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Dog Days For Huskies

We have a lot of fun with the Duke Curse. But sometimes it gets a bit
odd. Consider what's happened at UConn lately,
according to Randy Smith
of the home-state Journal-Inquirer:

"The day after Selection Sunday in March, Antonio Kellogg was kicked off the men's basketball team and expelled from school shortly thereafter. Despite a No. 2 seed and a friendly site in Worcester, the team failed to survive the round of 32, losing to North Carolina State. Time magazine portrayed UConn as a poster child for poor graduation rates and Charlie Villanueva announced he was turning pro. The women's team lost in the round of 16 in Kansas City, thereby ending a string of five consecutive Final Four appearances....A tickets-for-cars deal was exposed, which involved all of UConn's kingpins - Jeff Hathaway, Jim Calhoun, Geno Auriemma, Randy Edsall, and Chris Dailey.
Andrew Bynum, who had chosen UConn over North Carolina in what was considered a major coup, opted for the NBA
draft...Last Friday, redshirt freshman A.J. Price turned himself in at UConn police headquarters and was charged with four counts of third-degree larceny, a Class D felony, for his involvement in the theft of four laptop computers. Price also was charged with one count of false statement in the 2nd degree, a Class A misdemeanor...Police said two more arrests would be
forthcoming, [including that of] Marcus Williams...[possibly] the best point guard in
America...was charged with four counts of third-degree larceny, the same as Price.

Well, that sets a new standard for the curse!

What makes it worse is that two of the laptops were stolen from incoming
freshmen members of the women's basketball team.

So the situation is quite rich in many ways, according to Smith.

A third person will be charged, if he can be found, and Smith says he will
take the fall for both players.

There is an attorney named Rob Britt who has made a reputation, if not quite
a career, defending UConn athletes - and largely getting them off. He had
charges dropped against Doug Wrenn, Tony Robertson, and Rashad Anderson for
various offenses.

This may not be as easy though. First of all, these guys apparently
text-messaged each other after getting caught.

Not wise. The police have those records, which will likely be
compelling evidence. They've each been charged with felonies, and the
state has the goods on them. If the charges are dropped, it will be shocking.

What about a plea bargain? Presumably, it would require a guilty plea to
lesser charges.

But if either player (Price has his own attorney) pleads guilty, they will
then face a student hearing, and the court has taken action before, kicking
Kellogg out of school for one.

In other words, kids who had to worry about whether or not their laptops
might be next will be asked to pass judgment on two self-professed thieves.

Finally, there is the Geno angle.

As bad all of this is, don't you know after he got the phone call with the
bad news, when Jim Calhoun found out that two of the laptops were stolen from
Geno Auriemma's players, that that was the worst part of it all.

And we suspect as well that the UConn A.D. immediately called Auriemma,
arguably the best women's coach in history,certainly no worse than second best,
and told him to keep his notoriously loose lips sealed tight or else.

The last thing in the world UConn wants, or needs right now, are its two star
coaches sniping in public.

Yet if Auriemma is told to shut up and refuses, what could they do?
Fire him?

Not going to happen. Unlike most women's programs, UConn's makes money,
sells the gym out, and is hugely prestigious. Firing Auriemma in this
scenario would be a really dumb move.

All things considered, it's a very tough time in Storrs right now.