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UConn's Jim Calhoun Suspended

UConn basketball coach Jim Calhoun has been suspended for three Big East games next season by the NCAA. The NCAA announced the suspension at a 3 p.m. news conference Tuesday. Calhoun will be suspended for the first three conference games in the 2011-12 season. The program as a whole was also placed on three years probation. Scholarships will also be cut from 13 to 12 for the next three years. UConn will not face a postseason ban.

Here's Calhoun's statement: "I am very disappointed with the NCAA’s decision in this case. My lawyer and I are evaluating my options and will make a decision which way to proceed. In the meantime, I will not make any further statements about the case as our program prepares for what I hope will be an exciting and successful postseason."

So, what does it mean? Simple, UConn and Calhoun got off with a slap on the wrist. The NCAA is quickly becoming a joke with these light sentences. UConn should take matters into its own hands and cut ties with Calhoun and start over. The program will survive without Calhoun, and might even strive.

No Jail Time For New Britain's Reed

Baltimore Ravens kick returner David Reed, a New Britain native, will not pay a fine or receive jail time for a marijuana charge filed against him last month. According to Maryland district court records, the case is now closed. The Associated Press reports that Reed addressed the case Friday rather than going to trail next week. According to the AP, Reed was issued a summons for misdemeanor possession of marijuana last month after police entered his residence in December and found a small amount of the drug. Reed's attorney entered a plea other than guilty or not guilty and received a "stet" on the docket of Baltimore County District Court.

That means Reed was granted a conditional stay on all further proceedings on the charge. Reed is essentially placed on unsupervised probation with the ruling. So, as long as Reed remains out of trouble for the next three years, the case will remain closed.

Sports Page Online Hitting Stride

Sports Page Online has reached the 8 episode mark. To watch the brand-new episode, click on the following links http://www.bristolpress.com/sports or http://www.newbritainherald.com/sports/. Look for brand-new episodes every Monday and Thursday nights on those websites. I'll post the videos here on the blog a day later. Let's kill it with views on our websites. Plus, everybody is talking about our show openings, you should too! And one more thing, become a fan of the show on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/sportspageonline
(Chris Richie photo)

TCU Right To Turn Down Proposed Wisconsin Game On Road

Wisconsin coach Bret Bielema said on a Monday radio spot in Madison that he was approached by a third-party about the potential for a season-opening game next season against TCU, the team that defeated the Badgers 21-19 in the Rose Bowl last month. Bielema said it took him a half-second to say "yes" to the deal. TCU athletic director Chris Del Conte said on Wednesday that he was also approached about the game, but declined the invite.

The game, it should be noted, would be a one-time deal and played at Wisconsin's Camp Randall Stadium. So, TCU would get no benefit from the deal, as the Horned Frogs wouldn't be able to have Wisconsin come to Texas to play them the following year. That, by the way, is how it works in most out-of-conference games involving big-name teams.

TCU is absolutely right in saying no to the deal. Bielema and Wisconsin would play the game in a heartbeat, as it would be a springboard into the national title conversation with a victory at home. TCU should be a highly-ranked team next year, but would be the underdog at the hostile environment in Wisconsin. It's a no-win situation for the Horned Frogs, unless they got a home-and-home as part of the deal.

Wisconsin wasn't going to do that.

While it would have been a great game and the nation would have been solidly behind the Horned Frogs to beat another BCS team, there is no reason for TCU to continue to make concessions to play the "big-time" schools anymore. The game, based on the winner of the Rose Bowl, should be played at TCU. That makes the most sense.

Let's get that conversation flowing, because I don't think Bielema would say "yes" in a half-second to that proposal.
(AP photo)

Black Sunday For Most NFL Fans

Even though the hype machine is in full effect for the Super Bowl, it's Black Sunday. Which means, I'm watching my Capitals take on the Penguins instead of suffering through highlight videos and specials of two teams that are nowhere near the two best teams in football. I'm not going to be able to hid forever, though.

Every bit of footage in the Super Bowl pregame shows hurts for Jets fans, as this was the year to finally reach the big game for the first time in many of our lifetimes. Everyone knows the story, so I won't bore you with the details. The Jets are better than the Steelers and the Packers, I have no doubt about that. But all that means is for four hours later tonight the hurt will grow and grow as the game draws nearer and nearer to conclusion.

This was the Jets' time. This was their year. And it was the year for Jets fans as well. But it wasn't meant to be ... again.

I'll root for the Packers to win because I don't want to see the Pittsburgh fans (the biggest whiners in sports) to celebrate another championship. Either way, it's just another Super Bowl that I don't care about.

Some quick notes, ESPN.com first reported that the Jets are going to use the Franchise Tag on linebacker David Harris. It makes sense for the Jets, as Braylon Edwards, Santonio Holmes and Antonio Cromartie should be easier to sign to long-term deals than Harris, the team MVP. Hopefully all four players get deals, including a long-term contract for Harris. With those four players back next year, the Jets will be right back in the playoffs. All this is pending a new deal between the NFL owners and players, which could change both free agency and the whole franchise tag caveat that exists in the current deal.

Also, Saturday night was a sad day for the Jets as running back Curtis Martin didn't make the Hall of Fame cut on his first try. At the least, he did make it further than Jerome Bettis, who was a playoff choker. Bettis was said to be in better position to make the Hall than Martin. Luckily that wasn't the case. It was a tough class to get through, so Martin's wait shouldn't last that long. He should get in next year. Still, how does the NFL's fourth all-time leading rusher not make the Hall of Fame on the first try? Guess it means stats mean nothing in football.

Enjoy the Super Bowl ... I guess.
(AP photo)

Area High School Football Players Sign Letters Of Intent For College

Today is National Signing Day for high school athletes across the country. Locally, school has been cancelled because of the snow and ice, so it's harder to actually figure who signed where. Press conferences that were scheduled for today have been pushed back to Friday. Southington, Berlin and St. Paul will all hold "signing" ceremonies on that day. But, today is the day most will send in their official letters of intent. We do know that Berlin's Max DeLorenzo has officially signed to play for the University of Connecticut. Others that we are working on confirming are, Travis Thomas (St. Paul) to CCSU, Ryan Peloquin (St. Paul) to Princeton, Joe Dellaquila (Berlin) to Marist and Jordan Chapman (Southington) to Fordham. There's little chance those decisions will be changed at the last minute, but we'll confirm as soon as we can. Typically, student-athletes fax their letters of intent from their high school.

UPDATE: Ryan Peloquin will play football at Princeton.

UPDATE II: Jordan Chapman has signed to play for Fordham.

UPDATE III: Bristol Eastern's Tyrell Holmes has signed with CCSU.

UPDATE IV: Berlin's Mason Powers signs with Sacred Heart. Berlin's Ras Morgan signs with Southern Connecticut State. Berlin's Joe Dellaquila signs with Marist. Berlin's Tevin Grant will play for a community college in Brooklyn.

UPDATE V: Berlin's Dave Balfour signs with Western Connecticut State.
(Chris Richie photo)