Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Three days and counting

Preseason practice begins Friday. Can you feel the static? Randy Edsall held a media teleconference today to update us on some news and happenings. A couple of thoughts...

Junior wide receiver Seth Fogarty was lost for the season, and may never play football again, after a severe injury to his foot and lower leg while riding an ATV last week somewhere near Storrs. Situations like this must drive Edsall bonkers. While the first concern, of course, is on the health and well-being of Fogarty, you have to wonder why athletes willingly put themselves at risk...and so close to the start of the season.
You see it time and time again. Ben Roethlisberger could have died riding his motorcycle without a helmet. At least he knew how to ride. Kellen Winslow blew millions of his signing bonus and may never be the same player when he blew out his knee teaching himself to ride a street bike that was way too powerful and dangerous for a beginner. Jason Williams, Dario Franchitti, the list goes on and on.
And there's little a coach can do to prevent it. Edsall, like any parent does whith their own children, said he talks himself tired lecturing his players about the perils of putting themselves in dangerous situations. But you can't watch them 24/7. In the end, these are still kids who, despite all the attention and coverage cases like Roethlisberger and Winslow recieve, will still do the dumb things that kids do. It's up to the athletes to think of the consequences of their actions before they put themselevs at risk.

On a positive note, the Burton and Schenkman complexes are ready for use, and there's no way to understate their importance to the football program. They will be the vehicle that takes UConn to the next level -- a recruiting tool that could elevate the Huskies into a regular spot in the AP top 25 polls and a chance to compete with the West Virginia's and Louisville's for the Big East's BCS spot very soon. Edsall said "If anyone in the country has a nicer facility, I'll have to go and see it."

I can't wait to check it out on Friday.


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