Norfolk Rotary welcomed fellow Rotarian and ODU football coach Rick Rahne as the featured speaker. Coach Rahne has a storied football history. As a star player at Cornell University, he racked up impressive stats as a three-year starter in the quarterback position. He graduated as Cornell’s all-time leader in completions (678), passing yards (7,710), touchdown passes (54), and total offense (7,994 yards). He was inducted into the Cornell Hall of Fame in 2014.
He came to Norfolk as head coach after a six-year stint as an assistant at Penn State. One of the takeaways is that there is a great team spirit that permeates Happy Valley. In part, this is attributable to the stadium with 22,000 of the 105,000 seats reserved for students. He also noted that a strong sports reputation which helps a school not only in the recruitment of players but also students and increased giving from alumni. He encouraged his fellow Rotarians to support the Monarchs as the hometown team.
Giving a nod to the pandemic, Coach Rahne noted that he is still undefeated as he enters his second year as ODU’s head coach and is looking forward to the start of the season. He is known for his ability to adjust his strategies to his personnel, Rahne has three quarterbacks competing for the starting position including two who played during the 2019 season and a transfer from a school. Each of the quarterback candidates has a different methodology that will impact the team’s style of play.
There are two decisions by the NCAA which will impact players. In response to the pandemic, the NCAA is allowing players an extra year of eligibility regardless of whether or not they played during 2020. While this benefits the players, it is decreasing the opportunities for those in high school as the NCAA has not increased the number of players on a team.
The second decision is allowing student-athletes to benefit from their name, image, or likeness in promotions. Historically, if a player signed an autograph for money, they were ineligible to play. Today, they can benefit financially but there are nuances with which most students’ athletes aren’t equipped to handle. Coach Rahne would not be surprised if some college athletes fail to pay income taxes on their earnings and end up with IRS difficulties.
Coach Rahne also believes that the female athletes will outearn the male athletes. He believes that most athletes will not benefit from this change and will be disappointed. He points out that it is all a matter of supply and demand….and other than the very elite college athletes, how many sponsors will there be for college athletes?
Coach Rahne also talked about the week between games. It starts on Sunday with practice and a review of the game tapes. Throughout the week, it escalates with outlining a game plan, and walk-throughs of various situations with a walk-through on Thursday before the game and then a hard scrimmage on Friday.
He believes his team’s strengths will be a strong offensive line. He also believes the Monarchs will have a strong defense and that the team is “pretty fast.” His concern is that they are young with 60 of the 105 players lacking college experience.
Club Business:
The end of the year joint board meeting (old board and incoming board) will be Monday (June 14) at Norfolk Botanical Garden.
A reminder that next week’s meeting will have Mayor Kenny Alexander as the featured speaker. Please let Lisa Barnes ( know you are coming. We need to let the Town Point Club know how many people we will have.
Sigur thanked her fellow Rotarians for their generosity over the last year. If you are planning to give this month, TRF will credit donations for 20-21 year if they are postmarked by June 30 and received at RI no later than July 8. To avoid the uncertainty of mail delivery, you can also give through Remember to sign in to MyRotary so that you and the club will be credited with your donation.
Happy Bucks:
  • President Jim is celebrating the marriage of his son, Brian, and his new daughter-in-law, Lacy.
  • Sharon Laderberg is happy that Virginia Wesleyan’s softball team is the national champion for the third time in the past four years. A dynasty.
  • Joey Rothgery gave in appreciation to those working at the polls today including Walt Sobczyk and Lisa Barnes.
School of the Week: Tidewater Elementary School
Adjourned: 1:27 pm