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November 10, 1999

Florida State To Host 2000 Pigskin Classic

CLEVELAND -- The National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA) and ABC Sports have reached an agreement with Florida State University to serve as host of the 2000 Pigskin Classic, one of the two preseason football games sponsored by the Association. The Seminoles will face Brigham Young University.

Through an agreement reached between Florida State, the Gator Bowl Association and the City of Jacksonville, the Classic will be played in the 73,000-seat Alltel Stadium (formerly the Gator Bowl) in Jacksonville, Florida. The game will be nationally televised on ABC Sports on Saturday, August 26.

Florida State University is currently 9-0 overall and 7-0 in the Atlantic Coast Conference. They are the number one rated team in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll, the Associated Press poll and the Bowl Championship Series rankings and have been the top-ranked team all season. The Seminoles have outscored their opponents 333-141 and have scored more than 30 points in all but one victory.

"Florida State is honored to be a participant in the Pigskin Classic on the first day of college football in the new millennium," says Dave Hart, Jr., director of athletics at Florida State. "It's a matchup of two of the nation's top coaches and programs and one which should excite college football fans from coast to coast."

Brigham Young is currently 8-1 overall and lead the Mountain West Conference with a mark of 5-0. They are ranked 12th by the ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll and 15th by the AP poll. The Cougars have made 21 postseason bowl appearances since 1974. The university holds the NCAA record with 309 games without being shutout.

"BYU is pleased to be invited to play in the Pigskin Classic for the third time in 10 years," says Val Hale, director of athletics at BYU. "Florida State vs. BYU should have tremendous appeal for football fans around the country. Bobby Bowden and LaVell Edwards rank among the top 10 college coaches of all time. Both programs have enjoyed remarkable success over the past two decades. Playing in the Pigskin Classic will be a great way to kick off the new century of BYU football."

Both teams have previously met in the Pigskin Classic, in the second Classic, held in 1991, with Florida State defeating Brigham Young 44-28. BYU also appeared in the 1996 game, beating Texas A&M. In addition to the Pigskin Classic, Florida State has appeared in two Kickoff Classics, a 1993 victory over Kansas and a 1998 victory over Texas A&M.

Florida State Head Coach Bobby Bowden is the only coach in the history of Division I-A football to compile 12 consecutive 10-win seasons (1987-present). He led the Seminoles to his first national championship in 1993, while setting a university record for victories in a season with 12. He has run the winningest program in the 1990s and recorded his 300th victory against his son Tommy's Clemson team on October 23.

"I am excited about opening the season with BYU on national television," says FSU Coach Bobby Bowden. "LaVell (Edwards) and I come from the same coaching fraternity and that group seems to be getting smaller every year. He always has BYU in the hunt and it will be a tough opener for us. But, I feel like you might as well find out what kind of team you have right out of the gate. We're also excited about playing in Jacksonville. We enjoyed playing Duke there this year and I know that the Gator Bowl folks have tried a number of times over the last few years to host FSU."

"The City of Jacksonville is excited about hosting this outstanding football Classic," says Chester Stokes, chair of the Gator Bowl Association. "We look forward to once again having two of the nation's premiere college football programs play a game in our city."

BYU Head Coach LaVell Edwards is in his 28th season and has compiled a record of 251-92-3. He is ranked eighth on the list of winningest active coaches. He has guided the Cougars to 26 consecutive winning seasons, ranking second only to the University of Nebraska. In Edwards' 28 years, the Cougars have averaged nine wins a season.

"We are honored to be invited to the 2000 Pigskin Classic and the chance to play a great team like Florida State," Edwards says. "This will be our second opportunity to play them. Hopefully, we can give them a better game than in Anaheim in 1991."

Proceeds from the Pigskin Classic go to the participating institutions, the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA), NACDA and the NACDA Foundation. As a result of this game and the NACDA-sponsored Kickoff Classic, close to $500,000 in postgraduate scholarships are awarded annually. This includes a $5,000 postgraduate scholarship being awarded one student-athlete from each of the four schools participating in the preseason games. Since 1983, the NACDA Foundation has provided close to $9.0 million in postgraduate scholarships.

The NACDA Foundation provides educational assistance to NACDA members and to student-athletes. The Foundation annually sponsors workshops and clinics to continue in the educational efforts of its member athletic directors, assistants and associates. This includes workshops for the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA); marketing, facilities and fund raising workshops; and seminars on the administrative issues of interest to athletic directors. The Foundation also sponsors an internship program for aspiring athletics administrators. Currently, more than 95 students have benefited from this program, working from three to nine months at NACDA's national office.