Full field turns out for BASA tournament

Joe Avento • May 5, 2014 at 7:41 PM

The East Tennessee State athletic department was out in full force Monday as Blackthorn Club was the site of the BASA All-Sport Golf Tournament.

“This is a great event,” ETSU basketball coach Murry Bartow said. “All the BASA people do a great job. People love to play golf, this is a great course and it’s a great cause, so it all kind of fits together.”

The 11th annual tournament had a full field of 136 players and is expected to raise between $45,000 and $50,000 for the Buccaneer Athletic Scholarship Association.

Several coaches played in the tournament. Others helped out as volunteers. Either way, it was a chance for members of the athletic department to rub elbows with folks who support the various programs.

“It’s a great time to mix and mingle and say ‘thank you’ to all of the people who have supported ETSU,” Bucs football coach Carl Torbush said. “There’s just a tremendous amount of passion, not only for ETSU, but for ETSU football as well.”

Torbush would not comment on the status of Shawn Prevo, one of the signees in ETSU’s recent recruiting class. Prevo, a highly touted running back out of Maryville, was recently charged with aggravated domestic assault after an altercation with his older brother. The charges, filed in Blount County, were reportedly dropped late last week, but no official notification has been made.

“I don’t feel comfortable making a comment on it until I know what actually happened,” Torbush said.

Torbush hasn’t gotten do any coaching lately, and he really won’t for another year. His team is scheduled to return for the 2015 season. In the meantime, he’s been a salesman, trying to convince high school kids to come to ETSU and trying to sing the praises of the university to potential boosters.

“Recruiting has gone well,” Torbush said. “We’ve got a great place to sell. I think in my next life I’m going to run for political office. I’ve enjoyed everything, but coaching is what I love. The day we had tryouts (for the student body) was the first time I’d been on the field in a year. There’s a difference. That’s what I love doing. As a coach, I love coaching.”

Meanwhile, Bartow has been working on two fronts. He has two scholarships left to fill and he’s trying to finalize next year’s schedule.

“A lot’s going on,” Bartow said. “We just have to finalize some stuff. We’re still recruiting and still tinkering with the schedule. I do think over the next two weeks a lot will be finalized with both. I’d like to tie a ribbon around all of this by the end of May.”

Scott Carter, ETSU’s new senior associate athletic director, recently returned to his alma mater in an administrative role. Carter, who was a fullback on the Bucs’ football teams from 1998-2002, spent the past 10 years in Tennessee’s athletic department.

“I’m just thrilled to be back at this event,” Carter said. “The last time I was here was over a decade ago. The setting hasn’t changed. You see all these people who are here for the same reason. They want to have a great time and socialize. But obviously the cause this represents, to support our student-athletes, is paramount.

“I think our staff has just done a great job creating this great environment for people to enjoy. And with Blackthorn providing a great course, people want to come back. It’s become a destination people look forward to. As soon as they finish up today they’ll be asking about next year.”

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