Virginia Tech Hokies

BLACKSBURG, VA - OCTOBER 9: Running back Matthew Dayes #21 of the North Carolina State Wolfpack is hit by rover Adonis Alexander #36 of the Virginia Tech Hokies in the first half at Lane Stadium on October 9, 2015 in Blacksburg, Virginia. Virginia Tech defeated North Carolina State 28-13. (Photo by Michael Shroyer/Getty Images)
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Suspended Hokies apologize in wake of weed arrests

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Tuesday, Virginia Tech announced that first-year head coach Justin Fuente had indefinitely suspended cornerback Adonis Alexander (pictured) and defensive end Houshun Gaines from the Hokies football program for violating unspecified team rules.  As it turns out, Alexander’s suspension came following an arrest for marijuana possession, while Gaines’ punitive measure stemmed from a weed arrest as well as an underage possession of alcohol charge.

Two days later, both players took Twitter to offer up their respective mea culpas for the off-field distractions.  First up is Alexander…

… followed by Gaines:

Last season, Alexander started seven of the 11 games in which he played. Exiting spring, and after moving from safety to cornerback, he was the projected starter at boundary corner.

Gaines took a redshirt as a true freshman last season, and is in line to play a significant role in Tech’s line rotation this season.

Hokies indefinitely suspend Adonis Alexander, Houshun Gaines

BLACKSBURG, VA - OCTOBER 9: Running back Matthew Dayes #21 of the North Carolina State Wolfpack is hit by rover Adonis Alexander #36 of the Virginia Tech Hokies in the first half at Lane Stadium on October 9, 2015 in Blacksburg, Virginia. Virginia Tech defeated North Carolina State 28-13. (Photo by Michael Shroyer/Getty Images)
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Any hopes Justin Fuente entertained of a headline-free next few months have been dashed.

The first-year Virginia Tech head coach announced in a release Tuesday that he has indefinitely suspended cornerback Adonis Alexander (pictured) and defensive end Houshun Gaines from the Hokies football program.  The punitive measures come a couple of days after Fuente had put the finishing touches on his first spring with the Hokies.

Not surprisingly, no explanation was offered up for the move by the coach, although there appears to be legal reasons behind the twin suspensions.

Last season, Alexander started seven of the 11 games in which he played. Exiting spring, and after moving from safety to cornerback, he was the projected starter at boundary corner.

Gaines took a redshirt as a true freshman last season, and is in line to play a significant role in Tech’s line rotation this season.

Viriginia Tech unveils new uniforms that look like their old uniforms

BLACKSBURG, VA - SEPTEMBER 7:  Quarterback Michael Brewer #12 of the Virginia Tech Hokies looks to pass against the Ohio State Buckeyes in the first half at Lane Stadium on September 7, 2015 in Blacksburg, Virginia. (Photo by Michael Shroyer/Getty Images)
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Virginia Tech unveiled new uniforms on Saturday, part of a department-wide branding initiative provided by Nike.

Uni-philies will notice these new kits aren’t much different than the Hokies’ previous get up (modeled by former Hokie quarterback Michael Brewer above), simply tightened with a sharper font, snazzier striping and shinier helmets. But, hey, who’s counting?

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In addition to new football uniforms, each team across campus will receive a new get-up that features typeface, colors and logo usage that is now fully consistent across the department.

Cue the corporate brand speak!

Virginia Tech Athletics is committed to the quest for excellence academically, athletically, and in the personal development of our students. With UT Prosim at our core, we stand strong together to serve our university and our community with integrity and respect.

As we enter a new chapter in our history, we do so with a refreshed brand identity that honors our visual past and positions us to attract and engage new student-athletes, faculty and supporters for the future.

In partnership with Nike, Virginia Tech Athletics refreshed its marks and colors to create a consistent look to one of the most recognized brands in all of college athletics.

Nike and Virginia Tech students-athletes, coaches, administrators and alumni collaborated on the brand evolution program for 18 months, gathering insights on key attributes of the university.

See the full brand identity explanation here.

(Screenshots via VT athletics.)

Virginia Tech basketball player makes amazing football catch

West Virginia's Tarik Phillip (12) guards Virginia Tech's Devin Devin Wilson (11) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Wednesday, Dec. 30, 2015, in Blacksburg, Va. West Virginia Tech won 88-63. (AP Photo/Don Petersen)
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Virginia Tech basketball player Devin Wilson is attempting to join the Hokies football team. Whether he makes the cut or not for Justin Fuente remains to be seen, but he has served up one of the top spring highlights we may see with a display of phenomenal concentration blended with a nice ability to catch the pigskin.

Wilson played football in high school, but he was the one throwing passes instead of catching them. Wilson has played in 96 games for the Virginia Tech basketball team, but a need to fill depth at wide receiver gives Wilson a chance to compete to fulfill a two-sport plan.

If he is making catches like this regularly, then he should have a very good chance to get on the football field this fall in Blacksburg.

John Swofford non-committal on future of ACC network

NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 25:  John Swofford, ACC Commissioner (C) addresses the media during a press conference to announce the New Era Pinstripe Bowl's multi-year partnership with the Atlantic Coast Conference at Yankee Stadium on June 25, 2013 in the Bronx borough of New York City. (Photo by Jason Szenes/Getty Images)
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It’s possible there’s never been a better time to be the Atlantic Coast Conference. Virginia is the reigning College World Series champion. Florida State is a recent football champion and a perennial contender, and Clemson came damn close last year. Notre Dame is aboard, and the league’s footprint has been successfully extended to Louisville, Syracuse and Pittsburgh (Boston College’s 0-for-26 notwithstanding.)

And, by the way, there are six ACC basketball teams gearing up to play in the Sweet 16 later this week.

Life is good on Tobacco Road, so why not strike while the iron’s hot and move forward with the long-awaited ACC Network?

ACC commissioner John Swofford discussed the topic with WRAL in North Carolina and was customarily non-committal on the league’s future.

“I’m confident that our television [partnership] will turn out to be very successful and beneficial to the league. All I can tell you is those conversations are continuing, and until we reach a point where we’re definitive in our path forward, there’s really not going to be a whole lot to say about it. Our confidence in the future has not changed.”

The ACC is already ESPN’s largest content provider so the question plaguing the mythical ACC Network, with ESPN under widely-reported pressure to cut costs, is why the Worldwide Leader would have an interest in paying extra for content it’s already paying for? And if not, wouldn’t it make the most sense to go digital?

“It remains to be seen. Sometimes being first is a good idea, and sometimes it’s not such a good idea. That’s all part of the evaluation of where the industry is going, where the technology is going. All of that comes into play. I think the most important thing, from our perspective, is that we have a very good partner [in ESPN] that’s very progressive and has been at the top of the food chain for a long time and I suspect will be for a long time,” Swofford said.

“I think we’ve put ourselves in a very good position as a league with our footprint and the population base that we now have, and therefore the television sets we now have, to do some things we would not have been able to do otherwise. It gets back to what I said earlier – whatever we do, we want to give ourselves the best chance, and whatever that is, the best chance to be very successful from a timing standpoint and a distribution standpoint.

“The one thing we’ve learned from other conferences that have taken this step, a potential channel, is that there are ways to do it that work extremely well immediately. There are ways to do it where it had to evolve and develop, like the Big Ten, who had huge growing pains its first years. And then the PAC-12, which continues to really struggle with their approach. It’s all out there, so there’s something to be learned from each.”

Reading between those lines, it sounds like Swofford feels exactly zero rush to do anything ESPN doesn’t want him to do.