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Posts from May 2012

Kickoff time for FAU’s game at WKU set for 4 p.m.

I just noticed that the kickoff time for FAU’s game at Western Kentucky on Nov. 10 has been set for 4 p.m.

Advantage Hilltoppers for that one. Maybe.

The late afternoon start means the game will end at night and once the sun goes behind the stadium there I remember temperatures dropping in a hurry.

Early November isn’t exactly the dead of winter, and temperatures at that time of year up there can be quite seasonable. But when FAU faced WKU on Nov. 6, 2010 it was very cold by the end of the game. That game only started 30 minutes later than this year’s contest and the kickoff temperature was officially 47. It sure felt like it was below freezing when the game was in the fourth quarter.

It could have started at 7 p.m. local time, but the best for FAU would have been a nice 1 or 2 p.m. local time start.

Kickoff times for the Nov. 3 game at Navy (3:30 p.m.) and the game vs. FIU on Nov. 16 (8 p.m.) were mentioned here a few weeks ago.


 

Countdown to kickoff: 92 days until FAU's season-opener

Editor's Note: To get you ready for football season we’re starting a daily countdown to FAU’s first football game against Wagner. We’ll take a look at just how many days until that first game on Aug. 31 against the Seahawks by looking at the player who wears that number and who has worn it in the past.

We hope you’ll enjoy this feature, as well as our daily links of articles of interest to Owl fans, as we inch closer to the 2012 season.

92

Days until FAU vs. Wagner on Aug. 31

FAU’s current No. 92: Marcelo Bonani PK

Bonani, the first placekicker to sign a scholarship out of high school, had 28 kickoffs and two touchbacks last season. Could battle for time at punter this season.

Others who have worn No. 92 for FAU

  • Kevin Cyrille (2009-2010)
  • Jervonte Jackson (2005-08)
  • Yrvens Guerrier (2001-04)

 

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FAU Bonfire: Event set for Aug. 23

Other links...

Sun Belt Was Right to Halt Expansion (ESPN1420.com)
ULM will hands full with LSU (Monroe News-Star)
UNT women land TCU transfer (Denton Record-Chronicle)
WKU baseball expects to contend next season (Bowling Green Daily News)
Vandy coach scouts assistants' wives (CoachingSearch.com)

FAU's annual bonfire set for Aug. 23

FAU’s sports seasons have come to an end and some of the people at FAU – emphasis on the word some – have already started preparing for next season.

For instance the Student Alumni Association has already set the date for this year’s bonfire. Students, mark your calendars for Aug. 23 for the annual event, which is the kick-off to football event for many folks – and one of the exciting events of the year.

This year’s mascot to be burned will be a Wagner Seahawk. Also, I’m hearing that a post-bonfire concert possibly featuring a well-known band  is in the works - I have heard a rumor of possibly The Misfits. While I haven't heard anything official on that, it's a possible sign that this event keeps growing each year and this year will really step it up in terms of entertainment.

This event recently received an award from The Council for Advancement and Support of Education.

Here's some video from recent bonfires...

 

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FAU Athletics: 2011-12 season offically over for Owls sports teams

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2011-12 season over for FAU athletics

Monday brought an end to the 2011-12 athletics season at FAU. Actually, the last game was Friday, but Monday was the day the NCAA made its announcement of the NCAA Baseball Tournament field and it became official that the Owls would not be playing in the post-season.

It seems like a long time ago that student-athletes were reporting in August to get ready for the school year. And of course, it was just a few days into football training camp that we heard that FAU coach Howard Schnellenberger was going to be making a major announcement later that day. A few hours later he announced he was stepping down as coach following the 2011 season, setting the stage for the wildest year I’ve had covering FAU.

As we usually do, we’ll spend some time going over the past season. There will be plenty to go over. To whet your appetite, here are the final Bubas Cup Standings, the Sun Belt Conference’s All-Sports Trophy.

Owl Access Link Center

FAU Baseball: Owls miss making NCAA Tournament

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Warhawks face LSU Friday in NCAA Baseball Division I tournament (Monroe News-Star)



 

 

FAU left out of NCAA Tournament

It isn’t a big surprise, but FAU’s name was not called on Monday when the NCAA Tournament field was announced.

The Owls, who made the regionals in 2010, have to sit out again despite winning the Sun Belt Conference regular-season.

FAU was 32-22, but was 0-6 vs. ranked teams and had an RPI of 79 according to BoydsWorld.com.

The Owls weren’t helped by the low-RPI this season of the Sun Belt, which is traditionally a strong league and in the last couple of years has been as high as No. 5. However this season, the Sun Belt is No. 16, according to BoydsWorld.com.

This is is the first season since 1988 the Sun Belt has only sent one team into the tournament.

Five FAU opponents made the NCAA Regionals and the Owls were a combined 5-9 against those teams.

Here’s how the Owls fared against each team:

  • Florida (0-1)
  • Miami (0-3)
  • UCF (0-2)
  • Manhattan (3-1)
  • Louisiana-Monroe (2-2)
McCormack thanks FAU baseball’s loyal fans

First and foremost, Happy Memorial Day to everyone. Please take a moment to remember what this day is about.

On another note, at the end of a discussion with FAU baseball coach John McCormack on Sunday, he made sure he relayed a message to Owl Nation.

"I just want to thank all the fans," McCormack said. "I appreciate the support and so do the players. The guys love when they are cheerig them on."

The baseball program probably has the most dedicated fans of any of the sports teams at FAU. They have to endure an outdated stadium and non-existent restroom facilities, but they keep showing up.

When McCormack said the players appreciate the support, he wasn’t just pandering. I believe the players, whose patience also is pushed to the limit by the condition of FAU Stadium, bond with their fans in sort of a “we’re in this together” sort of way.

With another Sun Belt Conference championship under its belt, we can hope that more will be done for the fans and players of FAU’s baseball program. But I’m not holding my breath.

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FAU Baseball: Two losses at Sun Belt Tournament will end NCAA hopes

Other links...

ULM wins Sun Belt Tournament championship to advance to NCAA Regionals (Monroe News-Star)
Big East athletic directors upbeat after meetings (Philly.com)

 

Arkansas St. player apologizes for slamming FAU

A few days ago we made mention of the classless reactions that were coming out of Jonesboro, Ark. after FAU won the outright regular-season Sun Belt Conference championship due to an unfortunate rain-out on the last day of the regular season.

Well, juding by the comments left on that blog, it got some attention from Red Wolves fans who ignored the facts that FAU had nothing to do with the finale being canceled.

But one response, was quite different and it came from an unlikely source.

ASU junior second baseman Zach Maggio who last weekend Tweeted that FAU was “scared to play” the game, Tweeted an apology after the blog was posted and said “you guys had a great season and hope to see you in the championship game."

Another Tweet we pointed out in the original post was from an Arkansas State athletic department staff member, who, predictably, deleted his post (although we took a screen grab of it before it was deleted).

I want to give kudos to Maggio for showing more class than some of the adults who support (and work for ) Arkansas State and also extend our congratulations to the ASU and ULM players and coaching staffs for making it to today’s championship game.

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FAU Hoops: San Francisco's Justin Raffington to transfer to FAU

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UM to face Arkansas State in Sun Belt final (Monroe News-Star)
 

San Francisco's Justin Raffington to transfer to FAU

Former San Francisco center Justin Raffington, who played for San Francisco last season, will transfer to FAU, sources told Owl Access.

Raffington played in 26 games last season for former FAU coach Rex Walters, averaging 2.1 points and 2.2 rebounds per game.

Raffington is expected to sit out this season and have two years of eligibility remaining.

After taking a visit to St. John’s, Raffington visited FAU’s campus earlier this month. The Red Storm was interested in Raffington primarily because it was believed he could apply for a waiver of the NCAA transfer rule to be closer to an ill family member. However, once it began to become clear that the waiver wouldn’t be approved, St. John’s wasn’t quite as interested.

But FAU was and Raffington should provide some solid post play and one can’t help but get excited about Raffington possibly playing alongside Baylor transfer Dragan Sekelja in 2013.

When Raffington signs he will join this class of players who have siged with the Owls:

  • Chris Bryant: 6-9 F Fishburne Miltary Academy
  • Stefan Moody: 5-10 G Poiniciana
  • Devonte Thornton: 6-7 F Marietta (Ga.)-Osborne
  • Javier Lacunza: 6-8 F Hudson Falls (N.Y.)
  • Jackson Trapp: 6-4 G Fishburne Miltary Academy
  • Cavon Baker: 6-1 G New Hope Academy

 

 

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FAU Baseball: Owls fall to South Alabama in extra innings

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Nick Zaharion's single helps South Alabama close season on winning note (Mobile Press-Register)

Friday's Sun Belt round up: ULM championship opponent still unknown (Monroe News-Star)
 

FAU signee Moody named Parade All-American

Poinciana guard Stefan Moody, who has signed to play at Florida Atlantic next season, has been named to the prestigious Parade All-American team.

Moody led Poinciana to a 20-10 season and averaged 27.9 points per game.

The 5-foot-10 Moody was also named to the Class 7A All-State team and the Orlando Sentinel’s All-Central Florida team.

Moody is part of the Owls’ 2012 recruiting class that also includes:

  • Chris Bryant: 6-9 F Fishburne Miltary Academy
  • Devonte Thornton: 6-7 F Marietta (Ga.)-Osborne
  • Javier Lacunza: 6-8 F Hudson Falls (N.Y.)
  • Jackson Trapp: 6-4 G Fishburne Miltary Academy
  • Cavon Baker: 6-1 G New Hope Academy
     
FAU's NCAA hopes likely dashed with loss to ULM

With one swing of the bat, Florida Atlantic’s hopes of playing in the Sun Belt Conference Tournament’s championship game went from likely to improbable. And then a few hours later, those chances were gone altogether.

A walk-off homer by ULM’s Jeremy Sy in the bottom of the 13th inning may have been the death knell for the Owls this season.

FAU won’t win the automatic bid to the NCAA Regionals by winning the tournament and its chances at an at-large bid to the NCAA Regionals are hanging by a thread.

For the past few weeks FAU coach John McCormack had been laying out scenarios how the Owls could make the field. Each one involved making it to the tournament championship game. Instead FAU’s game against South Alabama will be the last game. If FAU wins it will be at 33-21. Is that enough?

Just for fun I looked at some of the web sires who update formulas near the NCAAs RPI. Here's where two of the best ones had FAU:

  • Boyd’s World: 70
  • Warren Nolan: 68

That’s likely not going to be good enough and this is probabably the last day of the FAU baseball season.

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FAU Baseball: Owls fall to Louisiana-Monroe in 13th inning

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FAU expected to approve hike in student athletic fee today

The FAU Board of Trustees is expected to approve an increase in the student athletic fee today that will see the amount of students pay increase to $17.27 per credit hour.

Based on last year’s information, that figure would mean FAU students would be paying the secod-highest rate in the state behind West Florida, which has a student athletic fee of $17.49 per credit hour.

FIU recently voted to increase its athletic fee from $15.56 to $16.10 per credit hour. FIU students also play a $10 flat fee in addition as part of their student athletic fees.

FAU is asking to increase the fee to offset student fees which are already pledged to the funding of the stadium.

The athletic department is also expecting its costs to rise in other areas including cost for athletes to attend summer school, tuition and travel expenses.

But the biggest increase, according to the proposal, is salaries for coaches payable to the new coaches for football and women’s basketball. The department expects almost half of the $1.7 million in increased expenses to be in salaries and benefits.

This means the students will be supporting the department even more. I hope the student body gets the respect it deserves with their "donation" instead of meeting resistence by the department on things like helping traditions get started or getting extra tickets for football games.

After all, the students are (and have been) the biggest "donors." It's time they were treated that way.

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FAU Baseball: FAU wins on WKU's wild pickoff throw

Other links...

SBC adds UTA, halts expansion (Lafayette Daily Advertiser)

South Florida AD Doug Woolard wants more stability in Big East, college football (Sporting News)
 

Red Wolves howling about FAU’s title

By now most everyone knows the story on how FAU clinched the outright Sun Belt Conference championship on Saturday.

After winning a share of the title on Friday, FAU came to FAU Stadium on Saturday to try and win the outright championship vs. FIU. However, if the Owls lost to the Panthers and Arkansas State defeated UALR, the championship would be shared, although FAU had already clinched the No. 1 seed in the Sun Belt Tournament since the Owls held the tiebreaker vs. Arkansas State.

Unfortunately, rain began falling in Boca Raton just before the game was supposed to start. FAU players scrambled to get the field covered with the tarp, but lightning in the area halted their efforts (an NCAA rule prohibits players from putting the tarp if there is lightning present.)

So the Owls and Panthers waited and waited and eventually the game was cancelled, meaning Arkansas State could not catch FAU in the standings.

And that’s when the Red Wolves really began to howl as allegations that FAU somehow had something to do with the downpour that fell.

Here’s a few examples…

 

 

While I would expect Arkansas State fans to make a fuss, it should be noted that Zach Maggio is a player on the ASU baseball team and Brad Bobo is a high-ranking staff member of the ASU Athletics Department. In fact, Bobo is listed as the Director of New Media, which would make it seem as though the rant may be the official stance of the athletic department - indicating they feel that there was some sort of gamesmanship with the rain-out on Saturday and the field was intentionally put in a condition by FAU so the game would be called.

Unfortunately that doesn’t seem to be the case. I talked with FAU coach John McCormack about the circumstances surrounding the cancellation and it sounds like the Owls had little to do with the game being called.

McCormack cited a Sun Belt Conference rule for the last game of a series that says a game can’t be started 90 minutes after the first pitch was scheduled. After consulting FIU coach Turtle Thomas, McCormack called the league office and asked for a waiver of that rule since FIU takes a bus to Boca Raton and therefore wasn’t under a tight deadline to catch a flight back home.

 The Sun Belt office, however, said it could not allow the rule to be waived in immediate fashion. Therefore, by Sun Belt rule, the game was canceled 90 minutes after the 1 p.m. scheduled time for the first pitch. It sure isn’t as exciting as any conspiracy theory, but instead sounds like FAU did every thing it could do – and more - to play the game.

"In those instances you are always worried that people think you are trying to cajole things for your own good, but that's not the case,” McCormack said. “There was nothing we could do because the rule is the rule.”

This certainly was one of the closest races in Sun Belt history and perhaps the league office should examine its rules on rainouts. I also think that FAU definitely needs a new tarp to better protect its field.

However, FAU’s championship wasn’t won because of the rain - it was won because the Owls had a higher winning percentage. The standings say Arkansas State only finished a half game behind FAU, but after some reactions of people affiliated with the ASU program it seems like the gap is a bit more than that in terms of class.

Owl Access Links

FAU Baseball: Owls going with Garton to start SBC Tournament opener

FAU Baseball: Owls land three on All-Sun Belt first team

Other links…
Hilltoppers open tourney against FAU tonight (Bowling Green Daily News)
Jeremy Sy wins Sun Belt Player of the Year (Monroe News-Star)
 

FAU lands three on All-Sun Belt first team

Three FAU players landed on the All-Sun Belt Conference team, the conference office announced on Tuesday night.

Second baseman Mike Albaladejo, Pitcher R.J. Alvarez and pitcher Ryan Garton were named to the All-Sun Belt Conference team with catcher Mike Spano landing on the second team.

Here are notes provided by baseball SID Dale Long on each honoree.

  • Albaladejo: Earned all-league honors at second base after entering the season as a preseason All-Sun Belt Conference choice at catcher.  The Winter Garden native ranks fourth in the league with a .354 batting average and his 70 hits stand eighth in the SBC.  He has tallied 19 multiple-hit efforts this spring, including eight three-hit efforts.  He made a smooth transition to second base, committing just five errors, after playing the first three seasons behind the plate.  The next game will be Albaladejo’s 200th career game, ranking 10th in program history.  He has started 180 games, which stands 11th in the school’s record book.
  • Alvarez: Has been the league’s dominant closing pitcher this spring, posting a 5-0 record, eight saves and a dazzling 0.53 earned run average.  All eight saves of the right hander’s save have come in SBC games, when he has allowed just 10 base runners in 18 innings.  He has recorded 45 strikeouts and allowed just nine walks in 21 appearances this season.  Alvarez was named to the midseason watch list for the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association “Stopper of the Year” award after being a preseason All-American candidate.
  • Garton: Ranked among the SBC’s best pitchers in four statistical categories after posting a career-high nine victories, with six of the wins in league games.  The right hander from New Port Richey had a 3.13 earned run average and 79 strikeouts in 86.1 innings.  He is a co-captain of the championship team.
  • Spano: eplaced Albaladejo as the Owls’ regular catcher.  In the batter’s box, the Naples native strung together a season-high 11-game hitting streak and had a .287 batting average, three home runs and 22 runs batted in.  Defensively, he threw out nearly 29 percent of potential base runners (10-of-34).

I’m disappointed that Arkansas State coach Tommy Raffo finished ahead of FAU coach John McCormack for Coach of the Year, and the Red Wolves did have a solid season. But McCormack did an excellent job of making the right moves through the Owls’ many injuries this season to win the regular-season title.

Regardless, McCormack is quite an amateur photogrpaher and snapped this picture of (left-to-right) Garton, Albaladejo and Alvarez with their awards on Tuesday night at Bowling Green Ballpark and put it out on his Twitter account @FAUCoachMac.

Here’s the complete 2012 All-Sun Belt Conference teams...

2012 ALL-SBC FIRST TEAM

Chance Cleveland (UALR, Jr., SP)

Jacob Lee (Arkansas State, Sr., SP)

Ryan Garton (Florida Atlantic, Sr., SP)

R.J. Alvarez (Florida Atlantic, Jr., RP)

Blake Johnson (UALR, Jr., C)

Logan Pierce (Troy, Jr., 1B)

Mike Albaladejo (Florida Atlantic, Sr., 2B)

Jeremy Sy (Louisiana-Monroe, Sr., SS)

Mike Martinez (FIU, Sr., 3B)

Sean Bignall (UALR, Sr., OF)

Jabari Henry (FIU, Jr., OF)

Justin Guidry (Middle Tennessee, Sr., OF)

Whitt Dorsey (South Alabama, Jr., DH)

Myles Parma (UALR, Jr., UTIL)

 

2012 ALL-SBC SECOND TEAM

Randy Zeigler (Louisiana-Monroe, Jr., SP)

Johnathan Frebis (Middle Tennessee, Fr., SP)

Jarron Cito (South Alabama, Jr., SP)

John Koch (Arkansas State, Jr., RP)

Mike Spano (Florida Atlantic, C, Jr.)

Joey Rapp (Louisiana-Monroe, Sr., 1B)

Johnny Thomas (Middle Tennessee, Jr., 2B)

Dustin Jones (Arkansas State, So., SS)

Hank LaRue (Middle Tennessee, So., 3B)

Cameron Bentley (UALR, Sr., OF)

Pablo Bermudez (FIU, Sr., OF)

Jordan Patterson (South Alabama, So., OF)

Adam Kirsch (FIU, Jr., DH)

Scott Wilcox (WKU, So., UTIL)

 

2012 PLAYER OF THE YEAR

Jeremy Sy (Louisiana-Monroe, Sr., SS)

 

2012 PITCHER OF THE YEAR

Jacob Lee (Arkansas State, Sr., SP)

 

2012 FRESHMAN OF THE YEAR

Johnathan Frebis (Middle Tennessee, Fr., SP)

 

2012 RON MAESTRI COACH OF THE YEAR

Tommy Raffo, Arkansas State

 


 

Texas-Arlington to join Sun Belt Conference

This news won’t come as a huge surprise, but Texas-Arlington will be joining the Sun Belt Conference.

The Texas Board of Regents is expected to approve the motion on Thursday and then UTA will accept its invitation to the conference.

It was reported and expected that UTA would join the conference earlier this month when Texas State accepted its invitation. Nothing was announced then, but it now appears it is a done deal.

Texas-Arlington will be the 12th team in the Sun Belt Conference, but doesn’t sponsor football. UALR is the only other school in the conference that doesn’t have a football program.

Owl Access Links

48 apply to be FAU's next athletics director (Owl Access Pass Req.)

Other links...

 

FAU fires volleyball coach Jody Brown

A couple of weeks ago FAU president Mary Jane Saunders told OwlAccess.com that the Owls' ability to put winning teams on the field would be key a component in the Owls ability to make themselves attractive for the next round of conference realignment.

Judging by recent actions, the FAU athletic department is taking notice.

In a much needed move to return its volleyball team to a competitive level, FAU has removed Jody Brown as its volleyball coach.

An FAU spokesperson would only say that Brown had been “reassigned.”

The directory on the university's official sports web site now lists the Volleyball Coach as "TBA," and the volleyball page no longer lists any coaches.

FAU's volleyball team went 3-26 last season, including an 0-16 record in conference play. The Owls only victories came against Savannah St., Stetson and Bethune-Cookman.

That dismal season continued a downward trend that has seen FAU post losing seasons in each of the past six seasons and average fewer than four conference wins per season since moving to Sun Belt play.

Brown had been FAU's coach since 1995 and compiled a 225-263 record.

Brown led the Owls to the NCAA tournament on multiple occasions early in his tenure, but the Owls haven't been relevant in volleyball since going undefeated in Atlantic Sun play and earning a trip to the NCAA tournament in 2005.

For whatever reason, Brown was unable to make the transition to winning volleyball in the Sun Belt. Judging by the record alone, his dismissal should not come as a surprise. Actually, the more pertinent question might be: What took so long?

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FAU Baseball: FAU to face host WKU in SBC tourney opener

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FAU will face host WKU in tournament opener

The Sun Belt Conference Baseball Championship seedings weren’t locked down until late Saturday night and the Owls found out officially who and when they would be playing this week when the schedule was released Sunday morning.

Due to Troy’s victory Saturday night, Western Kentucky is the No. 8 seed and will face FAU on Wednesday at 8 p.m.

Facing the Hilltoppers in the important first game is far from ideal as WKU is the tournament host. The game will be played at Bowling Green Ballpark, which is not the Hilltoppers home but where they have played several games the last few seasons.

FAU coach John McCormack said facing the Hilltoppers will be tough, even though they are the No. 8 seed

“It's tough when you are playing the host team in that stadium, where they always play well," McCormack said. "It also makes it easier when they are the No. 8 seed and they don't have any pressure.”

The “tournament” isn’t really a tournament at all. The eight teams in the championship field are split into two four-team “pools” with the pool winners meeting on Sunday for the championship.

FAU will face fifth-seeded Louisiana-Monroe at 4 p.m. on Thursday and fourth-seeded South Alabama at 8 p.m. as the tournament’s No. 1 seed, the Owls will have the luxury of having Saturday off. The championship game is Sunday at 2 p.m.
 

Sun Belt Conference Baseball Championship


2012 Sun Belt Conference Tournament Schedule
Wednesday, May 23

G1 (5) Louisiana-Monroe vs. (4) South Alabama, Noon
G2 (7) Middle Tennessee vs. (2) Arkansas State,  4 p.m.
G3 (8) Western Kentucky vs. (1) Florida Atlantic, 8 p.m.
(3 and 6 are off)
 
Thursday, May 24
G4 (6) Troy vs. (3) FIU, Noon
G5 (1) Florida Atlantic vs. (5) Louisiana-Monroe, 4 p.m.
G6 (4) South Alabama vs. (8) Western Kentucky, 8 p.m.
(2 and 7 are off)
 
Friday, May 25

G7 (3) FIU vs. (7) Middle Tennessee, Noon
G8 (2) Arkansas State vs. (6) Troy, 4 p.m.
G9 (1) Florida Atlantic vs. (4) South Alabama, 8 p.m.
(5 and 8 are off)
 
Saturday, May 26
G10 (6) Troy vs. (7) Middle Tennessee,  Noon
G11 (2) Arkansas State vs. (3) FIU, 4 p.m.
G12 (5) Louisiana-Monroe vs. (8) Western Kentucky, 8 p.m.
(1 and 4 are off)
 
Championship Sunday, May 27
G13 Pool A Champion vs. Pool B Champion, 2 p.m.
 
Each game of the championship, excluding the championship on Sunday, will be streamed live on SunBeltSports.org. The championship game on Sunday, May 27 will be televised live by the Sun Belt Network, beginning at 1 p.m. CDT. The tournament champion will receive an automatic bid to the NCAA Championship.

2012 Sun Belt Conference Tournament Seeds (Season Record)
1. Florida Atlantic (31-20, 19-8 SBC) - A
2. Arkansas State (32-12, 19-9 SBC) - B
3. FIU (31-23, 15-14 SBC) - B
4. South Alabama (21-33, 15-15 SBC) - A
5. Louisiana-Monroe (28-27, 15-15 SBC) - A
6. Troy (26-29, 14-16 SBC) - B
7. Middle Tennessee (29-27, 14-16 SBC) - B
8. Western Kentucky (24-31, 13-17) - A

Owl Access Links

FAU Baseball: Rain-out means Owls don't have to share Sun Belt title

FAU Football: Owls pick up commitment fron JUCO defensive tackle

Other links...

 

FAU football gets commitment from JUCO DT Sherrill

Florida Atlantic football beat out schools from the Big 10 and Big 12 to receive a commitment from junior college defensive tackle Kayvon Sherrill.

Sherrill intends to enroll at FAU in June and will likely be eligible for the 2012 season.

“I just committed to FAU today,” Sherrill said. “FAU actually hit me up at the last minute. I was going to go to Baylor.”

A 6-foot-4, 275-pound defensive lineman, Sherrill's commitment followed an official visit this week.

He says Owls coaches told him he will likely be a defensive tackle but could play anywhere along the line depending on the formation.

Indiana, Kansas St., South Alabama and Ball State were other schools showing interest.

“I loved (FAU),” Sherrill said. “I loved the players. I loved the atmosphere. I'm ready to be part of the team and be an Owl.”

In 2011 Sherrill attended Hutchinson Community College but didn't play in any games because the school had exceeded its out of state player limit. He started drawing the attention of college scouts during 2012 spring practice.

Prior to Hutchinson, Sherrill attended Valdosta St. and Georgia Military prep school, where he was a teammate of incoming Owl Terrell Mitchel, a tight end.

“He said he wanted to be my roommate,” Sherrill said. “He plays offense, I play defense, he said we could motivate each other.”
 

Rain means FAU reigns alone as Sun Belt champs

After participating in the time-honored tradition of “dog-piling” after a big baseball victory on Friday, Florida Atlantic players were ready for more celebration on Saturday.

One can surmise that jumping into the FAU pool (like they did in 2010) was on the agenda if the Owls had beaten FIU on Saturday. On Friday, FAU won at least a share for the Sun Belt Conference championship and since it held the tiebreaker with second-place Arkansas State, deserved to celebrate.

On Saturday, FAU won the Sun Belt Conference title outright when its game vs. FIU was canceled. Later in the day, the Red Wolves defeated UALR 7-3 to finish with a 19-9 Sun Belt record, just behind FAU at 19-8.

With rain and lightning in the area, FAU had to settle for a ceremony for its seniors under the breezeway outside the pool (picture).

“We just had to roll with it, but we've done that all year,” said FAU coach John McCormack.

Although winning on Friday was the major accomplishment, the Owls were still happy on Saturday when the rainy weather meant they would not have to share the championship trophy since the Sun Belt Conference recognizes co-champions

“Our sophomore year we had to share it with (Louisiana-Lafayette) but we considered ourselves the winners because we had beat them,” said Owls senior second baseman Mike Albaladejo. “But this year we'll be the only ones walking up to get that trophy. It's going to be a great feeling.'

FAU will be the No. 1 seed in the Sun Belt Conference tournament, which starts on Wednesday in Bowling Green, Ky.
 

Owls begin, end Sun Belt run by beating FIU

While watching Florida Atlantic celebrate winning its second Sun Belt Conference regular-season championship on Friday I couldn’t help think back to March when Florida Atlantic went down to FIU and pulled off a surprising sweep of the Panthers.

After beating FIU, which was projected to be champions of the Sun Belt this season, there weren’t many people that thought FAU, which was picked fourth in the pre-season projections, would be in the conference race at the end of the season.

But after Corey Keller’s walk-off RBI single in the bottom of the ninth inning gave the Owls a 4-3 victory, FAU has proven the doubters wrong again.

FAU had a few letdowns down the stretch, but regrouped in fine fashion vs. FIU to capture the crown.

There is still a game to be played against FIU on Saturday and it’s not a meaningless game. IF FAU wins it won’t have to share the crown with Arkansas State (Sould FAU lose, the Owls still hold a tiebreaker vs. the Red Wolves) .

However, even after celebrating winning the title, players talked about coming out and getting the sweep of FIU, just like they did at the beginning of the conference season.

Owl Access Link Center

FAU Baseball: Owls win Sun Belt Championship

FAU Football: FAU defensive end Kevin Cyrille waived by Vikings

Other Links

SEC and Big 12 will pit regular-season champs in bowl starting January 2015 (SI.com)

Sun Belt Baseball Scoreboard

 

      Sun Belt     Overall 
Team     Pct     Pct     Last 10  Streak 
Florida Atlantic     19  .704     31  20  .608     5-5  W 3 
Arkansas State     18  .667     31  21  .596     8-2  W 3 
FIU     15  14  .517     31  23  .574     6-4  L 2 
South Alabama     15  14  .517     21  32  .396     4-6  W 1 
Louisiana-Monroe     14  15  .483     27  27  .500     6-4  W 2 
Middle Tennessee     13  16  .448     28  27  .509     4-6  L 2 
Troy     13  16  .448     25  29  .463     5-5  L 1 
Western Kentucky     13  16  .448     24  30  .444     6-4  W 3 
UALR     12  17  .414     26  27  .491     4-6  L 3 
Louisiana-Lafayette     11  18  .379     23  29  .442     3-7  L 2 

 

Friday's Games
FAU 4, FIU 3
Arkansas State 10, UALR 8
South Alabama 11, Troy 3
ULM 2, ULL 1 (11 innings)
Western Kentucky 5, MTSU 4 (13 innings)

Saturday's Games
FIU at FAU, 1 p.m.
Arkansas State at UALR, 2 p.m
MTSU at Western Kentucky, 2 p.m.
South Alabama at Troy, 7 p.m. (Sun Belt Network)
ULM at ULL, 7 p.m.

 


 

FAU defensive end Kevin Cyrille waived by Vikings

Former Florida Atlantic defensive end Kevin Cyrille’s career with the Minnesota Vikings didn’t last long.

Cyrille has been waived by the Vikings, less than a month after he signed with them as an undrafted free agent.

Reports out of Minneapolis indicate Cyrille was waived to make room for defensive end Nick Reed, who signed with Minnesota on Tuesday. It was also reported that Cyrille received a $2,000 bonus for signing with the Vikes.

Cyrille signed with the Vikings after the NFL Draft joining running back Alfred Morris, who was drafted by the Redskins, as the only two FAU players to join NFL teams in 2012.
 

Owls want to win the Sun Belt title on the field

Florida Atlantic needed a victory vs. FIU and a loss by Arkansas State on Thursday to clinch a share of the Sun Belt Conference championship and the No. 1 seed in next week’s conference tournament.

The Owls got just what they wanted as they won. And in Little Rock, ASU won – just what the Owls were hoping for. Yes, a loss by the Red Wolves would have given FAU the title, but that’s not how the Owls want to win their championship.

“We knew the score, we had people on the berm telling us," said senior outfielder Alex Hudak. “But you want win it on the field.”

Instead, the Owls get a chance to win the championship on Friday and celebrate. I guess the chance to clinch a championship in front of your rival for the second time in three seasons does sound pretty good.

Owl Access Links

FAU Baseball: FAU beats FIU, is one game away from another title

Other links...

FAU routs FIU, eyes top seed for Sun Belt tourney (Miami Herald)
Old Dominion will join Conference USA in 2013 (Virginian Pilot)
SMU AD Orsini fired after clash with president, sources say (Dallas Morning News)
Why was Orsini fired at SMU? (CBSSports.com)

Sun Belt Baseball Scoreboard

 

      Sun Belt     Overall 
Team     Pct     Pct     Last 10  Streak 
Florida Atlantic     18  .692     30  20  .600     5-5  W 2 
Arkansas State     17  .654     30  21  .588     7-3  W 2 
FIU     15  13  .536     31  22  .585     6-4  L 1 
South Alabama     14  14  .500     20  32  .385     3-7  L 1 
Middle Tennessee     13  15  .464     28  26  .519     4-6  L 1 
Louisiana-Monroe     13  15  .464     26  27  .491     6-4  W 1 
Troy     13  15  .464     25  28  .472     6-4  W 1 
UALR     12  16  .429     26  26  .500     5-5  L 2 
Western Kentucky     12  16  .429     23  30  .434     5-5  W 2 
Louisiana-Lafayette     11  17  .393     23  28  .451     4-6  L 1 

 

 

Thursday's Results
FAU 12, FIU 2 (OwlAccess.com)
Arkansas State 8, UALR 5 (UALRTrojans.com)
Troy 7, South Alabama 6 (Dothan Eagle)
ULM 8,  ULL 2 (Lafayette Daily Advertiser)
Western Kentucky 4, MTSU 2 (WKUSports.com)

Friday's Games
FIU at FAU, 6:30 p.m.
Arkansas State at UALR, 7 p.m
South Alabama at Troy, 7 p.m.
ULM at ULL, 7 p.m.
MTSU at Western Kentucky, 7 p.m.

Saturday's Games
FIU at FAU, 1 p.m.
Arkansas State at UALR, 2 p.m
MTSU at Western Kentucky, 2 p.m.
South Alabama at Troy, 7 p.m. (Sun Belt Network)
ULM at ULL, 7 p.m.
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

FAU annual golf tournament tees off today

Usually one of the most highly-anticipated events of the year, the annual Florida Atlantic Golf Tournament will reportedly be held today at Trump International Golf Club.

If this is news to you, you are excused. There has been very little buzz generated by this year’s event. In the last few years foursomes were often sold-out weeks in advance, but as of early this week there were still spots available.

This is troubling since in the past (photo) this event has been one of the year’s biggest fund-raisers for athletic scholarships.

Perhaps the auction held at the event will bring in some much-needed revenue. Here’s list of the items available I found on FAU’s web site. I myself will be bidding on the “Ventriloquist Package” although I am interested in the Moonshine as well.

Owl Access Links

FAU Baseball: Owls can capture Sun Belt title in series vs. FIU starting tonight.

FAU Cross-Country:
Former FAU athlete Huerta makes Olympics

Other links...

Sun Belt Baseball Scoreboard

 

      Sun Belt     Overall 
Team     Pct     Pct     Last 10  Streak 
Florida Atlantic     17  .680     29  20  .592     4-6  W 1 
Arkansas State     16  .640     29  21  .580     7-3  W 1 
FIU     15  12  .556     31  21  .596     6-4  W 2 
South Alabama     14  13  .519     20  31  .392     4-6  W 2 
Middle Tennessee     13  14  .481     28  25  .528     4-6  W 1 
UALR     12  15  .444     26  25  .510     5-5  L 1 
Louisiana-Monroe     12  15  .444     25  27  .481     5-5  L 1 
Troy     12  15  .444     24  28  .462     6-4  L 2 
Louisiana-Lafayette     11  16  .407     23  27  .460     4-6  W 2 
Western Kentucky     11  16  .407     22  30  .423     5-5  W 1 

 

Thursday's Games
FIU at FAU, 6:30 p.m.

Arkansas State at UALR, 7 p.m
South Alabama at Troy, 7 p.m.
ULM at ULL, 7 p.m.
MTSU at Western Kentucky, 7 p.m.

Friday's Games
FIU at FAU, 6:30 p.m
.
Arkansas State at UALR, 7 p.m
South Alabama at Troy, 7 p.m.
ULM at ULL, 7 p.m.
MTSU at Western Kentucky, 7 p.m.

Saturday's Games
FIU at FAU, 1 p.m.

Arkansas State at UALR, 2 p.m
MTSU at Western Kentucky, 2 p.m.
South Alabama at Troy, 7 p.m. (Sun Belt Network)
ULM at ULL, 7 p.m.
 

Former FAU athlete Huerta makes Olympics

An Owl is going to the Olympics in London.

Manuel Huerta, who was an all Trans-America Athletic Conference cross-country runner for FAU in 2003, will participate in this summer’s Olympic Games for the United States.

Huerta clinched his spot on the team with a ninth-place finish at the ITU World Triathlon on Saturday in San Diego.

“I knew that it would come down to the run,” Huerta said. “The past couple weeks I’ve been focusing on my run, especially my running off the bike. I did very hard bikes and then I’d come down and do runs. I was pretty much on the last pack on the swim, but I stayed positive; I stayed calm. We caught up and then I set myself in very good position on the bike on the last couple laps, and then I went out with my heart and then gave everything I had.”

Huerta is a native of Cuba who moved to Miami when he was 13.

For more on Huerta, check out his blog and follow him on Twitter @trimanny


 

 

 

FAU’s place in NCAA record book secure for now

It was worth staying up late last night to keep track of one of the most significant baseball games in FAU history.

No, you didn’t miss an Owls game on Tuesday – this one was played in someplace called Orem, Utah between Utah Valley and Utah.

Why was it important? Utah Valley was on a 32-game winning streak and was precariously close to the 34-game winning streak FAU went on in 1999 that tied the NCAA record also held by Texas since 1977.

Well, it was worth staying up late to see Utah rally from a 7-1 deficit to defeat Utah Valley 11-10. Utah Valley scored three runs in the bottom of the ninth and has the tying run on third when the game ended, much to the delight of members of the 1999 FAU baseball team and maybe some others, but clearly not enough current FAU fans.

I sometimes forget that most FAU fans weren't following the Owls in 1999 and unfortunately weren't aware of FAU's place in the NCAA record book.

But I can't blame the fans on this one.

That 34-game winning streak is the most significant sports record at FAU – a national record - yet there is nothing at the FAU Baseball Stadium to commemorate the accomplishment. Earlier this season, FAU retired longtime baseball coach Kevin Cooney’s No. 20. I propose the next number to be retired in honor of the streak should be No. 34 and placed right next to Cooney’s.

As we almost saw, any record can be broken. FAU should honor its place in history before it could be too late.

Owl Access Links

FAU Baseball: Owls tinker with lineup

Other links

FAU to finish 10th in Sun Belt all-sports race

I doubt if we’ll here a big “We’re No. 10” chant breaking out at the Oxley Center this week, but that is where FAU will finish in the race for the Bubas Cup, the trophy given to the all-sports champion in the Sun Belt Conference.

With one sport remaining to be calculated, even a possible first-place finish in baseball won’t help the Owls escape a disappointing 10th place finish in the 12-team league.

Of note is that the Owls’ top finishing sport this season (aside from baseball which will finish in either first or second) was women’s basketball. Of course we all know how well last year’s coach of that team was rewarded.

FAU finished last in the conference in football, volleyball, swimming and diving and women's golf.

Middle Tennessee clinched its fourth consecutive Bubas Cup.

Click here for the most recent Bubas Cup standings, including all sports except baseball. The final standings will be released after the baseball regular-season is over.

 

Owl Access Links

FAU Baseball: Owls' magic number is two for winning Sun Belt Conference championship

Other Links...

 

Sun Belt Baseball Scoreboard

 

      Sun Belt     Overall 
Team     Pct     Pct     Last 10  Streak 
Florida Atlantic     17  .680     29  20  .592     4-6  W 1 
Arkansas State     16  .640     28  21  .571     7-3  L 2 
FIU     15  12  .556     31  21  .596     6-4  W 2 
South Alabama     14  13  .519     20  31  .392     4-6  W 2 
Middle Tennessee     13  14  .481     27  25  .519     3-7  L 2 
UALR     12  15  .444     26  25  .510     5-5  L 1 
Louisiana-Monroe     12  15  .444     25  26  .490     6-4  W 1 
Troy     12  15  .444     24  27  .471     6-4  L 1 
Louisiana-Lafayette     11  16  .407     23  27  .460     4-6  W 2 
Western Kentucky     11  16  .407     21  30  .412     4-6  L 2

 

Tuesday's Games
Ole Miss at Arkansas State, 7:30 p.m.
Louisiana-Lafayette at Houston, 7:30 p.m.
Eastern Kentucky at Western Kentucky, 7 p.m.
McNeese State at Louisiana-Monroe, 7 p.m.
Tennessee at Middle Tennessee, 7 p.m.
Troy at Alabama, 7 p.m.

 

Long-standing national FAU record is in jeopardy

It’s time for Owl Nation to pull for Utah, at least on Tuesday.

That’s when the Utes face Utah Valley in an important baseball game for FAU fans. The most prestigious national record held by any FAU program could be hanging in the balance.

Utah Valley State has won 32 consecutive games, just two short of the NCAA record for the longest winning streak held by Texas, which pulled off the feat in 1977, and FAU, which tied the record in 1999.

That record still stands, but is in serious jeopardy. Utah Valley will face Utah on Tuesday and if it wins will have a chance to tie the record on Thursday against Northern Colorado and set a new record on Saturday.

Owl Access Links

FAU Baseball: Owls salvage game vs. UALR

Other links

ULM football gets stronger (Monroe News-Star)
Blue Raiders fans not happy about Tennessee event at MTSU venue (Murfreesboro Daily News Journal)
WKU says its sticking with Sun Belt (Bowling Green Daily News)
Conference USA getting ready for spring meetings (Orlando Sentinel)

Sun Belt Baseball Scoreboard

 

      Sun Belt     Overall 
Team     Pct     Pct     Last 10  Streak 
Florida Atlantic     17  .680     29  20  .592     4-6  W 1 
Arkansas State     16  .640     28  21  .571     7-3  L 2 
FIU     15  12  .556     31  21  .596     6-4  W 2 
South Alabama     14  13  .519     20  31  .392     4-6  W 2 
Middle Tennessee     13  14  .481     27  25  .519     3-7  L 2 
UALR     12  15  .444     26  25  .510     5-5  L 1 
Louisiana-Monroe     12  15  .444     25  26  .490     6-4  W 1 
Troy     12  15  .444     24  27  .471     6-4  L 1 
Louisiana-Lafayette     11  16  .407     23  27  .460     4-6  W 2 
Western Kentucky     11  16  .407     21  30  .412     4-6  L 2

 

 

 

Sunday's Results
Florida Atlantic 12, UALR 8

South Alabama 8, Western Kentucky 7 (Game 1)
South Alabama 4, Western Kentucky 1 (Game 2)
FIU 16, Arkansas State 5

Tuesday's Games
Ole Miss at Arkansas State, 7:30 p.m.
Louisiana-Lafayette at Houston, 7:30 p.m.
Eastern Kentucky at Western Kentucky, 7 p.m.
McNeese State at Louisiana-Monroe, 7 p.m.
Tennessee at Middle Tennessee, 7 p.m.
Troy at Alabama, 7 p.m.
 

Will Liberty land in Sun Belt?

It might be time to add another program to the list of possible candidates to join the Sun Belt Conference.

This one, however, might not draw a Hallelujah! from the masses.

It looks like Liberty could be moving up to the Football Bowl Subdivision. At least that's the indication from Liberty President Jerry Falwell Jr. The school is scheduled to officially announce its intentions on Monday.

I think it's safe to say that due to its religious affiliation and political views by its administration Liberty would not be welcomed by everyone in the Sun Belt Conference. However, the Sun Belt is hardly in the position to be very picky if it wants to get to 12 football-playing members.

This one will be very interesting to watch because it will show if the Sun Belt has moved to desperation mode or not.

Would you like to see Liberty in the Sun Belt Conference?

Owl Access Links

FAU Baseball: Owls drop third consecutive game

Other Links

FSU coach Jimbo Fisher says FSU should explore leaving ACC for Big 12 (Orlando Sentinel)

Sun Belt Baseball Scoreboard

  Sun Belt Sports Overall
Team Record Pct Streak Record Pct Streak
*Arkansas State 16-8 .667 L1 28-20 .583 L1
*Florida Atlantic 16-8 .667 L3 28-20 .583 L3
FIU 14-12 .538 W1 30-21 .588 W1
Middle Tennessee 13-14 .481 L2 27-25 .519 L2
South Alabama 12-13 .480 L4 18-31 .367 L5
Troy 12-14 .462 W4 24-26 .480 W4
UALR 12-14 .462 W2 26-24 .520 W3
Western Kentucky 11-14 .440 W2 21-28 .429 W2
ULM 11-15 .423 L2 24-26 .480 L2
Louisiana-Lafayette 11-16 .407 W2 23-27 .460 W2

Saturday's Games
UALR 9, FAU 2

FIU 10, Arkansas State 7

ULL 10, MTSU 4 (Game 1)

ULL 14, MTSU 0 (Game 2)

Troy 5, ULM 1 (Game 1)

ULM 4, Troy 3 (Game 2)

WKU at South Alabama, ppd.

Sunday's games
Florida Atlantic at UALR, 1 p.m.

FIU at Arkansas State, 1 p.m.
Louisiana-Lafayette at Middle Tennessee, 2 p.m.
Western Kentucky at South Alabama, 2 p.m.
ULM at Troy, 2 p.m.

 

San Francisco transfer Raffington visiting FAU this weekend

Florida Atlantic's basketball recruiting class isn't quite finished and the Owls are still actively pursuing a Division I transfer.

Owl fans may not be familiar with one player making a visit to FAU, but many will recognize this player's former coach.

Former San Francisco center Justin Raffington, who played for the Dons last season, is on campus this weekend on a visit.

Of course San Francisco's coach is former FAU coach Rex Walters.

The 6-foot-9 Raffington, who hails from Germany, played in 26 games last season, averaging 2.1 points and 2.2 rebounds per game. Unless there is some extenuating circumstance regarding his transfer, Raffington would sit out this season and have two years of eligibility remaining.

Raffington visited St. John's earlier this week, according to the New York Post.

He will have some company this weekend. Poinciana guard Stefan Moody will also be on campus this weekend, Moody has already signed with FAU, but never did take an official visit to the campus, so he's doing it this weekend.

Owl Access Links

FAU Baseball:Owls drop to tie for first with loss at UALR

Other links...

New Mexico State looking for a home (Las Cruces Sun-News)

Boise State might be reconsidering move to Big East. (Boston Herald)

Sun Belt Baseball Scoreboard

 

      Sun Belt     Overall 
Team     Pct     Pct     Last 10  Streak 
Arkansas State     16  .696     28  19  .596     7-3  W 5 
Florida Atlantic     16  .696     28  19  .596     4-6  L 2 
FIU     13  12  .520     29  21  .580     5-5  L 1 
Middle Tennessee     13  12  .520     27  23  .540     4-6  W 2 
South Alabama     12  13  .480     18  31  .367     3-7  L 5 
UALR     11  14  .440     25  24  .510     5-5  W 2 
Louisiana-Monroe     11  14  .440     24  25  .490     6-4  L 1 
Troy     11  14  .440     23  26  .469     6-4  W 3 
Western Kentucky     11  14  .440     21  28  .429     5-5  W 2 
Louisiana-Lafayette     16  .360     21  27  .438     3-7  L 4 

 

Friday's Results
UALR 4, Florida Atlantic 1 

Western Kentucky 7, South Alabama 6 
Troy 9, Louisiana-Monroe 4 
Middle Tennessee 4, Louisiana-Lafayette 2 
Arkansas State 7, FIU 4

Saturday's games
Florida Atlantic at UALR, 5 p.m.

FIU at Arkansas State, 5 p.m.
Louisiana-Lafayette at Middle Tennessee, 5 p.m.
ULM at Troy, 7 p.m.
Western Kentucky at South Alabama, 7:30 p.m.

Sunday's games
Florida Atlantic at UALR, 2 p.m.

FIU at Arkansas State, 1 p.m.
Louisiana-Lafayette at Middle Tennessee, 2 p.m.
Western Kentucky at South Alabama, 2 p.m.
ULM at Troy, 2 p.m.

 

 

FAU coach Pelini hits the airwaves at Touchdown Thursday

The third installment of FAU's Touchdown Thursdays had a bigger media presence than the previous two.

The event, held last night at the Palm Beach Ale House, featured Ken LaVicka and Alex Petakas doing their live two-hour show from the restaurant. At one point they even brought FAU coach Carl Pelini over to the table for a live interview.

Pelini also talked with the television side of 760 for an interview destined for WPTV.

Saw a few new faces up in West Palm. While the events may not have as many attendees as FAU might hope (there were about 50 in attendance on Thursday, here is our photo gallery), it's good to see the coach and the school in the community.

Touchdown Thursdays should continue through the summer, hitting places like Post St. Lucie, Jupiter Stuart and even Miami, but as of right now, only one more date has been announced.. FAU has alums scattered throughout the state. The school should try to cater to as many as possible.

That being said, don't go looking for a Touchdown Thursday next week. The event will take a one-week break to allow attention to be focused on the yearly fund-raising golf tournament, which will be held next Thursday at Trump International.

The final announced Touchdown Thursday will be held March 24 in Coconut Creek.

Owl Access Links

FAU Baseball: Owls to face UALR in big Sun Belt series

Other links

Sun Belt Baseball Scoreboard

 

      Sun Belt     Overall 
Team     Pct     Pct     Last 10  Streak 
Florida Atlantic     16  .727     28  18  .609     5-5  L 1 
Arkansas State     15  .682     27  19  .587     7-3  W 4 
FIU     13  11  .542     29  20  .592     5-5  W 1 
Middle Tennessee     12  12  .500     26  23  .531     4-6  W 1 
South Alabama     12  12  .500     18  30  .375     3-7  L 4 
Louisiana-Monroe     11  13  .458     24  24  .500     6-4  W 2 
UALR     10  14  .417     24  24  .500     5-5  W 1 
Troy     10  14  .417     22  26  .458     5-5  W 2 
Western Kentucky     10  14  .417     20  28  .417     5-5  W 1 
Louisiana-Lafayette     15  .375     21  26  .447     4-6  L 3 

 

Friday's games
Florida Atlantic at UALR, 7 p.m.

FIU at Arkansas State, 7 p.m.
Louisiana-Lafayette at Middle Tennessee, 7 p.m.
ULM at Troy, 7 p.m.
Western Kentucky at South Alabama, 7:30 p.m.

Saturday's games
Florida Atlantic at UALR, 5 p.m.

FIU at Arkansas State, 5 p.m.
Louisiana-Lafayette at Middle Tennessee, 5 p.m.
ULM at Troy, 7 p.m.
Western Kentucky at South Alabama, 7:30 p.m.

Sunday's games
Florida Atlantic at UALR, 2 p.m.

FIU at Arkansas State, 1 p.m.
Louisiana-Lafayette at Middle Tennessee, 2 p.m.
Western Kentucky at South Alabama, 2 p.m.
ULM at Troy, 2 p.m.

 


 

 

Around 60 apply to be FAU’s AD

Around 60 applicants threw their hat in the ring before the application deadline passed last week to be FAU’s next athletic director FAU President Mary Jane Saunders said.

Now FAU begins the process of selecting potential candidates with the goal to have one in place by July.

Having 60 people apply at least shows there is some interest in the job and FAU will likely find a few strong candidates out of that pool.

We’ve heard a few names, but we’re still working on confirming the rumors. Rest assured, we’ll stay on top of this very important hire for the university’s athletic future.

Owl Access Links

FAU Softball: Sun Belt Tournament Preview

Other links...

Sun Belt Baseball Scoreboard

 

      Sun Belt     Overall 
Team     Pct     Pct     Last 10  Streak 
Florida Atlantic     16  .727     28  18  .609     5-5  L 1 
Arkansas State     15  .682     27  19  .587     7-3  W 4 
FIU     13  11  .542     29  20  .592     5-5  W 1 
Middle Tennessee     12  12  .500     26  23  .531     4-6  W 1 
South Alabama     12  12  .500     18  30  .375     3-7  L 4 
Louisiana-Monroe     11  13  .458     24  24  .500     6-4  W 2 
UALR     10  14  .417     24  24  .500     5-5  W 1 
Troy     10  14  .417     22  26  .458     5-5  W 2 
Western Kentucky     10  14  .417     20  28  .417     5-5  W 1 
Louisiana-Lafayette     15  .375     21  26  .447     4-6  L 3 

 

Wednesday's result
FIU 15, Bethune-Cookman 3

Friday's games
Florida Atlantic at UALR, 7 p.m.

FIU at Arkansas State, 7 p.m.
Louisiana-Lafayette at Middle Tennessee, 7 p.m.
ULM at Troy, 7 p.m.
Western Kentucky at South Alabama, 7:30 p.m.

Saturday's games
Florida Atlantic at UALR, 5 p.m.

FIU at Arkansas State, 5 p.m.
Louisiana-Lafayette at Middle Tennessee, 5 p.m.
ULM at Troy, 7 p.m.
Western Kentucky at South Alabama, 7:30 p.m.

Sunday's games
Florida Atlantic at UALR, 2 p.m.

FIU at Arkansas State, 1 p.m.
Louisiana-Lafayette at Middle Tennessee, 2 p.m.
Western Kentucky at South Alabama, 2 p.m.
ULM at Troy, 2 p.m.

 

 

 


 

Former big leaguers coming to FAU Baseball Stadium

I came across this Tuesday and thought it might be of interest to some of you out there.

Some former major leaguers will be putting on a clinic and a game for charity at the FAU Baseball Stadium on May 20.

The list of former players is, well, interesting to say the least. Can’t wait to see the look on John Rocker’s face when someone tells him he has to use a Port-O-Let.

Here is the release from FAU, which is simply helping to promote the game because it is being held at their facility, with a link to follow to see the list of players participating.

FAU to Host Boca Raton’s Baseball Legends Game

and Youth Clinic on May 20 at FAU Baseball Stadium

 

BOCA RATON, FL (May 8, 2012) – Florida Atlantic University will serve as the host for the inaugural Boca Raton Baseball legends of baseball game and youth clinic to benefit the Florence Fuller Child Development Center and Major League Baseball Alumni Baseball Association on Sunday, May 20 beginning at noon from the FAU Baseball Stadium, 777 Glades Road, Boca Raton campus.

Fans attending “A Day at the Ballpark” will be able to watch former professional baseball players on the field and have the opportunity to buy VIP spots to participate in the game. There are 150 spaces available in the youth clinic.

Six VIP spots are available for $1,000 each.  Each VIP will also have a spot during the Saturday, May 19 reception at English Tap and receive a Major League baseball jersey.  To reserve your spot call 561-391-7274, ext. 111.

The free two-hour youth clinic will begin at noon followed by lunch for the players and professional players.  The legends of baseball game will begin at around 4:15 p.m.

Admission to the game is $10 and to reserve your seat visit www.ffcdc.org.

Legends of Youth is a charitable program running more than 40 events a year nationwide, with the mission of promoting the game of baseball to America’s youth and enforcing important life skills using positive sports images and personalities.

For more important on tickets, sponsorship and players, contact Pam Calzadilla at 561-391-7274, or ext. 111.

Owl Access Links

FAU Baseball: Owls' game vs. FGCU rained out

Other links:

Sun Belt Baseball Scoreboard
 

 

      Sun Belt     Overall 
Team     Pct     Pct     Last 10  Streak 
Florida Atlantic     16  .727     28  18  .609     5-5  L 1 
Arkansas State     15  .682     27  19  .587     7-3  W 4 
FIU     13  11  .542     28  20  .583     4-6  L 1 
Middle Tennessee     12  12  .500     26  23  .531     4-6  W 1 
South Alabama     12  12  .500     18  30  .375     3-7  L 4 
Louisiana-Monroe     11  13  .458     24  24  .500     6-4  W 2 
UALR     10  14  .417     24  24  .500     5-5  W 1 
Troy     10  14  .417     22  26  .458     5-5  W 2 
Western Kentucky     10  14  .417     20  28  .417     5-5  W 1 
Louisiana-Lafayette     15  .375     21  26  .447     4-6  L 3 

 

Tuesday's Results
FGCU at FAU, cancelled

Tulane 7, Louisiana-Lafayette 3 
UALR 9, Central Arkansas 8 
Arkansas State 7, Arkansas-Pine Bluff 3 

Wednesday's Games
FIU at Bethune-Cookman, 6 p.m.

Friday's games
Florida Atlantic at UALR, 7 p.m.

FIU at Arkansas State, 7 p.m.
Louisiana-Lafayette at Middle Tennessee, 7 p.m.
ULM at Troy, 7 p.m.
Western Kentucky at South Alabama, 7:30 p.m.

Saturday's games
Florida Atlantic at UALR, 5 p.m.

FIU at Arkansas State, 5 p.m.
Louisiana-Lafayette at Middle Tennessee, 5 p.m.
ULM at Troy, 7 p.m.
Western Kentucky at South Alabama, 7:30 p.m.

Sunday's games
Florida Atlantic at UALR, 2 p.m.

FIU at Arkansas State, 1 p.m.
Louisiana-Lafayette at Middle Tennessee, 2 p.m.
Western Kentucky at South Alabama, 2 p.m.
ULM at Troy, 2 p.m.
 

 


 

New FAU women's basketball coach Lewis-Jay introduced

Although they both were assistant coaches at Nebraska the last few years, new FAU women's basketball coach Kellie Lewis-Jay had never met Owls football coach Carl Pelini until last week.

Sure it seems like a huge coincidence, but it's really not that hard to believe.

“Nebraska is so big and the buildings are so far apart that I never met him,” Lewis-Jay said. “But when I got here, he was great. For him to come from Nebraska to here really said a lot, I think.”

At FAU, Lewis-Jay won't have that problem. As she put it, she is joining the a new "family" and it's not quite as extended as it was in Lincoln, Neb.

In Boca Raton, it's a close one as the large turnout on Monday for a “meet-and-greet” to introduce Lewis-Jay as the next FAU women's basketball coach suggests.

“This department seems very close and that was important to me,” said Lewis-Jay who was an assistant at Nebraska and Washington before that.

Dawson said she is confident Lewis-Jay is ready for her first head-coaching job.

“The references I had on her said her her basketball knowledge was very high,” Dawson. “She did a lot of floor coaching and it's one of her strengths. You never know how good she'll be until she does it, but all the references I had on her said she is very good.”

Owl Access Links

FAU Baseball: Our Preview of Tuesday's game vs. Florida Gulf Coast

Other Links..

Sun Belt Baseball Scoreboard
 

 

      Sun Belt     Overall 
Team     Pct     Pct     Last 10  Streak 
Florida Atlantic     16  .727     28  18  .609     5-5  L 1 
Arkansas State     15  .682     26  19  .578     6-4  W 3 
FIU     13  11  .542     28  20  .583     4-6  L 1 
Middle Tennessee     12  12  .500     26  23  .531     4-6  W 1 
South Alabama     12  12  .500     18  30  .375     3-7  L 4 
Louisiana-Monroe     11  13  .458     24  24  .500     6-4  W 2 
UALR     10  14  .417     23  24  .489     5-5  L 2 
Troy     10  14  .417     22  26  .458     5-5  W 2 
Western Kentucky     10  14  .417     20  28  .417     5-5  W 1 
Louisiana-Lafayette     15  .375     21  25  .457     4-6  L 2 

 

 

 

Tuesday's Games
FGCU at FAU, 6:30 p.m.
Arkansas State at Arkansas-Pine Bluff, 4:30 p.m.
Louisiana-Lafayette at Tulane, 7:30 p.m.
Central Arkansas at UALR, 8 p.m.

Wednesday's Games
FIU at Bethune-Cookman, 6 p.m.

Friday's games
Florida Atlantic at UALR, 7 p.m.

FIU at Arkansas State, 7 p.m.
Louisiana-Lafayette at Middle Tennessee, 7 p.m.
ULM at Troy, 7 p.m.
Western Kentucky at South Alabama, 7:30 p.m.

Saturday's games
Florida Atlantic at UALR, 5 p.m.

FIU at Arkansas State, 5 p.m.
Louisiana-Lafayette at Middle Tennessee, 5 p.m.
ULM at Troy, 7 p.m.
Western Kentucky at South Alabama, 7:30 p.m.

Sunday's games

Florida Atlantic at UALR, 2 p.m.

FIU at Arkansas State, 1 p.m.
Louisiana-Lafayette at Middle Tennessee, 2 p.m.
Western Kentucky at South Alabama, 2 p.m.
ULM at Troy, 2 p.m.
 

 

FAU President Saunders: Winning key in conference realignment

After watching rival Florida International and North Texas announce they were leaving the Sun Belt Conference earlier in the week, FAU President Mary Jane Saunders said the Owls were not in a position to also make the jump.

“It really wasn't our decision to make,” Saunders said on Sunday. “Conferences operate on a lot of different metrics to make their decisions.”

Louisiana Tech, Charlotte and Texas-San Antonio also announced moves to C-USA. Old Dominion was expected to make the move to C-USA, but there have been reports in recent days that ODU may be wavering on its decision.

That news report prompted those in charge at Middle Tennessee to make one last ditch plea for inclusion in C-USA.

Even if the Monarchs decide to stay put in the Colonial Athletic Association, Saunders said FAU isn't in a position to fill that C-USA void.

“It's not on the table for us this year,” Saunders said. “Hopefully, we will be positioned in a short period of time to get bids from other conferences. I'm more disappointed that FIU left because we could lose our rivalry.”

What will it take for FAU to get in the proper position? Saunders echoed some of the sentiments articulated by football coach Carl Pelini last week.

“I think we have to win,” Saunders said. “It's pretty tough to go 1-11 in football - and have a lot of sports that didn't (win) more than 50 percent - then say that you are competitive enough to move up to another conference. You can talk about the TV markets, there's all sorts of things, but there's also the strength of your teams.”

A few moments later she returned to this point.

“If opportunities come up to get into a better conference – a more highly ranked conference – yeah, that's great. We need to do well in the Sun Belt first,” she said.

As stands right now, baseball, women's basketball and the two tennis teams are the only teams that will finish their seasons with winning records. (To be fair to sports like swimming and track which compete against multiple schools at the same time, their records don't always indicate level of competitiveness).

Saunders wouldn't say it, but the futility on the field certainly contributed to her decision to fire Athletic Director Craig Angelos a couple months ago.

One of the qualities Saunders hopes to find in the new athletic director is the vision to get FAU into a new conference.

“I think that's part of what we are looking for in an AD,” Saunders said. “As I said before, it's a very complicated job. There's lots of parts to that job. Continuing to strengthen the programs is important. Continuing to look at opportunities for TV market revenue is important. Looking for the best opponents we can get. There's a lot to that job.”

Saunders has heard some of the criticisms and disappointment from Owl fans.

She understands that seeing FIU get invited to a new conference while FAU remains stagnant makes fans feel like the school to the south has surpassed the Owls.

“I think for the fans it's more about FIU getting it than us not getting it,” Saunders said. “I think that's what hurt – and that's about the Miami TV market.”

Owl Access Links

FAU Baseball: Owls sloppy in loss to Western Kentucky

FAU Football:
Alfred Morris signs with Redskins

Other links...


WKU salvages series finale in 6-1 win (College Heights Herald)

Sun Belt Baseball Scoreboard

 STANDINGS (as of May 07, 2012)

 

      Sun Belt     Overall 
Team     Pct     Pct     Last 10  Streak 
Florida Atlantic     16  .727     28  18  .609     5-5  L 1 
Arkansas State     15  .682     26  19  .578     6-4  W 3 
FIU     13  11  .542     28  20  .583     4-6  L 1 
Middle Tennessee     12  12  .500     26  23  .531     4-6  W 1 
South Alabama     12  12  .500     18  30  .375     3-7  L 4 
Louisiana-Monroe     11  13  .458     24  24  .500     6-4  W 2 
UALR     10  14  .417     23  24  .489     5-5  L 2 
Troy     10  14  .417     22  26  .458     5-5  W 2 
Western Kentucky     10  14  .417     20  28  .417     5-5  W 1 
Louisiana-Lafayette     15  .375     21  25  .457     4-6  L 2 

 

Sunday's Results
Western Kentucky 6, FAU 1

Arkansas State 2, South Alabama 1
Louisiana-Monroe 7, UALR 4
MTSU 13, FIU 3 (7 innings, 10 run rule)
Troy 10, Louisiana-Lafayette 8

 

 

 

FAU RB Alfred Morris signs with Redskins

Former FAU running back Alfred Morris, who was drafted by Washington in the sixth round last week, signed with the Redskins on Sunday after the team's rookie mini-camp.

The Redskins first announced Morris' signing via Twitter along with this photo of Morris signing his rookie contract.

Here's some recent items we've posted on Alfred Morris...

 

FAU lands final spot in Sun Belt softball tourney

The FAU softball team didn’t win a game this weekend, but it did clinch a berth in this week’s Sun Belt Conference softball tournament.

The Owls lost to FIU on Saturday, but Western Kentucky helped out the Owls by sweeping Middle Tennessee in a doubleheader.

The Blue Raiders and Owls finished in a tie for the eighth and final spot, but FAU held the tiebreaker over MTSU. The Blue Raiders and Owls were 1-1 in head-to-head games this season, which is the first tiebreaker. The second tiebreaker was record against the No. 1 team, ULL, and both teams were 0-3 vs. the Ragin’ Cajuns. The third tiebreaker was record vs. the No. 2 team South Alabama and the Owls won a game vs. the Jags earlier in the season and the Blue Raiders didn’t.

FAU will be rewarded with an opening-round game vs. Lousiana-Lafayette, which hung a 21-0 defeat on the Owls a few weeks ago.

But at least the Owls are in the tourney. It is no fun being part of a team that is hosting a conference tournament but not playing in it. That’s when everybody on the team, just wants to go home, but can’t because the home team players need to be around to assist in making sure the tournament goes smoothly. Now, the Owls have something to play for.

The tournament starts on Wednesday at the FAU Softball Stadium.
 

Owl Access Links

FAU Baseball: Owls blank Hilltoppers

Other links...


Sun Belt Conference Baseball Scoreboard
 

 

  Sun Belt Sports Overall
Team Record Pct Streak Record Pct Streak
Florida Atlantic 16-5 .762 W2 28-17 .622 W2
Arkansas State 14-7 .667 W2 25-19 .568 W2
FIU 13-10 .565 W2 28-19 .596 W3
South Alabama 12-11 .522 L2 18-29 .384 L3
Middle Tennessee 11-12 .478 L2 25-23 .521 L2
UALR 10-13 .435 L1 23-23 .500 L1
ULM 10-13 .435 W1 23-24 .489 W1
Louisiana-Lafayette 9-14 .391 L1 21-24 .467 L1
Troy 9-14 .391 W1 21-26 .447 W1
Western Kentucky 9-14 .391 L3 19-28 .404 L2

Saturday's Results
FAU 6, Western Kentucky 0
Louisiana-Monroe 7, UALR 6 
Troy 8, Louisiana-Lafayette 1 
FIU 12, Middle Tennessee 6 
Arkansas State 6, South Alabama 1 

FAU softball team needs help today to make Sun Belt tourney

FAU’s softball team moved a step closer to watching – not playing in – the Sun Belt Conference softball tournament held at the FAU Softball Stadium next week.

The Owls lost to FIU 6-3 on Friday and now must hope that it can beat the Panthers tonight and that Middle Tennessee loses at least a game today in its doubleheader against Western Kentucky on the final day of the regular season. If MTSU sweeps the doubleheader, it will make the tournament and FAU players can look forward to manning the concession stand next week. If MTSU is swept, FAU will make the field.

The Owls and the Blue Raiders are battling for the eighth and final spot in the Sun Belt tournament which begins Wednesday.

Here are the Sun Belt standings entering the last day of the season with the last place team not qualifying for the tournament.

 

STANDINGS (as of May 05, 2012)

 

      Sun Belt     Overall 
Team     Pct     Pct     Last 10  Streak 
Louisiana-Lafayette     19  .905     44  .957     10-0  W 10 
South Alabama     15  .682     33  15  .688     7-3  W 2 
FIU     14  .609     26  25  .510     4-6  W 1 
North Texas     13  10  .562     24  24  .500     6-4  W 4 
Troy     10  12  .455     31  20  .608     5-5  L 4 
Western Kentucky     12  .432     29  23  .557     4-6  W 1 
Louisiana-Monroe     13  .381     23  22  .511     6-4  L 1 
Middle Tennessee     16  .238     16  31  .340     4-6  W 1 
Florida Atlantic     17  .227     15  36  .294     2-8  L 2 

 

 

Owl Access Links

FAU Baseball: Owls beat WKU on Spano's RBI-single in 10th inning

FAU Football:
FAU-FIU series "put on hold" after 2012


Other links...

Sun Belt Baseball Scoreboard

STANDINGS (as of May 04, 2012)

      Sun Belt     Overall 
Team     Pct     Pct     Last 10  Streak 
Florida Atlantic     15  .750     27  17  .614     5-5  W 1 
Arkansas State     13  .650     24  19  .558     6-4  W 1 
FIU     12  10  .545     27  19  .587     5-5  W 2 
South Alabama     12  10  .545     18  28  .391     5-5  L 2 
Middle Tennessee     11  11  .500     25  22  .532     4-6  L 1 
UALR     10  12  .455     23  22  .511     5-5  W 1 
Louisiana-Monroe     13  .409     22  24  .478     5-5  L 1 
Louisiana-Lafayette     13  .409     21  23  .477     5-5  W 1 
Western Kentucky     13  .409     19  27  .413     5-5  L 1 
Troy     14  .364     20  26  .435     4-6  L 2 

Friday's Results

 

Florida Atlantic 6, Western Kentucky 5  (10 inn.)
UALR 6, Louisiana-Monroe 5 
Louisiana-Lafayette 9, Troy 8 
FIU 8, Middle Tennessee 4 
Arkansas State 8, South Alabama 1 

 





 

Shula Bowl in jeopardy after FIU moves to C-USA

FAU’s series with FIU after this season is off for the time being.

At a press conference to announce FIU is moving to Conference USA in 2013, FIU Executive Director of Sports and Entertainment Pete Garcia was asked about the future of the series with FAU.

“Everything has been put on hold,” Garcia said, citing the uncertainty of how many conference games the Panthers will be playing in Conference USA.

The Owls and Panthers will meet on Nov. 16 at FAU Stadium in what could be the final game in the “Shula Bowl” series. The teams have met every year since 2002 with FIU winning just once in the series.

Garcia said the series could continue, but he couldn’t be sure until he knows how many non-conference games the Panthers will be playing and conference officials have not determined that number after adding five teams on Friday.

In my opinion, losing the “Shula Bowl” would be a real shame and let’s hope Garcia and FAU AD TBA can find a way to continue the series. The fact that on the day that FIU announced it was moving to Conference USA, the first question was about FAU, shows there is interest with the rivalry among the Panther fans.
 

Former FAU kicker Gornall kicking butt in the UIFL

Former FAU kicker Ross Gornall is putting together quite a season for the Florida Tarpons in the UIFL.

For the fifth time in six weeks, Gornall was named the Special Teams Player of the Week for the UIFL’s South Division.

Gornall finished his FAU career in 2010, was 17 of 26 on field goals as an Owl and is third all-time in FAU history in field goals made.

The Tarpons, based in Fort Myers, have already clinched a spot in the playoffs and play host to Lakeland on Sunday at Germain Arena for any Southwest Florida Owl fans who may want to go to the game.

In other minor league indoor football news, I found that former FAU defensive lineman Jervonte Jackson is on the roster for the Nebraska Danger of another indoor league, the IFL.

 

Owl Access Links

FAU Basketball: Guard Ray Taylor enters NBA Draft


FAU Baseball: Alex Hudak is heating up at right time

Photo Gallery: Pictures from Thursday's Alumni Association event featuring Carl Pelini

Other links...


 

FAU guard Ray Taylor an early entrant into the NBA Draft

When Ray Taylor announced he was going to pursue a professional career, I think most figured he would be signing to play overseas very soon.


It appears Taylor has loftier plans and has officially an early entrant in the NBA Draft.
 

Need proof?  Here is the list released by the NBA today.
 

Does Taylor have a chance? I would think it would be a tall order for the diminutive (5-foot-6) point guard, but I guess anything is possible.

At least Taylor is getting his name out there and it could open up some shots at tryouts. I’m not expecting to hear his name called during the draft and his future is likely overseas, but one has to admire him for shooting for his dream.
 

Trustees called to approve Lewis-Jay as new FAU women's basketball coach

Getting confirmation out of the Oxley Center that FAU had landed its next women’s basketball coach wasn’t easy on Wednesday.

However, I believe the public notice for a special Board of Trustees meeting to take place later today to approve the contract of former Nebraska assistant Kellie Lewis-Jay should suffice that there just might have been something to the  story we broke on Wednesday.

The full contract is here, but in case you don't care to go through the entire document here are some details I pulled out after going throught it quickly:

  • Lewis-Jay will receive a salary of $160,000 with raises of 2.5 percent each year of the 5-year contract.
  • Some coaches didn’t want to come due to the uncertainty of not having an athletic director in place, but that appears to have been addressed by the AD and the President having to sign off on firing the coach in the first four years.
  • There are the usual performance-based incentives including Lewis-Jay receiving $5,000 for making it to the NCAA Tournament.
  • Lewis-Jay will also receive a bonus for generating more than $5,000 in ticket revenue equal to 25 percent of the revenue generated.
  • Lewis-Jay also will be due up to one-year’s salary for being terminated without cause.

Looks like pretty standard stuff. Expect the contract to be approved and for Lewis-Jay to officially join the FAU family on Friday.
 

Owl Access Links

FAU Women's Hoops: Kellie Lewis-Jay to be named next FAU coach

FAU Football: Pelini says FAU shoould have a plan for marketing itself for conference expansion

FAU Hoops: NYC guard Cavon Baker commits to FAU


Other Links:

Sun Belt adds Texas State (Sun-Sentinel / Murfreesboro Daily News Journal / Lafayette Daily Advertiser)
 

 


 

Nebraska assistant Lewis-Jay to be next FAU women's basketball coach

The search for Florida Atlantic's next women's basketball coach seems to have concluded.

Sources tell OwlAccess.com that Nebraska assistant Kellie Lewis-Jay has agreed to become the next women's basketball coach at FAU.

An assistant at Nebraska since 2007, Lewis-Jay also served as the Cornhuskers' recruiting coordinator. Nebraska is coming off a 24-9 season in which they finished sixth in the Big 10 (10-6) and fell to Kansas in the first round of the NCAA tournament.

In 2010 Nebraska went undefeated in Big 12 conference play en route to a 32-2 record and an appearance in the Sweet 16.

Lewis-Jay was also an assistant coach at Washington prior to her stint at Nebraska.

A California native, Lewis Jay played college basketball at Boise St.

Lewis-Jay replaces Chancellor Dugan, who declined to accept a one-year contract extension after leading the Owls to a 17-13 record and a berth in the Women's NIT.

Lewis-Jay's contract still has to be ratified by FAU's Board of Trustees. If ratified, she would become FAU's second coaching hire from Nebraska in the past six months. In December FAU hired former Cornhuskers defensive coordinator Carl Pelini to succeed Howard Schnellenberger as football coach.

NYC guard Cavon Baker committs to FAU

Guard Cavon Baker, who played for New Hope Academy this season, has committed to play for FAU.

The commitment was originally reported by New England Recruiting Report and confirmed by Owl Access.

Before playing for New Hope, a prep school in Maryland, Baker also played for Edison High School in Queens, N.Y.

Sources told Owl Access that Baker maybe a combo guard for the Owls.

The 6-foot-1 Baker is expected to sign with the Owls and will be the sixth player to sign with the Owls in this year’s recruiting class.

2012 FAU Recruiting Class

Signed

  • Chris Bryant: 6-9 F Fishburne Miltary Academy
  • Stefan Moody: 5-10 G Poiniciana
  • Devonte Thornton: 6-7 F Marietta (Ga.)-Osborne
  • Javier Lacunza: 6-8 F Hudson Falls (N.Y.)
  • Jackson Trapp: 6-4 G Fishburne Miltary Academy

Verbally Committed

  • Cavon Baker: 6-1 G New Hope Academy

 

 

Schnellenberger, Morris have something new in common

The day after the Washington Redskins selected former FAU running back Alfred Morris in the sixth round of the NFL Draft, former FAU head coach Howard Schnellenberger offered some high praise for his former ball carrier.

Considering the combination of Morris' accomplishments on the field and in the classroom, Schnellenberger said, “He was the brightest good football player we've had since we've been here.”

Knowing Schnellenberger's affinity for the quarterback position, that was a pretty big statement.

Morris rushed for more than 3,500 yards and 27 touchdowns in his FAU career. He also received multiple academic awards.

He is the third Owl to be drafted, following quarterback Rusty Smith (Tennessee) and tight end Rob Housler (Arizona).

Morris and Schnellenberger now have something new in common – they were both drafted by Washington. The Redskins selected Schnellenberger in the 21st round of the 1956 draft.

However, Schnellenberger never played for the Redskins, opting to take the $9,000 contract proffered by British Columbia of the Canadian Football league over the $6,000 offered by Washington.

Like Schnellenberger, current FAU coach Carl Pelini was impressed by what he saw from Morris. Pelini never coached Morris, but was on the opposing sideline in 2009 when the then sophomore made his starting debut at Nebraska.

Morris carried the ball 18 times for 95 yards in a 49-3 loss to the Cornhuskers that day. (By the way, Nebraska's main ball carrier that day? Roy Helu, now a teammate of Morris' on the Redskins.)

“They really used him that day,” Pelini recalled. “They were fairly conservative and gave him the ball a whole bunch that day.”

As part of his preparation for the start of FAU's spring practice, Pelini watched FAU game videos from the past season. He got an eyeful of Morris.

“I was more interested in the guys who were still on the team, but he just kept showing up. He's hard not to notice out there,” Pelini said.

“He was a really good player. He had great balance. He ran hard, but he also made you miss at times. He was that rare combination a guy who could lower his shoulder and break a tackle but at the same time in the open field he could go (and) make you miss. ...I though he had that lateral movement that makes a running back good in these zone schemes.”

A former fullback, Morris was also highly regarded for his blocking skills. In fact, he did such a good job that running backs coach David Serna put together a DVD of Morris' greatest blocks that he gave to NFL scouts when they came to the Oxley Center. Here is that video.

And someone in Washington must have been impressed by Morris' blocking. Here is an article from the Redskins web site that highlights Morris' blocking skill.

Owl Access Links

FAU Baseball

The Owls don' t have any midweek games this week, but have plenty to be worried about, especially the arm of Kevin Aexander

Story
 

Other Links

Sun Belt Baseball Scoreboard

 STANDINGS (as of May 02, 2012)

 

      Sun Belt     Overall 
Team     Pct     Pct     Last 10  Streak 
Florida Atlantic     14  .737     26  17  .605     4-6  L 2 
Arkansas State     12  .632     23  19  .548     5-5  L 1 
South Alabama     12  .571     18  27  .400     6-4  L 1 
FIU     11  10  .524     25  19  .568     5-5  L 2 
Middle Tennessee     11  10  .524     25  21  .543     4-6  W 1 
UALR     12  .429     22  22  .500     5-5  L 1 
Louisiana-Monroe     12  .429     22  23  .489     5-5  W 2 
Western Kentucky     12  .429     19  26  .422     5-5  W 1 
Louisiana-Lafayette     13  .381     20  23  .465     5-5  L 1 
Troy     13  .381     20  25  .444     4-6  L 1 

 

Tuesday's Results

Bethune-Cookman 6, FIU 3 
Western Kentucky 8, Louisville 1 
Southeastern La. 6, South Alabama 3 
Louisiana-Monroe 8, McNeese State 6 
Kansas 16, UALR 12 
Samford 15, Troy 4
 

 

 

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