- Aug 26, 2011
Alternate access link here<
>>“Before any decisions are going to be made, at least in my mind, we’re going to make sure — I’m going to make sure — that our players have a say in this,” UConn coach Randy Edsall said Saturday. “They’re the ones going on the field and playing. … The conferences are all making these decisions and I don’t think there’s any real input from the student-athletes. That’s one thing that we’re going to make sure happens here at the University of Connecticut. Our players are going to be heard.
“I’m not going on the field to play. David [Benedict] is not going on the field to play. The Board of Trustees isn’t going on the field to play. The president [Tom Katsouleas] isn’t going on the field to play. Those guys are going on the field to play and they have to feel comfortable and have a free mind of going out to play the game the way it’s supposed to be played, and also be sure that the experience is something they’re really going to want. That’s my obligation. I’m kind of like the union rep for them. I represent them. I have to make sure their voice is taken into consideration.”<<
>>And if you disregard all that’s going on in the world — disregard the safety of players and coaches and staff members and referees and so many others, even — and just think in terms of how the actual football product would ultimately be affected, I’d say this: For a program that has relied on so many young players, most of them having played without redshirting, a year away from competition with eligibility maintained would be the best thing for competitive development. The 2019 to 2021 jump with players who would have been juniors and seniors in 2020 would be incredible.
>>“You take a group of leaders and you put them in front of people I report to, to let the young men express concerns themselves,” Edsall said. “That’s how you make young men learn how to speak up and take a stand and communicate with elders, and that way they aren’t afraid to go to people and say, ‘Hey, I’d just like to express my opinion.’ If you’re going to be a leader, you’ve got to learn to get out of your comfort zone. … All of these guys are going to go on in life and most of them are not going on to a career in the NFL. If you teach them the right things now, it’s going to give them an opportunity to be ahead of most people coming out of college at the same time.”<<