UConn Begs Fans To Buy Tix, Facing Huge Loss

If fans of any school was due to show up in droves for a BCS bowl this season, it’d be the UConn faithful.

UConn Not Buying Fiesta Bowl Tickets

(UConn demands fans pay full price - despite cheapo tix online)

Right, keeper of the BCS flame Jim Delany?

Apparently not, as Chip Malafronte of the NEW HAVEN REGISTER reports on the financial armageddon UConn is facing after backing into a BCS Bowl thanks to its Big East Conference affiliation.

Appearing in the Fiesta Bowl means UConn is on the hook financially for a whopping 17,000 game tickets. Among other things.

The Fiesta Bowl distributed 17,500 tickets to UConn, and the school is responsible to sell them all. The cheapest of those tickets cost $111 (in the lower end zone) and can cost as much as $268 for club level.

UConn also has a hotel obligation — a total of 550 rooms at three different hotels ranging in price from $125-225 a night, not including tax, with blocks reserved for either three or seven nights.

Additional expenses include a chartered flight and meals for the team, staff and 300-member band, as well as a $100,000 bonus to coach Randy Edsall, and smaller bonuses for assistants, per their contracts, for getting the team to a BCS bowl.

Cost of any tickets or hotel rooms that go unfilled are absorbed by the university.

It gets worse: Read more…

Arrest Made In Killing Of UConn Football Player

The NEW YORK DAILY NEWS reports this afternoon that a Hartford man has been arrested but not yet charged in the death of UConn football player Jasper Howard.

Jasper Howard Death Suspect Arrested

(UConn Coach Randy Edsall, UConn player Desi Cullen, Howard)

Johnny Hood, 21, is being held on $100,000 bond in connection with the early Sunday morning stabbing outside a school dance at the Storrs campus. Cops said Hood was charged with interfering with an officer and breach of peace, but he has not been charged in the stabbing.

Witnesses fingered Hood as being involved in the altercation outside the UConn Student Union on early Sunday morning.  It’s not yet known if he’s a student at the school. Read more…

Video: Police Give Details On Jasper Howard Death

UConn Police Major Ronald Blicher gave a press conference today in Storrs. He provided some details of the ongoing investigation into the death of Jasper Howard: Here are some of his comments from the Q&A portion of the presser:

Jasper Howard Murdered In UConn Campus Stabbing

“It happened in front of witnesses … We have been interviewing people throughout the night and day (that saw the stabbing). … Second victim is a UConn student. … There’s no indication that act was pre-meditated. We have no reason to believe that he (suspect) is a danger to our community. (The stabbing was) subsequent to an altercation that occurred. This was not a random act of violence.”

A fire alarm was pulled before the killings, but Blicher said he didn’t believe it was a pre-meditated part of the crime. The stabbings happened in close proximity, but exact distance between stabbings is not known. Blicher said it was the first homicide in recent memory (on Storrs campus): “I do not recall one in the last 30 years.”

Video of his press conference after the jump. Read more…

Football Star Racks Up Offers, Criminal Charges

Remember Tebucky Jones? Of course you do; everybody remembers their first Tebucky. For the youngins, though, Jones played in the NFL for several seasons at safety, even winning a Super Bowl with the Patriots back in 2001.

Tebucky Jones Jr
(He’s a wide receiver? I thought guys only played receiver if they didn’t like to hit.)

These days, Jones is an assistant football coach at New Britain High School in Connecticut, where he attended high school. One of the players on that team is one Tebucky Jones, Jr., and surprise of surprises, they’re related. Like his father, Jones is a terrific athlete and gaining considerable attention from some D-I colleges, like UConn. One tiny problem, however, would be the holy smoking assload of charges Jones faces for a fight at school from May.

Read more…

Baseball Rain Delay Turns Into Massive Dance-Off

When you think college baseball, you probably don’t think of the Big East. Well, after what transpired yesterday, you still won’t. But when it comes to impromptu rain-delay dance-offs? Accept no substitute.

UConn South Florida dance off

UConn and South Florida were slated to play for the right to advance to the semifinals of the tournament, but some rain got in the way. So much rain that the game was eventually called off and rescheduled for this morning. So what did they do to entertain themselves during the rain delay? Dance. And they danced like they they’ve never danced before. Actually, in South Florida’s case, they danced like they’ve been preparing for this moment all season. To the point where you wonder if they actually practice baseball in between dance rehearsals.

Ten glorious minutes of your life you’ll never get back, after the jump.

Read more…

Speed Read: Cubs Riding Hard Liquor Bandwagon

It wasn’t enough for Diageo, the makers of Smirnoff vodka, to invite the good folks of Phoenix out to see their hockey team free with the purchase of a bottle of booze.  Now they’re plastering their name across The World’s Largest Beer Garden in an attempt to make further inroads into the sports scene. That’s one way to pay for stadium upgrades if you won’t pony up to the governor.

Drunk Boozer Wrigley Field Cubs fans

Wrigley Field will now host the Captain Morgan Club (a restaurant) and the Smirnoff Patio and provide lovely mixed drinks to the fans that like to do a little drinking around 10 am at home and then ride the El to Addison and start downing car bombs around 11:30 am for a 1:20 pm start.

If Cubs fans aren’t careful, they might even put Toronto Blue Jays fans to shame.  That’s not easy to do, either; they can’t be stopped even if Daddy takes the alcohol away for a game.  (Not to mention the gratuitous nudity.)

Also gratuitous: the entire 2008-2009 NCAA women’s basketball season. The University of Connecticut Huskies won their 39th straight game by double-digits to complete their undefeated season and claim the nation’s crown.

Connecticut Huskies

Stanford University of Louisville kept this game competitive for about as long as you’ve been reading this article thus far, which still might be the best effort of the year for a UConn opponent.  This could be the point for a snide joke about going pro in a little something we call life, but these young women are already professional assassins.  Yikes.

We know the short-lived hole in the media filter (and the filter on media members themselves) caused by Twitter will soon close and leave us with more canned responses and layers of personal marketing protection.  As we speak, there are businesses springing up around the management of social spaces and new media integration and other phrases that dampen the soul.

For now, though, we live in truly awesome times.  Example: Bill Stewart (West Virginia’s head football coach and the antithesis of R-Rod) has been carrying on like a blessed fool on Twitter, including how he threw all the kickers out of a meeting or how he gets so fired up by Chubby Checker that he sprints into practice at 4:15 am.

West Virginia head coach Bill Stewart

Go like this, Coach Stewart.  Go like this all morning long.

And now the twisting hail of bullets that Carl Landry could heal up from in only three weeks

Francis Buxton

  • Stan Kasten, president of the Washington Nationals, went on Philly radio and told Phillies fans just how much they were welcome to fill those increasingly empty seats at Nationals Park, having apparently forgotten that D.C. sports fans survive the surprisingly harsh winters by burning compressed carbon logs of their own hate for other teams.  You’d think Stan Kasten had bigger fish to fry, frankly.  For example, Dmitri Young just called Stan Kasten’s house because he heard Kasten’s hosting a fish fry.
  • Your NBA Draft early departure update: Blake Griffin (as mentioned late yesterday), Jodie Meeks, and everyone in the city of Tucson.  They’re gonna need a bigger green room.
  • Senator Ted Kennedy threw out the first pitch at Fenway Park on Opening Day.  Senator Bill Frist saw this video and declared Kennedy alive and well, raising his batting average to .500.
  • The San Diego Padres have one chance at a title: Miss California Carrie Prejean (a former “Deal or No Deal” model) will be competing for the Miss USA title in Vegas on April 19th and she’s a former member of the Padres’ “Pad Squad”.  It’s good that she’s no longer with the organization or Becky Moores might demand weekend visitation rights.

Carrie Prejean, Miss California 2009

How many majors for Tiger Woods this year?

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Good Seats Still Available For Women’s Title Game

Are you not ready to wish college basketball goodbye for the year? Do you wish you could see just one more unexciting blowout? Are you a fan of subpar hoops, like you saw last night? Well, you’re in luck, because tickets for tonight’s UConn-Louisville women’s national championship game are still available.

Empty Arena

(Don’t expect many wide angle shots of tonight’s game.)

As of press time, I’m able to get seats as low as the plaza level, which are the best in the house besides the folding chairs on the floor. But to be fair, it’s tough to sell 72,000 seats to any event, like the men’s title game was able to do last night. What’s that? This game isn’t in a giant arena, but the 20,000-seat Scottrade Center in St. Louis? And what else, you say? It’s clear no one gives a damn about women’s basketball? Well, you said it, not me.

Read more…

Home Court Advantage Spurs MSU To Final 4 Win

In a game played in front of about 70,000 rabidly partisan Spartan fans in Detroit (and roughly a couple dozen Husky fans), Michigan State outran, outmuscled, and outhustled UConn en route to an 82-73 victory. The leading scorer for the Spartans was Kalin Lucas with 21 points, but every time we looked up, Durrell Summers was making one big play after another, like a ferocious dunk in transition that capped a decisive 17-7 run.

Durrell Summers Dunk

UConn hung tough, to say the least; the teams battled to a 49-49 draw midway through the second half. But shoddy play at the line and on the glass doomed the Huskies, who had looked like (arguably) the most impressive team in the tournament up to that point. We would go on, but you just want to watch Summers dunk in Stanley Robinson’s face, don’t you? Video, courtesy of THE HOOP DOCTORS, is after the break. Read more…

Geno Auriemma Calls ‘Bull’ On Imaginary Racism

Is it time to talk about race in college athletics? No, not really. What purpose would it serve? What territory are we supposed to be driving towards by noticing that there’s only one white guy playing meaningful minutes in this Final Four game between Michigan State and UConn, and he’s not even from America? That’s a fact. So what?

Geno Auriemma
(Destroying racial strawmen. Or strawpeople. Oh Jesus now we’re sexist.)

The simple truth is that discussing race makes people sufficiently uncomfortable that unless you’ve got something truly ground-breaking and worth saying, just leave it alone. It’s not going to change anything, it’s not going to be explored fully by the sensationalist media, and it’s just going to spark some truly stupid commentary from peanut galleries who have their own stupid pre-existing racial agendas. So let’s just keep our mouths shut until–oh damn it, for some reason, Geno Auriemma has something to say (via THE QUAD):

“White kids are always looked upon as being soft. So Stanford’s got a tremendous amount of really good players who for whatever reason, because they don’t look like Tina Charles or Maya Moore, the perception out there is going to be, well, they must be soft.”

“Well, I think that’s a bunch of bull.”

Read more…

Thabeet Tweets He Failed Drug Test As A Prank

I hate April Fools’ Day. It’s to being funny what St. Patrick’s Day is to drinking: pure amateur hour. Every office cut-up who thinks that “Two and a Half Men” is God’s gift to comedy decides that this would be a great time to do something wacky - think Michael Scott from “The Office.” And every radio hack in America decides to start a rumor that a certain celebrity died of a drug overdose/car crash/lightning strike.

Hasheem Thabeet Twitter joke

So as cranky as I am about the whole day, it’s rare when I can appreciate an April Fools’ Day stunt. But I have to doff my cap to Connecticut star Hasheem Thabeet, who managed to pull of a good prank using his (protected) Twitter account. THE ARENA reports that Thabeet Tweeted that he had failed a drug test, and would be not playing in the Final Four this weekend.

Read more…