports medicine outreach to the university students, staff and club sports.

Liebau graduated from Tech in 1979 with an undergraduate degree in health and physical education. He received a master’s in physical education, specializing in exercise physiology, from Tech in 1985. From 1982-84, he worked with Ferrell, helping with the football team under then coach Bill Dooley and the wrestling team under then coach Jerry Cheynet.

Former Sun Bowl player passes away

Jack Ittner, a four-year letter winner who played on Virginia Tech’s first bowl team, passed away in Port Haywood, Va., on Jan. 15. He was 87 years old.

Ittner, a Richmond native, was considered by many to be one of the best players on the 1946 squad that traveled to El Paso, Texas, and played in the 1947 Sun Bowl on New Year’s Day. Tech lost to Cincinnati 18-6 on a brutally cold and snowy afternoon. He came back to Tech in April of 2009 for a Sun Bowl team reunion.

In 1947, Ittner earned honorable mention All-America honors as an offensive tackle [He also played linebacker and center for the Hokies]. He lettered all four years he played at Tech (1946-49).

After graduating from Richmond’s John Marshall High School, Ittner served in World War II with the Navy Seabees, or Construction Battalion (CB), that helped build bases, roadways and airstrips. He spent time with the Seabees in New Guinea and in the Philippines before returning to the U.S. in 1945.

Following his playing career, Ittner served as the head football coach at Washington & Lee High School in Montross, Va., and worked at the Montross Post Office. After retiring, he and his wife Harriett retired to Urbanna, Va.

He is survived by his four children, seven grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.