Tyler Olander pleaded guilty to driving without a license Monday morning, and paid a $75 fine. The DUI charges from his arrest on Sept. 7 were dropped; he had failed field sobriety tests, but his two breath tests that night showed his blood-alcohol level was under the legal limit.
So his legal problems are over. Now, he hopes to work and earn his way back onto the UConn basketball team. My guess: it won’t be easy or anytime soon, but Olander will have a fair chance to get back.
No comment from UConn as of yet.
The Jim Calhoun tribute Sunday night came off extremely well. The tone was just right, the event was staged with good taste. The final turnout of former players, coaches and administrators was very impressive. It was a feel-good night.
“Coach, if you’re not phenomenal, you’re forgotten,” Kevin Ollie said, coining the first Ollie-ism of the new season. “You’ll never be forgotten. You were phenomenal every single day.”
Dee Rowe spoke passionately about Calhoun’s remarkable achievements, and how they never should be taken for granted. “He drove the bus – hard,” Rowe said. He and baseball coach Jim Penders, both of whom got standing ovations, gave rousing speeches. “He wouldn’t give a dime back,” Penders said. “He gave millions back.”
One by one, former players came up and told the old stories of how hard Calhoun was, and yet how much he meant to their lives. Kevin Freeman and A.J. Price could not get through their talks without breaking down. The road outside Gampel is now known as “Jim Calhoun Way.”
The man is a complicated and polarizing figure, we all know that, and his way is not for everyone. But there is no denying his accomplishments, and the relationships he has built, speak volumes.
Stanley Robinson is heading to Canada to play pro ball, he was saying at the Calhoun tribute. A.J. Price, a free agent, is still looking for an NBA invite, but said he’s got overseas offers lined up if that doesn’t happen. Jeff Adrien has a contract with the Bobcats, though it’s not guaranteed.
UConn had a good weekend on the recruiting front, at least everybody came away in a good mood. Two guards, JaQuan Lyle and Sam Cassell Jr., and big man Ray Kasongo, visited campus (Lyle was unofficial) and made it to the UConn-Michigan football game Saturday night. The staff still wants two more players from the Class of 2014, and though they lost out on few lately, players in whom they’d showed varied levels of interest, they still feel good about their chances of landing a high-level point guard and a big man.
According to ESPN-Chicago’s Scott Powers, highly-rated big man Cliff Alexander has added UConn to his lengthy list of schools. He and Lyle are close.
Here is the latest on the Tate George trial in Trenton. George will take the stand soon, reports Chris Keating. Heard at Gampel that George has sent e-mails to a lot of his former UConn teammates telling them the charges against him are not true,
UConn can begin practice as early as Friday, but coaches are leaning toward Saturday. Coach Ollie says he plans to use the extra time for “brain food,” plays he wants to install, and conditioning. I’ve got more coming on that.