Saturday, December 27, 2008

Ambrose announced as Towson coach

Towson has made its announcement regarding Rob Ambrose as new football coach.

A few more specifics: Ambrose receives a five-year contract.

Here's what the Towson AD Mike Hermann had to say, "Rob was on our list from the very beginning. But I felt it was important to conduct a thorough national search to ensure that we found the very best coach for Towson University. We had an outstanding field and discussed this opportunity with many well-respected coaches. At the end, it became clear that Rob Ambrose was the best choice to lead our program. Not only is he ready and willing to be the head coach of a college football program, he's ready and willing to do the job at Towson.

“His preparation for this position began long before our search process did. He admits he's been planning for this day since he left Towson as an assistant coach eight years ago. He has a passion for Towson and I'm confident that his passion will become evident to our student-athletes, to our alumni and to our community. It's great to welcome Rob home and I am confident that our football program will have an exciting future under his leadership."

And Randy Edsall's statement, "I think that Towson University has made an outstanding choice in selecting Rob Ambrose as its head football coach. He is an outstanding leader and an excellent football coach. Rob has all the ingredients to help student-athletes grow and develop. I know he will have a tremendous amount of success at Towson.
“Rob did a great job for us here at UConn. He helped us grow as a football program and he was a tremendous mentor for Dan Orlovsky. A few years ago, we promoted him to Offensive Coordinator and he made a very smooth transition. Rob also did an excellent job in recruiting the Maryland, D.C., Virginia area for us and I’m sure that will serve him well as the head coach at Towson."

Ambrose will coach the bowl game against Buffalo, and be introduced to the Towson-area media on Jan. 6.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Towson to name Ambrose

Rob Ambrose will be named head football coach at Towson University, the Register has learned.

An official announcement could come as early as today, sources have confirmed. However, school officials will likely wait until Monday to schedule a press conference.

Terms of the deal are unclear, but Ambrose is expected to remain at UConn to coach the Huskies at the International Bowl in Toronto against Buffalo on Jan. 3.

Full story in tomorrow's Register.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Ambrose will interview Monday

For those out there interested, Rob Ambrose will interview for the Towson head coaching position on Monday.

Towson is also interviewing two other candidates, believed to be Mike Groh, the recently fired Virginia offensive coordinator, and Joe Vitt, the linebackers coach of the New Orleans Saints.

It's unclear if Towson has interviewed anyone else, but sources say these are the top three candidates the school has targeted. Ambrose may well be the front-runner heading into the interview process.

Vitt is also a former Towson player who has extensive NFL experience. He served as interim head coach of the St. Louis Rams for the bulk of the 2005 season when Mike Martz was out on medical leave. Mike Groh hasn't coached for anyone else besides his father, Al. His coaching career began in 2000 with the Jets as Al's quality control coach, and he followed his pop to Virginia in 2001, where he remained until he was fired earlier this month.

Expect the school to move quickly to name a coach, perhaps by the end of the week.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Towson targets Ambrose

Rob Ambrose, the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at UConn, has expressed interest in the vacant head coaching position at Towson University and is expected to be interviewed for the job, the Register has learned.

Towson has already been in contact, and Ambrose "is very interested in the job," a source with knowledge of the situation said.

Ambrose, a 1993 graduate of the school, is believed to be one of Towson’s top choices. He was in Maryland last week on a recruiting trip in which he helped secure an oral commitment from defensive end Tim Willman of Reservoir High in Fulton for UConn’s incoming freshman class.

Others being considered by Towson include Joe Vitt, an assistant coach with the New Orleans Saints, and Mike Groh, the recently fired offensive coordinator at Virginia.

Towson athletic director Mike Hermann did not immediately return a call seeking comment Thursday night. Ambrose, through a UConn spokesman, declined comment.

Towson is a Football Championship Subdivision program and competes in the Colonial Athletic Association. Gordy Combs was fired on Dec. 2 after 39 years with the program — three as a player, 19 as an assistant and 17 as head coach.

Ambrose, 38, was raised in Middletown, Md., and played quarterback and wide receiver at Towson until an injury ended his career. He served as a student assistant until his graduation in 1993, and in seven ensuing seasons rose to become assistant head coach and offensive coordinator at the school.

After one season as head coach of Catholic University, Ambrose joined Randy Edsall’s staff at UConn in 2002. He spent four seasons as quarterbacks coach before being named offensive coordinator. Ambrose also continues to coach the Huskies’ quarterbacks.

The Huskies play Buffalo in the International Bowl in Toronto on Jan. 3.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Runway Bowl Challenge: enter now!

The Runway Bowl Challenge has been set up through Yahoo. It's easy. Pick every game, and use confidence points to rank them in order of how sure you are on each bowl. All you need is a Yahoo ID. The winner can have the blog for a day.

Follow this link . Then click on "join a private group" and enter the following.
Group ID#: 30950
Password: runway

As for the regular-season Runway Challenge, congrats to Caleb Mandrake and Dougo for tying for first place. Vinny from East Haven made a late charge, but finished one back. Vinny and I were both 9-4 in the final week, tying for first place. As promised, the winners may take over the blog for a day. If interested, just let me know and I'll provide the details.

Here are the final standings.
1. Dougo 96
Caleb Mandrake 96
3. Vinny from East Haven 95
4. Chip 93
5. JZ 92
6. Ian 90
7. Pete 88
8. Kevin 83
9. Sammy 82
10. Rich 80
11. Wil 74
12. Den of Stupidity 68
13. Sean O 64
14. DanO 63
15. Gary 62
uconnhuskies 86 62
17. Big Donny Bertolotti 35
18. Stretch 21
19. HuskyBarker 5

And the results from the final week of the regular season:
1. Chip 9-4
vinny 9-4
3. JZ 8-5
sammy 8-5
pete 8-5
6. Wil 7-6
rich 7-6
caleb 7-6
dan 7-6
ian 7-6
dougo 7-6
uconnhuskies86 7-6
13. gary 6-7
14. den 5-8

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Take off! To the Great White North, take off!

Some notes from our Sunday call:
  • If you don't think UConn is happy to be stuck with the International Bowl, think again. The school will receive $1.1 million from the Big East for its berth in Toronto. That's $1 million for the payout and $103K in travel allowance. Last season, the payout was $1.15 million.

  • To clarify, the International Bowl payout is $700K. But the Big East pools all of the money its member schools receive, along with television money, and divide it up accordingly based on the standings. Cincinnati's payout for its BCS bowl is $2 million, plus a travel fee. Pittsburgh is getting $1.5 million plus a travel fee.

  • Both Randy Edsall and Jeff Hathaway said Toronto is where they anticipated going, even before the Pitt game. Hathaway said Ken Hoffman's plan of switching his selection for Toronto into the Motor City Bowl was likely only if Rutgers was the pick. Ball State's loss quashed that idea, and Rutgers wanted to be in Birmingham to face NC State. Hathaway said part of the reason was because UConn has already played in the Motor City Bowl.

  • The official invitation to the International Bowl came this morning around 11:30 a.m. Jeff Hathaway said he was in church when he felt his cell phone vibrate. He checked the caller ID, saw it was Ken Hoffman, and discreetly made his way outside to take the call and accept on UConn's behalf.

  • UConn players, coaches and administrators will avoid concerns about passports by flying to Buffalo, and then taking a bus the remaining 90 minutes or so to Toronto. I've heard you still need a passport to do this, but, apparently not.

  • The team is on break this week for exams, and will also get to take a break for Christmas on the 23rd. They are due back in Storrs the 26th for practice, and will fly out on Dec. 30.

  • Tyler Lorenzen will hang on to the starting job for the International Bowl. "We can end that one right there," Edsall said when asked if the competition would be opened up again.

  • Cody Brown was invited to play in the Senior Bowl, the Texas vs. the Nation All-Star Challenge and the East-West Shrine Game. Darius Butler got an invite to the Senior Bowl and the East-West Shrine Game and Will Beatty got an invite to the Texas vs. the Nation All-Star Challenge. Cody and Darius will choose which they'd like to participate in, but Edsall expects both to play in the Senior Bowl for certain.

  • The website is live with any and all travel and ticket info for fans. Tickets for the game are $40 and $30. UConn has been given an allotment of 10,000. Fans who can't make the game are encouraged to buy them and donate them back to UConn, which will distribute unused tickets to Toronto-area charities.

  • The Jan. 3 bowl date essentially gives the Huskies an extra spring practices. There will be 15 leading into the game, and Edsall said he's set aside 5-to-7 to give his true freshmen who are currently redshirting additional work.

  • Edsall expects Greg Lloyd and C.J. Marck to be back and playing in the bowl. He said the same of suspended Andre Dixon. He also said there's a "very good" possibility of Darius Butler being healthy enough to play.

O Canada

UConn has accepted a bid to play in the International Bowl in Toronto, where it will face Buffalo on Jan. 3, a source close to the situation confirmed. UConn will make an official announcement at 4 p.m. today.

Saturday, December 06, 2008

Postgame: sorting through a loss and bowls

The postgame recap:

  • It's almost useless to speculate about bowl destinations right now. But that won't stop me. It's quite possible the Huskies played themselves out of Toronto/Detroit and into Birmingham today. The final call could hinge on whether the Big East can talk Ken Hoffman out of taking a Big East team for Toronto and flipping them with Detroit so they can play Ball State. If Hoffman swaps, he'll go with Rutgers for Detroit and UConn heads to Birmingham. If not, UConn will play Buffalo in Toronto.

  • Detroit won't have an opening if Ohio State is denied a BCS spot. That's what's really throwing the monkey wrench into everyone knowing exactly what will happen. It's just not a gimme for the Buckeyes.

  • I woke up this morning convinced UConn would be heading for Toronto, changed my mind and felt it would be Detroit at halftime, and am now anticipating a trip to Alabama. The good news is it will all be over tomorrow night.

  • Keep an eye on the Troy-Arkansas State game. If Troy wins, Birmingham has an opening for an at-large team. That could well be N.C. State. That is huge.

  • Tyler Lorenzen had a brutal day. With the Huskies down 17, Edsall felt the team needed to throw the ball in order to score. So he brought in Zach Frazer who proceeded to throw four passes. Three were intercepted. "It didn't work out," Edsall said. So, Lorenzen came back.

  • Edsall usually doesn't rave about individual performances, especially after a loss. But he had this to say about Donald Brown (34 carries, 189 yards), who finished the regular season as the nation's leading rusher with 1,822 yards. "Donald Brown is just amazing," Edsall said. "I think it's necessary to talk about his individual performance this year. It has been phenomenal. The leading rusher in the country to be at UConn and no one ever thought that would happen so it says a lot for him." And, with 178 yards in a bowl game, he'll crack 2,000 for the season.

  • Edsall said he'll reevaluate the passing game heading into the postseason, but pointed out it's not one person or one area that was the problem. "There wasn't the consistency that people were looking for," Edsall said.

  • Punt protection continues to be a problem. Edsall, frustrated with a season of working on this area only to see mistake after mistake, said it's time players became accountable for the errors. "It's amazing, it really is," Edsall said. "Honestly, I can sit here and take the blame or Lyndon can take the blame, but sooner or later it goes on the people who were on the field. If something happens on the field and we as coaches don't cover it or prepare, then it's on us as coaches. But if you drill for the situation...There ends up being accountability on the punt. Steve Brouse made the call. We had a player say 'tell somebody to come down' to remind him. We had a player that didn't block his responsibility. That's basically what it's been in those situations this year. We had a young man who didn't block what he was supposed to block. We went over it in practice, watched it on film, and the young man made a mistake."

  • Edsall directed a comment toward the fans who are disappointed with the team and what they accomplished this season. After pointing out he saw that Kansas was heading to a second straight bowl game for the first time ever in over 100 years of football at the school, he said, "I'm disappointed in the loss today. But I'm darn proud of what these kids accomplished. We're going to a bowl for a second year in a row, three in five years, bowl eligible for the fourth time in six years. Sometimes, I think we spoil people. It's great everybody wants us to win every game, but it isn't going to happen. We're still in a building process with this program. ... You all need to understand that. This program has accomplished a lot more than a lot of people ever thought it could. And we set the bar so darn high that now if we don't win every game or if we don't win the championship every year, people take issue with that. That's great. They're fans. We need more fans like that. But I'll tell you this, I'll take these kids any day of the week. When they came here, nobody ever thought they could accomplish what they've accomplished in a short period of time. Yeah, we're more disappointed in ourselves than anybody else could be in us. We set the standards for ourselves high. We dont want to play that way. When you think sometimes things are bad, look at Kansas. We've done that in the six years in the time we've been a I-A school. Let's not forget where we were, where we're at, and we're going to continue to work even farther along the lines."

Check back for the official word on a bowl game.

Motor City Bowl back in play

After speaking with Ken Hoffman, the director of the International Bowl and the Motor City Bowl, it now seems there's a good chance the Huskies could wind up in Detroit playing Ball State. Hoffman said certain things need to happen in the next 24 hours, mainly with the BCS selections, before he can make any decisions.

It;s quite confusing, but in a nutshell, the BCS still has a hold on Ball State despite the fact that it's unlikely (read: impossible) for BSU to go to a BCS bowl. It also depends whether Ohio State gets a BCS bid, which would leave the Motor City Bowl without a Big 10 rep. When the BCS makes its choices, Hoffman's two bowls will select based on "the best matchups." Buffalo is already slotted for Toronto. It seems Ball State is the choice for Detroit. Since Buffalo is expected to bring many fans to Canada, logic dictates a Big East opponent for Ball State in Detroit. Rutgers could still be the team the Motor City is targeting.

We'll know Sunday evening. I have a headache.

Pregame bowl chatter from Rentschler

Got the chance to chat with Sun Bowl selection chair John Folmer in the press box this morning. He said he thinks it will be Pittsburgh or West Virginia going to El Paso. UConn will still be part of the discussion should it win today, but Folmer said its likely a two-team race at this point. Even Rutgers, despite its strong finish and the fact that it is clearly the second-best team in the Big East, will be behind West Virginia even if the Mountaineers lose and both teams have 7-5 records.

Pitt will get the Sun Bowl invite in he locker room with a victory.

Still waiting for Ken Hoffman, the executive director of the International Bowl and Motor City Bowls, to arrive to speak with him. But with Buffalo being invited to the International Bowl, it seems almost certain UConn will be heading there in what might be a pretty interesting game.

Friday, December 05, 2008

International Bowl chief will be here

Just found out through a UConn spokesman that there'll be another VIP guest at Rentschler. Joining the folks from the Sun Bowl tomorrow will be Ken Hoffman, the executive director of the International Bowl and Motor City Bowls.

The Sun Bowl selection committee chairman told me earlier this week he is prepared to formally invite the Panthers, should they win, in the visiting locker room at Rentschler. I don't think Hoffman has that luxury, since the Meineke Car Care Bowl selects before the International Bowl. Hoffman also expressed interest in taking Rutgers and slotting them into the Motor City Bowl. So either he expects Ball State to lose tonight, in which case all bets are off, or he's still open to taking the Huskies.

Here's the bowl scenarios heading into Saturday as I see them. Cincinnati to BCS, USF is going to St. Pete, no matter what.

Pittsburgh wins: Pitt to Sun Bowl, WVU to Meineke
Pittsburgh loses, West Virginia wins: WVU to Sun Bowl, Pitt to Meineke Car Care Bowl
Pittsburgh loses, West Virginia loses: Pitt to Sun Bowl (after much discussion among the committee); WVU to Meineke.

As for Rutgers and UConn, well, all I can say is one is headed to Ken Hoffman's bowl and the other to Birmingham. No clue how it will shake out at this point. My instinct says UConn goes to Toronto, but I expect to have a better grasp tomorrow.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Runway Challenge: You know you're old when...

A few notes from Edsall's teleconference today:
  • Steve Brouse will play on offense Saturday. Edsall said the Huskies' missed his hands and blocking ability while he was out because, "he's bigger and stronger than Martin (Bedard).
  • Darius Butler hasn't practiced and won't play, but is jogging and feels much better.
  • Edsall expects C.J. Marck to have his "personal issues" straighted out come bowl time.
That's it for UConn news. On to my personal blathering.
Every so often, something random occurs that makes you realize you're old. Part of my 14-month old son's morning routine is to open the cabinet doors under the television and pull out all the old VHS tapes one by one. When he's done I put them back, and the next morning he unloads them once again.
Anyway, today I decided to pop in an old high school basketball tape I hadn't watched in about 10 years. It hit me like a ton of bricks. The footage just seemed so.....dated. It was like watching the Zapruder film. Or a "Little Rascals" episode minus the grainy 1920's background music.
A few of the lowlights:
  • Our team came out of the locker room for pre-game warmups to Queen's "We Will Rock You". Later, it was Boston's "More Than a Feeling" and then Guns 'N Roses "Welcome to the Jungle". We might as well have done layup drills in acid-washed jeans and work boots. I can assure you that the music wasn't my idea (although my playlist of Van Halen, Iron Maiden and Dio wouldn't have done much to improve that "dated" feel).
  • We had new uniforms that year, and I remember thinking they were so cool at the time. The shorts, however, were still a little too short. It's looks like we're all playing in boxer shorts.
  • My hair looks ridiculous. I was trying to emulate Jose Canseco that year. To be honest, it looks ridiculous to this day. The only difference now is I don't have a mullet.
  • My dad filmed the games, and seemed to forget that our video camera had a microphone. He doesn't say much, but when he does, well, lets just say the Motion Picture Association of America would have given it an 'R' rating for language. Luckily, most of the swearing is in Italian.

It is entertaining, though. Maybe I'll watch it again in another 10 years.

My high school basketball portrait. Well, it feels like it after watching old film today.

On to the picks. It's the final week, and it seems to be a three-man race between Dougo, Caleb Mandrake and Vinny from East Haven. The college slate is limited this week. Even with every game, there's only 13 on the docket. So pick well. It may take an undefeated week to come from behind. Stay tuned for the third annual Bowl Challenge later this month.

Game 1: Navy (-11) over ARMY

Game 2: Pittsburgh (+2.5) over UCONN

Game 3: WEST VIRGINIA (-7) over South Florida

Game 4: Washington (+35.5) over CAL

Game 5: UCLA (+32.5) over Southern California

Game 6: ARIZONA (-10.5) over Arizona State

Game 7: HAWAII (+7.5) over Cincinnati

Game 8: TROY (-11) over Arkansas State

Game 9: FLORIDA INTERNATIONAL (-7.5) over Western Kentucky

Game 10: East Carolina (+12) over TULSA

Game 11: Boston College (pick'em) over VIRGINIA TECH

Game 12: Alabama (+9.5) over FLORIDA

Game 13: OKLAHOMA (-16.5) over Missouri

Last week's results

1. kevin 8-3

ian 8-3

3. chip 7-4

caleb 7-4

wil 7-4

dougo 7-4

JZ 7-4

8. pete 6-5

sammy 6-5

donny 6-5

11. vinny 5-6


1. Dougo 89

Caleb Mandrake 89

3. Vinny from East Haven 86

4. Chip 84

JZ 84

6. Ian 83

Kevin 83

8. Pete 80

9. Sammy 74

10. Rich 73

11. Wil 67

12. Sean O 64

13. Den of Stupidity 63

14. DanO 56

Gary 56

16. uconnhuskies 86 55

17. Big Donny Bertolotti 35

18. Stretch 21

19. HuskyBarker 5

Get your picks in by clicking "comments" below.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Sun Bowl chair says UConn still in picture

Don't pack the winter parka and turtle neck sweater for Toronto just yet. UConn could still be in the discussion for the Sun Bowl in El Paso, Texas. Granted, the Huskies will need lots of help. And they'll also have to survive an impromptu vote from the Sun Bowl committee Saturday night. But there's a chance. Here's the deal.

I just spoke with John Folmer, the chairman of the Sun Bowl committee. He'll be at Rentschler Field Saturday along with Bernie Olivas, the Sun Bowl executive director. Folmer said he and Olivas are there mainly for Pittsburgh, and will personally invite the Panthers to El Paso for New Year's Eve with a victory in a ceremony inside the visitor's locker room at Rentschler. (As long as Rutgers beats Louisville tomorrow night, that is...) "That's the plan," Folmer said. "If Pittsburgh wins, we'll invite them right there in the locker room."

That's the simple scenario.

If UConn knocks off Pitt AND West Virginia loses to South Florida, it becomes a three-way race for the Sun Bowl bid. The three? Pitt, West Virginia and UConn, who would all be 4-3 in the Big East. Rutgers, despite a potential 5-2 conference mark and second-place all to itself in that scenario, is apparently already out of the picture.

"I don't think Rutgers would be the best choice," said Folmer, who doesn't have a vote unless the committee is deadlocked.

Should Rutgers, UConn and South Florida all win, Folmer said, he and Olivas would scrap the post-game ceremony and retreat to their hotel room to initiate a conference call with the bowl committee. Whoever gets the majority vote gets the invitation, and Folmer and Olivas would inform the Big East that evening.

"We'd have to decide on a head-to-head basis to see who would be best," Folmer said. "Connecticut brings a lot to the table; the New York (television) market and the eastern market, which is important."

Based on what Folmer said, overall records play a large factor in the choice. UConn and Pitt may have the edge because both will be 8-4 overall while West Virginia would be 7-5. Plus, UConn will have beaten the Panthers (as well as conference champ Cincinnati). All three teams have some star power, with Shady McCoy of Pitt, Pat White of West Virginia and Donald Brown of UConn (though White has the most name recognition right now, and will certainly keep the Mountaineers in the discussion despite a possible 7-5 record).

"With UConn, you get a team that has won their way into a bowl game as opposed to a team that has lost their way into a bowl game," Folmer said. "It makes a big difference on attitude (with the committee). Quite frankly, all these bowls are concerned with how many tickets they can sell. We don't have that problem in El Paso. We sell all the tickets we can sell locally and usually ask the teams to take a little under 8,000. If they can't sell all of them, that's not a problem because we can certainly get rid of them."

Should be quite an interesting Saturday.
  • If UConn loses, its certain to go bowling in Toronto. A story in the Charlotte Observer says the Meineke Car Care Bowl has tabbed North Carolina as its top choice. The Huskies weren't under serious consideration since they played in Charlotte last year, but the Tar Heels are the deal-breaker. Since both UConn and Rutgers have already faced UNC this season, neither are likely opponents. Rutgers played in Toronto last season, so its not the top choice of the folks north of the border. With the Sun Bowl not a realistic option, the Scarlet Knights seem destined for the Bowl in Birmingham. The Meineke Bowl will wind up with either Pitt or West Virginia. Bank on it.

  • One problem with the Charlotte story linked above is that the reporter doesn't realize the Meineke Bowl is slotted behind the Gator and Sun Bowl in the Big East pecking order. Pitt may end up in Charlotte, but only if it loses to UConn. Not the other way around, as the story says.

  • D.J. Hernandez is getting his master's degree in educational psychology at UConn in hopes of becoming a high school guidance counselor. He also wants to coach high school football, with his dream scenario counseling and coaching at his alma mater, Bristol Central.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

We're back. News and notes from Tuesday

A very busy Tuesday. The big story from today was the news that Andre Dixon was arrested for driving under the influence and suspended indefinitely.

Here's a sampling of other news to come out of the weekly media luncheon:
  • Randy Edsall told Jeff Hathaway he doesn't want to play in the St. Petersburg Bowl. UConn seems destined for Toronto, but the St. Pete Bowl's Dec. 20 date conflicts with final exams. Edsall said St. Pete may have trouble filling the slots because most schools are still in finals.

  • Aaron Bryant is still a walk-on, but he'll be starting his second straight game at middle linebacker on Saturday. Greg Lloyd remains out due to "personal issues", and C.J. Marck joins him this week. Doc Goudreau, also a walk-on, will serve as one of Bryant's backups as will Matt Ashmeade.

  • Donald Brown didn't want to talk about the NFL. Not surprising. Donald is a guy who just doesn't enjoy the media spotlight at all. He's the ultimate team-oriented player -- which is why his teammates enjoy breaking Brown's chops whever possible. A little later, as Brown was sitting alone doing a phone interview with an out-of-town media outlet, Rob Lunn joked "he's on the phone with his agent."

  • Speaking of Lunn, he ran the gamut of emotions today. The jokes were flying. Scott Lutrus was his main target, but he also got me for resembling Chachi Arcola and Desmond Conner from the Courant for his Cosby sweater. Rob was also excited because he'll be playing professionally in Austria starting in March (they're measuring him for lederhosen in the morning). Plus, he'll be blogging about his experiences for NESN and he's staying in a castle. Seriously. I imagine Rob frolicking in the Alps with the Von Trapp family, singing "The hills are alive with the sound of music." But he showed his poignant side, too. I asked him about Senior Day and what might be running through his head as he exits the tunnel at the Runway one final time, and Rob broke down and cried. His time at UConn, his teammates and coaches mean so much to him that he was overcome with emotion. It was a Barbara Walters moment. But, as usual, Rob was speaking from the heart. It was touching. More on Lunn and the seniors later this week in the print edition of the Register.

  • For those not quite convinced Edsall isn't interested in the Syracuse job....the Sporting News ran a story today which quoted former Syracuse star Qadry Ismail, who tabbed Edsall as his pick to succeed Greg Robinson. Ismail said he had a "private conversation" with Edsall regarding the position and Edsall's concerns about the Syracuse job. Edsall, asked about that today, vehemently denied ever speaking with Ismail. He also said he never got calls pitching the job from Jim Brown or Floyd Little, as was reported last month. Edsall says he hasn't spoken with Ismail in over a year. "This is ridiculous. The last time I talked with Ismail was on a plane a year ago," Edsall said. "That's the last time I ever spoke with Qadry Ismail. And I never spoke with Jim Brown and I never spoke with Floyd Little. It's over, man. It's done. Jeez, how many times do you have to say it? I don't know what I've got to do in this day and age, boy. I'm glad I've got these kids here because that's what keeps you sane. That's what keeps you going."

  • Just call Will Beatty "Chef". Big Will cooked a Thanksgiving meal for some of his teammates who remained on campus during the team's hiatus. Edsall and Julius Williams were impressed. Edsall sampled some rice pudding, and Julius raved about the food. Perhaps Beatty has another calling. But Edsall thinks he'll get an opportunity to play at the next level despite taking a while to play to his potential. "He still has room to grow and develop," Edsall said.

That should tide you for now. Check back later, there should be another update.

Dixon arrested for DUI

Andre Dixon was arrested early this morning for following too close and operating a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol.

According to the arrest report, a UConn police officer was traveling on North Eagleville Rd. at 1:43 a.m. Tuesday morning when a vehicle operated by Dixon began to follow to close behind the officer's vehicle. Dixon was pulled over. Upon further investigation, the officer suspected Dixon may be intoxicated. Dixon was subjected to a series of standardized field sobriety tests, which he failed. He was subsequently arrested.

Dixon was released on a $500 bond and is due in court on Dec. 15.

Dixon suspended indefinitely

Andre Dixon has been suspended indefinitely, and will miss the Pitt game Saturday. It's because of a violation of team rules, and was handed down to Dixon this morning. "He made a mistake," Edsall said. "He saw me, we talked about it. It was an unfortunate mistake."

C.J. Marck also will not play due to personal reasons. Greg Lloyd will also be out again due to personal reasons. Aaron Bryant will start at middle linebacker.

Steve Brouse could see action at tight end. Darius Butler is out.

Terry Baltimore and Glen Mourning are the only two fourth-year juniors not returning to the team.

Much more later this afternoon.

Monday, December 01, 2008

Brown will consider NFL

Randy Edsall said he and Donald Brown have had preliminary discussions about the possibility of Brown leaving school early to enter the NFL draft in April, but will wait until the season is finished to have the serious talks.

"As a coach, it's my responsibility to sit down with him and take a look and see where he might be projected," Edsall said Monday. "I don't think Donald wants to leave, but the opportunity is there."

Edsall said he had a similar chat with cornerback Darius Butler after last season. The two gathered information and analyzed where Butler might be drafted. Butler then decided it would be best to stick around for his senior season.

"It'll probably be the same thing with Donald," Edsall said. "Once you get that information, you sit down and take a look at it."

Brown will be "close" to having enough credits to graduate after this semester, Edsall said.