Monday, June 08, 2015

UConn TE McQuillan not enrolled in school, appealing to return

Senior tight end Sean McQuillan, expected to be one of the top offensive playmakers on the 2015 UConn football, is not allowed to be enrolled in classes at UConn following his arrest for second-degree assault and disorderly conduct according to UConn coach Bob Diaco.

"It is one of these evolving private (situations) between Sean, his family and the courts and the university," Diaco said in a conference call with the media this morning. "I am clued in because they have tried to keep me in the loop but I am more clued into the university process because we are working together. We are in an appeals process with the school, he is not presently allowed to be a student right now. He is an appeals process to see how that is going to move forward. That shouldn't take too much longer."

McQuillan was arrested following a fight with his roommate in April. He had 16 catches a season ago second only to Noel Thomas among returning UConn players.

Diaco said that every other player they were expecting back is still with the program although some of them are doing summer internships so they aren't currently on campus. He made sure to mention that 31 players were named to the academic honor roll (actually 36 football players were part of the parade of 3.0 student-athletes at a women's basketball game in February including 4.0 students Justin Wain, Sean Marinan and Will Rishell).

Diaco took plenty of heat when he had a photo of the trophy designed for the UConn/Central Florida game tweeted out. Diaco dubbed the game the Civic Conflict before last year's UConn win. Central Florida officials said they were unaware of the trophy leading people to proclaim that Diaco was making UConn football a punch line.

Diaco said he didn't care about UCF's take on all of this.

"I was excited that on June 2 we were talking about UConn football, that was exciting," Diaco said. "The rivalry needs to start somewhere, somebody calls out somebody. I think it is fun and exciting. I think it is definitely going to add a layer of energy and excitement to our contest on the 10th (of October). Whether (Central Florida) honors it, we will honor it, we don't have control over that so who cares. They don't get to say whether they are our rival or not. We might not be their rival but they don't get to say whether they are our rival, that is for us to decide. For us it is pretty clean and clear because those are things we have control over. For us it is exciting, it is fun. If you embrace it you embrace it, if you don't you don't. There was nothing before so if you don't embrace it there would still be nothing. If you do even a little bit it is more energetic and exciting. For me that is what college football is.

"Why do I have to call their athletic department to say that we've got them targeted as our rival, period. What control over that would they have? What do I care what they think? If they don't want to be a part of the trophy, I don't care about that either.

"We got here and Central Florida is the best team in the league and I think they are the best coached team in the league. I have ultimate respect for Coach O'Leary, what he does and how he runs his program. They run a class program there so what better team for us to target. In our locker room they get a little extra work and they are going to get a little extra work. They are a target for us, it is a big game for us and they are going to get an extra heartbeat from us, whether they want to give it back to us or not that is on them."

Diaco said that a limited number of spots remain for Friday's Women's Football 101 Clinic are available.

Last but certainly not least at least in my eyes, Diaco is loosening up things for the media. It had gotten to the point where I wouldn't go to access periods because players were not made available to us. The low point for me came at the "Dog House" party which was in between my driving home from the women's basketball regional in Albany and flying to the Final Four. I showed up even though I was beyond exhausted after not getting home from Albany until 3 in the morning because I was told players were available but they were not. We ended up having six minutes of player access in the 14 practices before the spring game.  Well, today came the shock of all shock when Diaco told the media that we can show up at any practice we want, stay as long as we want and have access to players (other than true freshmen). Assistant coaches will be available after Wednesday practices during the season. There will be restrictions on what we can take video of but this was a welcome change and one that should benefit the program in the long run.

UConn will report for preseason camp on Aug. 6 with the first practice held on Aug. 7. Diaco is going for a true camp feeling so there won't be any media access until Aug. 12 which seems fair to me.


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