What’s goin’ on?
Here’s the release from UConn on Holy Cross coming to Rentschler Field in 2017.
Holy Cross, a member of the Patriot League and the Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) began offering scholarships to freshmen last year and by the ’17 season will offer a full array of them to where games against Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS), such as UConn, will count in the overall record for bowl eligibility. That game is scheduled for Sept.9, 2017. The Crusaders own a 19-8-1 record against the Huskies dating back to 1916 but the teams haven’t played since 1985. UConn won that one 22-2 at Memorial Stadium.
OK, save for a few Huskies doing summer internships, the team has been away but will be back in full force for summer conditioning on Monday at which time they’ll spend time working with strength and conditioning coordinator Matt Balis and his team. We’ll point out again Balis and crew have done an excellent job already in building the players’ bodies for battle. The Huskies will do their own football-related stuff, too, with no coaches involved, 7-on7-7s, individual drills etc. (Note: freshmen report early July. All players report for preseason practice Aug.1. First practice for 2014 is Aug.2).
New UConn coach Bob Diaco has some expectations for the team in its return next week of course. There are some new rules for summer that will be beneficial. as well. Here are some recent thoughts from Diaco on both topics.“It’s critically important that we don’t have to take the first two weeks in June to get back to a conditioning level that we were when we ended April so that’d be a huge improvement for our team,” Diaco said. “In the month of June they’re going to have classes and the university added a three-week summer school component in July.
“A year ago they cut the team loose on July 1 and then they were off for the month because there was no summer session – unless you were going to be in the summer session that went into August. This is a huge piece.
“With the way the NCAA rules are set up now the players really need to be in school to be training and receiving the care necessary. When I went to school you could train with the team. There was no real legislation about it. You could go to the campus, sublease an apartment, get a little job or a part-time job and train with the team on a voluntary basis.
“They’ve squashed all of that. You can’t do that now. And it’s for good reason – for the science of training, so players aren’t over-training because they had some heat illness or they had some issues during summer training. Now we have a full staff of athletic trainers, we have our full professional strength staff. It’s not just kind of a grab, wing it deal. Now there’s a real science but they have to be in school.”
The staff could have as much as a eight hours a week with the team. And, for example, it could have say, two hours to be used in a film/meeting session. It could be.
It just won’t be.
“Our component will continue to be physical, mental and skill development,” Diaco said. “It’s exactly, basically the same template before spring.”
Asked if he thought this kind of focus on strength and conditioning would continue, because it’s been much of the focus with the players since he’s been here, Diaco said no.
“It will not continue, no,” he said. “It’s just you look at the team, you think about the team and you try to give the young men what they need and right now our team needs to learn how to not lose. If you can’t push the opponent back you’re not going to win. If you peter out and lose your focus on plays 12, 13 and 14 of a drive, you’re not going to win. They’re going to punch it in or you’re going to stall and punt the ball back to the opponent. There’s things that we need to do to even give us a chance to execute plays, to be thinking about plays.”