By BRIAN LANDMAN
© St. Petersburg Times, published September 24, 2000
TALLAHASSEE -- Florida State athletic director Dave Hart, shooting to elevate the entire program's facilities, announced Friday evening that a major capital campaign had $43-million in commitments.
The goal is to raise $70-million by the end of 2002.
The money would be used to build a basketball practice facility and offices adjacent to the Tallahassee-Leon County Civic Center, upgrade the baseball stadium and add an athletics center at Doak Campbell Stadium complete with a top-flight sports medicine facility.
"I'm encouraged," Hart said of the progress. "We have more than 20 $1-million gifts. We're still lacking that $5-, $10-, $15-million gift, but our pool is small, we're such a young university. But maybe we can get one of that nature, too.
"The important thing is with last night's official announcement, we'll now open it to the masses and hopefully, everybody will decide this warrants them making an investment in the future of our athletic program. If we can get several hundred or a thousand people to do that, we can exceed our goal."
Hart said he can envision breaking ground on the projects within two years.
MOVING ON UP: With the win, FSU senior quarterback Chris Weinke extended his streak to 24, tying him for fourth with former Miami star Gino Torretta. As chance would have it, Torretta, the 1992 Heisman Trophy winner, was providing color commentary for ESPN2.
"To be honest with you, I didn't know they kept records like that," Torretta said before the game. "It's impressive for anybody to do that. First and foremost, you have to be able to start 24 games."
He added that he and Weinke are similar in that each overcame a poor start to his career. Torretta threw four interceptions in a 24-10 loss to FSU at Doak Campbell Stadium on Oct. 28, 1989, his third career start, and Weinke threw six interceptions in a 24-7 loss at North Carolina State on Sept. 12, 1998, his second start.
LOUISVILLE TIES: Former FSU coaching nemesis Howard Schnellenberger went from Miami to Louisville and turned the Cardinals into a respected national program during his 10-year tenure (1985-94). His 1990 team finished 10-1-1, which included a resounding 34-7 win against Alabama in the Fiesta Bowl, their only major bowl appearance.
"Howard took them to another level, there's no doubt about it," FSU coach Bobby Bowden said. "He took on everybody and won his share. He got them nationally ranked and took them to the Fiesta Bowl and beat Alabama. That's typical Howard. I sit here and shiver every time I think about what I would have done if he stayed at Miami; he would have chased me off somewhere else, probably."
Schnellenberger is putting together a Division I-AA program at Florida Atlantic. Saturday was the team's first intrasquad scrimmage.
IN THE CARDS: For those wondering why FSU played Louisville on Saturday and will again in 2002 at Louisville: Blame, or credit, Auburn. In early 1999, the Tigers canceled their ballyhooed two-game series, which would have begun with last season's opener that was set up to pit Bobby Bowden against Terry Bowden in the first father-son coaching matchup in Division I-A. Terry resigned midway through the 1998 season, and new coach Tommy Tuberville didn't look forward to opening with the Seminoles. That left FSU scrambling for an opponent last season (Louisiana Tech) and this season.
NOT OUT OF THE WOODS: FSU sophomore defensive tackle Chris Woods, who started the opener but missed the next two games with a sprained left ankle, returned briefly. He re-injured the ankle midway through the first quarter and didn't return.
PLAY IT AGAIN: Sunshine Network will air its production of FSU's game against Louisville at 7 tonight and at noon Monday.