Tuesday, October 20, 2009

The biggest loss

Yale coach Tom Williams mourned the loss of one of his former players, Marquis Cooper, who fell overboard on Mar. 1 when a boat he was a passenger on capsized in rough waters in Clearwater, Fla. So he knows a thing or two about tragedy but he admitted on Tuesday that he has no way of knowing how he would handle the situation at UConn.

Junior cornerback Jasper Howard was stabbed to death outside UConn's Student Union early Sunday morning. There are reports that two of his teammates were with him when he was attacked. The UConn community, which held two candlelight vigils on Monday night, is still reeling from the loss.

"Obviously it is devastating," Williams said. "I would want to be in touch with the family, knowing we are there to support them and do anything we could to let them get through the crisis then I want to get our football family together, allow the guys to grieve, bring in a counselor. I am sure the guys who are closest to him are the ones affected the hardest and they need to grieve. It is not easy, there is no book on how to handle those situations, you just kind of deal with those situations as they come.

"We talk about our football family, we have 105 players and they are like my children and as my own children get older, you try to instill the values, the decision making and those things too get through life but ultimately they make decisions, they have to as they become adults and you can't watch them all the time."

Back on the subject of his Yale team, Williams said the flu bug which wreaked hsvoc on the squad in the last couple of weeks has just about run its course. Running back Jordan Farrell and offensive lineman Alex Golubiewski, who were among 10 players who did not make the trip, are doing much better.

Williams said he is waiting to hear the results of medical tests on the injured arm of senior safety Larry Abare while receiver Jordan Forney will be watched after suffering a concussion in Saturday's win at Lehigh.

Quarterback Patrick Witt, who was benched for the Oct. 10 game against Dartmouth and did not make the trip to Lehigh because of a violation of team rules, is back to practicing is expected to resume his duties as Brook Hart's top backup.

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