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Posts from June 2010

A quick look at the first 7-on-7 workout of the summer

If you know Howard Schnellenberger, then you know this is prime football weather.

The Owls were back on the unlined fields behind the Oxley today for the first voluntary summer 7-on-7 workouts. Figured it was a good time to stop by and get some quick shots.

Lots of batted balls and juggled passes during the workout, like the one in the top photo by DeAndre Richardson, but that’s to be expected as the players work to get their timing back.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Among the scoring plays, the defense lost Avery Holley completely as he worked his way across the end zone for a short touchdown pass from Jeff Van Camp. Graham Wilbert (top photo) also found Alex Fick for six.

 

 

 

 

David Kooi (right) and Wilbert alternated snaps on that drive.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jeff Blanchard’s catch set-up Holley’s score. He looks good and could surprise quite a few people this year with his versatility.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jamere Joseph and Dino Cox ran through some line drills with blocking bags early before coming over to see the 7-on-7 to see the action. Cox volunteered to snap the ball, jokingly shouting that he intends to play both ways this season.

Those in attendance got break from the heat midway through when a sun shower washed over the field. It was refreshing without being nearly strong enough to halt the workout.

I doubt we’ll be that lucky in August.

Wednesday's Daily Briefing: Would Jeff Van Camp excel for Mike Jarvis?

Earning a scholarship to play a sport in college is quite an accomplishment.

I remember in high school I figured to be a lock to get one. I even had a couple coaches stand in front of me and say “We want to give you a scholarship.”

Sure, they were pointing to the guy (OK, girl) next to me, but it still felt pretty good at the time.

College players have to be pretty good athletes to earn that scholarship, and they usually excelled at more than one sport growing up. That got me wondering.

There are plenty of good players across all sports at FAU. We figured it would be fun to ask each FAU head coach two questions. 

No. 1: Which athlete from another FAU sports team would you most like to have on your team and why?

No 2.: Which player on your team do you think would have success on a different FAU sports team and why?

So far we’ve received some interesting responses from the coaches. We’ll share them with you throughout the summer in this blog. Let’s get started with football coach Howard Schnellenberger, who offered some answers that I think will surprise.

Which athlete from another FAU sports team would you most like to have on your team and why?

I’m going to keep it in the family and choose Marcus Schnellenberger (right), a member of the FAU golf team. He has the knowledge of the game, the history of the program and of the players. Most importantly he can stand next to me at game’s end and has the size to keep the players from pouring water or Gatorade on me.

Which player on your team do you think would have success on a different FAU sports team and why?
(Punter) Mickey Groody (bottom photo) would be my candidate to play another sport. It seems natural for our kicker to move into a striker spot on the soccer team. He also has a coaching mind set so he would put the effort into his new sport if he hasn’t already played soccer.

(Quarterback) Jeff Van Camp (top photo) played basketball in high school and follows FAU’s basketball team as do many of the FAU football players. He may make a good two guard.

Editor’s Note: Marcus Schnellenberger redshirted this past year. He is Howard Schnellenberger’s grandson. 

 

Owl LinksYour Daily guide to what is being written about FAU
On FAUOwlAccess.com we continued with our countdown of the Top Ten FAU sports stories from the past year. We’re at No. 8. So far, not many objections.

Other links:

Tuesday's FAU Morning Briefing: Four freshman among group that reported

Nearly 45 of the 50 or so players had been through the process before. For Nick Bracewell, Stephen Curtis, Alex DeLeon and Blake Parrish, however, Monday’s physicals were essentially their first on-campus duties as a member of the FAU football team.

“With this part, it’s just kind of like going to get your regular physical when you are playing high school ball, but with a lot more players,” said DeLeon.

A tight end, DeLeon was the first member of the 2010 recruiting class to commit to FAU, which also meant he had the longest wait between commitment and campus.

“When I look back on it, it actually went by fast,” said a smiling DeLeon. “It feels like one day I committed and the next day I’m here.”

For the most part the physicals check the basic health of players. That’s fullback Xavier Stinson getting his blood pressure taken. FAU players will spend most of the Summer B session working with each other on 7-on-7 drills and the like.

Coaches won’t join the players on the field until early August. Still, for some of the veterans Monday’s physicals signaled the beginning of football season.

“This is when you know that football is about to start – when summer session B comes around,” senior linebacker Michael Lockley said. “When you are back in class is really when football is about to start again. That’s how I feel right now. When you are way out in summer session A, it feels so far away but knowing you are only six weeks ‘til you put pads on again - it does give you a bit of excitement.”

Owl Links: Your daily guide to what is being written about FAU
As part of our Monday Morning Quarterback series, we told you about a quarterback from Fort Pierce-John Carroll who says he's been told by FAU coaches he could be a good tight end.

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Monday's Morning Briefing: Is two a trend?

The biggest news of the weekend actually happened late Friday afternoon when Orlando-Freedom lineman Josue Joseph became the first player to commit to FAU’s 2011 recruiting class.

The first reason for significance is obvious: Joseph seems like a pretty good player. The Orlando Sentinel named him one of the 60 best players in Central Florida for the upcoming season and he’s a lineman – a position which the Owls always seem to need to fill.

Joseph’s commitment also marks the second-consecutive year FAU has received a commitment in June. Last year at this time the buzz was about Alex DeLeon (photo). That may not seem like a big deal when other programs seemingly have eighth graders committing all the time, but it is an important step. In the past, an early commitment came before Christmas, not the Fourth of July.

(Little known fact: on Paul Revere’s original ride he was actually screaming “the British are coming, and they are going to play wide receiver for Yale!” The chant so riled up the Harvard crowd that it started a revolution. Wikipedia might have that info.)

Part of the reason for earlier commits could derive from the numbers game. FAU has given out more offers this year than ever before. But it’s not as though the Owls didn’t give out early offers in past seasons. Just because they weren’t reported doesn’t mean they didn’t happen.

Instead of chalking it up to probabilities, I’d prefer to look at Joseph’s commitment as another sign that the Owls’ program is gaining respect. I think it’s telling that both DeLeon (Belleview) and Joseph (Orlando) are Floridians, yet are not South Floridians. They chose FAU without having grown up with the university in their back yard.

Joseph received his offer in the spring, then took a couple months to get to know the program. He liked what he learned.

Sure, the sample size is small, but a string of two years in a row with early commits certainly feels like it could be a trend. 

Owl LinksYour daily guide to what is being written about FAU
South Florida recruiting guru Larry Bluestein of the Miami Herald discussed FAU’s summer camps as part of this recruiting story.

Sunday’s FAU Daily Briefing: Camps aren’t over yet

While FAU has certainly been busy with football camps lately, it certainly isn’t the only game in town.

Former Owls running back Anthony Jackson, who is now an academic counselor for the FAU athletic department, is involved with some of his childhood friends in a worthwhile project.
The Brandon Flowers Youth Sports Camp will be held from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. on July 10 at the Delray Beach Soccer Complex. The camp will also include a 7-on-7 tournament.
Flowers, who plays defensive back for the Kansas City Chiefs, and Jackson grew up in Delray Beach. Jackson played high school ball at Boca Raton-Olympic Heights while Flowers played at Delray Beach-Atlantic.
Also expected in attendance are Jamal Lewis, Pierre Garcon, David Clowney, Jerome Harrison and others.
For more information call (561) 573-0358 or visit www.prepandsports.com.
Owl Links: Your guide to what’s being written about the Owls
Our Chuck King tracked down Orlando-Freedom offensive lineman Josue Joseph, the Owls first commitment for the Class of 2011, and talked to him about why he has decided to come to FAU.
Other linkage...
 
Saturday's Daily Briefing: Don't turn away, it's an ode to Carrot Top

Ok, this blog is not going to be pretty. You’ve been warned.

Those who know me know I have a soft spot for the craziness that surrounds minor league baseball. OK, it’s more of an insatiable urge to find wackiness. It’s one of the reasons I enjoy updating our Owls in the Pros page as part of the Former Owl Friday segments.

During this week’s research I came upon this little item: The Las Vegas 51s are offering a series of bobblehead dolls paying tribute to Vegas entertainers this season. This week’s giveaway was Carrot Top, and you can see the giveaway in the photo.

As many of you know, Scott Thompson, more popularly known as Carrot Top, graduated from FAU. He apparently attended the game and a staff member told me he was one of the nicest entertainers they’ve had.

If the Carrot Top bobblehead wasn’t scary enough, the St. Paul Saints have lost their minds. Or, perhaps, someone else’s minds, Not sure what I was doing last week when I missed the news story that an employee from Southwest Airlines in Arkansas stumbled across a shipment of human heads. Apparently those heads were part of a medical research shipment from a Minnesota company to a lab in Texas.

Arkansas officials chose to hold onto the heads to be sure they’re being shipped and used as intended.

The folks at St. Paul, a club owned by the Goldklang Group which includes baseball promotional pioneer Mike Veeck, loves to have a little fun with bizarre news stories, especially when they are in any way pertinent to Minnesota.

As part of their “Head’s off to Arkansas Night” the Saints mock the Arkansas educational system, will search fans to make sure they are not trying to sneak illegal body parts into the ballpark, and will ask fans to reenact the scene from the movie Se7en when Brad Pitt finds a head in a box. Here’s the full release, and if you have some time go ahead and peruse the promotions portion of their site.  It may not be baseball at its purest, but it’s pretty funny.

What would it take for FAU to put together a couple promotions like that? And what would be in the box?

Owl Links" Your daily guide to what is being written about FAU
In our Former Owl Friday segment, we told you about the suddenly quick rise Travis Ozga is making through the Mets system.

 

Other linkage...

 

 

 

Friday's Morning Briefing: Small ready to be a pro

We’ve all heard the stories of college football players waiting anxiously by the phone on draft day waiting to learn their future.

Former FAU defensive back Corey Small took a different approach when the United Football League held its draft on June 2.

He pretty much ignored it.

Small was cooking for his family when the phone rang.

“That night one of my friends called me and said congratulations,” Small said. “I said, I appreciate it, but what are you talking about? He’s said, ‘You got drafted.’ I was like, wow, really?”

The Florida Tuskers selected Small in the ninth round, ending a year-long search for a professional football contract. Small was somewhat nonplussed by the draft news because he was already pretty sure he was heading to Orlando. He said club officials had already sent him a contract and told him he’d either be selected or signed as a free agent.

“I would have pretty much played anywhere, but I didn’t want to play Arena,” said Small, who will play for head coach Jay Gruden. “I’m really happy that I went the UFL rout.”

Small was in Boca this week to help coach at the FINESSE youth football camp held on FAU’s campus. Another camp coach, former Owl offensive lineman Lavoris Williams, is also looking to hook on with the UFL.

Along with Small, Williams’ former line mate Carl Spitale was also taken by the Sacramento Mountain Lions in the UFL draft.

Williams would like to follow Spitale and Small to the UFL and says Small’s story in particular gives him hope.

“Corey, he graduated last year and didn’t go anywhere, now he’s ended up going somewhere,” Williams said. “I think I have a pretty good chance at a few different leagues. Whatever league comes along first, that’s where I’ll go.”

Williams worked out for the Tuskers with Small during a couple of pre-draft camps. Florida is holding another tryout this weekend in Atlanta. Williams said Orlando officials told him the club will be signing more players following that camp and that he is still under consideration for a free agent spot.

Small said he plans to work a couple more youth camps on the west coast of Florida in the coming weeks before heading to Orlando for preseason camp. The UFL regular season begins in September. Congrats to Corey for sticking with it. We’ll keep you posted on the progress of both Small and Williams.

Owl Links: -
You daily guide to what is being written about FAU
Brian Rowitz returned to FAUOwlAccess.com with this week’s edition of Owl Talk. He talked with Brett Vito, the North Texas beat writer for the Denton Record-Chronicle, about what to expect from the Mean Green football team in 2010. He also talked with FAU offensive line coach Dale Williams about how the recent high school camps can help with recruiting.

We also continued our look at the Top 10 stories of the past season with No. 9 on our list. What did we choose? Take a look.

Today we’re going to take a break from our countdown of the top stories to bring you Former Owl Friday.

 

Other links:

The fooitball news wasn't as good for Small's former temmate Frantz Joseph, who was released by the CFL's Edmonton Eskimoes on Thursday.

Adam Robinson of the Brewton Standards asks whether it's time for Troy to leave the Sun Belt.

The Ocala Star-Banner looks at former FAU basketball player Brittany Bowes' transition from being a world-class in-line skater to speed skating on ice.

Thursday's Daily Briefing: 'Tis the camping season

Lots of camps going on at FAU. The football camp du jour going on this week isn’t actually hosted by FAU and the players are a little too young to have an impact on recruiting, but it still offers a strong Owl presence.

The FINESSE football camp has about 90 kids aged 7-14 running around campus. They are being coached by some nationally recognizable names – former Dolphin Jeff Dellenbach, former Miami Hurricane and NFL player Mike Rumph and former FSU Seminole/Cleveland Brown Devin Bush – and by a few names recognizable to Owl fans.

Former Owls Lavoris Williams, Corey Small and Cerge Sincere – you knew that name would be there – are helping coach the five-day event, which ends today. All three are enjoying the experience.

“I lost my voice,” Sincere said. “It’s kind of funny because I bring the same intensity and enthusiasm as I did when I was playing. With these little kids, they have a lot of energy and they are all excited. It gets me fired up. I see why coaches go back and coach. I remember when I was like that as a kid.”

For Small, this was the first of three camps he’s working in the coming weeks before heading to Orlando for his UFL season.

“I like this coaching stuff,” Small said. “These past couple days I went home with headaches and my voice was almost gone just because I’ve been getting so into it.”

For Williams, the camp has provided a little perspective about what his coaches went through, especially when he finds himself trying to prevent his team from repeatedly making the same mistake.

“Sometimes I think back and I’m like, was I like this as a kid? Was I this bad?” Lavoris laughed. “But this is pretty fun. I wouldn’t change the experience for the world.”

The camp is fairly unique because it offers full contact. The organizers also bring in guest speakers. Wednesday’s big name was former Super Bowl MVP Santonio Holmes, a teammate of Sincere at Glades Central who is pictured with Small talking to a camper. That pair teamed up to bring six youngsters from Belle Glade to the camp, two of which are in the photo with Sincere.

Jevon Kearse, who trains on campus with Athlete’s Edge, spoke to the group earlier. Sincere said FAU basketball coach Mike Jarvis also spoke to kids about keeping up with their grades.

Coaching alongside the former players on Wednesday were FAU football grad assistants, Mike Williams, Joe Fitzgerald and Matt Desiderio, featured in the final photo.

Owl LinksYour daily guide to what is being written about FAU
At FAUOwlAccess.com we began out countdown of the 10 biggest FAU sports stories of the academic year by slotting baseball’s run to the NCAA's Gainesville Regional at No. 10. Check back shortly for No. 9.

 


 

Wednesday's Daily Briefing: Mee named second team All-American

The post-season honors keep rolling in for Andy Mee, and this one is big.

The National Collegiate Baseball Writers of America named the FAU rightfielder/closer a second team All-American. Mee was one of 19 players on the second team, which included FIU shortstop Garrett Wittels and Troy shortstop Adam Bryant.

Mee was wisely selected as for the utility position. He hit .378 with eight homers and 55 RBI in 2010, and his 99 hits currently ranks 19th in the nation. Mee also led the Sun Belt with 11 saves. By not limiting Mee to a hitting or pitching category, it’s easier to understand his full impact on the field. Though the utility role may have been added to this list to include players who play multiple positions in the field, placing Mee in the slot is appropriate when considering his mound contributions.

Mee’s selection also accentuates the successful season the Owls put together. Other second-team players hail from traditional baseball powers LSU, Arkansas, Clemson, Auburn and Arizona St.

Mee is the first FAU player to appear on a national All-American list since Mike McKenna was selected a first-teamer by Rivals and a third-teamer by Collegiate Baseball. Founded in 1962, the NCBWA has never placed an FAU player higher than third team.

The Alaska League’s Mat-su Miners are the current beneficiaries of Mee’s skills. He is batting .378 with 9 RBI in 10 games and also sported a 3.60 ERA in five innings after earning his first win on Wednesday.

Sadly, the stats on the Miners’ web site don’t include salmon caught or bears seen walking through town. We’ll have to wait until he gets back to town to find those out.

Here’s a list of the FAU baseball players who’ve received national All American recognition, be it first second or third team, or honorable mention.
 

  • 1983 Keith Foley (NAIA)
  • 1984 Mike Ryan (Div. II)
  • 1986 Scott Hay (Div. II)
  • 1988 Jack Penrod (Div. II)
  • 1999 Todd Moser
  • 1999 Dan Jackson
  • 1999 Dickie Hart
  • 2003 Randy Beam
  • 2004 Jeff Fiorentino
  • 2005 Mickey Storey
  • 2007 Robbie Widlansky
  • 2008 Mike McKenna


 
Owl Links: Your daily guide to what is being written about FAU

At FAUOwlAccess.com we primed readers for our look at the Top 10 stories of the year with this review of how each of the Owls’ athletic teams fared during the 2009-10 season.

Look for story No. 10 on our countdown later today. 

Other linkage...

 

Tuesday’s Daily Briefing: FAU’s camps provide glimpse into recruiting

The past two weekends have been big ones in terms of recruiting at Florida Atlantic.

After holding its individual camp, the Owls held their team camp this weekend and both had more participation than any other time in the program’s history.
The camps are a great way for the Owls coaches to get to know high school players and put them under drills to see how good they are. The FAU coaching staff instructs the players on how to get better, and it’s all caught on tape as the Owls determine which players will receive scholarship offers.
Since there has been plenty of activity on the recruiting effort, we’ve updated The List – our listing of players which players FAU is recruiting and the ones who have offers. Owl Access Pass holders can check out The List, which we will update all the way through National Signing Day in February.
Owl Links: Your guide to what's being written about the Owls
Speaking of recruiting, we talked to Naples-Gulf Coast center Anthony Spano, who has been offered a scholarship by the Owls. Read what he thinks about FAU by clicking here.
Monday FAU Daily Briefing: Former Owls QB Jahn coaching at Clewiston

Of all the 700 players and coaches who took part in FAU Football’s Team Camp over the weekend, there was at least one who didn’t need a map to the Oxley Practice Fields.

The Owls’ first quarterback, Garrett Jahn, was in attendance this week as the offensive coordinator for Clewiston High School.
“I like it a lot,” Jahn said. “The community really supports us. There are cookouts for the team and the crowds at the games are great.”

 
Jahn, who has been at Clewiston four years, was FAU’s starting quarterback for the first game in the program history against Slippery Rock and was the backup for Jared Allen for most of his career at FAU. Here's a shot of Allen and Jahn talking before the camp began Saturday.
Owl Links: Your guide to what’s being written about the Owls
FAUOwlAccess.com was at the FAU Team Camp all weekend and has some news and notes from the camp and will feature a player who has an offer from FAU as part of our Monday Morning Quarterback – a weekly off-season look at FAU football.
Other linkage…
With some solid reporting, the Sun-Sentinel examines FAU’s most recent increase in the student athletic fees.
 
Sunday’s FAU Daily Briefing: Competition heats up for FAU Team Camp's final day

After two days of drill after drill, today is the day that could provide the most intensity at FAU’s Team Camp as the team champion will be decided.

Each team gets eight plays inside the 20 in a single elimination tournament to determine the top team at this year’s camp.
It may not sound like the Super Bowl, but don’t tell Boca Raton-Olympic Heights and Delray Beach-American Heritage that the competition isn’t intense.
The Stallions and Lions, who are pretty close neighbors, didn’t look that way Saturday as they duked it out for several minutes with punches flying and players being thrown to the ground. The incident caused American Heritage’s session to end early, but showed the Stallions are already in mid-season form.
Who knows? Maybe Olympic Heights and American Heritage, who both have plenty of players the Owls are watching, will meet again today.
I am starting to like this camp stuff after all.
 
Saturday’s FAU Daily Briefing: Around 700 players at FAU’s team camp this weekend

It seems like there are plenty of players on the Oxley Practice Fields when the Owls hold their full-squad workouts in August and there are around 100 players participating.

Imagine seeing 700 football players going through full contact drills under the hot June sun.
You gotta love football camps. And FAU has itself a good one this weekend with 15 high school teams here for the FAU Team Camp.
Teams participating include: Barron Collier, Gulf Coast, Palmetto Ridge, South Fort Myers, Ida Baker, Bishop Verot, Clewiston, Centennial, Jupiter, Royal Palm Beach, American Heritage-Delray, Olympic Heights, South Plantation, Belen Jesuit and Wellington.
The teams reported Friday and went through drills and will go through competition today and Sunday.
FAUOwlAccess.com was out there Friday and will be out there all weekend talking to prospects and coaches that are being recruited by the Owls. Check back for our reports and photos, such as this one from Friday.
Owl Links: What’s being written about the Owls
Friday’s in the summer time mean one thing – that’s right, Former Owl Friday is back. Each week we give an update on a FAU baseball player playing professionally.
Friday’s FAU Daily Briefing: New building, that’s the ticket

Just took in the ribbon cutting this morning for the Wally Sanger Owl Club Center next door to the Oxley Center.

The 3,000-square foot building houses the ticket office, marketing and development for the FAU Athletics department.
Sanger is founder of Royal Concrete Concepts, Inc.
Athletic Director Craig Angelos gave a brief update on the on-campus football stadium at the event.
“It’s moving along and we live to fight another day,” Angelos said. “We’re still on track to have the stadium open in 2011 and have all of our football games there, but the time-frame continues to shorten.
I guess it’s not really news, since we’ve been telling you about this since January, but Angelos told FAUOwlAccess.com that the FAU-FIU game on Oct. 30 will indeed be at Lockhart Stadium this year instead of at Sun Life Stadium, the traditional location for Shula Bowl's hosted by FAU. Angelos said FAU is no longer seeking a way around an NCAA rule that limits a school to one off-campus home football game a season. FAU is playing a home game vs. Michigan State in Detroit this season.
Expect an announcement that the Shula Bowl will be at Lockhart soon.
Owl Links: Your daily guide to what's being written about the Owls
You can keep track of all the sites, times, info and fan message boards for all 12 opponents with our 2010 Interactive Schedule.
Other linkage…
The Sun-Sentinel has a story on Rusty Smith and the Titans agreeing to terms
 
Thursday’s FAU Daily Briefing: Lockhart Stadium to survive as part of water park?

A few weeks ago news got out that the uncertain future of Lockhart Stadium may depend on a proposal by the group that runs Schlitterbahn – the industry leader in water parks.

Well, fast forward to Tuesday when the Fort Lauderdale City Commission voted to negotiate a deal with Schlitterbahn.
But from the Sun-Sentinel, comes this little nugget:
“Lockhart Stadium would remain intact, even though some of the water rides would run around its edge and underneath the bleachers.”
I can't think of anything better than a warter slide running underneath the bleachers at Lockhart Stadium during a football game!
Also, this project could begin within the next two years – raising the possibility that the Owls will play a football game in a stadium/water park if there are any more delays on FAU’s on-campus stadium (a distinct possibility)
Hopefully this will be wake-up call to the FAU Board of Trustees to quickly approve the construction of an on-campus stadium. Instead, the trustees may insist on taking a slow intertube ride on the Lazy River ride before they vote. It would only be appropriate with the way the on-campus stadium project has progressed. 
And if FAU indeed is still in Lockhart when Schlitterbahn comes to town, the marketing possibilities are endless, but “Come for Schnellenberger, stay for Schlitterbahn” or some derivitave would work nicely.
Here is the complete proposal from the Schlitterbahn group via the South Florida Business Journal.
 
Owl Links: Your guide to what's being written about the Owls
I hope you will check out a video we cut of some of the highlights of the 2010 baseball season. Seeing some of the plays just makes me want to know how many days until pitchers and catchers report for 2011.
Wednesday's FAU Daily Briefing: Owls' season tickets among lowest priced in the nation

There was some interesting research done by Rivals.com’s Olin Buchanan as he reported on the price of the cheapest season ticket for all 120 schools in the Football Bowl Subdivision.

I suppose it should come as no surprise that Florida Atlantic’s football season tickets are among the cheapest in the land, coming in at No. 116 ahead of only New Mexico State, FIU, Kent State and Western Kentucky.
After all, FAU only has four home games this season which should be a reason to keep the price down. On the other hand, in an affluent market full of pro options which are way more expensive, I think FAU may be undervaluing itself. If FAU itself doesn’t see a high value in its product, then why should the general public think it’s worth paying for?
Oh, there is nothing wrong with giving a good value to entice fans, but season ticket holders are more often than not going to be your biggest fans, who likely wouldn’t mind paying more to support the program.
Owl Links: Your daily guide to what's being written about the Owls
 
We had our Owl Analysis of the baseball team’s season, so check it out here and relive some of the highlights of the year.
Other linkage…
Florida Gulf Coast begins looking into football, so naturally you call Howard Schnellenberger to see how he did it.
Tuesday’s FAU Daily Briefing: Owls benefit when Texas slows expansion down

I propose Florida Atlantic waive the game guarantee of around $900,000 for this year’s game at Texas. After all, the Longhorns may have saved the Owls much more than that in the long run by staying in the Big 12 and in effect saving college athletics as we know it today.

Texas is staying in the Big 12, theoretically putting the brakes on the fast tidal wave of conference expansion in college athletics that could have led to the formation of four 16-team “super-conferences” that would have created 64 Division I-A programs that are relevant and 56 that would be somewhere between what was know as I-A and I-AA. Guess where FAU probably would have landed.
The super-conferences may still form, but it will be at a much slower pace thanks to Texas tapping the brakes. To that, there are plenty of programs, including FAU, who should say “thank you.”
Don’t think that re-alignment is over, but it looks (for now) like it won’t be the major shift it could have been.
Owl Links: Your guide to what's being written about the Owls
After a busy weekend of football camps, FAUOwlAccess.com had a recruiting notebook with some news and notes on which players FAU is looking at as the Owls begin to build the 2011 recruiting class.
Other linkage…
Monday's Daily Briefing: Sun Belt getting desperate during conference expansion?

The World Cup may be the most popular sporting event in the world, but this weekend the second biggest seemed to be keeping tabs on conference shuffling.

We told you some sort of re-alingnment was coming and talked to Craig Angelos and Howard Schnellenberger weeks ago about what the future holds for FAU and the Sun Belt, but the reality is it’s way too early to tell exactly what will happen for schools left out the “super conferences” that appear to be forming.

Everyone has a theory ranging from FAU joining a watered down Big East to remaining in the Sun Belt – if the Sun Belt even exists in a few years.

While no one for sure knows what will happen, I did see this quote from Sun Belt Conference Commissioner Wright Waters in the New York Times over the weekend…

“There is certainly an opportunity for the N.C.A.A. to exert some leadership and step into all of this and start looking at the future of intercollegiate athletics, what is best for the total enterprise and not just individual conferences and institutions,” Sun Belt Commissioner Wright Waters said.

Calling for the NCAA to step in seems like a last reort, but that’s exactly where the Sun Belt may be sooner rather than later.

Owl Links: Your guide to what's being written about the Owls

FAUOwlAccess.com had a busy weekend covering recruiting at the Mike Jarvis FAU Team Camp, the Heath Evans 7-on-7 Championship and the FAU individual camp. We’ll have more on some of the prospects the Owls are looking at soon.

We also had the unfortunate story that once-promising receiver Amos Wood won’t be playing in the fall for academic reasons.
 

Other linkage...

The Palm Beach Post has an interesting read on the situation with the UP, the student newspaper and its beef with Student Affairs

See the video from FAU's recruit-rich camp

Just finished putting together a video from today’s football individual camp at FAU. It was quite a scene. Nearly 200 high school football players came to Boca Raton for the day. The turnout was a testament to the growth of the program.

It’s a fairly important day for the Owls. The camp gives coaches a chance to take another look at recruits they’ve seen across the state. The first few camps in FAU history contained mostly local high school players. On Sunday, it seemed like I spent most of my time talking with players, coaches and parents from the Orlando and Tampa areas.

For those who are wondering – yes, it was football weather out there. I believe the temp broke 90 and the humidity- ahh the humidity... Three-a-days can’t be too far away.

In the coming days we’ll bring you more from the camp. In the meantime, enjoy this video. I thought the comments from Schnellenberger and Van Valkenburgh were most interesting.

Sunday's Daily Briefing: FAU recruits hit field at Heath Evans 7-on-7

The list of prospects for Florida Atlantic’s 2011 football recruiting class is growing, so what better way to see what's going on with recruiting than by talking to the players and coaches at the Heath Evans Foundation 7 on 7 Championship on Saturday.

For those unfamiliar with the event, skill players from 16 teams mostly South Florida teams play all day with a tournament deciding the winner late in the afternoon.
The appeal for us, and why Chuck and I were battling heat indexes hovering around the triple digits in West Palm Beach while most sane people were in the air conditioning watching soccer,  was the chance to talk to many of the players, including Miami-Booker T. Washington defensive back Denard Turner (photo), who are being recruited by FAU and see what they had to offer.
We’ll have some info on players on the Owls’ radar coming up during the dog days of summer, so be sure to check back here all summer long.
Saturday's Daily Briefing: Phil Steele's 2010 Preview best of the football preview magazines

It’s a sure sign that football season is underway when the football magazines begin hitting the newsstand.

Most of them are filled with plenty of pages devoted to the big-time programs and plenty pictures of cheerleaders. They also have very little information on FAU and Sun Belt schools. They sell lots of magazines with this strategy.
And then there is Phil Steele’s College Football Preview.
It’s packed with information and is the best $8.95 you can spend if you want to get credible, accurate information. The man does his homework.
And like the 119 other Division I-A teams, he has two pages dedicated to the Owls.
You can always find things to quibble with, such as his No. 3 predicted ranking in the Sun Belt for North Texas - ahead of FAU's No. 4 predicted finish -- but he backs up his reason quite well.
The unit-by-unit Sun Belt rankings are always interesting.
I think if you are a regular reader of this site, you have already shown you appreciate accurate serious information without the fluff, so I think if you pick up Phil Steele’s preview, you won’t be disappointed.
Owl Links: Your guide to what’s being written about the Owls
FAUOwlAccess.com was at FAU Arena for the beginning of the FAU Team Camp and talked to Winter Park guard Brett Comer, who has committed to the Owls.
Also, it tturns out the world's biggest sporting event is not The Shula Bowl, it's something called The World Cup. So we talked World Cup with FAU men's soccer coach Kos Donev and women's soccer Brian Dooley.
Friday Morning Briefing: FAU's Mee heads to Alaska, others scatter to summer leagues

After being drafted by Milwaukee on Tuesday, Ryan Bernal had plans to spend one last night out with former FAU teammates Dan Scheffler and Andy Mee. While Bernal had some packing to do – he’ll be heading to Montana to play in the Pioneer League soon – Mee (photo) was even more rushed.

The Owls’ rightfielder/closer was leaving the next day for Alaska. He’s not going to be on the ice road, nor is he hoping to make the deadliest catch. Mee will spend the summer playing for the Mat-Su Miners of the Alaska Baseball League.

The Miners regular season began on Thursday and runs through the end of July. Mee is the lone Owl heading to Alaska this summer, but he’s far from the only FAU player heading to a summer college league.

Mike Albaladejo and R. J. Alvarez are slated to play in the prestigious Cape Cod League. It was there that Mike Gipson drew the attention of scouts with strong outings last summer.

Eight Owls are headed to the Valley League, a wooden bat league in Virginia. The Winchester Royals will be a mini-FAU team, with Dan Scheffler, Raymond Church, Colby Gratton and Ian MacGeorge all on the same roster. Kevin Alexander and Mike Spano will be teammates for Staunton Braves, where they will play against Haymarket Senators’ Taylor Everist and Jason Boyer.

Four Owls, Joey Burkhalter, Nick DelGuidice, Jake Meiers and Mark Nelson will keep their gloves in the Sunshine State, suiting up for the Florida Collegiate Summer League, which is centered in Orlando.

In total, 21 Owls will be playing in collegiate summer leagues. Here’s a complete list of where FAU players are headed:

NAME                             LEAGUE                                     TEAM
Mike Albaladejo            Cape Cod                              Bourne Braves
R. J. Alvarez                   Cape Cod                              Bourne Braves
Kevin Alexander            Valley                                     Staunton Braves
Jason Boyer                  Valley                                     Haymarket Senators
Michael Spano              Valley                                     Staunton Braves
Colby Gratton                Valley                                     Winchester Royals
Raymond Church         Valley                                     Winchester Royals
Dan Scheffler                 Valley                                    Winchester Royals
Ian MacGeorge              Valley                                    Winchester Royals
Taylor Everist                 Valley                                     Haymarket Senators
Mark Nelson                   FCL                                       Orlando Mavericks
Jake Meiers                    FCL                                       Deland Suns
Nick DelGuidice             FCL                                       Leesburg Lightning
Joey Burkhalter              FCL                                       Winter Park Diamond Dawgs
Corey Keller                    NYCL                                    Elmira Pioneers
Chase Vergason           Coastal Plains                    Colombia Blowfish
Ryan Garton                    Coastal Plains                    Colombia Blowfish
Hugh Adams                   Cal Ripken                           Bethesda Big Train
Jeff Hopkins                    Cal Ripken                           Alexandria Aces
Andy Mee                          Alaska                                   Mat-Su Miners
Nathan Pittman               ACBL                                     Riverhead Tomcats

Owl Links: Your daily guide to what is being written about FAU
No news in the summer? Hardly. FAUOwlAccess.com’s Brian Rowitz delivered a baseball wrap-up edition of Owl Talk, interviewing John McCormack about the reasons behind the Owls’ successful season and looking ahead to next year. And, yes, they talked stadium.

We’d also like to thank FAU men’s soccer coach Kos Donev and women’s coach Brian Dooley for providing their World Cup insights. Soccer enthusiasts and casual fans are sure to enjoy their analysis.

We also told you that junior pitcher Mike Gipson had decided to forego his senior season, opting instead to become a New York Yankee. Gipson told us he is flying to Tampa today (Friday) to sign his contract.
 

Other linkage...

  • Palm Beach Post columnist Dave George speculated on what NCAA realignment will mean to FAU. It’s a hot topic and worth the read.
Gipson will leave FAU to play in Yankees system

The round wasn’t what he had hoped for, but the offer from the Yankees appears to have been enough to get Mike Gipson to leave FAU.

The junior righthander has agreed to terms with New York, which selected him yesterday in the 31st round of the MLB draft. Gipson (photo) will fly to Tampa tomorrow where he will make it official by signing.

After working out for a couple of days at the Yankees’ spring training facility, Gipson expects to be sent to Staten Island of the Class A-short season New York-Penn league.

The ace of FAU’s staff this season, Gipson posted an 8-2 record with a 3.70 ERA. He had been told he could be taken as high as the eighth round. Gipson could have chosen to return to FAU for his senior season with hopes of improving his 2011 draft spot, but decided to jump to the pros.

“I had my mindset on playing pro ball, so I didn’t want to go back to school and regret it,” Gipson said.

Gipson’s former teammate, Ryan Bernal, is also close to signing a professional contract. Milwaukee chose the senior righthanded reliever in the 23rd round. Bernal has an appointment set for later this afternoon when he will make it official.

Bernal expects to begin his first professional season with the Helena Brewers of the rookie level Pioneer League.

Thursday's FAU Daily Briefing: Conference shuffling doesn't look good for Owls

A few weeks ago I talked with FAU Athletic Director Craig Angelos in the first and only on-the-record interview he has given concerning conference realignment.

You can bet FAU is still waiting and watching what could happen – and it looks like that could be sooner rather than later.
While what happens and what it means to FAU is far from decided, Angelos did say he was very concerned  that one of the results of conference realignment would be the formation of four “super-conferences” and that would be very bad for FAU. However, the Pac-10’s aggressive courting of Big 12 schools and the first domino likely falling with Nebraska jumping to the Big 10  certainly would be evidence that we could be headed in that direction.
The fear is that the four 16-team “super-conferences” would essentially become what is big-time college football, while the other teams in I-A become (read: FAU) become bit players.
Conference shuffling is just beginning, and is far from over, but the first steps don’t look good for FAU or another schools not in a “super-conference”
Owl Links: Your guide to what's being written about the Owls
FAUOwlAccess.com was talking with FAU coach John McCormack when pitcher Mike Gipson was selected by the Yankees in the 31st round and also talked to Gipson about his decision to go pro or return to FAU.
We also told you about the football program’s penalty of two football scholarships for its poor Academic Progress Rate.
Check back later today for the last Owl Talk of the sports year, including special one-on-one conversation with McCormack.
NCAA docks FAU football two scholarships for poor Academic Progress Rate

The NCAA has docked two scholarships from Florida Atlantic because of a poor showing in the Academic Progress Rate, according to data released Wednesday.

It’s the third consecutive year the football program has been penalized by the NCAA for a poor APR showing.
FAU will be limited to just 83 total football scholarships for the 2010 season and already enacted the penalty for this year’s recruiting class. The maximum number of scholarships allowed is 85. The Owls have signed 12 players to this year's recruitng class and are believed to officially add at least one more player, Washington D.C. receiver Jerrard Hunter, to this year’s class.
In 2009 FAU was docked one scholarship by the NCAA and in 2008 the Owls lost three scholarships.
The Academic Progress Rate is a formula used by the NCAA to gauge retention, eligibility and graduation.
The most recent data is for four years through the 2008-09 academic year.
Here is the complete searchable database for each Divisision I school in the NCAA and the report data for FAU.
Wednesday's FAU Daily Briefing: Where FAU players finished in the Sun Belt

In case you weren’t keeping track, FAU was the final Sun Belt Conference team eliminated from the NCAA Regionals after its 15-0 loss to Florida. ULL was eliminated by Rice and FIU was eliminated by Dartmouth – yes, Dartmouth. BTW, I doubt anyone from the 305 area code will want to have the debate or what is more significant, a regular-season title or the tournament title.

Since there are no more Sun Belt Conference teams playing in the NCAA tournament, all the statistics are now final and we have our final leaders in each statistical category.
Here’s the list with the Sun Belt leader and FAU’s highest finisher in each category. Congratulations to Dan Scheffler (doubles) Raymond Church (walks) and Mike Albaladejo (sacrifices) and Andy Mee (saves) who led the Sun Belt in a stat category.
2010 Sun Belt Final Leaders
HITTING
Batting Average
(1) Garrett Wittels, FIU .413
(5) Andy Mee, FAU .378
 
Runs: Adam Bryant Troy 70
(4) Dan Scheffler, FAU 67
 
Hits
(1) Garrett Wittels, FIU 100
(2) Andy Mee, FAU 99
 
Doubles
(1) Dan Scheffler, FAU 22
 
Triples
(1) Matt Payton, WKU 10
(4) Andy Mee, FAU 5
 
Home Runs
(1) Adam Bryant, Troy 23
(9) Dan Scheffler, FAU 15
 
RBI
(1) Justin Miller, MTSU 74
(5) Dan Sceffler, 65
 
Slugging percentage
(1) Adam Bryant, Troy .744
(2) Dan Scheffler, FAU .696
 
Total bases
(1) Adam Bryant, Troy 186
(4) Dan Scheffler, FAU 156
 
On-base percentage
(1) Blake McDade, MTSU .511
(2) Dan Scheffler, FAU .482
 
Stolen Bases
(1) Taylor White, USA 27
No FAU player among leaders
 
Base on Balls
(1) Raymond Church, FAU 45
 
Hit by pitch
(1) Steven Felix, Troy 25
(3) Dan Scheffler, FAU 18
 
Toughest to strike out
(1) Caleb Clowers, ULM 20.1
(3) Mike Albaladejo, FAU 15.4
 
Sacrifice Bunts
(1) Mike Albaladejo, FAU 20 (Tie for national lead)
 
Sacrifice flies
(1) Jake Overstreet, USA 9
(4) Nick DelGuidice, FAU 7
 
PITCHING
ERA
(1) Zach Osborne, ULL 2.37
(5) Mike Gipson, FAU 3.70
 
Victories
(1) D.D. Hanks, USA 10
(T6) Mike Gipson, FAU 8
 
Saves
(1) Andy Mee, FAU 11
 
Strikeouts per 9 innings
(1) Corey Polizzano, FIU 9.29
(1) Ryan Garton, FAU 7.75
 
Strikeouts
(1)Zach Osborne, ULL 112
(2) Mike Gipson, FAU 96
 
Hits per 9 innings
(1) Chase Whitley, Troy 6.55
(4) Mike Gipson, FAU 7.88
 
Walks per 9 innings
(1) Zach Osborne, ULL 1.55
(7) Kevin Alexander, FAU 1.86
 

Owl Links: Your guide to what's being written about the Owls

FAUOwlAccess.com posted a story on FAU’s newest football recruit – Washington D.C. receiver Jerrard Hunter - and a new player for the Milwaukee Brewers’ organization – pitcher Ryan Bernal.
Check back later today for an update on the third and final day of the baseball draft.
Tuesday’s FAU Daily Briefing: Owls chase pro dreams
Over the next few days, a few FAU players, signees and coaches will be monitoring baseball's draft.
It’s an exciting time for players and an absolutely excruciating time for the coaches, who face the possibility of seeing their roster decimated by the draft after the recruiting period is over.
That probably won’t happen this season with perhaps only pitcher Mike Gipson drafted high enough to sign, but in the past, the Owls have been ripped apart by players choosing to go pro.
Of course, it’s always fun to see how the former FAU players are doing as they chase their major league dreams and we’ll be checking in time to time with our Former Owl Friday series, which will begin soon.
In the meantime, we’ve done the homework for you so you can follow FAU players in the minors, like former Owl Robbie Widlansky, who is with the Bowie Baysox, with our interactive guide of Owls in the Pros here – and we could be adding another player very soon.
Owl Links: Your daily guide to what is being written about the Owls
FAUOwlAccess.com has another installment of our weekly series on FAU football, the Monday Morning Quarterback, with this exclusive interview with Titans quarterback Rusty Smith.
Monday FAU Daily Briefing: Owls not expected to get hit hard in draft

Florida Atlantic’s highly successful baseball season ended Sunday, but that doesn’t mean there won’t be any news from the diamond in the coming days.

Taking a cue from the NFL, Major League Baseball is spreading its draft across three days. Today brings the first round; rounds two through 30 come Tuesday, with the final 20 rounds coming on Wednesday.

There won’t be any FAU names called today, but a couple hurlers could go tomorrow.

FAU coaches believe starter Mike Gipson could break into the first 10 rounds. Reliever Ryan Bernal (photo) could go anywhere from the late teens to the early 30s.

First baseman Dan Scheffler and shortstop Nick DelGuidice may also have a reason to keep their computers following a draft tracker. Scheffler led the Owls with 15 home runs and sported an on-base percentage above .500 late in the season.

At least one in-the-know told me that he thought DelGuidice could get the call before Scheffler.

However it happens, we’ll provide the coverage you’ve come to expect from FAUOwlAccess.com

Owl Links:  your daily guide to what is being written about FAU

FAU looked pretty good while dispatching Oregon St. from the tourney, then got beaten by a Florida team that could be playing on the last day in Omaha. FAUOwlAccess.com was the only media outlet to cover every one of the Owls’ post-season games and we were once again there through the rain delays, home runs and pitching disappointments that came on Sunday – providing stories, video, photo galleries and analysis from the final day of the Owls’ season. You didn’t think we’d take our vacation early, did you?

Other links..

When the Gators are involved you are going to have a few media outlets covering the game, such as The Gainesville Sun, The Orlando Sentinel, The Jacksonville Times-Union and The Associated Press wire service.

 

 

Cassidy leads Owls over Beavers to earn shot at Gators

Florida Atlantic coach John McCormack toyed with the idea of making a lineup change for Sunday’s game vs. Oregon State in the NCAA Regionals.

In order to make it easier for outfielder Andy Mee, McCormack thought about moving him to DH in place of Eddie Cassidy.
After Cassidy’s 3-homer performance in the Owls’ 11-7 victory vs. Oregon State, he’s glad he kept the lineup as is.
Mee had been showing signs of fatigue lately, prompting McCormack to consider the change briefly before deciding against it.
“Sometimes the best moves you make are the moves you don’t make,” McCormack said.
Church had seven RBI on the day.
“I’ve had a couple of two homerun games and those felt great,” Cassidy said. “But this was first three-home run game and it’s amazing.”
 
Sunday’s FAU Daily Report: Florida coach has FAU ties

For FAU, there is a pesky little matter of playing Oregon State at 1 p.m. for the right to stay alive in the Gainesville Regional.

But if the Owls can manage a better showing than they did Friday, FAU will be able to face the Gators Sunday night in a game that will not only be a re-match from earlier this season, but also pits two former FAU assistants who are now head coaches against each other.
There probably are a few Owl fans who may remember Florida coach Kevin O’Sullivan when he was an assistant coach in 1994 and 1995 at FAU with Owls coach John McCormack under Kevin Cooney.
“He was intense, liked to coach and was enjoyable to have around,” McCormack said. “It was basically just me, him and coach Cooney so he helped with a lot of the recruiting. You could see then exactly how much he wanted to be a coach. He’s exactly what the University of Florida needed.”
McCormack is still friends with O’Sullivan, who used to stay at McCormack’s house in Boca Raton often instead of driving to his home in Jupiter when there would be day games following night games.
 “I knew him before he came here actually through American Legion,” McCormack said. “We go way back and we talk often and have always gotten along.”
Owl Links: Your daily guide to what's being written about the Owls
There has only been one media outlet at every game during the Owls’ post-season run and that’s FAUOwlAccess.com. Check out our complete coverage of FAU’s 12-6 victory vs. Bethune-Cookman in the Gainesville Regional complete with our recap, analysis, video highlights, photo gallery and audio of post-game press conferences by clicking here.
Needless to say, we’ll be at today’s game at 1 p.m. and we’ll be sticking around for a little double duty if the Owls defeat the Beavers and play the Gators at 7 p.m.
Other linkage…
The Daytona Beach News Journal had this story about the Owls’ offense
The Oregonian reports on OSU’s loss to Florida
Owl Cal: Your calendar to FAU events
1 p.m. Baseball, FAU vs. Oregon State, NCAA Regionals, Gainesville
FAU doesn't feel at home at Gainesville Regional

When is being the higher seed devoid of perks? When you are the No. 2 seed in the NCAA’s Gainesville Regional.

If the Owls play No. 3 seed Oregon St. in an elimination game on Sunday - which looking at the scoreboard seems more and more likely – FAU, the higher seed, should be the home team, right?

Well, that’s what FAU coach John McCormack figured, only to learn NCAA rules dictate that privilege goes to the Beavers.

It’s Rule 3-A of the Championship Handbook that applies specifically to FAU’s situation. Both teams have been the home team an equal number of times in this regional – FAU in the opener against OSU, the Beavers right now against Florida.

Since FAU was the home team in the first meeting and both teams have been the home tam an equal amount, OSU gets to be the home team this time around. Which begs the question, why even bother with a seeding to begin with?

Here’s an idea: Highest seed is the home team. Period. Quit trying to be fair and reward the accomplishments of the regular season.

Should the above scenario play out, FAU will have been the home team the same number of times as recently departed Bethune-Cookman – the lowest seed in the regional.

The good news for FAU is that if it gets past the Beavers it should be the “home team” later in the day against Florida.

In case you’re wondering, should Oregon St. rally to win this game and send the Gators into the loser’s bracket, the home team in the FAU/Florida game would be determined by a coin flip.

Saturday’s FAU Daily Briefing: Owls hopes of winning Regional go down the drain with loss to Oregon State

FAU put all its eggs in one basket by starting Mike Gipson in the NCAA Regional opener on Friday against Oregon State.

It's a strategy that looks brilliant if you win the game. But blowing three situations where the Owls had two runners on and one out probably wasn’t in the plans.
As a result, the Owls have used up their ace without a victory to show for it and now must battle their way through the loser’s bracket to win the Regional Championship.
In other words, FAU is living on borrowed time.
Oregon State was playing in sweltering conditions and was coming off an all-day journey from one coast to the other.
Instead, it was the Owls who looked like they were jet lagged.
Can the Owls defeat Bethune-Cookman? Of course. And maybe even Florida or Oregon State, but teams don’t want to be in the loser’s bracket for a reason.
It’s going to be nearly impossible for FAU to win four games and win the regional – something that I thought the Owls had a chance to do until failing to get a hit when they needed it the most vs. the Beavers.  
 
Owl Links: Your daily guide to what's being written about the Owls

FAUOwlAccess.com rushed to make it to Gainesville just in time for a 3 hour, 15 minute rain delay. But that was enough to shoot some photos of the Owl fans that also made the trek. As usual, we have the most extensive coverage of the game including a recap, analysis and video highlights of the game.
 
And guess where we’ll be at 1 p.m. today when the Owls play Bethune-Cookman? Back at our seats at the ballpark. See you then.
 
Other linkage…
Here’s how The Oregonian saw it
The Daytona Beach News-Journal had this story on the Wildcats’ 7-3 loss to Florida.
And the AP version, via The Miami Herald
The Montreal Gazette has an update on former FAU linebacker Frantz Joseph
 
Owl Cal: Your calendar to FAU events
Today
1 p.m. Baseball, FAU vs. Bethune-Cookman, NCAA Regionals, Gainesville
Friday's FAU Daily Briefing: Mee returns to national stage

Coach John McCormack has been on this stage before as an assistant, but because it has been since 2005 that the Owls have made a Regional appearance, none of the players know what it’s like to play in NCAA Tournament.

But outfielder-pitcher Andy Mee comes closest to having experience at this level.
Last season around this time, Mee was playing for Santa Fe Community College at the Junior College World Series and he did quite well, being named to the All-Tournament team.
When I talked to Mee earlier this week he was excited to get to play in a national tournament again.
“It might be similar in that there is going to be some good baseball played there and it’s going to be a great atmosphere,” Mee said.
By the way Mee is excited to return to Gainesville. It’s where he met his girlfriend, Casey, and he is expected to have a large group cheering him on. Check out this article about Mee’s return to Gainesville.
“It’s going to be fun,” Mee said. “My junior college coach and (Casey's) family will be there. It’s going to be great to have that many people there.”
Owl Links: Your daily guide to what's being written about the Owls 
At FAU Owl Access.com we have all the bases covered for this week’s Regionals with a special NCAA edition of Owl Talk and our tournament preview complete with our interactive bracket.
We’ve provided the most extensive coverage of FAU baseball all season long and we’re not stopping now. Check back later today as we will begin our marathon coverage of the Gainesville Regional. With recaps, insider analysis, video highlight packages, press conference remarks, photos and more.
Other linkage:

Owl Cal: Your calendar to FAU events

1 p.m. Baseball, FAU vs. Oregon State, NCAA Regionals, Gainesville

 

 

 

FAU-Michigan State to be televised on ESPNU
Florida Atlantic’s game vs. Michigan State to be played at Detroit's Ford Field on Sept. 11 will be televised on ESPNU.
Kickoff for the game has been set for Noon.
The Owls-Spartans game will be the first of two times the Owls will be on ESPNU. FAU’s game against Troy on Dec. 4 is also set to be televised on ESPNU.

The game is a "home" game for FAU, but because of delays in financing a proposed on-campus stadium, FAU moved the game to Detroit,

Thursday's FAU Daily Briefing: FAU Stadium improvements coming soon

Even if the Florida Atlantic baseball team doesn’t make it to the Super Regionals or Omaha, the site of the College World Series, the next few weeks should be a productive period for the Owls.

As we told you in March, construction will begin on long overdue renovations to FAU’s baseball stadium soon after the Owls’ season is finished.
Athletic Director Craig Angelos said the first phase of the $1.8 million project to refurbish the baseball facility will begin in the coming weeks.
The project will be done in three phases with the first phase adding a facade and (finally) restrooms to the stadium. Phase two includes batting cages and the third phase will add a clubhouse and offices to become a true home to FAU baseball.
Once the first phase is underway, Angelos hopes potential donors will get excited about the progress and the success this season, and donate to the program to make sure the second and third phases aren’t too far behind.
“I’m hoping that will work for us and someone can step up,” Angelos said.
FAU is light-years behind other schools in terms of its facility, a huge factor in recruiting. And we’re not talking about the Owls not having as nice as stadium as Florida, Florida State or Miami. The current stadium situation has FAU eating the dust of programs such as Stetson, Central Florida and FIU – all of which are playing in new ballparks or just had major construction projects finished.
Meanwhile FAU’s definition of ballpark improvements has been to empty the Port-O-Lets.
But, it looks like FAU Stadium is about to move out of the stone age – and not a moment too soon.
Owl Links: Your daily guide to what's being written about the Owls
FAUOwlAccess.com examined the recent struggles of FAU’s bullpen.
We also had up-to-the minute updates on the UFL Draft with former Owl OL Carl Spitale taken in the 7th round by Sacramento and DB Corey Small taken in the 9th round by Florida.
Check back later today for Regional coverage on Owl Talk, our weekly podcast and ourt Regional Preview.
Other linkage...
Owl Cal: Your calendar to FAU events
Friday
1 p.m. Baseball, FAU vs. Oregon State, NCAA Regionals, Gainesvill
Former FAU OL Spitale, DB Small taken in UFL Draft

Former FAU offensive lineman Carl Spitale and defensive back Corey Small were selected in the United Football League Draft Wednesday.

Spitale was drafted by the Sacramento Mountain Lions in the seventh round of the UFL Draft on Wednesday night.

Small was taken in the ninth round by the Florida Tuskers.

Spitale had a tryout with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in April after the NFL Draft.

The 6-foot-7, 327-pound Spitale didn’t start until his senior season, but started every game in 2009.

Spitale received a set-back when he slipped while running a drill during FAU’s Pro Day, but performed better when he worked out for the Dolphins. Spitale also worked out for a CFL team.

Small graduated in 2008 and earned a tryout last season for the Redskins after finishing his career with 13 interceptions, second on the FAU all-time list.

Wednesday’s FAU Daily Briefing: Viewing options for this weekend’s Regionals
There is some good news for FAU fans who can’t make the trip to Gainesville.
Just got news that Sun Sports will carry some of the games from Saturday’s Regionals and some games will be available on satellite.
 Here’s the official schedule:

Friday, June 4:  7 p.m. Bethune-Cookman vs. Florida … Nationwide via DirecTV and DISH Network
Saturday, June 5: 1 p.m. - Sun Sports, nationwide
via DirecTV and DISH Network
Saturday, June 5: 7 p.m. - Sun Sports within FL via cable, nationwide
via DirecTV and DISH Network
Sunday, June 6: 1 p.m. - Nationwide via DirecTV and DISH Network …live stream on FoxSportsFlorida.com and GatorZone.com
Sunday, June 6: 7 p.m. - Sun Sports within FL via cable, nationwide via
DirecTV and DISH Network
Monday, June : 7 p.m. - Sun Sports within FL via cable, nationwide via
DirecTV and DISH Network
 
Owl Links: Your daily guide to what's being written about the Owls
FAUOwlAccess.com was the first to report on FAU’s rotation shuffle, and here’s why the Owls are starting Mike Gipson in the first game.
Owl Cal: A daily calendar of FAU events
Friday: Baseball - FAU vs. Oregon St.,  at Gainesville, 1 p.m.
Tuesday’s FAU Daily Briefing: Rose. Smith doing well in Nashville

We've got plenty of baseball coverage coming up, so I think it's OK to have a quick football blog with a loose baseball connection.

When we decided a few weeks ago to cover the Sun Belt Conference baseball tournament in Murfreesboro, Tenn.  one of the first thing I did was check to see if the Titans were having Organized Team Activites that week so we could get an update on former Owls Rusty Smith and Willie Rose.

As luck would have it, they were. As bad luck would have it, Thursday’s OTA was closed to the media. No worries as we set up an interview for Friday in nearby Nashville. However, our luck changed for the better when Rose and Smith showed up at the tournament to cheer on the Owls.
 We talked a little football and of course, fishing – which is abundant in mid-Tennessee. Maybe the two most down to earth players I have known covering the team easily fit in with the laid-back Southern lifestyle.
One other thing that was pretty neat was when I was talking to Rusty a tournament spectator and Titans fan recognized Smith and came up to talk to him.
We gave an update on Rose and will have one on Smith soon. Their uniforms may have changed, but rest assured, they are still the same great guys as when they playing for the Owls.
Owl Links: Your daily guide to what's being written about the Owls
If you have been reading FAUOwlAccess.com the last few days, you knew it was possibility the Owls would be sent to Gainesville instead of Coral Gables. Well, you know what happened. FAU is indeed heading to Gainesville and we were there as the team celebrated another regional bid.
Other linkage...
 
Owl Cal: Your calendar to FAU events
Friday
1 p.m. Baseball, FAU vs. Oregon State, NCAA Regionals, Gainesville

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Go watch college football in Boca. It's that simple. Support your local team and go have a good time!

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Nicely done Jake. Great addition to Owl Access.

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