VIDEO OF THE DAY: VCU FLASH MOB – GANGNAM STYLE

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The recent fascination with Gangnam Style makes about as much sense to me as calculus did in high school. However, I’m all for VCU flash mobs, so let’s do this.

ED MCLAUGHLIN’S FIRST PITCH

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New VCU Athletic Director Ed McLaughlin threw out the first pitch at the Richmond Flying Squirrels’ game the other day. He didn’t exactly throw at the bull, but he didn’t channel Greg Maddux either. Instead, he opted for a little high and tight chin music. I’m sure there’s some metaphor in here that includes establishing the inside of the plate and brushing our opponents off the inside corner or something, but I’ll spare you the rhetoric for today.

Just once I’d like to see somebody drop a slider in there, a la Kevin Kline in “Dave”. I might just have to do it myself.

MORE MCLAUGHLIN

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Shaka Smart discusses new VCU Athletic Director Ed McLaughlin:

McLaughlin talks about his experience with the Villa 7 Coaches Consortium:

MEETING MCLAUGHLIN

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Ed McLaughlin was introduced as VCU’s sixth athletic director Tuesday. “…I think VCU is a place where we can win a national championship.”

RICHMOND, Va. – Niagara’s Ed McLaughlin was introduced as the sixth athletic director in VCU Athletics history Tuesday. He succeeds Norwood Teague, who had held the post since 2006, but recently took the same job at the University of Minnesota.

We’ll have plenty of opportunities to get to know Ed in the coming weeks, but here are some highlights from his press conference and our breakout sessions today:

Ed McLaughlin isn’t afraid to dream big or make bold statements, laying out his vision for the athletics department Tuesday.

You have the ability here to take a success story and make it something incredibly special. There are a lot of people in this business, a lot of ADs that take jobs, but not a lot of them can say when they wake up, ‘We can win a national championship here.’ It’s inspiring, and I think VCU is a place where we can win a national championship.

Obviously the level of success that some of our programs have had demonstrates that. That’s what excites me the most, the chance to do something incredibly special.

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ONE-ON-ONE WITH VCU ATHLETIC DIRECTOR ED MCLAUGHLIN

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‘RIDE FOR RICKY’ NEARING CONCLUSION

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Recently-graduated VCU cross country runner Tyler Simmons is pedaling across the United States to raise money for a fallen friend.

SOMEWHERE, U.S.A. – A few months back we told you about the cross-country bike ride proposed by VCU track and field athlete Tyler Simmons to benefit a paralyzed friend.

On June 1, Simmons, Andrew Kenny and Pawel Loj departed Manassas, Va. and have been chugging across the country for the last six weeks. On July 10, the group blitzed through Utah and into Nevada and are on pace to reach San Francisco on July 17. We plan on hitting up Simmons for a full report when stops pedaling. Whenever that ends up being.

To date, the group has raised more than $18,000 for their cause, which will offset the extensive medical bills of their friend, Ricky Chang. Simmons and Company want to let it be known that they are still taking donations, and that each dollar counts.

If you are still interested in helping, you can find out more at http://www.rickyridesagain.webs.com.

HAPPY A-10 DAY!

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Okay, VCU and Butler officially became Atlantic 10 members yesterday, but today is the first actual day of business, so let’s get down to the business of winning.

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BONUS VIDEO

PHOTO OF THE DAY: CAMPS!

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Yup, it’s that time of year. Camp time. In all seriousness, if I was still in college, this thing would be sitting shotgun in my dorm room with me right now, playing Mario Kart like a boss.

YOUR OFFICIAL NERDY SPORTS INFO ATLANTIC 10 NAME GAME PRIMER

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So, you think you can work in sports info? Well, listen up here, sonny.

Yesterday we were unofficially officially welcomed to the Atlantic 10 by league staffers with a riveting Power Point presentation and wooed with pewter coasters. Yes, my loyalty can be bought, and the price is pretty low. For many of us, it was our first administrative act as totally almost official but not official until July 1 members of the league.

This allowed for a chance for all us sports information/media relations types to get together and discuss incredibly sports info things.

A little background info. I’m a sports nerd. It’s a condition that affects thousands of adolescents a year. If left untreated, your children could grow up to work in sports information like me.

By the time I was 14, I was pouring over the USA Today sports section on a daily basis because they had the best stats. I can still tell you that Cleveland Indians third baseman Brook Jacoby hit 32 homers in 1987, but somehow only managed to drive in 69 runs. I know that Scottie Pippen was actually drafted by the Seattle Supersonics and that Johnny Unitas retired a Charger. I know that Michael Jordan was born in Brooklyn and that the Washington Senators are now the Minnesota Twins (1961) and Texas Rangers (1972). I’m one of six people on the East Coast under the age of 50 that can score a baseball game by hand.

In high school, I managed to mask my sports nerdness to participating in undeniably cool sports like bowling and cross country.

Anyway, yesterday we sports info folks had an opportunity to do some of the most sports info stuff ever. Things like: In StatCrew, does the A-10 enter player names last name first, use the full first name or just the initial? Do you type the name in all caps or in upper and lower case letters (for the record, the A-10 is last names first – in all caps – followed by the first name in upper and lower case letters). Exciting, right?

Here’s my favorite part of the meeting, which is equal parts inane and helpful, especially to VCU fans. Here at Ram HQ, we’ve been fighting the VCU brand fight for years. For the record, there are two acceptable ways to reference your school. It’s either Virginia Commonwealth University (first reference) or VCU. It’s been an uphill battle within our own league to get people to stop using Va. Commonwealth as an abbreviation. We do this because, frankly, Va. Commonwealth looks terrible and is difficult to market and understand. VCU is sleek and looks great on a t-shirt. Plus, chicks dig it.

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WELCOME TO THE A-10!

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This move to the Atlantic 10 is already paying dividends. Best. League. Ever. I can tell you I never got a CAA coaster.

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