Thursday, August 16, 2007

Suspensions and more on scheduling

Here's the two-sentence press release from UConn on the suspensions Thursday...

STORRS , Conn. -- University of Connecticut head football coach Randy Edsall announced on Thursday afternoon that sophomore tailback Andre Dixon (New Brunswick, N.J.) and freshman linebacker Corey Stringer (Warren, Ohio) have been suspended indefinitely for an unspecified team rules violation. There will be no further comments on this matter.

There was no campus arrest report for either, and nothing concerning academics. So that's good news, I guess. The school is saying it was an internal matter. More info when and if something turns up.

While I'm at it, here's what Jeff Hathaway had to say on the UConn football schedule and Notre Dame. Thanks to colleague Brett Orzechowski, owner of a sweet jump shot, for slipping in a few questions for me during his interview. Some interesting stuff.


“I think everyone in the country is looking to schedule Notre Dame. Everyone in the country would like to schedule Notre Dame.”

“I said it to reporters when I first got here in 1990. Scheduling isn’t definite until it’s a signed contract.”

“We’re having conversations with a wide range of people. That’s one of the things we’re committed to do. We have to be fair to our program in a certain stage of development. Where we played four years ago might be different from today and where we play five years from now will be better than today.”

“It’s interesting in football because you schedule so far out. Schools ask me what are you doing in '18 and '19?”

“We’re talking to the better teams in the Big Ten, ACC, Big 12. I don’t think going to the Pac-10 is in the future right now and that’s nothing against the Pac-10. Other people we can play are in closer proximity and deliver the same strength of schedule and national television exposure. It’s just a question of distance.”

“We’ll always play a I-AA. We play Hofstra. Down the road we’re going to play UMass. We want people to know we played on the I-AA level. I-AA plays the role in college football.”

“We’ll always look for a stretch game, a game that can be televised and some home and home games to work for us for geographic reasons or large pockets of alumni or for recruiting purposes.”


“Yes. I’m happy with it. I’m happy with the schedule from the standpoint of the program’s development. It fits us to where we are in the state of development. We just had our best recruiting class. Part of that is a new facility. We’re now banging heads with everyone on recruits. You get a couple of those classes on top of the current players, and you can change some things. But at the end of the day you have to be in contention to be competitive in the Big East and you also have to be realistic about benchmarks.”

“It also takes six wins to be bowl eligible. But you also have to know that it takes seven wins to give yourself extra cushion in case all of your conference-affiliated bowls are taken, before you can go to another bowl outside the conference affiliation.”

“With seven, it’s no secret it’s needed. Look at Pitt last year, which would have been in a bowl game. They had six wins and didn’t go. I’m using that as benchmark. This isn’t about Pitt.”

“One of the unique things in football about scheduling is that it helps recruiting beyond the regular-season games. You hear coaches saying we’ve been to four consecutive bowls. You don’t hear people saying we’ve been to bowl “A”, bowl “B”, bowl “C”, bowl “D”. People say we’ve been to four consecutive bowls. A bowl is a very significant part of the recruiting process. I think one of the most interesting things about making this transition from I-AA football to the Big East is that our schedule doesn't necessarily go out to '18 or '19. It allows us flexibility.”


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