Originally created 12/02/99

Angry fans spur SEC into action



Abusive fans have prompted University of Georgia officials to search for better ways to control crowds at games.

The problem was most acute at the Auburn game, a nighttime blowout of the Bulldogs when some angry fans heaped abuse on Georgia workers.

"Some of our ushers and police officers were subjected to things I don't think we should be," said Michael Adams, Georgia's president.

Two law enforcement officers were injured by fans this year, though neither injury was serious.

Athletics directors from the 12 Southeastern Conference universities will meet in Birmingham, Ala., next week, and crowd control is on the agenda.

"It has become a problem," said SEC Associate Commissioner Jim McCullough.

BIG EAST AWARDS:

Virginia Tech quarterback Michael Vick was chosen the Big East's player of the year -- the first freshman in Division I history to win his league's top honor.

Vick, who was redshirted last season, also was the Big East rookie of the year as the Hokies swept all five individual awards. Coach Frank Beamer, defensive end Corey Moore and kicker Shayne Graham also were honored.

Beamer guided the Hokies to their first 11-0 season and a No. 2 ranking that gives them a chance to play in the Sugar Bowl for the national championship.

Moore received the maximum possible votes for defensive player of the year -- the first time ever for the conference, and the second consecutive year he has won the award. He set a conference record with 17 sacks, leading the Big East for the second year in a row.

Graham, who scored 107 points to break his conference scoring record, was the league's special teams player of the year. He made 17 of 22 field goals and 56 extra points and is the Big East career scoring leader with 372 points.

MASON HONORED:

Minnesota coach Glen Mason, whose 8-3 Gophers were the surprise team of 1999, was voted Big Ten coach of the year by a media panel. Minnesota earned a berth in the Sun Bowl against Oregon on Dec. 31.

Mason is the first Minnesota coach to win the honor since the award was introduced in 1972.

He joins John Mackovic and Denny Stolz as the only coaches in NCAA history to win coach of the year honors from three conferences. Mason was the 1986 Mid-American Conference Coach of the Year at Kent State and the 1991 and 1995 Big Eight Conference Coach of the Year at Kansas.

BROYLES AWARD:

The architects of the No. 1 offense and the No. 1 defense in the country are among five assistant coaches who are finalists for the Broyles Award, given to the nation's top assistant college football coach.

Ralph Friedgen of Georgia Tech, Joe Lee Dunn of Mississippi State, Bud Foster of Virginia Tech, Greg Davis of Texas and Tim Rose of East Carolina are the finalists.

Nominations for the award were submitted by head coaches and a panel of former head coaches selected the finalists. The winner will be announced Dec. 8.

Friedgen is a finalist for the second straight year. He is the offensive coordinator at Georgia Tech, which leads the nation in total offense with 509 yards per game and is second in scoring with almost 41 points a game.

Under Dunn, Mississippi State is first nationally in total defense, allowing only 222.5 yards a game -- almost 15 fewer yards per game than the No. 2 team.

When Dunn arrived at Starkville four years ago, the Bulldogs were last in the Southeastern Conference in almost every defensive category.

MUSIC CITY BOWL:

Instead of an end to a season turned sour, Syracuse views the Music City Bowl as a fresh start.

The Orangemen (6-5) accepted a bid to play in the Dec. 29 game in Nashville, Tenn. They will meet an opponent from the SEC -- Kentucky, Georgia or Mississippi -- depending on the outcome of the conference championship game Saturday. Syracuse is making its fifth consecutive bowl appearance.

HUMANITARIAN BOWL:

Louisville, which had been lobbying for a berth in the Motor City Bowl, accepted a bid to play in the Humanitarian Bowl on Dec. 30. Louisville (7-4) will face Big West Conference champion Boise State (9-3) on the Broncos' home field in the game scheduled to be televised on ESPN2.

MOTOR CITY BOWL:

Brigham Young accepted a bid to play the Mid-American Conference champion in the Motor City Bowl on Dec. 27 in Pontiac, Mich. The Cougars (8-3) will meet the winner of Friday night's MAC title game between No. 11 Marshall (11-0) and Western Michigan (7-4).