If you're a UConn fan, Thursday was a wild, rollercoaster of emotions. I happened to be out of pocket for the past 48 hours, following on Twitter when I could. Let's make sure we cover everything here.
"Gawwge who are these guys?"
It started when the news broke that Jim Calhoun would be taking his talents to ESPN, hopefully to partner up with Bobby Knight and form the most ornery duo of talking heads ever assembled. While Husky fans are mostly in favor of this-- after all, who doesn't like Jimmy C?-- the rest of the college basketball world must be shuddering at the thought.
It will be great to hear Jim's voice on a regular basis again. In fact, it will be beautiful. I hope he wears all three of his championship rings on camera.
Other Calhounisms I will set the DVR to hear: "hahftime," "loagy," "Kember" and praying a player or coach is named George.— Mike DiMauro (@BCgenius) September 4, 2014
I also think this is the perfect move for Calhoun if he wants to get back into coaching. Working for ESPN allows him to stay close to the game and network with the entire college basketball world to find the best head coaching job out there.
Being on ESPN also puts Calhoun's name back in the national conversation and ensures that public perception has more to work with than a sudden retirement under poor circumstances due to health concerns two years ago. Athletic directors will be less hesitant to consider Jim Calhoun as their head coach. At 72 years old, he needs to be on the bench sooner rather than later, expect him to have a new job by this time next year.
Casey Cochran's "upper body injury"
On his radio show, Bob Diaco dropped a bomb when he revealed that Casey Cochran suffered an upper body injury against BYU and will not be playing this week against Stony Brook, it would later be reported that it was a concussion. Chandler Whitmer will be starting and Tim Boyle, the only other QB on the roster, will be the backup.
Whitmer looked okay against BYU and even though he was the starting quarterback for the Towson loss last year, I have confidence in his ability to handle the full-time starter duties this Saturday. I'm more concerned with burning Tim Boyle's redshirt (again) and the possibility of Casey Cochran, who has a history of concussions, having more serious problems. Chandler Whitmer has more experience than your average backup quarterback and should be fine this weekend. Hopefully Cochran is ready to play next Saturday against Boise State.
NCAA Violation: Geno Auriemma calls Little League baseball star
Add another one to the filing cabinet of patently absurd NCAA rulings. Yesterday, the NCAA ruled that Geno Auriemma committed a secondary NCAA violation when he called Mon'e Davis to congratulate her for an extraordinary performance in the Little League World Series. As a leader in women's sports and a fellow Philadelphian, it seemed like an appropriate move for Geno, who checked with UConn Compliance before making the call.
Davis has made it very well-known that she wants to play basketball for Geno at UConn someday, and has made numerous public appearances donning a UConn hoody, including on the bench at the LLWS and when she met Clayton Kershaw earlier this week.
Sure, we can take this opportunity to bash the NCAA here, but what about the coach who cried foul? When the news was first leaked we were told it was an AAC rival, but the Hartford Courant is reporting that it was not from within our conference or the ACC, which would rule out Notre Dame. This has to be Tennessee, right? SHOW YOURSELF, COWARD!
Statue in the works for fallen Husky Jasper Howard
The UConn Foundation is collecting donations to make and place a statue of Jasper Howard, the UConn defensive back who was tragically murdered the night of the Homecoming game in 2009. Click on the link and donate.
This movement was started by UConn fan Lisa Lowry and former UConn wide receiver Kashif Moore, who felt a more permanent memorial was warranted. Lowry's dedication to the cause has been tremendous; her goal is for the statue to go up at the Homecoming game next fall.
BC Interruption says "Sure, let's play UConn"
Boston College hasn't played UConn on the gridiron since 2004-- the year UConn joined the Big East. We didn't really miss them or care very much about their absence until the news broke that BC actively lobbied against UConn's candidacy for the ACC in the recent rounds of conference re-alignment.
Since then, while watching their football team flounder, Boston College fans have insisted upon superiority over a UConn program that actually found its way into a BCS game and multiple Big East championships. They took the Jerry Seinfeld, "I choose not to run!" approach to playing UConn again, even though the regional proximity would make for a good gameday atmosphere with both sets of fanbases being readily able to attend-- something both sorely lack in their current conference.
What changed from the Big East days? Well, just that our FBS program tripled in age. In spite of the Pasqualoni years, UConn football is more popular than it was in 2004, and will be more popular than it is today in 2024.
The article was mildly condescending, but made some good points and while many of their readers are still against the idea of playing UConn, it's nice to see that our Boston College counterparts are on board. The schools play each other a fair amount in non-revenue sports and will be playing every year in hockey starting this season, it makes sense to extend this relationship to the gridiron.