Randy Edsall approves of UConn’s move to the Big East, despite the uncertainty it brings for the Huskies’ football program. On Wednesday, head coach released a statement in a text group to reporters in which he backed the school’s decision to leave the American Athletic Conference for the Big East.
Here’s the full statement:
Members of the Media,
Since Saturday, June 22nd I’ve been contacted by many members of the media to give my thoughts on the rumor that UConn was going to the Big East Conference in all sports except football. I didn’t want to say anything until we knew that the rumor was actually going to become official. Now that is has, here are my thoughts.
In life, leaders have to make decisions they think is in the best interest of their company, organization, business and this situation, the University of Connecticut Athletic Department. The Board of Trustees, University Leadership and the Athletic Director made the decision that this was in the best interest of our 22 intercollegiate teams, hundreds of student athletes, fans and our future.
With the decision, it leaves our football program in transition at this point in time, but the Board of Trustees, University Leadership and the Athletic Director will make the decision that they feel is best for our Football program moving forward.
As I told my TEAM (Trust, Enthusiasm, Accountability, Mental Toughness) on Sunday afternoon, we have a schedule for 2019 and that is what we have been preparing for since January and they have been doing a great job of staying focused and not allowing any distractions to get in the way of our preparation and training. So this situation will not be a distraction to this TEAM.
All my focus and work has been on getting this program and facilities back to where we all want it regardless of WHERE WE PLAY OR WHO WE PLAY, so I’m leaving the decision up to the Board of Trustees, University Leadership and Athletic Director to find the best situation for our Football Program.
Myself, my staff and my players will not address this situation in the future as our focus is all on the 2019 season which is right around the corner. So with that being said, we’ve moved on to Wagner College.
Let’s break this down a bit. Edsall says the school made the best decision for everyone involved at UConn, even though it leaves the football program “in transition.” However, he does give a vote of confidence to the school’s leadership that they will put football in the right place to succeed moving forward.
It also seems Edsall believes the program can succeed wherever they end up. The coach said he will continue to focus on football matters and will leave the organizational decisions up to “the Board of Trustees, University Leadership and the Athletic Director.”
Edsall notes how nothing is changing in 2019 and wants his team to focus on the work they need to do to get ready for the season. He closes with a famous mantra from New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick — a master at helping his ignore outside distractions — by saying “We’ve moved on to Wagner College.” Edsall noted that he, along with his staff and players, will have no further comment going forward.
It was unlikely the coach was ever going to come out and criticize the move publicly, it’s good to see Edsall support the move considering some of its biggest opponents are football fans. UConn reportedly doesn’t have a plan set for what to do with the football program, though it’s hard to imagine the school is completely unprepared in that regard.
UConn will officially announce the move on Thursday at Madison Square Garden in New York.