{Sports Briefs}

Seawolves back on air

Athletic Department —
After a dispute over content and a cancelled contract in midseason last year, the UAA Athletic Department and the Alaska Sports Broadcasting have worked things out. The two sides, along with Clear Channel Radio, signed a two-year contract Sept. 15 to carry Seawolf basketball and hockey games with an option to renew for three more years.

Before the end of the 2003 women’s basketball season, UAA cut its broadcast deal with ASBN after on-air comments about the team the department considered inappropriate. This year, all the games will be broadcast on AM 550 KTZN “The Zone” which carries ESPN Radio, the Seattle Mariners, and other local and high school sporting events. In situations where basketball and hockey conflict, hockey will move to KTZN’s sister station, News Radio 650 KENI.

The contract also includes the broadcast rights for all 12 games of the Carrs/Safeway Great Alaska Shootout, which starts Nov. 23. The returning broadcasters will be Kurt Haider, who starts his ninth season calling UAA hockey, and Kelly Thompson, who is beginning his fourth. The first broadcasts of the season will be Oct. 9 for hockey and Nov. 18 for basketball.

Weakly joins men’s hoops coaching staff

Men’s Basketball — The transformation of UAA men’s basketball team is almost complete. After adding nine new players in the offseason, Seawolf head coach Rusty Osbourne announced a new assistant Sept. 14, former Biola University guard Brian Weakley.

Weakley has connections to assistant coach Shane Rinner, who also coached at Biola. In four years with the Eagles from 1998-2002, Weakley scored 1,322 points and is the program’s all-time leader in 3-pointers with 236. The Eagles went 109-27 under his watch.

Most recently, Weakley was a developmental coach with the London Towers of the British Basketball League. He was also both a head coach and a player at Middlesex University in England where he led Middlesex to a national tournament title and an undefeated season.

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More need to score in 2004

Hockey — There’s not enough scoring in college hockey.

At least that’s the consensus from the NCAA Men’s and Women’s Ice Hockey Rules Committee, NCAA staff members and coaches around the country.

They all combined to write an open letter to the NCAA community Sept. 3 calling for stricter enforcement of the rules to eliminate the clutching and grabbing that slows down offensive play. They think the “just let them play” mentality is hurting the game nationwide at many levels.

Specifically, the letter said offensive players should not be obstructed or illegally held up when, trying to get open to receive a pass, trying to pursue a loose puck and trying to dig out a puck along the boards. These are the official rules, but the letter alleges they are not indicative of the way games are actually being officiated.

Legal obstruction involves using body position. Illegal obstruction involves stopping a player using hands, arms or sticks to interfere with a player’s movement.

The letter calls for all participants from players, to coaches, to officials, to commissioners to combine their efforts to improve the play of the game.

As of yet, there has been no official announcement regarding any attempted changes. The Western Collegiate Hockey Association’s first games will be Oct 2.