Headlines @ U.Va.
KILGORE ADDRESSES STUDENTS
Republican gubernatorial candidate Jerry W. Kilgore visited Grounds on April 13, and told U.Va. students that he is opposed to school vouchers but favors a system that encourages private donations to help send poor children in failing schools to better schools. Kilgore spoke to professor Larry J. Sabato’s political science class a week after Lt. Gov. Timothy M. Kaine, the Democrat running for governor, addressed the class. The two candidates showed their different styles: Kilgore answered questions more succinctly in a mountain twang, and Kaine gave longer, more wonkish answers in a fast Midwestern accent. Kilgore said the system he favors would use tax credits or tax write-offs to encourage private contributions that would provide tuition-assistance grants to poor students who want to go to private schools or public schools outside their district. (Richmond Times-Dispatch, April 14)
The Thomas Jefferson Center for the Protection of Free Expression awarded 15 Jefferson Muzzles to unlucky winners, including the Virginia House of Delegates. This is the 14th year the center, which promotes free speech, has awarded Muzzles, which are meant to publicize the transgressions and to limit further ones by “making others at least think twice” before treading on free speech, said Robert M. O’Neil, the center’s director. This year’s winners were culled from 100 nominations sent to the center from all over the nation. Five of the 15 awards were given to high school administrators who, almost invariably, came down too hard on students’ free expression. Other Muzzles went to groups such as the Federal Communications Commission for the post-Super Bowl crackdown, the U.S. Marshals Service for seizing and erasing a reporter’s tape of a speech by U.S. Supreme Court Justice Anotnin Scalia and to NASCAR for fining driver Dale Earnhardt Jr. $10,000 for using foul language after his fifth win at Talladega Superspeedway. (Richmond Times-Dispatch, April 12)
DRAFT FARES WELL FOR CAVALIERS
On April 23, seven Virginia football players were selected for the NFL Draft, a record for U.Va. Only Oklahoma and Florida State had more players selected, and Virginia Tech only had three. The Pittsburgh Steelers — using the 30th overall selection — took Heath Miller on Saturday in the first round of the NFL draft. Miller was the first Virginia player drafted in the opening round since running back Thomas Jones was taken seventh overall by the Arizona Cardinals in 2000. Miller also becomes the 12th first-round selection in program history. Second-day selections from U.Va. included three fourth-rounders: offensive guard Elton Brown (Arizona), running back Alvin Pearman (Jacksonville) and defensive end Chris Canty (Dallas). Outside linebacker Darryl Blackstock was taken by Arizona late Saturday in the third round, and was one of three straight Cardinals’ selections from Virginia schools. (Roanoke Times, April 25)