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Honoring Jasper


This press release from the UConn athletic department has details on how the school will honor Jasper Howard this Saturday at Rentschler Field. The game against Rutgers, of course, is the first home football game since Howard's tragic death on Oct. 18.

The press release continues below the jump with ways that fans can show their support.

STORRS, Connecticut (October 28, 2009) – The University of Connecticut and its Division of Athletics will honor the memory of Jasper Howard as the team returns to Rentschler Field on Saturday for the first time since Howard passed away on October 18. UConn will take on Rutgers at noon in a BIG EAST Conference game.

All fans who attend Saturday’s game will receive a "6" card in honor of Jasper Howard’s jersey number. In addition, the first 15,000 fans who enter the gates will receive "Jazz Live 365" wristbands.

UConn students who attend the game will receive the same "eye-black" that the Husky team is wearing – one with a "6" and the other with a "JH". All UConn students will also receive a "6" button.

Prior to the contest, the UConn Marching Band will come onto the field all wearing No. 6 jerseys and will display the formation of a "6" in the word "UCONN" during its pregame program.

Following the entrance of both teams on to the field for the game, there will be a "Moment of Respect" in honor of Howard with both teams lining up on their respective sidelines.

"We encourage all Husky fans to arrive at their seats in Rentschler Field by 11:30 a.m. on Saturday in order to see the pregame band show and to be present for the Moment of Respect," says UConn Head Football Coach Randy Edsall. "There are a number of pregame activities and we would like to see every seat occupied as a sign of respect for Jazz."

The Connecticut team will once again wear a "JH" sticker on its helmet while Rutgers will wear a "6".

As fans enter Rentschler Field, they will have the opportunity to donate to both of the funds that have been set up in his memory.

"The Jasper T. Howard Endowed Scholarship" will be annually awarded to a UConn football student-athlete who plays at the cornerback position and who best displays the outstanding leadership qualities which Jasper embodied.

"The Jasper Howard Fund" will assist Jasper's family with expenses such as funeral costs, travel to attend the memorial service and support for Jasper's soon-to-be-born child, in a manner consistent with NCAA guidelines.

Fans are also reminded that they will be permitted to bring signs honoring Howard into Rentschler Field. This will be a one-time exception to the regular Rentschler policy prohibiting signs.

Signs cannot be on sticks or poles --- and signs cannot impair the enjoyment of the game for other fans.

"This is one more way that our fans can make a personal tribute to Jasper Howard," says UConn Director of Athletics Jeffrey Hathaway. "We thank our friends at Rentschler Field for relaxing the 'no signs' policy for this one game only and providing fans another opportunity to honor Jasper."

Prior to the game at approximately 9:40 a.m., the UConn football team will take part in their usual pregame "Husky Walk". Fans can greet the Huskies from Gates D to C at Rentschler Field to welcome the team to the game.