Why UConn Football Should Back Out of Its Series with Notre Dame

Jeff KalafaAnalyst IIIJune 3, 2009

EAST HARTFORD, CT - NOVEMBER 3:  Members of the University of Connecticut Huskies run onto the field against the Rutgers Scarlet Knights at Rentschler Field November 3, 2007 in East Hartford, Connecticut.  (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

In an embarrassing display of self-hatred and stupidity, the University of Connecticut agreed to play a long-term football series with Notre Dame, which includes home games for Notre Dame, but none for Connecticut.

In either a six or 10-game series (it's not clear at this time), UConn showed a lack of respect for itself and the Big East Conference by allowing Notre Dame to push them around so easily.

The first game of this series will be played this coming year, in South Bend.

At one time, this series was to be 10 games with Notre Dame getting home games in 2009, 2011, 2014, 2016, and 2018. UConn had agreed to play the other five games at neutral sites—2013, 2017, and 2020 at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, Massachusetts, and 2015 and 2019 in Giants Stadium, in New Jersey.

UConn's coach, Randy Edsall, said, "These games will be a tremendous recruiting tool for our program, enhance our national television exposure and increase visibility in two metropolitan areas in which we have significant alumni."

This statement is so off-line because the fact is, UConn has already become a big-time program and doesn't need to play Notre Dame to showcase their product.

Most of the college football world takes notice when you win a Big East Championship, play in multiple bowl games and have three players drafted in the first two rounds of the 2009 NFL draft.

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If this is some kind of ploy by Edsall to put pressure on the state to enlarge Rentschler Field, it's not going to work.

It's not going to work because if 15 or 20 thousand seats were added, Notre Dame would still say: "We're not playing there."

Rutgers and Notre Dame had arranged a six-game deal, but Notre Dame wanted to play their three road games in Giants Stadium instead of Rutgers Stadium, which will have 56,000 seats in a couple of months.

The difference between UConn and Rutgers: UConn officials said, "Playing Notre Dame would be a big boost for UConn's up-and-coming football program." Rutgers AD Bob Mulcahy said, "We feel Rutgers games should be played on campus." 

Rutgers called off the series.

UConn didn't just betray its fans, it put the Big East Conference in a bad light.

UConn made the conference look weak, and if Rutgers, Pitt, or Syracuse were asked to join the Big Ten as the 12th team, Connecticut's choice to give up home field would be one reason to get out now.

What was the University of Connecticut thinking? 

Were they thinking of the money? Because they sure weren't thinking of their fans. 

If it was about the money that these larger stadiums would generate, let's see if Connecticut ever sees any of it. 

This is such a bad deal that it's flat out embarrassing.

This is comparable to Jim Calhoun contacting Notre Dame officials and insisting that any time his team has to play them on the road, because Notre Dame's building only holds 10,000, the games must be played in Pittsburgh.

Well that's not going to happen because the Big East Conference has rules.

And what about the Big East Conference?

Note Dame, a member in all sports except football, seems not to care too much about helping out fellow members when it comes to football. 

They quickly forget that it wasn't too long ago when their stadium only seated 55,000 fans.

UConn really blew this one and they should get out while they can, even if it means paying some kind of penalty. 

Unlike the fortitude and foresight Rutgers showed, Connecticut showed a horrible lack of judgement—and a horrible lack of balls!