SEARCH
Join OwlAccess.com today! Members log in now!

Posts from June 2011

Thursday's Daily Briefing: Former Atlantic WR Turner interested in FAU

There are some rumors circulating about former Delray Beach-Atlantic wide receiver Ezekiel Turner, who was recruited by FAU but signed with Florida International as part of the Golden Panthers' 2011 recruiting class.

Turner (photo, with the ball) is not going to attend FIU and has apparently been granted his full release.

I talked with someone who has knowledge of Turner's situation and he told me that Turner is interested in FAU, going so far as to call the coaches to see of something could be worked out. It appears there is some interest from FAU, though it's hard to gauge how much. FAU coaches have been working to ensure their own signing class of 2011 is able to enroll in Summer B session.

FAU does need receivers, but the Owls are expecting to have Stephan Clark, William Dukes, and Derek Moise in fall camp. Is Turner the best of that group? I really don't know.

Could they use Turner? I would think so. The 5-foot-10, 170-pounder was selected a Palm Beach Post First Team player. I've seen him play throughout his high school career, and he's fast, elusive and has pretty good hands.

Turner is still trying to figure out his options. He has offers from I-AA and D II schools. He is also considering enrolling in junior college.

We'll stay on top of this situation and update Owl fans when we get more information.

Owl Links

FAUOwlAccess.com
We finally reached the top of the list, selecting the approval of FAU's new on-campus stadium as the No. 1 FAU sports story over the past year. 
 

Wednesday’s Daily Briefing: South Carolina beats Florida in College World Series to end 2010-11 season

When South Carolina won its second consecutive College World Series title on Tuesday night, I thought immediately of two things.
 

No. 1, UF coach Kevin O’Sullivan, who was on FAU’s coaching staff as an up-and-coming young go-getter in the early 1990s, will have to wait to get his first CWS championship. However, there is no doubt the Gators are on solid footing under O’Sullivan.
 

FAU fans who saw UF pound the Owls early in the season at Roger Dean Stadium can attest to that. But, because of his ties to FAU, it may be difficult for Owl fans to pull against O'Sullivan.
 

No. 2 is that the Gamecocks’ victory officially brings an end to the 2010-11 NCAA college sports season - a season that almost now stretches into July.
 

When people who work in or around college athletics ask “What do you do in the summer” the response is “what summer?”
 

The college sports season just ended, but the next one is just around the corner. The unofficial start to the 2011-12 season will start in just a few weeks later with Sun Belt Media Days reportedly scheduled for mid July - I’m hearing July 18 and 19 with the Sun Belt sticking with an impersonal video conference format.
 

The summers are way too short and the season will be here before we know it.
 

Owl Links
FAUOwlAccess.com

Our continuing series on the top Stories of the Year continues with our No. 2 story, the rise of the basketball program.
 

Tuesday's Daily Briefing: Lights will be used frequently at FAU stadium

When people began talking about putting a football stadium in Boca Raton, I remember there being a concern that the community surrounding the university would fight it because the lights would be too bright, disturbing people trying to sleep and such.

FAU will attempt to alleviate those concerns with the Qualite system that's already been installed is is currently being wired. Each of the 160 lights is focused on a specific aspect of the field, and while the venue will present a glow at night, there will be very little spillage outside the stadium.

“It not only gives you the light where you want it, also keeps it from going where you don't want it,” explained Pat Kinney, Vice President of Hunter Knepshield, which sold the lighting system to FAU.

That could be important because it sounds like those lights will be needed for most events. Games that kickoff at 4 p.m., especially those that begin later in the season, will end near or after nightfall.

And FAU kickoffs won't always be at 4 p.m.

“I can see our games maybe merging into evenings, like 6 o'clock kind of things, because it's so hot around here,” FAU athletic director Craig Angelos said.

Angelos is expecting to be able to attract world class soccer matches to the new stadium and believes those games will likely be played at night. There is also hopes of a bowl or college all-star game in the near future, and even high-profile high school football games.

“The Herbstreit Classic folks have talked to our people about putting a game down here on television,” Angelos said.

There could be a new night life scene in Boca. Bring on the night.

Owl Links
FAUOwlAccess.com
I referred to it above. In case you haven't read it yet, here is the third installment of our weekly series examining different aspects of the new on-campus stadium. On Monday, we looked at the lights.
 

Monday's Daily Briefing: FAU's signees getting early start to 2011 season

In past years FAU has attempted to pick an choose which incoming football players enroll for the Summer B session.

This year FAU expects to have nearly all of the players, including running back Cary White (photo), that signed as part of the Owls' 2011 recruiting class in classrooms when classes begin today.

“We're glad to get them all in here and get them started for the coming season,” FAU defensive coordinator Kurt Van Valkenburgh said. “We think there is a good chunk of talent. We like getting them in here early, getting some basics under them, make sure they are in great shape and see who might have a chance to help the in the fall.”

Van Valkenburgh credits athletic director Craig Angelos with ensuring the extra tuition money was available in the budget to bring so many players in early.

Not only will the incoming freshmen get a head start on their academics, they will also be able to work out with upperclassmen in the weight room and participate in the voluntary, player organized workouts, including 7-on-7s.

“It's a big advantage to have them in at this time,” Van Valkenburgh said. “We've been working toward getting that done. The opportunity presented itself this year and we got it done.”

Van Valkenburgh expects a few members of this class to contribute as true freshman. Coaches will be looking for at least one wide receiver and linebacker and possibly a defensive back to grasp the system quickly enough that they can be a factor this season. No player is entering the summer with the idea that he will automatically redshirt, but linemen on both sides of the ball can usually use the early redshirt year to add bulk.

One player who won't be enrolling is Navarre quarterback Colton Kane. As we told FAU fans back around Signing Day, Kane is going to grayshirt, which means he won't enroll in January.

And for those looking at the basketball roster, Omari Grier, Kelvin Penn and Dragan Sekelja are also expected to take Summer B classes.

Sunday’s Daily Briefing: Harmon to begin CFL season on Toronto’s practice roster

The Canadian Football League begins play on Friday, but don’t look for any FAU players playing north of the border – at least right now.

CFL teams had to finalize their rosters by Saturday and Toronto made moves impacting two former Owls.
 
Tight end Jason Harmon did not make Toronto’s active roster, but did make the Argonauts’ practice squad. Harmon signed with Jacksonville as a free agent last year, but was slowed by injuries and was eventually waived by the Jaguars.
 
Harmon had three catches for 33 yards in the Argos’ two exhibition games.
 
While that news for Harmon isn’t great, it was even worse for former FAU defensive end Michael Hancock who was released by the team.
 
Earlier, Edmonton cut former Owls defensive back Lawrence Gordon.
 
That’s really too bad as the CFL could be getting some added attention if the NFL lockout continues and would have been fun to watch former players getting some action. We’ll keep an eye out for any developments, particularly if Harmon makes the active roster anytime soon.
Saturday’s Daily Briefing: Women’s World Cup also has an FAU angle

As you may or may not know, the Women’s World Cup begins today and it will provide another FAU angle to a semi-major sporting event.

 
The USA team features players such as Abby Wambach, Christie Rampone and keeper Hope Solo.
No, they didn’t play for FAU, but they do play at FAU – for the magicJack of the Women’s Professional Soccer League, which calls Boca Raton home.
 
Dale Long at FAU Sports Information put together a Q&A with Owls women’s soccer coach Brian Dooley and here is an excerpt.
 
Q: Several U.S. women's national team members also play for magicJack, which play its home matches at Florida Atlantic University. Do you see the interest level in women's soccer increasing in the South Florida region because these top-tier players are playing in Boca Raton?
 
A: Having these players on the magicJack team certainly gives the South Florida community the opportunity to see the world's best players right here on our campus. Role models for young female soccer players are here. It will serve to inspire the next generation of regional stars. Abby Wambach, Hope Solo, Christie Rampone, Shannon Boxx, Becky Saurbrunn and Jill Loyden understand the impact they can have as ambassadors for the game in the area.
 
You can read the entire interview on FAUSports.com by clicking here.
 
The magicJack made some headlines earlier in the year with the unusual way the franchise is run, but the product on the field apparently is first-class. The national team players will be back after the World Cup is over and it just might be worth taking in a match.
 
Owl Links
FAUOwlAccess.com
Former FAU pitcher Brandon Kloess was the subject of the latest installment of our summer series, Former Owl Friday.
Friday’s Daily Briefing: Jarvis coached father of top draft pick at BU

I can’t help myself from always trying to find an FAU angle when watching a sporting event. I’m always looking for an athlete who played against the Owls in college or a coach that used to coach with Howard Schnellenberger back in the day. The more obscure the better.

However it took my friend Evan Cohen of ESPN760 and WPTV Ch. 5 to come up with a really good FAU connection for last night’s NBA Draft.
No, Owl fans, you didn’t miss Brett Royster taken late in the second round. And until Evan passed this along, the best Owl angle I had was Kentucky’s Brandon Knight, taken at No. 8 by the Pistons, playing a high school game broadcast on ESPN2 at The Burrow in February 2010 for Pine Crest against Winter Park.
But Evan topped that by informing me that the father of Duke’s Kyrie Irving, the top pick in the draft, played at Boston University for none other than Owls coach Mike Jarvis. Drederick Irving was the top scorer and captain on some of talented BU teams including one that faced Duke in the 1988 NCAA Tournament.
Here’s a story I found on the Irvings and I’d say that’s a pretty good connection.
Owl Links
FAUOwlAccess.com
We continued our series of the top FAU stories of the year with our No. 3 story, the selection of Rob Housler by the Cardinals in the NFL Draft.
Thursday’s Daily Briefing: A pre-season look worth a look

This is the time of year when everyone is an “expert” and it seems like everyone with access to the internet  has a prediction on what kind of year FAU will have.

Never mind the fact that many of the experts have never seen the Owls play a game or spent a minute on campus. No, you don’t have to attend every practice to give an opinion (of course, we do just to make sure) but a little research would be much appreciated.
There are exceptions to the rule and some out there do their homework. Phil Steele and Paul Myerberg of the Pre-snap Read come to mind.
I may add my man Danny Hobrock to the short list. At least he passes the preliminary test of showing he did his research by contacting the experts of FAU football (us, of course ) for help in his write-up.
You can read his breakdown complete with an excerpt by our Chuck King by clicking here.
FAUOwlAccess.com
After a break, we continued our series looking at the biggest FAU stories of the year. This installment features FAU’s victory over FIU in the Shula Bowl.
Wednesday's Daily Briefing: FAU fans like video board's palm trees

We expected a large response from Monday's stadium story about the new video scoreboard, and that's exactly what happened.

I spent several hours on campus after publishing the story and most of my conversations invariably turned to the video board. Daktronics did such a nice job creating that simulation that FAU fans seem to be even more anxious to see it live.

On a personal note, it was pretty cool to some of our FAUOwlAccess.com video used to create the simulation.

Aside from being wowed by the size of the video board and the different looks it presents, many people commented on the palm trees attached to the video board. That should please the folks at Daktronics and FAU.

“I'll tell you right now, I don't think we've ever done LED lit palm trees before. I can't wait to see this thing light  up,” Daktronics project manager Thomas Westman said. “Of this entire project, those palm trees were probably the most intricate to design. I don't know that many have done this before in this kind of a way.”

What made the design so intricate was the decision to outline the individual palm fronds with LEDs. You'll notice in the video that the palms are back lit in either red, blue or green.

Most who talked with me agree that the changing colors enhance the look of the video board, and the palms add to the Football in Paradise feel.

“We did have that in mind as we continued to brainstorm about this stadium, while looking to create a beach club theme,” FAU athletic director Craig Angelos said.

Incidentally, Angelos also said they are looking at ways to get actual live palm trees as close to the field as safely possible. The open corners on the sides of the student section are the likely destination.

Even if FAU doesn't pull that off, FAU fans should be truly excited about the way this stadium is starting to look.

I had my doubts about how state-of-the-art FAU could make its stadium and still remain within budget. Final judgment can't be made until we see the video board live, but at this point Angelos, the rest of FAU's stadium planners, Daktronics and Balfour Beatty appear to have given FAU's stadium a wonderful focal point that will not only excite fans, it will be the talk of the South Florida recruiting trail.

Owl Links
FAUOwlAccess.com
FAU coaches are trying to get as much information about the 3-4 defense as possible. Tuesday's story detailed the defensive coaches' trip to Davie to swap ideas with Dolphins defensive coordinator Mike Nolan.

Tuesday's Daily Briefing: Rusty Smith back on FAU campus teaching young QBs

It wasn't long ago that Rusty Smith sought help refining his throwing motion. Now Smith is passing that knowledge on to younger quarterbacks.

Smith, who combined his refined throwing motion with his experiences at FAU to become the first former Owl drafted by the NFL, is back in Boca Raton as a guest instructor at the FINESSE youth football camp held on campus.

Monday afternoon he teamed with another former FAU quarterback – current Owls quarterback coach  Jared Allen - to help young quarterbacks develop their skills (photo).

“I wouldn't say that I'm the most perfect example to learn from, but I have enough knowledge now that I can help out the next generation of quarterbacks,” said Smith. “I think it's good now because I'm learning from Jared, who has some coaching under his belt. I want to eventually get into coaching, and just listening to how he talks to the kids and teaches the kids, and what he knows, it's good to hear what he has to say.”

Smith has been trying to make the most of the extra time off provided by the NFL lockout. He's been working out with about 15-20 of his Tennessee teammates at a high school in Nashville. Titans players also organized their own mini-camp featuring about 50 players.

He even had the opportunity to meet with new Titans offensive coordinator Chris Palmer a couple times.

“I like him, he's a good guy,” Smith said. “I wish I was in there learning from him, but unfortunately we're not allowed to do that right now.”

Smith doesn't have the new playbook yet, but he's been told that the new offense will feature similar terminology to that of last season.

One plus from the lockout? Smith and wife Nicole were able to take part in the wedding of his former center, Nick Paris, this weekend.

It's also given him time to check out the progress being made on the construction of FAU's new football stadium. He toured the facility with Nicole on Monday.

“I think it's beautiful,” Smith said. “I hope that I can make it for one of the games this year, preferably the home opener, but  I really want to make it to one of the games so badly.”

Owl Links
FAUOwlAccess.com
FAU fans are buzzing about the secnd installment of our series about the new on-campus football stadium. On Monday we featured the new video board, and if you haven't seen the video that goes with the story, you are really missing out.

Monday’s Daily Briefing: FAU’s Team Camp wraps up on Sunday

Florida Atlantic wrapped up its Football in Paradise Team Camp on Sunday with Miami’s Belen Jesuit bringing home the team championship. 

There were more than 500 players at the three-day event and there were several players who caught the eye of the coaching staff and potentially earned a scholarship offer from the Owls.
 
Here’s a few notes and observations from Sunday’s camp…
  •  American Heritage made it to the finals despite missing several players including running back Greg Bryant and wide receiver-safety Cameron Posey. Bryant’s absence opened the door for running back Jeremy Gaskins (pictured) to get plenty of work. Gaskins is being heavily recruited by the Owls as well as Middle Tennessee, Vanderbilt, North Carolina State and Cincinnati.
  • One of the top players’ FAU was looking at Belen Jesuit was linebacker Alfonso Horner, who is learning a new position after playing defensive end last season.
  • Another American Heritage player who turned some heads this weekend was offensive lineman Kelly Parfait, who may have played well enough to earn an offer from the Owls. The 6-5, 285-pound Parfait played on the same line last year at American Heritage with FAU signee Robby Nasiff.

You can check out a photo gallery of Sunday's action by clicking here.

Sunday’s Daily Briefing: Jupiter's Cameron could be only QB to get an FAU offer

Jupiter senior quarterback Tyler Cameron had another good showing at FAU’s Football in Paradise Team Camp on Saturday.
 

It was almost a repeat of his performance at last year’s team camp when he impressed the Owls’ coaching staff to earn an offer.
 

A year later, Cameron is still being recruited by FAU.
 

“I saw them in the spring and I’m still talking to them so, it’s all good,” Cameron said.
 

The difference is Cameron now holds offers from Boston College, Kentucky, Michigan State, North Carolina State, Purdue Tennessee and Wake Forest - and several others.
 

If FAU were to somehow land Cameron, the Owls would be glad to have him. If not, does FAU really need a quarterback with five scholarship quarterbacks on the roster next season?
 

I’m thinking if Cameron commits to the Owls, they would take him, but if not FAU may consider not recruiting a quarterback this year.


Here are some other notes and observations from FAU’s team camp on Saturday... 

  • The camp started a little late for FAU to make an impression on South Fort Myers cornerback Nate Dortch. Dortch was being  heavily recruited by the Owls, but Dortch made a commitment to North Carolina on Thursday, the day before FAU’s camp started.
  • The Owls also could have used the camp to get to know safety Jordan Diggs better. Diggs holds an offer from FAU, but wasn’t at the camp this weekend with Bishop Verot because he has transferred to Cape Coral-Island Coast, which is not participating at the team camp.
  • The champion of the camp will be determined in a quick tournament beginning at 9:50 a.m.today. Last year’s champion, Port St. Luce Centennial, is back to defend its title. 
     
Saturday’s Daily Briefing: FAU football camp brings in more than 500 players

Florida Atlantic’s annual Football in Paradise Team Camp began Friday with 14 teams and more than 500 players in attendance.

The camp continues today and concludes on Sunday.
 
Here’s a few notes and observations from Friday’s camp…
 
  • It’s another strong year for the camp, with Delray-Beach-American Heritage, Belen Jesuit, Fort Myers-Bishop Verot, Port St. Luce-Centennial, Clewiston, Cooper City, Ferguson, Naples-Gulf Coast, Hallandale, Jupiter, Lake Worth, Moore Haven, South Fort Myers, Spanish River and Wellington in attendance. Last year there were 15 teams, but this year’s participation is pretty good considering it’s going head-to-head with the Heath Evans 7-on-7 event in West Palm Beach.
Friday’s Daily Briefing: Bowl schedule announced

Even if you don’t think FAU will be playing in a bowl game this season – and I hope you don't mind if we here at FAUOwlAccess.com won’t write off the Owls until they are mathematically eliminated from bowl contention – the official release of the bowl schedule should be of some interest.

The Football Bowl Association announced dates, game times  and TV coverage for the 35 bowl games this morning.
 
Wait, scratch that. That’s 34 bowls that have set their dates, with one bowl yet to commit. Care to guess which conference is affiliated with that bowl? If you answered “The Sun Belt” you are correct.

I’m not sure why, but The GoDaddy.com Bowl in Mobile, Ala. Is the lone bowl game not to have its date set. It’s not necessarily that the management of the bowl has other worries right now, although it looks like that could be the case. It also could have to do with the NFL lockout and scheduling since the game is rumored to be played on Jan. 8, which is on a Sunday.
 
The Sun Belt’s other bowl game, the New Orleans Bowl, is set to be played at 9 p.m. on Dec. 17, which is a Saturday. The game will be televised on ESPN.
 
Here’s a link to the entire (except for the GoDaddy.com Bowl) 2011-12 Bowl Schedule in a printable format.
 
Owl Links
FAUOwlAccess.com
We continued our countdown of the year’s biggest FAU stories. The latest installment is the Owls’ game vs. Michigan State in Detroit, our No. 5 Story of the Year.

 

Thursday's Daily Briefing: FAU's Groody among top punters in nation

FAU fans, admit it. When perusing the college football magazines for information about FAU, you probably start at the bottom and work your way up. Heck, in some cases, you can start at the bottom and stay there. Yes, that’s right, the venerable staff at Athlon’s had deemed FAU No. 120, - dead last in the national rankings. I would love to ask the writer about the prediction, but since I’ve never seen a writer from Athlon’s on campus, it will likely be a lengthy wait.

But I digress.
 
There is perhaps some good news in the magazines this summer and it comes from one of the few sources who actually does his homework – Phil Steele. Steele’s magazine, available at newsstands, has FAU ranked in the top 25 in one important, but overlooked category. Owls punter Mickey Groody is ranked as the 16th best punter in the nation.
 
That’s a pretty good honor for Groody, the first specialist to earn a scholarship at FAU. Groody has steadily improved since arriving on campus and is poised to have a breakout season. Let’s hope the average is high, but the attempts are low for one of the nicest guys on the team.
 
Owl Links
FAUOwlAccess.com
We began our annual end-of-the-school year series of looking at the top stories of the year. Our first entry started our Top 10 countdown with stories 10-6.
Wednesday's Daily Briefing: Ash garners attention for FAU that the Owls don’t need

On Monday afternoon it was reported by several news outlets, including this one, that FAU redshirt freshman Cortez Ash was taken into custody and charged with two felonies and a misdemeanor stemming from theft of copper wire from a Vero Beach salvage yard.

By Tuesday, the story of Ash’s arrest got out and made national news. When I woke up it was the lead story on CollegeFootballTalk.com and was also featured on EveryDayShouldBeSaturday.com, both blogs with large followings. The story has also been on CBSSports.com and TheSportingNews.com.
 
It appears the reason the arrest caught the attention of so many across the nation was the nature of the crime. Not only was Ash accused of swiping some 400 pounds of copper wire from a junkyard, but  also of returning to the place where he stole it to try and sell it back.
 
That’s the kind of shenanigans that land you on World’s Dumbest Criminals and is definitely not the kind of headline FAU needs right now.
 
And since so many new people are paying attention to the Owls this week it should be noted that FAU’s football program is not teeming with criminals. I have covered the program since 1998 – three years before the first game – and I can count on one hand the number of players who I have reported that have been arrested and this is just the second in about the last five years.
 
Also give FAU credit here. Once Ash’s arrest became public, Owls coach Howard Schnellenberger was quickly reached and made a public comment on Monday night.
 
While Schnellenberger said he would be paying close attention to what happens, my guess is Ash, who was expected to battle for playing time at free safety this fall, will eventually face some sort of suspension. However, in the grand scheme of things, this was not a violent crime – just a dumb one. Plenty could happen with this case and it could be a wake-up call to Ash.
 
 
Please, let’s not write him off just yet.
 
Owl Links
FAUOwlAccess.com
In baseball news, FAU pitcher Paul Davis made it official. As expected Davis signed with the Giants. We talked to Davis and Owls coach John McCormack about the status of next year’s rotation for this story.
Tuesday's Daily Briefing: We're talking stadium

There are so many interesting facts and facets of FAU's new on-campus stadium that at times it's hard to figure out where to put them all.

For example, in yesterday's first article we talked about the process of installing the playing field. Here are a couple more facts about the field:

  • The grass itself cost $32,135.
  • There will be 40 sprinkler heads used to water the field.
  • If laid in a straight line, the drainage pipes would extend for more than 1.3 miles.


In the weeks to come we'll bring FAU fans all kinds of fun facts about their new stadium. Every week we hope to give FAU fans a feel for what it will be like to experience a game in the new home of the Owls. We also intend to take fans into the thinking behind some of the choices made for each feature.

From a personal standpoint, I'm really looking forward to working on this series because every time I'm escorted through the construction site I'm struck by some new addition and the reasoning behind it (The red seats in the student section are for the band, and those seats won't have backs, with the intention of affording band members more freedom when moving with their instruments).

We hope you will enjoy reading this series as much as we look forward to putting it together. In the meantime, I'll leave you with this little nugget:

In the first week in July, the Balfour Beatty folks intend to begin expanding the Spanish River entrance to campus. In the photo to the right, the area covered with a black tarp will be turned into a four-lane road (two lanes each direction). This portion of the road will bend around and connect with the current entrance/exit. Summer construction will also widen the current entrance/exit into two lanes each way. They expect all four lanes to be open by the Oct. 15 first game.

Owl Links
FAUOwlAccess.com
If you haven't had the opportunity to see our story about the stadium's progress, take a moment, now. Opening day is that much closer.

The news wasn't all good for FAU fans on Monday. Late in the afternoon Marcus Nelson updated his blog detailing the circumstances that led to Florida Atlantic safety Cortez Ash being charged with burglary with a comment from FAU coach Howard Schnellenberger.

FAU DB Cortez Ash charged in copper wire theft

Updated at 5:47 p.m. FAU redshirt freshman Cortez Ash was taken into custody by the Indian River County Sherriff’s Office over the weekend and is a suspect in the theft of 400 pounds of copper wire, Scripps Treasure Coast newspapers reported on its web site Monday.

Citing IRSD affadavits, the newspaper reported on TCPalm.com that Ash and another individual returned to the same scrap yard where they allegedly stole the copper wire, valued at $1.260, a few hours before and tried to sell it.
 
Security cameras show two individuals at Indian River Scrap in Vero Beach stole a large amount of scrap metal around 3:15 a.m. on Saturday.
 
A few hours after the theft was reported, Ash (shown here in his booking photo obtained by TCPalm.com) and another man allegedly showed up at the site and attempted to sell the metal back to them, the paper reported.
 
The business owner said he recognized Ash and Donovan Roberts from the surveillance video and called 911.
 
Roberts told detectives he acted alone in the theft, but police took Ash and Roberts into custody.
 
Both Ash and Roberts were charged with burglary of a business, third-degree grand theft and dealing in stolen property. The paper said Ash was released on $7,500 bail.
 
Ash, a graduate of Sebastian River, red-shirted last season but received extensive playing time in the spring. He is expected to compete for playing time this fall as redshirt freshman.
 
FAU coach Howard Schnellenberger responded to Ash's arrest late Monday afternoon.
 
“Naturally, I’m disturbed to hear about the arrest of one of our freshmen football players,” Schnellenberger said in a statement. “Needless to say there is much more to be done in the investigation. We will follow the proceedings closely and will determine what actions should be taken.”
 
 
 
Monday’s Daily Briefing: A few notes from FAU’s Developmental Camp

FAU held its first camp of the summer of the summer on Sunday when around 150 high school players showed for the Owls’ one-day Developmental Camp at the Oxley Practice Fields.

 Among those were players who have been offered by FAU, such as Fort White receiver Alphonso Legree, and many others who the Owls are still evaluating.
 
Here’s a few notes from the camp...
 
  • Players came from as far as Georgia’s Lowndes County High School for the camp including 6-2, 260-pound DT James Mathis, who is being heavily recruited by the Owls. 
  • Also in attendance was cornerback Jhvavon Williams, who has already received an offer from Kentucky. Williams played last season for Delray Beach-American Heritage, but said he will be playing for Palm Beach Central this fall.
  • The camp actually came to an end early because FAU coach Howard Schnellenberger wanted the campers to get a closer look at the on-campus stadium.
  • The camp season continues next weekend when FAU will hold its team camp, with 14 teams expected.
  • We’ve updated our Recruiting Board to include 60 players who have been offered by FAU. Our Owl Access Pass holders can check it out by clicking here. To get your Owl Access Pass, click here.
 
 
Sunday's Daily Briefing: FAU holds first football camp of summer today

Today marks the beginning of another season for FAU football.

That's right. It's camp season.

There are several camps coming up for high school players in the next few weeks at the Oxley, but it all starts today with FAU’s one-day Developmental Camp
 
Around 150 players are expected to be on campus today going through team and individual drills under the watchful eye of the Owls’ coaches. We’ll be there to see which players catch the eye of the coaching staff as they evaluate the players and look for possible recruits.
Saturday's Daily Briefing: FAU basketball camp benefiting from successful season

If it seemed that the athletic side of campus appeared younger and more spry on Friday, there was good reason.

The Mike Jarvis Team Camp brought 46 of Florida's best high school teams to Boca Raton this weekend, including Dillard, Ely, Boyd Anderson, Pine Crest, St. Andrew's, Grandview, St. Thomas Aquinas, Hialeah Gardens, Dwyer, and last year's champion, University School.

Like many things over at The Burrow, the camp is benefiting from FAU's recent success on the hardwood. Last year only 33 teams played in what is essentially one great big high school basketball tournament. Jarvis' first year? Only about 20.

“You never know who your are going to see when you have a team camp – there is always a chance you are going to see someone you want,” said Jarvis, who was present courtside shaking hands with the high school coaches while following the action.

“It's not as much about recruiting as it is about building the brand, building the program and opening The Burrow to kids and to the parents, and hopefully they will come back to a game this season.”

It's also beneficial to the program's bottom line. Each participating school pays an entry fee of $450.

The camp has become one of the biggest in the state of Florida, so big in fact that it is spreading throughout Boca Raton. At any given moment, there are seven games being played, three on the courts of The Burrow, one at nearby Grandview High School, two more at Pope John Paul II High School, with some games mixed in at the FAU rec center or Spanish River Church.

I spent some time at The Burrow on Friday – the photos are from the Ely-Hialeah Gardens game – and was struck by how efficiently everything moved.

There was some pretty good high school basketball being played, too.

“The fact that we have been able to branch out to Dade and Broward counties, and we have teams from Orlando coming, it just shows that our exposure across the state really took off after winning this season,” camp director Pete Gash said.

The camp continues today, with the championship being decided Sunday evening. It's open to the public, so if you want to get a look at players who might someday don an Owls uniform, or even some future FAU students, head on over.

Owl Links
FAUOwlAccess.com
Summer Fridays bring forth a new installment of Former Owl Friday. The week we caught up with Jeff Fiorentino, whose kept travel agents busy over the past couple years.

Friday's Daily Briefing: Jarvis II a candidate for head coaching job at Boston U

It's always been assumed that FAU basketball coach Mike Jarvis has been developing a program that would ultimately be taken over by his son, associate head coach Mike Jarvis II.

Deuce may take over a program previously coached by his father even earlier than expected.

FAUOwlAccess.com has learned  that the younger Jarvis is one of the leading candidates for the currently vacant head coaching position at Boston University.

Deuce played for BU, where his father coached from 1985-90. He's also been an assistant at George Washington, Drexel, St. John's and Duke before rejoining his father at FAU.

Another top candidate, Maryland assistant Scott Spinelli, played for the elder Jarvis at BU.

BU is expected to make the decision quickly. We'll keep FAU fans apprised of any new developments.

Should Deuce get the job, he'd be the second FAU assistant to leave Boca Raton this off-season. Matt McCall recently moved back to Gainesville to join Billy Donovan's staff at Florida.

Owl Links

FAUOwlAccess
We delved into the new football stadium ticket distribution plan with this story yesterday.

Thursday's Daily Briefing: DelGuidice agrees to deal with Kansas City

FAU shortstop Nick DelGuidice sat near his computer for the final 20 rounds of the MLB Draft on Wednesday, never hearing his name called.

Not long afterward a Kansas City representative surprised him with a phone call.

“I figured he was going to talk about the draft, but he said he had good news,” DelGuidice said.

The Royals offered DelGuidice a free agent contract, which he gladly accepted. DelGuidice (photo, making a throw against Miami) will head to Kansas City's spring training complex this weekend to sign the deal.

A phone call from any team would have pleased DelGuidice, but the fact that he'll be a Royal offers extra reason for excitement. DelGuidice spent about seven years as youth baseball teammate of Eric Hosmer, who is enjoying a breakout rookie season with the big league club.

“I might have a chance to play with him up there one day,” said DelGuidice, who holds the Owls' all-time record for doubles.

Fellow senior Dan Scheffler actually received a call from a Colorado scout before the start of today's action relaying the Rockies' intent to select him on Wednesday, but the Owls' first baseman, along with seniors Andy Mee and Colby Gratton are still looking for contract offers.

Scheffler said he's only interested in playing for an affiliated minor league team, but Mee and Gratton said they would be willing to give independent ball a try if that was their only option.

“If it comes down to it I would consider it,” Mee said. “I'm just hoping for that one phone call.”

Owl Links
FAUOwlAccess.com
One day after having ace Paul Davis, second baseman Raymond Church and top prospect Alex Santana  selected, FAU only heard the name of one more signee called. Here's the story.

Wednesday’s Daily Briefing: More FAU games likely coming to TV

It was certainly good news for Florida Atlantic fans to hear that the Owls’ game at Michigan State on Sept. 10 will be televised nationally on either ESPN or ESPN2.

 I don’t think it will be the last time FAU fans will be able to see the Owls on TV this season.
 
The Sun Belt will announce the total TV schedule in late July and the Owls will likely be on it since the Sun Belt likes to show each of its teams at least once on their regional package.
 
Also, expect the Florida-FAU on Sept. 3 game to be shown on TV. Perhaps on Pay-per-View, since it appears the SEC Network will show Kent State at Alabama and ESPN will show Utah State at Auburn and BYU at Ole Miss that day.
 
The same goes for the FAU-Auburn game on Sept.  24. Right now only one game involving an SEC team (LSU-West Virginia) is set for TV that weekend, but that will change. There are some pretty good games that day (Arkansas-Alabama, Georgia-Ole Miss and Florida-Kentucky) will get picked up before the Tigers-Owls. Still there is a chance for Pay-Per-View that weekend.
 
We’ll keep you informed on any announcements concerning TV coverage for FAU football this season, but don't worry Owl fans,  it’s a safe bet there are more TV games coming this season.
 
Owl Links
FAUOwlAccess.com
We were monitoring Tuesday’s draft and talked to Paul Davis and Raymond Church soon after they were drafted.
FAU-Michigan State to be televised on ESPN or ESPN2

ESPN has announced the Owls’ game at Michigan State on Sept. 10 will kickoff at Noon and will be televised on ESPN or ESPN2.

This will the third consecutive time the Spartans and Owls have been televised on an ESPN network.

Last season's game between FAU and Michigan State, was played in Detroit and was televised on ESPNU.

 

Tuesday's Daily Briefing: McCormack anxious, excited for MLB draft

Draft days are bittersweet for FAU baseball coach John McCormack. On the one hand, he hopes FAU's seniors get their name called and can continue their baseball careers.

On the other, McCormack stands to lose some of his best players. College juniors are eligible to be selected in the draft, which started with the first round on Monday and continues today and tomorrow, so the Owls are likely to lose pitcher Paul Davis to the pros. High school players are also eligible, so McCormack could lose chunks of what appears to be a pretty solid recruiting class.

Case in point, Cape Coral-Mariner's Alex Santana (photo), who is being told he could be selected from the second to fifth round. Should that happen, the 6-foot-4, 200 pound third baseman who hit .402 with four homers and 29 RBI as a senior will have a hard time turning down what will be a pretty good sized check.

“He told me all along that he has a figure in mind – he didn't tell me the figure – and if it was met  he would play professional baseball,” McCormack said.

Santana might not be the only signee the Owls lose. Junior college transfer Kyle Newton could go between rounds 10 and 15, and Naples-Golden Gate pitcher Alex Viera could go between rounds 10-20, McCormack said.

McCormack is already making contingency plans should those players end up signing with Major League farm teams. He said there are several quality players still waiting to sign with a program. Though they aren't second-round talents, some are waiting to see whether the draft opens a spot at schools in the SEC or other major conferences.

If it doesn't, those players could fall into FAU's lap.

The Owls have already added one additional signee for this current signing period – St. Petersburg Community College's Mike Sylvestri – and will be looking to add at least one more pitcher over the summer.

For these next two days, however, McCormack and the coaching staff will be monitoring the draft.

“There's excitement, there's anticipation,” McCormack said of the coming days. “I'm nervous just like the seniors are. Hopefully they go. I'm anxious to see where Paul Davis goes. I'm also anxious to see what happens around the league.”

Owl Links
FAUOwlAccess.com
On Monday we looked at what Paul Davis and several FAU seniors are expecting from this week's draft. Here's the story.

Monday's Daily Briefing: Ogbonda's commitment provides strong foundation

When building a recruiting class, sometimes the toughest commit to get is the first one.

In defensive end Shalom Ogbonda (rushing the passer in photo, right), FAU appears to have exactly the kind of player that could start a domino effect. Ogbonda was already receiving interest from BCS schools before he committed to FAU. Now FAU coaches can go to other recruits with tangible proof that FAU can be a first-choice destination.

Ogbonda realizes that his commitment could make it easier for other football players to choose FAU.

“It's a good thing, especially if it's coming from out of state,” said Ogbonda, who was born in England but now lives in Sugar Land, Texas.

The 16-year-old seemed genuinely excited about coming to FAU, selecting the school as much for its academic program as its football program.

Could he change his mind before February's National Signing Day? Sure. There's always that potential in this process.

For the moment, at least, Ogbonda says talk of his commitment not being strong comes from reporters who doubt that a player receiving interest from SEC schools would actually chose to play in Boca Raton.

“They are calling it a soft verbal commit because I'm from Texas and I'm so heavily recruited that I will change my mind,” Ogbonda said. “I believe it is strong enough. There's no reason for me to de-commit.”

As a final note, Ogbonda mentioned FAU's upcoming schedule more than once. While he likes the idea of playing big name schools, what really impressed Ogbonda was the attitude of the coaching staff – that FAU intends to beat those schools.

“(FAU has) the hunger to beat the best. That's as good as it gets for me.” Ogbonda said.

Now that the Owls have their first commitment, FAU has a far better opportunity to see how many other recruits feel the same way.

Owl Links

FAUOwlAccess.com
We talked to Ogbonda on Sunday to find out what factors went into his decision to commit to FAU. Here is the story. And here is Ogbonda's video.

Sunday’s Daily Briefing: FAU brings in VIPs for look at stadium construction

It’s not just FAUOwlAccess that is getting up-close-and-personal looks at the construction of the new FAU football stadium these days. FAU recently had some community and business leaders on campus to check out the progress of the stadium.

In addition to FAU President Mary Jane Saunders, football coach Howard Schnellenberger (Photo of Charles Siemon, Barbara Schmidt, Schnellenberger, Dick Schmidt and Wendy Larse)  and athletics director Craig Angelos, more than 100 guests attended a party for the stadium held at Marleen and Harold Forkas Alumni Center. There was music, cocktails, hors d’oeuvres and, of course, a tour of the stadium.
 
It's great to see so many decision-makers support this project. The more community and business leaders get invlolved with Boca Raton's hometown team, the quicker the program will take the next step
 
Among those in attendance were:
  • Boca Raton Mayor Susan Whelchel
  • City Furniture President Keith Koenig
  • Rick Case Automotive Group owners Rick and Rita Case
  • Steve Schmidt, president of the North American Business Solutions Division for Office Depot
  • Laura and Skip Stoltz, owners of Brewzzi Restaurants and Stoltz Companies
  • FAU benefactors Richard and Barbara Schmidt
  • Marleen Forkas
  • Eleanor Baldwin
  • FAU Board of Trustees member Tom Workman
  • FAU National Alumni Association Board of Directors Chair Romayne Berry
 
Owl Links
 
FAU signee Omari Grier, gets mentioned in the article from the Philadelphia Daily News on postgtraduate prep schools
Saturday's Daily Briefing: Crotta could be pitching in Palm Beach County soon

One of the sure signs that summer is upon at FAUOwlAccess.com is the debut of Former Owl Friday, which hit the site yesterday for the first time this year.

For our readers, the onset of summer doesn't initiate a lack of stories. Now in its third year, Former Owl Friday has generated enough of a following that many fans asked me throughout the spring when the first edition of 2011 would make its appearance.

This year's debut story marked a first in the series – the first time we talked with a player currently on a major league roster. Mike Crotta (photo) became the sixth former Owl to reach the big leagues when his name appeared on Pittsburgh's opening day roster. After a strong first couple weeks, Crotta got roughed around a little bit and is now on the disabled list.

The silver lining for FAU fans and friends is that Pittsburgh now has a Florida State League affiliate – the Bradenton Marauders. Crotta expects to start throwing bullpen sessions this weekend, and he could make a few rehab appearances for the Marauders.

Well, the Marauders just happen to be making the trip across the state for a three-game series at Jupiter beginning on Wednesday. As of Thursday, Crotta wasn't sure whether he'd be making that trip. Many big league clubs are reluctant to send their rehabbing players on the road with minor league teams, preferring to have them throw in Gulf Coast League games. The Gulf Coast League, however, doesn't start for another couple weeks, so if Crotta stays in Bradenton he'll be pitching in an extended spring game.

Since those games are exhibitions, if the Pirates want to judge Crotta's progress in a real game setting, they might choose to send him to Palm Beach County.

We'll keep FAU fans updated on Crotta's progress and as the series gets closer we'll let you know if he is going to be in Jupiter.

In the mean time, you can keep track of Crotta and the 15 other former Owls currently playing professional baseball on our Owls in the Pros page.

Owl Links
FAUOwlAccess.com
As noted before, summer isn't dull at our end of the world. On Friday we provided an update on pitcher Mike Crotta.

Other linkage
The Tennessean offered its own version of Former Owl Friday with this story about Rusty Smith.

And for FAU fans looking to experience a little schadenfreude, here is the AP's story detailing FIU's loss in the first game of the North Carolina Regional.
 

Friday’s Daily Briefing: Little Caesars Bowl could be through with Sun Belt

Could the Sun Belt Conference be losing one of its bowl partners?

It could if a report out of Detroit is accurate that says the Little Caesars Bowl is through with its backup agreement with the Sun Belt Conference.
 
Since the Sun Belt has agreements with the GoDaddy.com Bowl in Mobile, Ala. and the New Orleans Bowl, that would guarantee only two Sun Belt teams make it to a bowl game this year.
 
On its face, that would seem to be bad news, but I’m not so sure this is a bad thing as far as FAU is concerned.
 
With three bowl agreements in place last year, the Sun Belt Conference sat idly by as the New Orleans Bowl and the GoDaddy.com Bowl passed on taking Florida International - the conference champion.
 
The reasoning was that as long as the conference champion was accommodated, it could be sent to the third-rate bowl while Troy was able to go to the New Orleans Bowl, the traditional site for the Sun Belt Champion.
 
The reasoning, as anyone will tell you, is that the bowl muckety-mucks don’t think they can sell tickets to fans of FIU – or FAU. So, fans of the Panthers or the Owls, were destined to become regular visitors to the Motor City when either team finishes in the Top 3.
 
But if the Little Caesars Bowl pulls out of an agreement with the Sun Belt, that would theoretically eliminate Detroit as an option and the champion would rightfully be in New Orleans or perhaps Mobile.
 
It could haunt FAU or FIU, but it’s only right that if either of those teams win a title they have a chance to play in New Orleans. That was never going to happen as along as Detroit was an option. So forgive me if I don’t get misty-eyed if the Sun Belt and Little Caesars agreement is kaput.
 
Owl Links
FAUOwlAccess.com
Since the 2010-11 season is over for FAU’s sports team, we take a look at how each team fared.
Thursday's Daily Briefing: See the Sea video from FAU's stadium

Wednesday's high point was way above sea level.

Ever since the stadium proposal passed, I've been looking forward to stepping into the press box, looking east and gazing toward the Atlantic ocean.

Yesterday I finally got my chance. Put together this quick video to show some of the views inside the stadium. Folks, the view is every bit awesome as you would hope.

 

You can actually see the Atlantic from the top level of the stands, though just barely. The press box is the top level of the tower, which is where much of the video is taken. Teams will actually shoot their video from up on the roof, so the view there will be even better for a select few.

I doubt you'll ever be able to see surfers, but even medium sized boats can be spotted on the horizon.

At its current pace the stadium is going to be all but finished about a month before it's scheduled to open, so at this point it would seem to be able to overcome some of those minor construction delays that always seem to crop up. So far, though, the planners and construction workers should be praised.

Believe it or not, work is going to become even more furious. Workers are close to entering 24/7 mode, which means there will be activity at the stadium around the clock.

Hope you enjoy the video as much as I enjoyed putting it together. From everything I've seen so far, this stadium will likely exceed all but the loftiest expectations.

Owl Links
FAUOwlAccess.com
We told FAU fans about Andre Allen, a running back from the panhandle who de-committed from Ole Miss last week and will be on FAU's campus this weekend. Think he'll visit the stadium?

Wednesday's Daily Briefing: Changes could be coming for Sun Belt Baseball Tournament

On paper, the new format for the Sun Belt Conference baseball tourney, and its system of pool play rather than double elimination, appeared to be a step in the right direction.

In practicality, it was a flop.
 
The No. 8 seed, UALR, won the tournament and there were a slew of “meaningless” games played as the Trojans and FIU earned their sports before the final day of pool play.
 
Sure teams were guaranteed three games, but plenty of teams probably didn’t want to play that third game as there were five games in pool games played after the championship game had been set after the first game on Friday.
 
Here’s a story from the Monroe News-Star about what some of the coaches thought about the new format  and there seems to be enough support to consider returning to the double-elimination format used by most conferences.
 
It certainly didn't work this year, but I would hope the format would be given a little more time before thown to the scrap heap.
 
While on the subject of post-season formats, here is an interesting story from The Birmingham News about the NCAA possibly going to a best-of-three format for the first round instead of four teams at each regional site.
 
Other Linkage
FAUOwlAccess.com
Here’s our review and analysis of the 2011 baseball season.

Previous Posts

Archives

Subscribe to RSS feed

More Most Recent Message Board Posts

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

Great article on Tyler Cameron. Let's put his skills to work with the QBs and make some plays. The Neighborhood fans are ready. Time to rally the...

Nicely done Jake. Great addition to Owl Access.

Then who do you think has the uper hand to be three yard directly behind the center.

Sorry, I read the above question wrong. Who will be UNDER center? No one. They will operate primarily from the shutgun.

More Latest Videos

Highlight package from FAU football's 2-16 Spring Game.

ADVERTISEMENT