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Thursday August 28 2014
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Columnist Walter Villa

When 6-foot-5 former Penn State volleyball star Blair Brown went club-hopping a while back with 6-4 Nebraska All-American Brooke Delano and three other very tall young women, they weren’t exactly shy about their height.

All five wore three-inch heels.


“We would have worn six-inch heels if we had them,” Delano said with a laugh. “We got some comments about our long legs, and we loved it.”

07/27/2012 - 11:22
Walter Villa
After a 15-year NFL career, one of the things Jason Taylor did was thank his former high school football coach at Woodland Hills, George Novak. Taylor continues to give back to the community that started him on the path to greatness.

MIAMI - After his 15-year NFL career was over, after he had terrorized his last offensive lineman and after his Dolphins had beaten the New York Jets for the final time, Jason Taylor thanked his fo

06/15/2012 - 18:08
Walter Villa
Paulina Prieto-Cerame said she felt like The Bachelorette. But instead of two dozen handsome bachelors pursuing her, there were at least that many college coaches looking for a commitment from the 6-2 outside hitter from Miami’s Palmer Trinity High School.

Who got the final rose?

Russ Rose, naturally.

The Penn State coach landed the Class of 2012 star by using a simple approach.

“He said, ‘Here’s my resume, here’s my program and

01/30/2012 - 17:13
Walter Villa
The dream for many young, budding athletes is to someday become a pro, but the more realistic first goal should be earning a college scholarship.

Getting your education paid for will save young athletes from years of loan debt or ease the burden on their parents.

01/16/2012 - 18:50
Walter Villa
I’m in the eye of a scandalous storm in which a sawed-off thief, loser and convicted felon is threatening to take down a Hurricanes football program that has more players in the NFL than any other and had a glorious two-decade run in which they won five national titles.

MIAMI – Could a similar scandal hit Pitt, Penn State or West Virginia?

Of course it could.

08/23/2011 - 12:20
Walter Villa
Trailing the Miami Hurricanes 79-76 with less than five seconds to play last season, West Virginia's Jonnie West had the ball in the right corner of the court with a chance to send the game to overtime.

He declined the shot, his pass became a turnover, and WVU lost.

07/25/2011 - 23:55
Walter Villa
While it’s too soon to know if the Pirates’ 2011 draft can be judged a success, we know one word that cannot be used to describe it – safe. The Pirates took somewhat of a gamble with the draft’s first overall pick, right-handed pitcher Gerrit Cole of UCLA, and then went all-out Las Vegas with their next choice, high school right fielder Josh Bell.

Both players are represented by agent Scott Boras, which makes signing them by the August 15 deadline far from a certainty.

07/06/2011 - 22:09
Walter Villa
A skilled 6-6 center is a rare commodity in women's basketball, which explains why Shawnice "Pepper" Wilson received over 100 scholarship offers out of Pittsburgh's Westinghouse High School a couple of years ago.

Wilson, a two-time City League Player of the Year at Westinghouse, visited just two universities – Pitt and Miami-Florida.

06/21/2011 - 11:37
Walter Villa
Rice University third baseman Anthony Rendon, favored to become the Pirates’ next millionaire as the first overall pick in June’s 2011 MLB Draft, has plans for his signing bonus.

Considering that MLB’s past two No.

06/03/2011 - 16:29
Walter Villa
Pitt catcher Kevan Smith often wonders what would have happened had his athletic career not taken a three-year detour away from baseball. Baseball had always been his first love at Seneca Valley High School, but when then-Pitt coach Dave Wannstedt offered the 6-4, 240-pounder a scholarship to play quarterback, everything changed.

“Colleges knew they couldn’t compete (financially) with a football scholarship,” Smith said.

05/25/2011 - 15:06
Walter Villa
Paul Chryst sat at a table in Greensboro, North Carolina, answering questions from the media. The third-year Pitt head coach was certainly anxious to wrap up the interview session and catch his plane back to Pittsburgh, but he was also at ease.
Editor's DeskFeature OnePitt Football
Forty years ago, Tommy John, a pitcher for the Los Angeles Dodgers, walked into Dr. Frank Jobe’s office with an injured elbow and told him to “make something up.”
Feature TwoNorth Shore Notes
Here’s what we know: Mike Johnston wasn’t the Penguins’ first choice to replace Dan Bylsma this summer.
Blue LineFeature ThreeTop Story
When Pirates outfielder Gregory Polanco was called up from Triple-A Indianapolis June 10, he made an immediate impact, going on a 14-game hitting streak and adding a consistent bat at the top of the lineup.
Feature FourNorth Shore Notes
PSR VIDEO
Full size video and summary... Misc YouTube Player 1 USS HS GOTWHigh School TV Channel
Full size video and summary... Misc YouTube Player 2Pirates TV Channel
Full size video and summary... COGOS Feature MatchupMisc YouTube Player 3High School TV Channel
With a brand new playoff system in place this season, it doesn't matter who finishes No. 1 at the end of the regular season -- the top four teams will meet in a two-round tournament to decide the national champion.
Custom 1NationalTop Story
A quick glimpse at the 2014 Pitt football teams reveals some major red flags. A veteran quarterback and the program's all-time leading wide receiver have departed for the NFL.
Custom 2Pitt FootballTop Story
After 45 years of one head coach and two more of another, a different figure will be pacing up and down the sidelines at Beaver Stadium this season.
Custom 3Penn StateTop Story
The last two years have not been what WVU football fans were expecting. Ever since the Mountaineers made the switch to the Big 12, their success has slowly dwindled.
Custom 4Top StoryWVU