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The Virginian - Pilot (Norfolk, VA.)
NORFOLK - The demolition of 82-year-old Foreman Field began Monday, two days after Old Dominion routed Virginia Military Institute in the last game at the venerable campus and community landmark.
Along with its familiar clam-shell-style grandstands, the facility's name will also be consigned to history. When it re-opens next August, it will be known as S.B. Ballard Stadium.
"That's the name for the foreseeable future," said athletic director Wood Selig, who added that the school is not shopping stadium naming rights.
The stadium was re-named Foreman Field at S.B. Ballard Stadium in 2009, after a $2.5 million donation by contractor Stephen B. Ballard, whose company completed a $25 million restoration then and is the contractor on the $67.5 million reconstruction beginning now.
Selig said it's possible the school could sell naming rights to the field.
A $2.5 million club at the reconstructed stadium will be named the Priority Club, after a $1.5 million donation by longtime ODU booster Dennis Elmer, founder and CEO of the Priority Automotive Group.
Foreman Field was named for A.H. Foreman, a businessman and lawyer who helped found ODU as the Norfolk Division of the College of William & Mary in 1930.
The former stadium and its namesake will be honored at the new stadium, possibly with a timeline of the venue and information about A.H. Foreman.
on the way
Looking for immediate help on defense, ODU picked up commitments from three junior college players over the weekend.
Linebackers Cory Jackson, from Pearl River (Miss.) Community College; and Elijah Golston, from Mt. San Antonio College in California announced their intentions to enroll, as did defensive lineman Jeremiah Doss of Hinds (Miss.) Community College.
ODU has been scouring the juco ranks for help for a defense that ranks 120th in the nation, allowing 480.5 yards per game, and will lose six starters to graduation.
"We are full speed into recruiting," coach Bobby Wilder said. "Our goal is to get as many top junior college players signed at the mid-year and here in January to compete for starting jobs in the spring."
Coaches are not permitted to comment on specific recruits until they sign a letter of intent.
Golston was rated a three-star recruit by 247sports.com. and would have three years of eligibility. Jackson, who made 34 tackles and had 2½ sacks, would have two years. Doss would also have two years.
ODU has gone the juco route with success in the past, particularly when the program was launching in 2009.
"The benefit you get from a junior college player is he's two or three years older than the high school player," Wilder said. "They've played a high level of competition in junior college. These players are also hungry for a scholarship and they're hungry to play Division I."
at rebuilding Rice
The Monarchs (4-7) wrap up the season Saturday at Rice (1-11), which has lost 11 straight under first-year coach Mike Bloomgren after a season-opening win over Prairie View A&M. The Owls were granted a 13th game because of an NCAA rule that allows teams that play at Hawaii to schedule an extra contest.
Rice not only played the Rainbow Warriors, but Houston, Wake Forest and Louisiana STate in its non-conference slate.
"They have played arguably the most difficult schedule of anybody in our league," Wilder said. "They could end up possibly having lost to nine teams that will play in bowl games.
"They are working to develop something there and I think they will be a very good football team. We are hopeful that it doesn't start this week."
Ed Miller, 757-446-2372, firstname.lastname@example.org
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