There’s not much to say about this, guys. It was bad. Really, really bad. Worse than your most disturbing nightmares. UConn was terrible. Just absolutely awful. UConn (24-7, 12-6) got embarrassed by Louisville (26-5, 15-3) 81-48 at the Cardinal’s KFC Yum! Center in the final regular season game of the year.
This is not how we wanted the season to end. Shabazz Napier and Ryan Boatright had no offense. They went a combined 4-24 from the floor. The Huskies’ 48 points was the lowest output this season. As a team, UConn shot under 30 percent from the floor, including hitting only three of 22 three-point shots.
UConn didn’t hit its first field goal until six-and-a-half minutes into the game. They only scored two points in the first 5:30 minutes. The Huskies hit their second field goal more than ten minutes into the game. Basically, UConn was lucky to be down 30-12 at the half.
But in the second half, Louisville just blew the doors of the place. The Cards scored 51 second half points. Montrezl Harrell did whatever the hell he wanted down low, and UConn had no answers. Harrell finished with 20 points and 11 rebounds The frontcourt has never looked more overmatched than it did today. The frontcourt of Amida Brimah, Phil Nolan and Tyler Olander (who eventually fouled out) was all in foul trouble throughout the game.
DeAndre Daniels, who has been hibernating the past few games, actually came to play today. He led the team with 17 points and eight rebounds. Unfortunately, he was the only UConn player to show up today.
This game highlighted Ollie’s coaching inexperience. He’s dropped two to Larry Brown’s SMU and two to Rick Pitino’s Cards. These guys are Hall of Fame coaches, but they both clearly have Ollie’s number. Calhoun was one of, if not the best, x-and-o’s coach ever. And Ollie’s style is more intuitive. But he has to have a better game plan, and a plan b and a plan c, and he obviously doesn’t. This team needs a firmer hand, and quick.
I don’t want to tell you the sky is falling. We all remember how we thought the season was over after UConn dropped its final regular season game to Notre Dame in 2011. And then Kemba Walker won five games in five days at Madison Square Garden before running the table at the NCAA Tournament. Bazz has to prove his leadership, and get his team motivated the way his mentor Walker did. Bazz could go down as one of the greatest players in UConn history. Or he won’t. UConn needs to get its act together going into the AAC tournament, win a couple games and get some momentum going into the NCAA Tournament. Because if they don’t, the next few weeks are going to suck.
UConn faces Memphis in the second round of the AAC Tournament Thursday night at 9 p.m. in Memphis.
Shabazz Napier is a showman. On Wednesday night, in his last home game as a UConn Husky, he gave the crowd quite a performance — and left them wanting more.
The star guard capped his Senior Night in a sold-out Gampel Pavilion by hitting seven three-pointers, part of 26 points. Napier’s hot shooting (8-13 from the floor, 7-11 from three) set the tone for UConn, who shot over 47% as a team. Fellow senior Niels Giffey chipped in a career-high 16 points — effectively serving as Napier’s sidekick.
Rutgers (11-19, 5-12) did their best to make it a game. While it never truly felt like they could win, they did keep the score close. Guard Myles Mack scored 16, including four threes, and took advantage of UConn’s generally lazy defense.
While the final score of 69-63 is certainly a positive for UConn (24-6, 12-5), the grandeur of Senior Night will be the lasting memory of the evening. Walk-on (and official A Dime Back spokesman) Tor Watts was the first player to receive recognition. Followed by Lasan Kromah and Tyler Olander — Connecticut family in tow. Niels Giffey walked to half court with his mom, who traveled from Germany, and excitedly took pictures during and after the game.
Napier was the last to receive his plaque. His mother — #1 seed in the UConn Mom Tournament — Carmen Velasquez, and other family members strolled to mid-court and hugged coach Kevin Ollie. Napier then broke from the ceremony to run over and embrace his former coach, Jim Calhoun.
The ceremony was typical of a UConn program that does a phenomenal job of celebrating their current players and monumentalizing their former ones. When Wednesday’s game was over, Ollie stated that he wants his team among those celebrated in UConn’s past. As most fans meandered towards the exits, Ollie took the microphone and told the crowd that he planned on seeing them again, after UConn wins the National Championship.
- Tyler Olander made the most of his final home game. Given the start by Ollie, Olander contributed two buckets and grabbed three boards. Nice to see him do well.
- It was a very quiet night for Ryan Boatright and DeAndre Daniels. The duo combined for only seven points in 41 combined minutes. Daniels suffered from a bit of foul trouble, but UConn will obviously struggle to win down the stretch with that lack of production.
- Phil Nolan loves to draw charges, and he did so several times on Wednesday. Additionally, watch this.
- Napier, who often claims to ignore crowd noise, mentioned after the game that the “MVP! MVP!” chants from the crowd were ringing loud and clear with him on the free throw line.
The Huskies will close their regular season with their toughest matchup of the season, as they travel to Louisville on Saturday (Mar. 8th). The game will tip at 2pm and can be seen on CBS.
If you’ve heard UConn Coach Kevin Ollie talk at all this season, you’ve heard him say that defense is where the Huskies “hang our hat.” That was never more true than in UConn’s win over the 11th ranked Cincinnati Bearcats (24-5, 13-3). The unranked Huskies (23-6, 11-5) played stifling defense and managed to hold Cincy to 27.1% from the floor in a 51-45 win.
The Huskies scored 20 points off of Cincy’s 20 turnovers, and stole the ball 10 times. Ryan Boatright had four, and Shabazz Napier and Lasan Kromah each had two.
“Even if we’re missing shots, we feel like, if we can stop them, we can’t lose,” Boat said.
This was not, by any stretch of the imagination, a pretty game. Both teams played good defense, but the offensive side of the game was just kind of terrible. UConn missed several lay ups, and the shots were not falling for anybody. There were no field goals, by either team, in the final 5:29 of the game. UConn’s field goal drought extended back to the 7:18 mark.
“I said it was going to be 90% punches, 10% plays,” “Ollie said after the game.
Bazz lead the team with 18 points and 11 rebounds, adding a couple assists, as well. But his influence was felt beyond his own play, to that of freshman guard Terrence Samul, who Bazz has spent a lot of time working with this season.
Samuel played 16 quality minutes, often guarding Sean Kilpatrick, Cincy’s best (and today really only) offensive threat, getting a steal and an assist. Samuel played eight impactful minutes against USF, and has shown his coach he has earned more playing time.
“I showed him I can be a game changer on the defensive end,” Samuel said. “I’m going to come in and guard the best guy, rebound and just push the ball. That’s what he wants me to do, and that’s what I’m going to do.”
After Samuel forced a Cincy mistake and turnover, Ollie walked out of the coach’s box to give Samuel a high five. Ollie said Samuel has been working with Bazz and Boat, listening to his coaches and generally busting his ass.
“He’s playing in the thick of the games, and he’s playing the right way,” Ollie said.
UConn characteristically hit most of their free throws, making 72.0%. Bazz hit 9-of-10, but Giffey missed all three of his attempts. Maybe he needs to take them from further back.
Make no mistake, this is a big win for the Huskies. With two loses to SMU and that embarrassing Houston game, a win against Cincinnati is huge for UConn’s tournament resume.
“It reminded everybody that we can play with the top level competition,” Boat said.
Ollie said in their lose to SMU, and in other games this season UConn has played down to teams, or simply not played for the whole game.
“We kind of took our foot of the pedal,” he said. “And today we didn’t do that defensively. “
The most notable event, though, really didn’t have any impact on the game. Cincinnati Coach Mick Cronin was, well, let’s just say, somewhat heated during most of the game. After one not-even-bad call, he absolutely lost his mind and started screaming at ref Ted Valentine. Instead of giving Cronin the technical, which he surely deserved, Valentine got right in Cronin’s face and started yelling back. A Cincinnati player had to pull his coach away from the ref. Cronin then shoved his own assistant. It was an ugly spectacle on both sides. Cronin’s behavior was pretty ridiculous for most of the game, and I counted at least four times when a technical would have been warranted.
Puzzlingly, despite Valentine’s usual reluctance to not see himself on television, Cronin did not get called for a single T. It was truly bizarre.
After the game, Bazz, who was right next to the action, noted that when Ollie did something similar, he got thrown out of the game. And while he gave credit to the refs for not letting the incident effect the outcome of the game he also said, “You can only yell so much!”
- Ollie-ism of the day: “I don’t coach from fear; I coach from love.”
- Highlight of the day for A Dime Back: As the officiating crew was exiting the floor, about three feet from out seats in Siberia, fans told Valentine he was “terrible,” and “the worst.” Valentine’s response? To blow a mocking kiss. I wish I had my camera.
- Ollie acknowledged that today’s game was important from a rankings/bracket/seeding perspective, but that he really couldn’t care less about that. “I care about my team,” he said.
- Bazz has really grown into his roll as a leader, directing his team and taking younger players under his wing. Though he may have been most helpful in saving Ollie’s voice, which was really raspy and definitely bothering him. “I couldn’t yell today so I was glad I had Bazz to yell for me,” he said with a laugh.
- Omar Calhoun played four minutes and missed all three of his shots. The sad part is he missed two open threes, and the shots didn’t even look bad. They just didn’t go in. I really feel bad for this poor kid.
- Sean Kilpatrick was basically Cincy’s entire offense, scoring 18 points.
- After the game Cronin said that his team has a bad attitude and is arrogant. Apparently the Cincy players thought they were going to waltz into Hartford and get a win. “We got taught a lesson,” Cronin said.
UConn plays Rutgers at Gampel on Senior Night Wednesday at 7 p.m. The game will be on ESPNU.
This year’s UConn team has been one with two personalities. In some games, they play like they can beat anyone in the country. And sometimes, like on Wednesday, they play like a team who’s never seen a basketball before.
Coming off an ugly loss to SMU, the Huskies traveled to Tampa to play a team they beat a few weeks ago by more than 40 points. Yet Wednesday’s game went down to the final minute, as UConn (22-6, 10-5) edged past USF 61-56.
Let’s be clear. USF (12-16, 3-12) is bad. Really bad. But UConn looked even worse for about three quarters of the game.
The Huskies looked horrendous in the first half. Neither Shabazz Napier nor Ryan Boatright hit a field goal, both going 0-4 from the floor. The Huskies scored the fewest points in a half this season with 22. Watching them play was miserable. After losing to SMU in such a painful way, one would think the team would really get up for USF. But they just didn’t. The shot selection was terrible, and even when it wasn’t, it seemed like nothing would fall.
Boatright didn’t start the second half, getting replaced by Niels Giffey. Boat came in soon after, and hit his first field goal nearly 28 minutes into the game. UConn was down by as much as nine, but suddenly, the Huskies remembered that they were supposed to win this game. UConn went on an 18-0 run, with Boat scoring 11 of those points.
USF came back, cutting the lead to one, when Bazz had his most Bazziest moments, hitting a couple circus lay-ups while getting fouled. Bazz played like Bazz down the stretch, scoring 11 of UConn’s last 14 points. He finished with 17 points and seven assists.
- The Huskies hit 7-of-9 three-point shots in the second half, after hitting only 2-of-9 in the first half.
- Giffey scored 11 points on 4-for-7 shooting, including 3-for-4 from behind the three-point line.
- The one bright spot of the evening was the play of freshman Terrance Samuel. In just eight minutes, the New York City point guard got some key second-half steals, a couple points and an assist to light a fire under the floundering ass of the Huskies.
- Without question the best thing to come out of this game was the Pete Gillen drinking game created by Russell Steinberg on Twitter. As it seems Gillen will be doing UConn games on CBS Sports Net, you should brush up on the rules.
- According to Samuel, Bazz gave an impromptu speech halftime speech that got the team fired up.
- Inexplicably, Tyler Olander played 21 minutes, scoring zero points and getting two rebounds.
The bogusly-unranked Huskies (21-6, 9-5) face the University of Southern Florida (USF) Bulls (12-15, 3-11) in Tampa tonight in the teams’ second contest of the season. Though “contest” may be overstating things a bit. When UConn faced USF on February 2, the outcome was what you would expect if the Heat played an AAU under-16 team. The Huskies utterly crushed USF 83-41. UConn’s first half point total – 45 – was more than USF scored in the entire game. So that happened.
In the first game, freshman Kentan Facey and Terrence Samuel saw significant minutes and walk-ons Pat Lenehan and Nnamdi Amilo got into the box score. Leon Tolksdorf played 11 minutes. Tolksdorf. Eleven minutes. I think you know where I’m going with this.
This is normally where I would tell you about the players on the other team, but no one on USF scored more than eight points in the last game. It seems unlikely that will change tonight, so let’s move on to more important topics.
UConn is coming off a gut-punch of a loss against Larry Brown’s SMU (he’s really got Ollie’s number), and they’re looking down the barrel at Cincinnati on Saturday in Hartford and at Louisville to close out the regular season next week. They play Rutgers in there somewhere, too, but whatever. Rutgers. These next couple weeks are really important to UConn’s tournament resume. Wins against Cincy and Louisville, and a good showing in the AAC tournament could mean an NCAA seed as high as four. Losses to those two teams and an early out in Memphis could mean a slot in the dreaded 8-9 game. Or worse.
USF has lost its last four games, and nine of its last eleven. UConn really needs to get a big win tonight, and muster up all the swagger they can bring back to chilly Connecticut going into the end of the regular season.
Hopefully, Boat and Bazz got a little sun and relaxation, because both have been struggling with injuries. Don’t be surprised if the Huskies run up the score and the starting guards’ minutes are limited, as Ollie tries to get his guys as healthy as possible before Saturday. Bazz is currently sitting on 597 career assists, and he could reach the 600-mark tonight, joining Coach Kevin Ollie, Tate George and Taliek Brown as the only UConn players to hit that illustrious number.
Tip-off is at 7 p.m. and the game can (maybe) be seen on CBS Sports Net. Pete Gillen is calling the game again. So, yeah. Sorry about that.
The short, stocky point guard who helped UConn shock the world returned home this past weekend. Khalid El-Amin stood on the Gampel Pavilion court, posed with his teammates from UConn’s first national title team in 1999, and embraced his former coach, Jim Calhoun. He watched as two banners were unveiled, formally inducting the team, and him personally, into UConn’s Huskies of Honor.
El-Amin is a beloved figure in Connecticut. Paired with the tacit brilliance of Richard “Rip” Hamilton, El-Amin’s boisterous and infectious attitude brought levity and fun to the game. And man, could he play.
When he arrived on campus, El-Amin joined a young UConn team brimming with talent fresh off an NIT season in 1997. Hamilton, Kevin Freeman and Jake Voskuhl had just completed their freshman seasons. Ricky Moore and Rashamel Jones, their sophomore campaigns.
In his first game as a Husky, November 15, 1997 against Yale, El-Amin led UConn in scoring. He scored 23 points on 9-13 shooting, handed off five assists and registered five steals. It was the first moment in a season that would end with El-Amin holding the all-time record for points by a freshman in UConn history (593). Combined with Hamilton’s 795 points, the duo set a record for most points by UConn teammates that stood until 2011 when they were surpassed by Kemba Walker and Jeremy Lamb.
The 1998 season ended prematurely for El-Amin and the Huskies. While Hamilton’s buzzer-beater over Washington in the Sweet Sixteen still delights Husky fans, their season ended two days later at the hands of Vince Carter and North Carolina. El-Amin averaged 23.3 points per game in the tournament, beginning his legacy as king of the moment, master of the big shot.
Expectations were sky high heading into the 1998-1999 season. UConn had returned their entire starting lineup, including Hamilton who considered jumping to the NBA that offseason. They were truly unstoppable. Their season began with 19 consecutive victories including two indelible moments for El-Amin.
On December 12th, UConn ventured to Pittsburgh — consider this the beginning of their decade-long rivalry that followed. Down four, with 15 seconds to play, El-Amin brought the ball up court and found sophomore Albert Mouring, who buried a three to narrow Pitt’s lead. Following a timeout, Pitt threw away the inbounds pass. UConn recovered and handed the ball to El-Amin, who won the game with a spinning free-throw line jumper.
The image of a victorious El-Amin atop the Pitt scorers’ table taunting the home fans remains an iconic moment in UConn history.
Two months later, the Huskies (who were ranked #1 in the country at the time) ventured to California to take on #4 Stanford. Hamilton was out with an injury, putting the game squarely on El-Amin’s shoulders.
The crowd was relentless. Their taunts of El-Amin were hateful and ceaseless. El-Amin’s response was to drop 23 points, five assists and five steals on the Cardinal, sealing a signature win for UConn.
Despite losing only two games on the season, when UConn reached the National Championship game, they were severe underdogs. Duke was the consensus best team in America, and their center Elton Brand was considered the best player in the country. You know the rest. Jim Calhoun devised an interior defense that confounded Brand. Ricky Moore scored early and often in the first half. Hamilton and El-Amin sealed the victory late. They shocked the world.
It was the moment when UConn basketball became legitimate. They had come up short so often before, but were now being welcomed into college basketball’s elite.
Early into the offseason, Hamilton announced he would leave UConn for the NBA. Moore and Rashamel Jones were graduating. El-Amin had a choice to make. He chose to stay.
In hindsight, his prospects may have never been higher. He had proven on the biggest stage that he could play with the best players in the country, that he was a leader, and that he had the, um…courage…to take big shots. It could be argued he should have taken the leap and joined Hamilton in declaring for the draft.
By staying on campus, El-Amin piloted a flawed UConn team that lacked a true second scoring option. Albert Mouring was the team’s second leading scorer at 13.9 points per game, but his game was perimeter-based (Mouring attempted 180 threes and shot 47.8% from deep). Kevin Freeman struggled in his move to the small forward slot. He averaged 11 points and just under six rebounds. Freshman Ajou Deng, thought to be the next big star, averaged less than five points and under 15 minutes per game, en route to becoming maybe the greatest disappointment in the program’s history.
El-Amin led the team back to the NCAA Tournament, but the magic from the year earlier had worn off. UConn barely escaped Utah State in the first round, and lost to Tennessee two days later when El-Amin suffered an ankle injury that limited him to just 13 minutes and three points. It was the last time he would ever wear a UConn uniform.
El-Amin announced his intentions to enter the NBA Draft following the season. When draft day came, El-Amin had to wait a long time to hear his name called. His teammate, Jake Voskuhl was selected with the 33rd pick by the Chicago Bulls, who then chose El-Amin with the 34th pick. As was seen this past offseason with current UConn star Shabazz Napier, a second round prognosis usually sends kids back to college.
However, with his decision made, El-Amin joined the Bulls. He didn’t last through his first season. He was released by the team after playing 50 games, in which he averaged 6.3 points and 2.9 assists per contest. His career took him overseas where he continued playing with flair and passion. He has made enough money to live comfortably, and while currently healing from injury, has had the good fortune to play basketball for living for the past 14 years.
One wonders, however, how different things would look if Khalid came back for his senior season instead of declaring for the 2000 NBA Draft.
The 2000-2001 UConn team was not very good. With El-Amin gone and Freeman and Voskuhl graduated, Albert Mouring and Edmund Saunders were the sole holdovers from the 1999 title team. Their point guard was a tough freshman from New York named Taliek Brown, who could pass, but couldn’t shoot. They did have one thing the previous year’s squad didn’t however, an amazingly talented freshman, Caron Butler.
Had El-Amin returned, he and Butler may have been primed to recapture the success gained when El-Amin partnered with Hamilton. The following year, Butler would, almost single-handedly, carry UConn to the Elite Eight.
In what would have been El-Amin’s senior season, Butler averaged over 15 points per game, as did Albert Mouring. That wasn’t good enough without a second star player, however, and UConn went to the NIT where they promptly lost. Would a talented El-Amin have provided enough reinforcements to change the outcome? If he had, would his draft stock have improved enough to earn him a first round pick and more of an American playing career?
There’s also the historical side of this hypothetical. El-Amin’s three-year point total of 1,650 is currently good for 11th place on UConn’s all-time list (just behind Napier). If he had come back to Storrs and duplicated his junior year output of 560 points, he would pass all others, including both Hamilton and Chris Smith, on the all-time leaderboard, becoming the greatest scorer in UConn history. Had he and Butler been enough to make a deep tournament run, he would have a very serious claim as the greatest player to wear a UConn uniform.
The what-if game is an interesting exercise concerning El-Amin, because he was so generally unpredictable. He could take over a game on a moment’s notice by scoring points in a hurry. Or he could sit back, let the game come to him, and get his teammates involved. He appeared to genuinely love playing basketball, and on Sunday as he watched his name and number displayed in the rafters, it was obvious that he loved being a Husky. Despite only three years on campus, and a specter of missed opportunities, the Storrs faithful, his team and the university clearly love him back.
On a day when UConn honored one of the most accomplished teams of the program’s past, the current squad put on a performance destined more for the waste basket than the rafters.
SMU embarrassed the Huskies Sunday in Gampel Pavilion. The Mustangs, led by Hall of Fame coach Larry Brown, shot over 50% in the second half, while holding UConn to a paltry 25% clip. Their defense confounded and frustrated the Huskies, who also committed 16 turnovers.
UConn’s starting lineup of Amida Brimah, DeAndre Daniels, Lasan Kromah, Ryan Boatright and Shabazz Napier shot a combined 25% (11-44) on the game. While Boatright’s shot wasn’t falling, he was UConn’s best player, getting to the line 11 times and finishing with 15 points and three assists. As a team, UConn had only one assist in the second half.
Remarkably, the Huskies had ample opportunity to seize control of the game in the second half. Down five with four minutes left, DeAndre Daniels got an open look from three. He missed. SMU came back down the floor, got an offensive rebound and buried a three of their own. The Huskies found Daniels again on the ensuing possession, only to see that attempt go wanting as well. He was 0-4 from deep. From there, the game was basically over. UConn would not get closer than eight points until the clock hit zero.
The victory secured SMU (22-6, 11-4) over UConn in the AAC standings. The Huskies (21-6, 9-5) are now fifth among the five legitimate teams in the league. The good, and bad, news for UConn is that all of the top five teams each have two games left against the others. The Huskies will host Cincinnati in Hartford next weekend and close the season at Louisville (with layups at USF and Senior Night against Rutgers mixed in). Winning the conference is probably farfetched at this point, but closing the regular season with some big wins would certainly boost their NCAA Tournament prospects.
- The highlight of the game was the halftime celebration honoring the 1999 National Championship team. All five starters — Jake Voskuhl, Kevin Freeman, Ricky Moore, Richard Hamilton and Khalid El-Amin — were in the house, along with Souleymane Wane, Beau Archibald and walk-on Richard Moore. Coach Jim Calhoun also took the floor to stand with his former players.
- The team received a banner in the Huskies of Honor section of Gampel Pavilion — to the right of the scoreboard in the auxiliary student section. And El-Amin received a banner of his own. He joins Hamilton who was previously bestowed the honor.
UConn travels south for a much needed vacation. They’ll take on USF in Tampa on Wednesday night (Feb. 26th). Tip is at 7pm and you may or may not be able to watch it because it’s on CBS Sports again. Gross.
Shabazz Napier carried the flag for UConn down the stretch, finishing with 17 points, 12 rebounds, and seven assists. After a shaky beginning that saw Temple open a 15-8 lead and UConn miss a number of open jumpers, UConn was able to exert their patented better-than-Temple-ness and take control early in the second half.
Napier strengthened his case for the many postseason awards for which he is in contention (AAC Player of the Year, Wooden Award, Cousy Award) with another strong game, leading the Huskies to a comfortable win in league play. Don’t take this for granted; you’re going to miss him next year.
Temple, it should be noted, looked at many points like they hadn’t practiced as a team yet this year. UConn’s aggressive defense unsettled them early, and they responded with some embarrassingly amateurish turnovers. They’ve been hugely disappointing all season, and Fran Dunphy has to be pretty frustrated. 100% of Temple Fans Polled (sample-size: 1) are only hate-watching their athletic teams at this point, so he’s probably not going to be in trouble for a while, but seriously, get it together.
I think that this UConn team is underrated (shocker), and I also think that they’re gelling nicely heading into the postseason, especially at protecting a lead. A team that could put a lineup of Nolan, Daniels, Calhoun, Boatright, and Napier (who, on aggregate, shoot 82% from the line) is going to be hard to catch at the end of a game.
UConn’s win over Memphis on Saturday brought their conference record to 8-4 on the season. Much of their success can be attributed to the three-point shot. The Huskies are currently leading the AAC by shooting 40.7%. They are second to Louisville with 198 threes in conference play.
With the dynamic backcourt of Shabazz Napier and Ryan Boatright, it’d be natural to assume they would be leading the charge. Or perhaps senior Niels Giffey, who is shooting 50% from deep on the year — among the best in the nation.
A look at the stats, however, reveals junior DeAndre Daniels is UConn’s biggest deep threat against AAC opponents. He’s hitting close to half of his attempts. For more, check out the chart below.
With recent comments from UConn guard Shabazz Napier and American Athletic Conference Commissioner Mike Aresco sparking debate, and some confusion, concerning full-cost-of-attendance stipends for college athletes, we thought it might be worthwhile to expand on the topic.
Some links that touch on various aspects of the topic:
The NCAA conference in January led to the power conferences seeking autonomy, and hoping to provide for full-cost-of-attendance to their schools.
As eluded to above, Aresco has said the AAC is on board with that plan. Additionally, UConn athletic director Warde Manuel told Kevin Duffy of the Connecticut Post that the university supports the additional stipend as well.
For their part, UConn’s scholarships are already some of the most inclusive in the nation.
- UConn covers tuition and provides money for textbooks. Student-athletes are also given on-campus housing as part of their scholarship.
- Players eat meals provided by the athletic department after practices in the training room.
- Otherwise, they can eat in the dining halls, similar to other co-eds, with their meal plan provided by UConn.
- If they choose to live off-campus, they don’t receive a meal plan, but they do receive money meant to cover food and other expenses.
- For road games, players are giving a stipend for meals.
Speaking of food, from 2012, here’s the New York Times piece that brought attention to the issue of the NCAA and their rules concerning food for athletes.
Some bizarre incidents have occurred because of food-based restrictions. The late Utah coach Rick Majerus drew ire for sharing a bagel with Keith Van Horn after his father passed away. And as recently as Wednesday, when Oklahoma self-reported a violation for doling out too much pasta.
Silliness aside, Yahoo!’s Nina Mandell took a look at the financial problems players encounter under current conditions.
From several years earlier, in 2011, a report was released claiming the NCAA was trapping student-athletes in poverty.
Napier isn’t the only high profile player speaking up. Last month, University of Alabama Quarterback AJ McCarron (with his collegiate playing career over), went on record saying the NCAA should pay their players.
NCAA President Mark Emmert is against paying players.
Members of the Northwestern University football team have taken it a step further, seeking to unionize.
Here is what Northwestern players are seeking, via the Chicago Tribune.
Hearings are going on that will determine if the unionization efforts are allowed. Here is an Associated Press story about testimony from a sports economist.
These are complicated issues that draw heavy opinions on both sides. TIME magazine recently ran a cover story titled “It’s Time To Pay College Athletes.” Forbes ran a rebuttal that you can read here.
A public opinion poll conducted by Marist College last April showed that only 27 percent of people asked would support student-athletes earning a salary or stipend above a scholarship.