Mailbag? Not Sure Why Opinion Matters?

by Categorized: Mailbag Tagged: , Date:

Q: Hey DC. I don’t get why everyone gets so fired up about your opinion of the Head Coach. Personally I liked him as a hire but I’m not a huge DeLeone fan and It seems like Coach P has blind loyalty to him. I attended SU football camp multiple times in the late 90’s and he did not leave a good impression on me then with his doom and gloom attitude and 15 years later I doubt he has changed. After the season I think PP really has to evaluate the offense objectively and possibly make a change. Ranking in the bottom 20 of the FBS two consecutive years with similar problems both years can’t be acceptable. Ken, Naugatuck.

A: I just think theres a disconnect between some and the reality of what I actually do. The really sad thing is, I dont know where it’s come from. My positions on things regarding the program has never mattered and theres not a shred of evidence to the contrary. Anyway, I think you’re right about changes on offense. I support the coach getting another opportunity, that being next season. If things still look, not improving, team not winning games? I think you have a decision to make if you’re the AD – but that’s only my opinion.

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51 thoughts on “Mailbag? Not Sure Why Opinion Matters?

  1. Cheshire Fan

    Like Shadrach, Meshach,and Abednego the handwriting is on the wall.
    “George Deleone has got to go!”

    Now Dez you don’t walk on water, and you don’t turn water into wine, but your bloggin and reportin are just fine.

  2. Freddy

    Your thinking of Kansas not Kansas st who has the big fat coach. He might have eaten raw sticks of butter but he led Kansas to a BCS game. Synder replaced Prince who was an under qualified coach that should never have been handed a d1 job.

    1. husky66

      Snyder isn’t a young guy.

      don’t think its the age thing thats hurting PP and GD, its the “not coaching very well” thing that’s wrong.

      And from what we’re seeing so far on next years commits, its also the “recruiting thing” that doesn’t seem to be panning out all that differently than w/ RE. PP may be more likable than his predecessor, but it would be interesting to hear from those CT high school coaches who were so vocal about hiring one of their own and ask why there isn’t a majority of the best CT FBer’s going to ‘ol state U.

      here’s hoping the off week and a serious butt chewing wakes up the entire program.

  3. jack54

    Way too many old guys on coaching staff. How many 18 year old recruits will be drawn to that? They know before they finish at UConn all of these guys will be long gone. Changing the OC at this point may be too little,too late. Coach PP should be given another year,but it might backfire and really set the program back. Is it worth the risk ? Only time will tell. FYI. Steve Spurrier ( South Carolina) said there are more better recruits in the Atlanta area than Florida. Might be the place to grab new OC / coach in waiting .

    1. Navin R. Johnson

      How does Bill Snyder recrute? Manhattan, KS isn’t the mecca of college football. How does he recrute/develope players at age 73?

      1. TheJerk

        Snyder recruits well because unlike the coach before him, he doesnt eat raw sticks of butter for snacks

        1. husky66

          and it doesn’t hurt that KSU is in the Big 12, which w/ the exception of Tx, ain’t exactly the Ivy league.

          And as an aside, its also why the WVU Couchburners fit into that league perfectly.

          1. Navin R. Johnson

            Wrong school TheJerk. That’s Kansas that had the coach eating stick and butter. Mark Mangino to be exact.

  4. Mike

    Are we better off now than we were two years ago? Sorry…still in debate mode. Seriously, I saw a team that quit Friday night. It is my opinion that these players don’t like their coaches,and have little or no respect for their coaching ability .I was one of those who believed in allowing three years for the head coach. I am not so sure any more.That would just screw up another recruiting year. OC Must go NOW! Attitude is reflective of leadership. Who said that?

  5. Tim

    I’m surprised by your reaction to reader comments, and it strikes me that there is a disconnect between our expectations. I would be interested in understanding how you view your role / position. From my vantage, I see your role as two-fold.

    The first aspect of your role is to serve as a traditional news reporter, in which you gather, collect and report information about the program that we (as readers) would not otherwise have access to ascertain on our own. In this role, you leverage your contacts to provide information that is generally considered fact-based, inarguable and/or directly provided from a source. We appreciate this reporting.

    The second part of your role is editorial, which is common on blog sites. Here, we expect you to use your insight, perspective and knowledge of the game to form opinions on the state of the program, both in terms of performance / execution on game plans, as well as on the long-term direction of the team. Simply put, you consistently fail to meet our expectations on this part of your role. You too often offer simple, non-descript opinions, and then quickly back-pedal by saying your perspective is not relevant. You also fail to provide any basis or insight in forming that opinion, which causes frustration / reaction from your readers, because we have passion and want to debate and learn. Blogs / chats were created to enable the voice of many, including the author, to be heard, shared and expanded upon. We don’t get enough of that from you.

    I understand this feedback is not easy to hear, but if you want to close the gap in expectations, please own the fact that your readers are looking for more from you. Your role and your contacts provide you the best vantage point to provide well-formed opinions, and we don’t see that consistently happening. I’m sorry, but that is how we feel. At least some of us.

      1. Pete

        This is the second post that I’ve been deleted on. I’ll keep reposting. Tim, your post is the most accurate thing ever written on this blog!

        1. dconner Post author

          Huh.. That’s strange. Not sure why that’s happening but anyway, hopefully, you don’t experience any more issues posting going forward. Thanks – have a good day

  6. Tom Stepnowski

    If Desmond Conner is calling for Coach Ps head it is the best thing he has written all year. He is over the hill he was getting fired by the Cowboys and Jeff Hathaway secured his and Deleones’s retirement by giving them contracts. Together they are on a course to destroy the 10 year build up that this program enjoyed. And by the way, as the conference struggles to be relevant as a football conference, you can forget an 0-3 team getting invited into a better conference. I hope the AD has the right stuff and gets rid of him. Maybe he can join Hathaway at Hofstra.

    1. dconner Post author

      Some good points. Obviously I don’t agree wholly with what you described my role as in part two. This is about how after losses since the interview with Manuel am I still so sure the position he took with the head coach is status quo? Right? I’m confident I do a good job here in parts I and II. And I think by and large most people feel that way that’s why they come here. What I do understand is that we are a divided nation and angry nation everybody is critical of everybody if they can be and want to be. Tim I checked with the AD immediately after each of UConn’s losses and his position and it had not changed. I’m sorry. That’s what you wanted to know right, Tim? Well, there you go. There’s some insight.

      Now, lets talk about the contacts part of this whole thing. Now, I am aware one person could be thinking one thing and another could be thinking something else. So, what you have to do, should do if you’re a solid reporter, is to make sure what you’ve been heard/told jives with what others have heard/been told, those who would know what’s going on. Before I go on with something I do all of that.

      I don’t feel I have to break this process down every time I report something to satisfy a skeptical few.

      Lastly, the AD was pretty stern in response to me on the issue of the head coach returning next season. I have clearly laid out his position and it just hasn’t changed. Now this guy does not like to lose. I heard about it before he came I’ve seen it after games this year. It’s like he literally played and lost. Here’s what you and the gang should know too, in not going to ask the AD after every game if his position has changed. Lets be clear on that. I’m clear on his position because he told me and I have relayed it to you. The other thing, check with some of these people who have emailed the AD or President. What responses did they get?

      This, Tim, is about a group of folks wanting me to push their agenda and since I’m not doing that it’s become open season on me. OK, I get it. Some will try to tweak me to see the response that’s ok, too, if it makes them feel better but that’s still not going to change anything.

      Thanks Tim

      1. buddy

        If one emails the AD, one gets no reponse. When UConn calls for money, they will get the same response. No likes to lose. If you stink, you lose. Period.

      2. CR


        Good Afternoon, Des. There are many a fan on that site to which I think you referred who defended you as well. Part of the chippiness is certainly the result of frustration. Some fans also want their beliefs validated by someone in the know.

        The rest, I think, has to do with your job description. Now, correct me if I’m wrong…You have a blog, an environment where unsubstantiated conjecture at times can run rampant. However, you put food on your table by way of being a beat writer, and things get murky in the overlap. I may be over simplifying it, but bloggers typically don’t have the access you do. However, as a beat writer, you rely on that access to bring your audience a comprehensive story. That access has a tendency to dry up by writing without corroboration. Even bloggers seem to disappear once they are identified as being hacks and lose the following of their original controversy. That about sum it up?

        I think it is evident that many a folk appreciate your coverage and POV, even if we disagree with, or want you to expand on, some of your statements.

  7. andy

    this kind of ridiculous discussion between fans and beat writer, is what you get when your favorite football team is on a bye week, in the middle of a 3-5 season, part of a larger nearly two year losing tailspin now, and losing is not something that we UConn fans are used to, and will accept. Won’t accept it. All because the offense has become one of the worst, if not the worst offense we have had since moving up from 1-AA 12 years ago and is getting worse. An offense, that we are all accustomed to seeing being able to control the line of scrimmage, and win games, suddenly cant’ block a lamp post, and can’t score points. For that, we have Paul Pasqualoni to thank, for putting George Deleone in charge of organizing and teaching players that were mostly recruited by Randy Edsall.

  8. Chris

    Funny thing is deleone brushed me off at a coaches conference two years ago. He went out of his way to accommodate his buddies who were coaching high school as well as me. I got a real arrogant handshake and when I asked him a question it was like I was asking him to jump on the table and start dancing. I didn’t really care I just found it odd since he recruits my area. I also had two kids who were nationally rated that year and he never asked me about either.

  9. Chris

    I kind of like it that Dez mixes it up with us every now and then. I like it that he’s willing to put out his opinion on this (as unpopular as that opinion is). Why not just state your reasons for disagreeing with him? It’s ok for people to disagree and talk rationally about this. I like Dez a lot but I couldn’t disagree with more on this. So what? And Dez’s opinion, that’s if he’s not a secret advisor to Warde Manuel, means squat here. If Manuel feels that P should be coach come Dec, we’ll have 2 years of data to fight over. But right now, I’m glad it’s bye week, and I just really want to win a damn game.

  10. gary

    Dez, I also think that it’s not your job to be the leader of the lynch mob. So, you don’t have to be calling out coaches. Not your job. Now, that being said, I am going to express the opinion that our offense is so bad, our line has become so bad, that this has to be mismanagement. Just mismanagement. Look, I like PP. But he has to get some young blood in there coaching the offense. You can’t have a 70 something year old as the OC and the O Line coach. The game has changed. You can see it in our offense when you watch other teams. It’s a different game than what we play. That is not on the team. That is on George DeLeone. He is ancient history. Let Sean Day run it. Let someone who relates to COLLEGE KIDS run it.

  11. Navin R. Johnson

    DC… Coach P will be back next year. Will there be a new OC and line coach or is it a package deal with DeLeone and Coach P?

  12. UCONN FB

    Who are these scary talented recruits that HCPP has recruited that will take the field next season and turn around this fiasco? I try to follow the program pretty closely and cannot come up with the list myself.

  13. TAD

    Dez your doing a great job from my point of view. Its great that all of us arm-chair quarterbacks can express our views on how our huskies can improve. I disagree with many of the opinions but I love the passion of all of these hardcore Uconn fans.

  14. rich

    Stop, you’re all right. Fans are frustrated. I’m pretty sure this is not UConn specific, all fan bases have some irrational folks that vent at anyone that will listen and give them an avenue to vent their frustration. I, for one, appreciate the blogs/questions/chats/coverage, but with that comes the possibility of cats screaming irrationally about firing everyone and even blaming the Courant for the offensive woes…Free speech, I suppose. I know that the only opinion that really counts is the AD, but I think fans expect that the folks that cover the team will speak for them…right, wrong or indifferent the fans think this is their space to vent and if DC disagrees with their opinion fans probably think he’s “siding” with the staff. By the way, passion is probably good for a program…(not irrational, misguided passion, but passion and frustration at losing). Just my opinion.

  15. Mike

    You did not hide your distaste for Edsall’s attitude towards the media at all. Now PP comes in with the same attitude yet he seems to garner your full support. I think that the vitriol from the fan base comes from the appearance that a past relationship that you shared with PP affects your opinion of everything involved with the football program right now.

    Mike Jones

    1. dconner Post author

      I didn’t know we were talking about how PP treated the media. I think he treats the media fine. Listen I can’t deny having past relationships with those guys. Did you know I had a past relationship with Edsall as well? I met he, D and P all in the same place as a baby in this business. People forget and let me remind you all, people call for Edsall’s head after the Rutgers game in 2010 didn’t they Mike? See me jump on that train? And he was here what 10 years by then?
      Now fans want to me ride with them on Pasqualoni after 20 games. Make sense Mike?

      I think you’d have a point if I wasn’t being critical, wasn’t being critical of the staff but I have been. Not to the point fans want me to be but I’m not fan. As I mentioned before the sad thing is people actually think my opinion matter in whether the coach stays or goes and that is just not being well informed about what I do

  16. Jim

    I for one don’t think your opinion matters,however that being said you do seem to get upset when people talk about firing PP, and if your not upset then take a look back at some of your response’s to there statements and tell me a good adjective . You also don’t really ever seem to explain your opinions other than to say they are not important and yet when challenged on them you get terse.

    1. dconner Post author

      I’m glad you chimed in here. This is my final comment to you Jim. I didnt at all appreciate the man up comment on the chat today. I don’t appreciate many of your comments actually. You know I disagree with a lot of people here and they disagree with me but I’d say 98 percent of them are respectful of me. You sir are not. As the administrator of this blog you’re very welcome to comment here as much you so care to as long as you’re respectful of me and keep your focus
      on the team and not what I think. If you can’t do that then let me know and Ill find a solution for both of us. The ball is in your court Jim but we’re gonna get an agreement here today

      1. Jim

        I have never used harsh language or profane language towards you or anyone on this blog,if you dislike my comments that’s fine but I have never been disrespectful towards you or anyone else. I might challenge what you say but I do without using any thing remotely disrespectful.If you have any examples of me being disrespectuful please let me know and I am will apologize to you.

        1. Jim

          If you would like I will kindly stop posting any more comments on here and I am sorry if I have offended you in some way,but I stand by comments I have never used harsh or profane language towards you or anyone nor would I. But tis is the best solution for both of us.

          1. roberttherugguyraleigh

            Desmond had just posted “you’re very welcome to comment here”. And no double posting Jim.

  17. ctmike

    I think mg pretty much nailed it. I’ll also add that- some folks (and I’m not one) feel that you should lead the charge of our frustration and that you are somehow deficient if you don’t rip the coaching staff for poor performance.

    1. dconner Post author

      That’s what I figured just wanted to hear it. Unfortunately things dont work that way and people are finding out at the crossroads. Well this will surely be a test going forward for all of us I guess. However people have also turned their attention to my tone, one guy actually started a thread about it on the popular message board there, a guy who, eh, nevermind it’s not important. I, I think like most people can get a little chippy when you’re repeating yourself over and over with people telling you no you’re wrong. No way. There’s going to be a change, has to be, ok?

      Thanks for understanding its not my job to push the fans agenda. I cover the team. Thanks, really


    Here is a tidbit to watch..maybe not the place or the right topic …but apples to apples..Edsall just lost his 2nd QB this season ..Hill out for season with torn ACL..I’m not a gambling man but I bet Edsall will continue to be competitive the rest of the season..whereas, with our staff well…i wouldn’t put my money on them..just MY opinion..

  19. UCBlue

    hey dez,
    cant figure out why everyone is attacking you all the time. everyone is allowed to have their own opinion. im sure they are out there they just aren’t willing to admit they have faith in HCPP because they dont want to get an attack launched at them like you are recieving. people need to understand that you need to give a new coaching regime 3 years to get their players in place. he got thrown into the fire his first ear with basically zero time to recruit the players he wanted. he doesnt have “his” players in place yet. most of the mtrue freshamn or redshirted freshman this year and another class coming in next year obviously. let HCRE’srecruits get out of here and give the guy a chance before you throw him under the bus. his ways are in place now. i know the offense is nothng near what we expected this year but we have seen a lot of improvement out of whitmer so stop calling for his head too. the major offensive issue is the O-line. they o-line is huge but they are not talented obviously. they are big strong but very slow so its obviously hurting our offensive produstion. its not the RB or the QB or the WR’s or TE’s for that matter. there is a lot of talent of there. phillips have been coming around next year if he stays in there tebucky jones will be out there (been hearing good stuff from him). whitmer will have a year under his belt know the system better. its not going to be an instant fix with a new regime you gotta give it time. this is not LSU or Florida or Alabama this is relatively new division 1 football team. it is going to take time. HCRE was not the answer either. give HCPP through next season if its still not working then call for his head.

    1. UCONN FB

      Good Coaches can coach. UCONN does not have a good Coach. What we have are “excuses”.
      No Bowl Game two years in a row.
      Losing record.
      Fan support waning.
      No evidence of effective recruiting.
      Unless you are related to HCPP how do you defend this record.

    2. husky66

      who is calling for Whitmer’s head? The kid has a decent arm, but has made some bad decisions at times that hurt.

      As for the OL, I’d suggest that its the technique, not the talent that is the major issue. Unless there is some major deficiency in talent in the OL, their problems are all coaching. And it was evident early in the season, not something that just popped up in the last few games.

      everyone commenting here would like for PP to be successful, but its clear he’s not. His team is not improving, quite the contrary, its going exactly the opposite direction. Worst of all the players are showing less heart. That usually means there is a disconnect between players and coaches. so what did we see? Our university embarasseed on national television. the real question is, do they care?

      So if there is some “system” to learn, a lot of people would like to know what it is, because it ain’t working.


    Hey Dez…not really sure y some bloggers treat your opinion as the “holy grail” You stimulate and are the catalyst for the purpose of the blog ..and your opinion as entitled as any one blogger..with all due respect sir…Thankyou your work always appreciated..

  21. mg


    It’s not you. It’s a fanbase that is just so disappointed, so frustrated, so angry, that they look for any sign that the administration, the media, someone, anyone, sees what they see – a team that went 4 straight years to bowls and was on the rise, competing against major names, lost all of its talent, all of its swagger, and its ability to win winnable games over night when the only thing that changed was the staff. It’s hard to hear that the cupboard is bare when we saw these same kids produce before.

    I don’t have an answer, but the idea that UConn will go in to Year 3 with the same staff is frustrating to so, so many. There is nothing positive happening now that anyone can point to. And this is a really bad time for a young program to be in rapid decline.

    Nothing ever good happened when the townsfolk grabbed pitchforks. I won’t join the masses who want blood, and now. I do, however, wish the program would be more transparent and communicative with the fanbase. Perhaps the administration could give us some sense of what they see for the program, how they plan to interact with the fanbase, how we will grow, where our future lies conference-wise, etc. Some questions can go unanswered for legitimate reasons, but there is nothing given to us, other than requests for money.

    You are a medium, the messenger. You are one of the few that provides us with some insight. It’s not fair to turn on the messneger, but when the true source won’t talk directly wih the fanbase, they shootthe messenger.

    It ain’t fair, but neither is turning a deaf ear to the same people you consider your alumni, your fans, your customers. Folks are not mad at you, they’re just mad, and getting madder by the minute. They deserve better, and so do you.

    1. dconner Post author

      Understood and Im all for not shooting the messenger but like I’ve mentioned before fans count on me to give them news and/or what I know. I did that. I dont share the view of some and I get attacked for it. It’s something. I understand all what people are concerned about here but there’s nothing I can do about it. What do I do going forward? Not report what fans don’t want to hear or want to know?

    1. mikeinmanila

      Feel the same way Todd. Not sure it will salvage HCPP (he’ll need to get a top flight OC), but it’s his only chance of remaining past next year. If he won’t fire DeLeone, he needs to go.

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