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Posts from July 2011

Sunday's Daily Briefing: Former FAU WR Jean to report to Texans camp today

Former FAU wide receiver Lestar Jean grew up watching Andre Johnson make big plays for the Miami Hurricanes.

Now he's going to get a chance to learn from one of the the best wide receivers in the game.

“It's going to be great to see him in person,” Jean said. “Hopefully I get to stick around and learn a lot from him. We have the same kind of body build. He's a great receiver.”

Jean (photo courtesy Ralph Notaro/NDM Images) agreed to terms with the Houston Texans on Monday, flew to Texas on Tuesday and is expected to report when the Texans open their camp today.

The contract offer from Texas wasn't too surprising. He met with Texans officials at the NFL Combine and at the East-West Shrine Game.

Baltimore, Minnesota, Jacksonville and Buffalo also inquired about Jean once the lockout ended.

“(Houston) was one of the first teams to call me,” Jean said. “Me and my agent looked at it and it seemed like that's the best place where I have a legitimate chance to make the team and they were not just bringing me in to have a camp body.”

During the lockout, Jean attempted to keep himself in football shape by working out in Miami, catching passes from the likes of Brady Quinn, Drew Stafford, Byron Leftwich and Tyrelle Pryor.

Jean joined wide receivers Terrance Tolliver (LSU) and Jeff Maehl (Oregon) in signing undrafted free agent contracts with the Texans. Houston currently lists 10 wide receivers on its roster.

Beginning today, he'll try to distinguish himself from what us is clearly a crowded wideout corps.

“It was exciting for the lockout to finally be over an for all the hard work I put in to finally pay off,” Jean said. “It put me in a good situation. Hopefully I can go make the best of it now.”

Here is Lestar Jean's full Draft Profile.

Owl Links
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We continued a couple of series on Saturday. As part of our fall camp position primer we told FAU fans that the tight ends could be the key to breaking out of last season's offensive doldrums. Also, in our breakdown of FAU's opponents, we focused on the first Sun Belt game against Louisiana-Lafayette.

Saturday’s Daily Briefing: FAU football loses valuable member of staff
FAU football bid farewell to one of its most dedicated and tireless workers this week.
 
Matt Desiderio (pictured to left of defensive coordinator Kurt Van Valkenburgh)  started working with the Owls in 2004 and has done just about every odd job around the program since then.
 
His official title when he left was “Program Assistant” when he left last week to take a non-football job in the private sector, but that doesn’t do his contributions justice.
 
Desiderio had on-the-field duties during practices, helping with scout teams and also made his mark with his efforts in recruiting and was instrumental in setting up the Howletts, female FAU students who assist with recruiting and giving campus tours to recruits.
 
We wish Desiderio and his family good luck in his future endeavors.
 
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We posted our latest Position Primer, this time taking a look at the FAU wide receivers. …We caught up with Andy Mee, who signed a pro contact this week, for our Former Owl Friday. …We also continued our Summer Scouting series with a report on Auburn.
 
Other linkage
 
Schnellenberger stumps in Stuart, according to TCPalm.com. …The Pensacola News-Journal talked with former FAU QB Jeff Van Camp.
 
 
 

 

Friday's Daily Briefing: Could FAU be a wishbone team?

There must have been something left over in those Air Force pants.

A couple years back the Owls wore some old Air Force uniforms as their practice garb. Is it more than a coincidence that when FAU running backs coach David Serna wanted to bring something new to FAU's offense he found an old playbook of former Air Force coach Fisher DeBerry on the internet?

Actually, yes it is. But that doesn't change the fact that FAU ran some plays from the wishbone formation last season. They had some success, too. Remember Willie Floyd's 65-yard TD run against FIU? That came from the wishbone.

The key to adding some wishbone formation, which features three running backs in the backfield, was to find plays that meshed well with the Owls current scheme.

“We tried to take a couple of things that were simple enough that we could run and not change a lot of terminology,” Serna said.

The Owls experienced enough success that they are going to expand the wishbone this season. With FAU breaking in a new starting quarterback, wide receivers and tight ends, the running backs will be relied upon more often than usual.

And with the abundance of talented ball carriers this season (Alfred Morris, Willie Floyd, Damian Fortner (photo), Travis Jones and Xavier Stinson), getting as many of them on the field as possible seems like a reasonable idea.

“It definitely makes it a lot more fun to draw up plays with three running backs in the backfield,” Serna said. “It gets the creative juices going.”

Those juices might be hard to stop this season. Serna is already talking about trying to get as many as four backs on the field at once in an attempt to create mismatches.

It's difficult to think of the wishbone (and four running back for that matter) as being inventive. But, as old school as the wishbone may be, it's a type of formation that most Sun Belt players haven't faced.

Even if the Owls only try it a couple times a game, it's one more aspect of the offense opponents need to prepare for.

The possibilities may not be sexy, but they are intriguing.

Owl Links
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Busy day at FAUOwlAccess.com, where we gave Owl fans as much information as they could digest. We started with our weekly podcast, OwlTalk with Brian Rowitz. Then we continued our fall camp position primer series by examining the running backs. Finally, we brought the video from the final 7-on-7 of the summer. And we talked with Jeff Van Camp about his tryout with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

 

Former FAU QB Van Camp works out for Tampa Bay

Former FAU quarterback Jeff Van Camp worked out for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Thursday, he told FAUOwlAccess.com.

Van Camp was not immediately offered a contract, but said he was pleased with the way he performed at the workout. He said the Buccaneers told him he was at the top of their list should they need another QB.

Tampa Bay has already signed former Boise State quarterback Mike Coughlin during the current free agent period.

Van Camp threw for 2,459 yards and 17 touchdowns last season in his only full year at starter. His performance earned him a trip to the NFL Scouting Combine, and multiple teams inquired about his standing during the draft.

He's been contacted by multiple teams since the free agent signing period began, with most teams telling him he's on the top of their list if they need another quarterback.

Thursday's Daily Briefing: FAU shows well as magicJack's host

Took a little time away from our football camp previews to check out the biggest futbol story in South Florida.

The photos to the right are all from last night's magicJack vs. Sky Blue FC game held at FAU Soccer Stadium.

Nearly 3,300 fans attended the game, and many more were turned away at the box office when FAU announced a sell-out.

There were some traffic problems getting onto campus, even as early as 6 p.m., and there were some questions about parking, but all in all, FAU came away looking pretty good.

“I think the more awareness we get on our campus, it benefits not just athletics, but it benefits the whole entire university,” said FAU athletic director Craig Angelos, pictured (wearing the tie) with magicJack owner Dan Borislow. “It puts us on the map in some people's minds. It makes us relevant in some people's minds. There is not a downside to it.”

The magicJack are loaded with key members of the U.S. Women's National Team, which recently finished second in the Women's World Cup. Abby Wambach received the biggest ovation when introduced to the crowd. Later in the the evening she walked away from a collision with the Sky Blue goalkeeper (photo). There were an abundance of fans sporting Wambach's No. 20.

Goalkeeper Hope Solo did not attend – she is injured and  there is some question as to whether she will appear in Boca Raton at all the remainder of this season – but Christie Rampone, Megan Rapinoe and Shannon Boxx were there.

The play of those stars wasn't enough on Wednesday. The magicJack lost to Sky Blue, which for some reason wears orange uniforms, 2-0.

There were plenty of youth soccer teams in attendance and many young fans with signs. Even Boca Raton mayor Susan Whelchel took part in the pre-game ceremonies. Boca Raton sports fans may remember that Whelchel's daughter Kristy graduated from the TeamBoca youth program to play at Duke.

The only real downer for FAU, aside from Solo not being there, is that there is apparently an NCAA rule that prohibits schools from doing promotional events with professional teams, so aside from a few announcements over the P.A., there wasn't a football presence.

Angelos said he planned to look further into that rule to see if there was a way around it for Saturday's magicJack game.

Still, Angelos believes getting so many new faces to come to a sporting event at FAU could start a trend.
 
“We get them coming on campus and they feel good about it, maybe when football season comes along the same groups are coming over to watch football,” Angelos said. “It's generally families here, and those are the types of people we want to come out and watch our football, basketball, baseball and softball teams, too.”

By the way, if you are planning to attend Saturday's magicJack game, get your tickets now. Many of the people turned away at the ticket window on Wednesday chose to buy their tickets for the upcoming game before leaving campus.

Owl Links
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We started the day with basketball, telling Owl fans that hoops signee Julien Sargent won't be attending FAU in the fall, and that Jelani Floyd will be taking his place. Later in the day we premiered our football fall camp position primer series by examining the Owls' quarterback situation.
 

 

Wednesday’s Daily Briefing: Large crowd expected at FAU for tonight’s magicJack game
Who would have thought one of the largest crowds to ever gather on FAU’s campus for a sporting event would be for a women’s soccer match?
 
That’s what is likely in store tonight when the magicJack face Sky Blue at the FAU Soccer Stadium.
 
The magicJack, of course, feature Abby Wambach, Christie Rampone, Megan Rapinoe and other members of the US Women’s World Cup team. Unfortunately Hope Solo will not be playing tonight due to injuries she received in the World Cup
 
Tonight will be the first home match for the magicJack since the US finished in second place at the World Cup earlier this month.
 
The magicJack drew 15,404, the largest crowd in Women’s Professional Soccer history, in its first game since the World Cup in Rochester, N.Y. and played in front of 9,345 in Atlanta on Saturday
 
After selling out the 1,500 seats at FAU’s Soccer Stadium, FAU officials responded quickly to bring in extra bleachers and has put those tickets on sale. Now capacity is estimated at 3,000 seats.
 
The owner of the magicJack, Dan Borsilow, is said to be so impressed by FAU’s efforts to accommodate the crowd, he is believed to be donating the proceeds garnered by the match back to FAU.
 
All this while the team may consider moving the rest of its matches to Lockhart Stadium.
 
I think Howard Schnellenberger would argue against that move. After all, women’s professional soccer is supposed to be played on your own campus.
 
Owl Links
 
FAUOwlAccess.com
 
We had the latest video from the most recent 7-on-7 workout and also were the first to debunk the erroneous reports that FAU quarterback Jeff Van Camp had agreed to sign with the Dolphins on Tuesday.
 
Other linkage
 
Here’s the Sun-Sentinel’s report on Lockley and Jean. …Also, in what can’t be good news for former FAU quarterback Rusty Smith, the Titans apparently will sign quarterback Matt Hasselback
 
 
Despite reports, Van Camp says he hasn't heard from Dolphins

If the Miami Dolphins have agreed to sign former FAU quarterback Jeff Van Camp, they've neglected to tell one important person – Jeff Van Camp.

Several reports have the Dolphins and Van Camp ready to sign a contract when the undrafted free agency signing period begins at 10 a.m. Tuesday.

Van Camp said the reports are not accurate.

“I haven't talked with one person from the Dolphins,” Van Camp said on Tuesday morning. “I don't know where these people are getting these reports from, unless they know someone inside Miami who knows who they are going to sign.”

Van Camp said he's yet to hear from any NFL team, adding that the lack of phone calls on Monday was puzzling.

“I thought for sure I'd be one of the first ones, getting the call early,” Van Camp said. “I don't understand right now. If it doesn't happen, it doesn't happen. But I definitely thought it would have.”

Van Camp threw for 2,459 yards and 17 touchdowns as a senior, his only full year as a starter. He impressed enough to earn an invite to the NFL's Scouting Combine.

The native of Gulf Breeze is back in Boca Raton visiting his fiance and the FAU campus. He'd love for the Miami rumor to prove true.

“It would be perfect,” Van Camp said. “It would be really ideal.”

Tuesday’s Daily Briefing: Former FAU QB Jeff Van Camp reportedly will sign with Dolphins

With the NFL lockout officially coming to an end on Monday, teams will be able to sign undrafted free agents beginning at 10 a.m. today.

On Monday night, teams were busy lining up the players they wanted to bring into training camp and FAU players were apparently high on their list.
 
Late last night we confirmed that former linebacker Michael Lockley would sign with the Jaguars and wide receiver Lester Jean would sign with the Texans.
 
This morning it looks like former quarterback Jeff Van Camp will also be headed to the NFL as several sources that cover the NFL are reporting Van Camp will sign with the Dolphins.
 
Van Camp threw for 3,841 yards and 29 touchdowns mostly starting for the Owls after Rusty Smith was injured Van Camp’s junior season.
 
He participated in the NFL combine with Owls tight end Rob Housler, who was drafted by the Arizona Cardinals and Jean.
 
Van Camp worked out for the Dolphins, Patriots and 49ers after the combine.
 

UPDATE (10:55 a.m.)  We reached Van Camp to confirm the news this morning and the reports are not accurate. Van Camp told us he has not heard from the Dolphins. We'll stay on top of this situation and provide updates.

 
 
Owl Links
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Before we stayed up late to bring you the news on Jean and Lockley, we updated you on a pressing issue at the new stadium – the bathrooms.
 
Former FAU LB Lockley to sign with Jacksonville, WR Jean with Houston

Former FAU linebacker Michael Lockley's wait to become a professional football player will end on Tuesday at 10 a.m. when he signs with the Jacksonville Jaguars. His former teammate, wide receiver Lestar Jean, will fly to Houston to sign with the Texans on Tuesday, Jean said via text late Monday night.

Lockley reached his decision on Monday night, hours after the NFL officially lifted its lockout. By rule, he can't officially sign until Tuesday. Lockley will make the trip from his home in the Orlando area to Jacksonville's team headquarters to sign in person.

“It was a big relief to finally figure out where you are going to play football,” Lockley told FAUOwlAccess.com. “Now I'm just going to go out and play.”

Four NFL teams contacted Lockley on Monday. He chose the Jaguars over Arizona, Pittsburgh and New England.

Jacksonville was one of the teams that contacted Lockley on the final day of the NFL draft in April, but never did call his name.

“It's always good to stay close to home,” Lockley said. “They're always good about giving someone a fair shot to play.”

Lockley led FAU in tackles as a senior with 120. Also a standout on special teams, Lockley blocked three kicks in 2010, including a field goal in the final seconds at UAB that preserved an FAU victory.

While waiting for the lockout to end, Lockley spent part of the summer as a personal trainer and also supplemented his income by cutting lawns.

 Jean led FAU with 64 catches for 988 yards and 8 TDs. His one-handed, 77-yard touchdown grab against UAB was one of the highlights of FAU's 2010 season.

Monday’s Daily Briefing: Former Owl is one of Top 15 players in history of WNBA

It may seem like Title IX week here at FAUOwlAccess.com for a few days and that’s not such a bad thing.

On Wednesday, the magicJack and the star players from the U.S. Women’s Soccer Team will return to FAU for a match.
 
But before that, we must give a tip of a hat to perhaps the most successful pro athlete to ever come out of Florida Atlantic.
 
Former FAU player Yolanda Griffith was named one the Top 15 Players in WNBA history over the weekend as the league celebrated its 15th anniversary.
 
Griffith played for the Owls from 1991-93 and went to become an eight-time WNBA All-Star and was the league’s MVP in 1999. She also won gold medals playing for the U.S. Women’s Basketball Team in 2000 and 2004.
 
While at FAU, Griffith was the Division II Player of the Year and was named an All-American. She still holds the record for points scored in a single season with 621. Griffith was part of the first class of the FAU Sports Hall of Fame.
 
There are probably a few new Owl fans that maybe weren’t around in the early 1990s, but any FAU fan should be proud of what Griffith accomplished as she became one of the all-time greats at her sport.
 
Congratulations to Griffith.
 
Sunday's Daily Briefing: Offers expected after successful Developmental Camp

Around 150 players from as far as Indianapolis and New Jersey attended FAU’s one-day developmental camp and it’s expected a handful of players performed well enough to receive offers in the next few days.

 
FAUOwlAccess.com was on hand to take in the action and here are a few observations from the camp:
 
  • FAU appears to be scouting players earlier than I’ve ever seen. Although the camp is mostly for rising seniors, coaches were watching a rising freshman closely. Orangewood Christian linebacker Jimmy Martin (5-10 190)  who played in the All-American Bowl in San Antonio last season in a game preceding the U.S. Army All-American Bowl was in attendance and did more than hold his own against players three years older than him.
  • Jensen Beach offensive lineman Curtis Csonka (pictured, right)  had a solid camp. The 6-2, 260-pound Csonka is a cousin of former Dolphin full back Larry Csonka.
  • Although some players did come from out of state, several local players had impressive camps. Palm Beach Gardens running back Roshard Burnery, who has been offered by the Owls, did well despite the wet field. Also Park Vista offensive lineman Shane O’Shea was said to have a good day.
Saturday’s Daily Briefing: FAU has its last Development Camp today

It seems like the camp season just started, but it basically comes to an end today when FAU holds its final one-day Developmental Camp.

 
Around 150 players are expected at the Oxley Center today. Considering that last year’s one-day camp brought in around 85 players, you can see the camp has almost doubled in one year’s time.
 
FAU, which had a large crowd at it’s earlier one-day camp this summer as well (photo),  is expecting a player from as far as New Jersey to come in for the day.
 
Of course, we’ll be out there to see what’s going on.
 
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The Owls were back on the field for another 7-on-7 workout on Friday morning and we can prove it with this video. …Friday also meant another installment of Former Owl Friday. This time, we caught up with pitcher Jeff Beliveau.
 
Friday’s Daily Briefing: FAU gets shot at struggling SEC teams this season

Is this the season Florida Atlantic breaks through with a victory over an SEC team?

In a stroke of shrewd scheduling, FAU will play not one, but two SEC teams who are expected to have down years.
 
One team is picked to finish fifth in its division and the other is predicted to finish third its division  and has no offensive  players on the pre-season All-SEC team released Friday.
 
OK, the team with supposedly no-star power is Florida, which is predicted to finish 3rd in the SEC East and features a new coaching staff.
 
But how about Auburn? The defending National Champions are picked to finish fifth in the SEC West and that is not a typo.
 
 
This would seemingly be a best-case scenario for the Owls, except they are predicted to struggle as well with plenty of holes to fill at offensive skill positions.
 
No chance for the Owls? Well, you may be right, but no one gave Louisiana-Monroe much of a chance in 2007 when it beat Nick Saban’s Alabama team.
 
And don't foget  that the Owls are on a roll vs. the SEC - Mike Jarvis' basketball team defeated Mississippi State earlier this year.
 
 
 
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The Owls’ continued their 7-on-7 workouts. We were there and have the video to prove it.
FAU stadium naming rights bring in an estimated $3.69 million

Florida Atlantic recently announced it had received some major gifts for the new on-campus football stadium.

But just how much? Well, we decided to see what the going rate for some of the naming opportunities announced by the university is.
 
Here’s what we came up with:
 
  • Scoreboard: Schmidt Family Foundation ($3 million)
  • Concourse East: The Head Family ($250,000)
  • Concourse South: Dr. Steven and Liz Shapiro ($250,000)
  • President’s Suite: Eleanor Baldwin ($250,000)
  • FAU Locker Room: Dr. Richard Staller ($250,000)
  • Director of Athletics Suite: Frank Morphy ($100,000)
  • Head Coach Suite: Constance and Robert McGee ($100,000)
  • Broadcast Booth: Hoot/Wisdom Recordings in honor of Hank Stern ($100,000)
  • Wall of Recognition: JM Family Enterprises, Inc. ($100,000)
  • Recognition Plaque: Nancy Blosser ($25,000)
  • Recognition Plaque: Barry and Bonnie Halperin ($25,000)
  • Concession Area: Michael and Mindy Feldman ($50,000)
  • West Ticket Booth: Marleen and Harold Forkas ($50,000)
  • East Ticket Booth: Balistreri Realty, Joe and Jim Balistreri ($50,000)
  • Lockers: Anthony and Maria Altieri, Anthony Altieri Jr., Ariana Altieri, Dr. Charles L. Brown, Brenda Coto, Justin Dirico (2), Tom Donaudy, Christopher Fluehr, Randy Goin Jr., Nancy Gulker, David Kian, Terry Mohajir, Susan and Don Peirce, Dr. James Riordan, Dr. and Mrs. Peter Sarbone, Jim and Leigh Slowiak, and Bob Stilley ($5,000 each)
 
Of course, these were the asking prices and not necessarily what the final gift will be. For example, naming rights for the scoreboard was $3 million, but FAU announced the gift from the Schmidt Family Foundation was $2 million. However, we can estimate naming opportunities has generated around $3.69 million.
 
While the amount donated is impressive, it certainly needs to continue and there are plenty of more naming opportunities available. Click here to see the complete list of what a donation could get.
 
Also of note is the many people who earn a paycheck (or used to) or who serve (or served) on the Board of Trustees who made a donation. There’s even a few subscribers to FAUOwlAccess.com who shared their generosity.
 
Perhaps there will be some more of our subscribers, employees - or perhaps even trustees - on the list next time.
 
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We were on hand when the crews started installing the sod for the new on-campus stadium and shot this video of the historic occasion. …We also had a report on Alex Hudak being named the MVP of the Cal Ripken Collegiate Baseball League All-Star Game
 
FAU's opener at Florida to be televised on ESPNU

As expected, FAU’s season-opener at Florida will be televised.

What wasn’t expected was that the game will be shown on ESPNU, giving the Owls two games on an ESPN network this season.
 
A week after FAU faces Florida, its game at Michigan State on Sept. 10 will be on ESPN or ESPN2
 
Kickoff for the Owls-Gators game is set for 7 p.m. at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium.
 
That also gives the Owls five games on TV this season.
 
To recap, here is FAU’s TV schedule:
 
  • Sept. 3 at Florida (ESPNU)
  • Sept. 10 at Michigan State (ESPN or ESPN2)
  • Sept. 24 at Auburn (TBA)
  • Oct. 8 at North Texas (Sun Belt Network)
  • Oct. 22 vs. MTSU (Sun Belt Network)

Discuss the FAU TV schedule here.

Wednesday’s Daily Briefing: First practice on Aug. 6, FanFest on Aug. 20

The Sun Belt Conference Media Days are in the books and now the next key date in the 2011 football season is the players taking the field.

 
The Owls are scheduled to hold their first practice on Aug. 6, a Saturday, with the first day of pads on Aug. 10.
 
Players are no doubt looking forward to the first "3-A-Day" practice session on Aug. 11.
 
Two events fans will be interested in are the FanFest on Aug. 20 and the bonfire on Aug. 25.
 
These dates are always tentative, but if there is any change we will let you know here.
 
Key dates for 2011 Pre-season Training Camp
  • Aug. 4: Players Report
  • Aug. 6: First day of practice
  • Aug. 10: First Day Full Pads One Practice
  • Aug. 11: First Three-A-Day
  • Aug. 19: Last Three-A-Day
  • Aug. 20: FanFest
  • Aug. 20: Classes Begin
  • Aug. 25: Bonfire
  • Sept 3: Florida Atlantic at Florida 
 
Owl Links
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Here’s what FAU coach Howard Schnellenberger had to say about coaching past the 2011 season during the Sun Belt video conference. ...We also had a video from Monday’s 7-on-7 workout.
 
 
 
Other linkage

 

Schnellenberger will decide on future ‘sooner or later’

As a coach entering the final season of his contract, Howard Schnellenberger has recently been hounded with questions about coaching beyond the 2011 season.

 
The subject came up again during Tuesday’s Sun Belt video conference to preview the season.
 
As he has been for months, Schnellenberger was non-committal on his future, but did say that he still has as much energy as he has ever had to lead the FAU football program.
 
"If I didn’t, I’d be already out of here, that’s for sure," Schnellenberger said.
 
However, Schnellenberger did mention that if he didn’t think he was the right person to be the Owls’ coach, he would step down.
 
"We obviously have said all along that we want to coach as long it is productive and as long as we are making progress and that’s still true," Schnellenberger said. "The time will come  when we will all know that it’s better that I be the coach or that I step back and allow somebody else to come into this spot. I don’t know when that’s going to happen. It could be soon or it could be later."
 
Schnellenberger also addressed critics who believe the program is in a tailspin.
 
"Certainly the setbacks we’ve had the last two years are not the types of setbacks that you look at it and say we are going in the wrong direction," Schnellenberger said. "If you go back and analyze our wins and losses in the last four years, there is very little difference. We were winning those close games in 2007 and 08, but not winning those games in 09 and 10." 
Tuesday’s Daily Briefing: FAU should break out an alternate uniform for big games

With all the hoopla that will be surrounding the opening of the new stadium this season, should FAU unveil one of those “alternate” uniforms that some other traditional teams are showcasing for big games.

 
Your answer probably depends on what the uniforms would look like.
 
One suggestion was sent in by an FAUOwlAccess.com reader and, even though I am an old fuddy-duddy, I like what I see.
 
Take a look at what FAUOwlAccess.com reader Serge Perez sent in to us.
 
I know Howard Schnellenberger probably wouldn’t be too excited, but the players would be pumped to enter the stadium in these slick uniforms – if only for a game or two like the debut of the stadium on Oct. 15 vs. WKU or maybe the next game vs. MTSU on Oct. 22, with its 8 p.m. kickoff to be televised on the Sun Belt Network.
 
What does Owl Nation think of the design?
 
Owl Links
 
FAUOwlAccess.com
Safety Marcus Bartels and punter Mickey Groody were named to the pre-season All-Sun Belt Conference team. …The seats are the focus of our weekly stadium series, “Football in Paradise.”
 
Also check out FAU’s first official depth chart of the season.
 
Other linkage
FAU picked to finish last in Sun Belt coaches' poll, the Sun-Sentinel reports.
FAU's first depth chart of pre-season is out

FAU has released its first official depth chart of the pre-season and there are a couple of interesting items.

At QB David Kooi and Graham Wilbert (photo) are in a familiar spot – on the same line as starters. FAU coach Howard Schnellenberger said Wilbert was ahead of Kooi before Wilbert injured a finger in the spring game.
 
At WR Marcus Cunningham and Paul Moore are on the same line as well, possibly setting up a nice position battle to watch in pre-season camp.
 
Also, at defensive end Andrew Stryffler is listed ahead of Jamere Johnson. We know Stryffler had a better spring than Johnson, but it seems strange to have Stryffler in the starting role ahead of Johnson, a senior.
 
OFFENSE
LOT
53 – Samuel McRoy
63 – DeAndre Williams
LOG
91 – Andy Czuprynski
75 – Ricardo Henry
C
79 – Jordan Sessa
50 – Jimmy Colley
RG
52 – Chris Newbold
51 – Eric Hansen
RT
64 – Max Karrick
55 – Joseph Bailey
TE
85 – Darian Williams
86 – Nexon Dorvilus
X
2 – DeAndre Richardson
87 – Byron Hankerson
RB
32 – Alfred Morris
22 – Damian Fortner
QB
15 – David Kooi/#14 – Graham Wilbert
16 – Nick Bracewell/#10 – Stephen Curtis
FB
8 – Xavier Stinson
43 – Tony Moore
Z
83 – Marcus Cunningham/#13 – Paul Moore
 
DEFENSE
LE
92 – Kevin Cyrille
72 – David Baptiste
NT
93 – Jarvis Givens
96 – Jimmy Jean
RT
94 – Andrew Stryffeler
98 – Jamere Johnson
SLB
31 – Cory Henry
91 – Martin Wright
TLB
48 – Yourhighness Morgan
44 – Toney Moore
MLB
11 – David Hinds
47 – Derek King
WLB
15 – Randell Johnson
41 – Tony Walding
CB
34 – Keith Reaser
23 – Winfred Strickland
SS
6 – Demetrius Williamson
29 – Cortez Ash
FS
27 – Marcus Bartels
24 – Brentley Harstad
CB
19 – Treon Howard
26 – Curtis Cross
 
SPECIAL TEAMS
P
17 – Mickey Groody
K
34 – Vinny Zaccario
LS
54 – Timothy Raber
69 – Morgan Barnett
 
 
Monday's Daily Briefing: Sun Belt coaches predict Owls will finish last

The coaches of the Sun Belt Conference have spoken and there’s no mistaking their prediction for Florida Atlantic.

 As expected, the Owls are picked to finish 9th in the Sun Belt Conference.
 
Yes, that is dead last.
 
On the bright side, there is no where to go but up for the Owls this season.
 
And, there might be one or two coaches who say during the two-day Sun Belt Media Days that they don’t put too much stock in the pre-season polls.
 
At any rate, maybe the Owls can put the predictions up on the bulletin board.
 
And, for the record, I don’t think FAU will finish last - and I don't think FIU will finish first.
 
Here's the entire poll...
 
The Preseason Sun Belt Conference Coaches Poll is selected by the head coach of each institution.  First place votes in parenthesis.
 
Team
Points
1. FIU
75 (5)
2. Troy
66 (2)
T-3. Middle Tennessee
54
T-3. Louisiana-Monroe
54
5. Arkansas State
49 (1)
6. North Texas
33
7. WKU
28 (1)
8. Louisiana-Lafayette
26
9. Florida Atlantic
20
 
 
Sunday’s Daily Briefing: Soccer fans will be coming to FAU
We’re getting ready for football, but it seems that there are many getting ready for the other football.
There appears to be plenty of interest in today’s US-Japan game in the final of the Women’s World Cup.
We always strive to come up with an FAU angle on this blog and it’s easy to connect the dots between FAU and one of the biggest sports stories of this long, hot summer.
Several members of Team USA, including Abby Wambach, Hope Solo and Christine Rampone, play for magicJack, which plays its home games at FAU.
The word around campus last week was that the magicJack sold 250 tickets in one day last week as it’s expected several of the players will play their next home game for the magicJack on July 27.
With a serious push for 12,000 season tickets for football, FAU would be wise to find some way to tie into this hysteria as FAU suddenly finds itself as the home base for several who have been elevated to hero status overnight.
Saturday’s Daily Briefing: How many Owls will earn preseason honors?

Well, I just sent in my ballot for the Pre-season All-Sun Belt Conference team and the results will be announced on Monday when the Sun Belt’s pre-season video conference begins.

Who will be representing the Owls on the team?
Well, I don’t expect to see too many FAU players earnning All-Sun Belt Confernce honors.
Certainly punter Mickey Groody has a good chance, Middle Tennessee’s Josh Davis is also in the mix.
And then take running back. While Alfred Morris, who was named to the Doak Walker Award Watch List on Friday, is certainly among the best in the conference, many around the conference may vote for North Texas’ Lance Dunbar and WKU’s Bobby Rainey – and voters are asked to pick just two.
On defense, I’d say safety Marcus Bartels probably has the best shot after two solid seasons.
It’ll be interesting to see and we’ll have the results on Monday along with the preseason poll, although I think I know where FAU will finish in that one.
Here’s a list of the FAU players who were nominated for the preseason All-SBC team:
  • RB Alfred Morris
  • FB Xavier Stinson
  • TE Darian Williams
  • OL Sam McCroy
  • OL Andrew Czuprynski
  • DL Kevin Cyrille
  • DL-LB Cory Henry
  • LB David Hinds
  • DB Marcus Bartels
  • P Mickey Groody
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Shortstop Nick DelGuidice wasn’t drafted, but is proving the scouts wrong with a strong start in the minors. He is the subject of our Former Owl Friday.
Friday's Daily Briefing: ESPN taking a stand against Leach

It’s hardly a secret that FAU coach Howard Schnellenberger’s current contract runs out after the 2011 football season and, in my opinion, Schnellenberger will be offered a new contract - provided he wants to continue coaching past this season.

However that hasn’t stopped some from taking to the internet as they try to rally an angry mob and support a change in the current regime.
More often than not, former Texas Tech coach Mike Leach or former Miami coach Randy Shannon are presented by the lunatic fringe as viable candidates despite the unpleasant departures from their former employers.
And yes, if Schnellenberger were to announce his retirement soon (despite what you may have read, he has not done so) both Shannon and Leach would probably get consideration from AD Craig Angelos who went to college with Leach and worked with Shannon when both were at Miami.
There will be plenty of time to speculate on who the next coach of FAU will be if and when Schnellenberger steps down, but until he does that, it’s just that – speculation.
But I couldn’t help but wonder what the pro-Leach crowd must be thinking about the most recent development concerning the subject of their man crush.
Of course, this is simple retaliation because Leach is suing ESPN and makes the world-wide leader in sports appear petty and vindictive – which it is.  However, it is proof that ESPN, a huge power broker in college football, will make life difficult for anyone associated with Leach.
If ESPN will publically humiliate one of its own for dealing with Leach, it’s safe to assume FAU - which has had three games in the last four years, including this season’s game at Michigan State, on an ESPN network - will be persona non grata when it comes to the folks at Bristol, Conn.
It’s apparent that Leach and ESPN have declared war against each other. If Schnellenberger isn’t back for the 2012 season, FAU may have to decide if it’s in its best interest to join that battle as well.
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The football team had another 7-on-7 workout on Thursday and our cameras were there for “3-2-See.” …We also had another installment of our weekly podcast, Owl Talk with Brian Rowitz.
Thursday's Daily Briefing: More FAU students and alumni involved in stadium project

In Monday's installment of our "Football in Paradise" series detailing all the interesting aspects of FAU's new football stadium, we told you about FAU center Jordan Sessa who, as an intern at Balfour Beatty, is helping to build the stadium in which he will eventually play.

While Sessa's story is unique because he's a football player, he's far from the only current or former Owl contributing to the effort.

“Having alumni and student interns working on projects for their alma mater is a total 'win-win' not only for our employees, but also for our customer as there is a greater sense of pride and accomplishment and greater willingness to give 110 percent  every time,” said Clinton Glass, the Balfour Beatty Senior Vice President and Business Unit Leader for South Florida.

Zachary Thompson (top photo) is one Balfour Beatty employee whose shared experience is similar to Sessa's. Thompson, who received his civil engineering degree from FAU in August 2010, interned with Balfour Beatty on the Innovation Village dorm project.

Shortly after graduation Balfour Beatty hired Thompson as a Building Information Modeling coordinator. He used computer modeling to ensure the plumbing, electrical, mechanical and chilled water contractors had enough space for their systems and that they fit properly within stadium conduits.

“I thought it was very surreal,” said Thompson, recalling the moment Balfour Beatty offered him the job.  “When I was graduating I was expecting to go wherever I could find a job. Then, when they told me I was going back to FAU, I thought it was the coolest thing in the world. I was here for five years. I feel like I am giving back to the school.”

Thompson has actually returned to some classes to give presentations on the 3D modeling software he uses and to talk with members of the engineering department about the importance of incorporating more computer modeling classes into the curriculum.

Unlike Thompson, Larry Tribble (lower photo) didn't spend five years at the Boca Raton campus. The Gulf War veteran entered the military after spending three years in the Chicago Cubs organization. When he finally retired from the military, Tribble decided to take safety management classes at one of FAU's satellite campuses in Broward County.

Shortly after receiving his certification he began with Balfour Beatty. During his time as the safety manager on the stadium project there has been only one minor incident during the approximately 250,000 man hours of work.

Tribble says he periodically took a class or two at other colleges, but is starting to consider FAU his alma mater. He even spends some breaks taking a look around the FAU campus.

Though Tribble has never attended an FAU football game, he says that will change in October.

“I'm going to go to this one when we open just to see what it's going to be like - the atmosphere - because this is a busy stadium,” Tribble said. “Everyone's waiting on it.  I don't think people really know what we have here with this stadium.”

Balfour Beatty alone has given internships to four FAU students for the Innovation Village project. Many more employees have ties to the school, perhaps none more so than MacKenzie Ross-Fidler who has been instrument in the stadium's construction and our series about the the new stadium.

A 1999 grad, Ross-Fidler is a business development manager for Balfour Beatty and serves on FAU's Alumni Board.

“As a proud alumnus, FAU Alumni Board  member and Balfour Beatty employee, it gives me great pride to know my company is contributing to the evolution of my alma mater,” Ross-Fidler said. "Words can’t describe the feeling, as I sit across the street in our Alumni House during our board meetings watching the stadium rise. It's truly awe inspiring to see how far FAU has come.”

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We continued our look at FAU's 2011 football opponents by examining Michigan State from an FAU perspective.
 

Wednesday's Daily Briefing: Sun Belt only conference with no Media Day

When FAU first joined the Sun Belt Conference, I worked at an area newspaper covering the Owls.

 
An editor planning college football coverage walked by my desk after FAU announced it was joinng the Sun Belt Conference and asked me “The Sun Belt Conference doesn’t have real media days like the ACC and the SEC does it?”
 
I used to get questions like that a lot and they would make me a bit angry.
 
“Of course,” I snapped. “The Sun Belt is a legitimate Division I-A conference. They don’t do things like some minor league. FAU is joining a big-time football conference and we should attend.”
 
To my surprise, the editor agreed and I covered every Sun Belt Media Days function when I covered FAU for that paper.
 
Now, if the question is posed by some editor at a paper looking down at FAU and the Sun Belt, the answer is quite different as the Sun Belt is holding yet another video conference this year passed off as “Media Days.”
 
Now. some sap has to sheepishly explain “No, the Sun Belt Conference is just having a video conference and is the only conference in the Football Bowl Subdivision that doesn’t bring in coaches and players to a site for a media day.”
 
Meanwhile the perception of the Sun Belt and its members sinks further – if that’s even possible. One most wonder if the conference doesn’t take itself serious enough to hold a media day like every other conference, why should anyone believe this is major college football?
 
The decision is due mostly to money, of course. But it really is "penny-wise but pound-foolish" to be the only conference not to bring in coaches, players, administrators to meet with the media. When the Sun Belt is alone on something, well, let me put it as politely as I can - I doubt if the Sun Belt knows something the other conferences don't .
 
Anyway, the Sun Belt’s video conference is Monday and Tuesday and here is the schedule. Interesting to note Owls coach Howard Schnellenberger does not go first as he has done in the past. That’s a good thing, as the first coach often had to be interviewed while technical glitches get worked out.
 
Monday, July 18
8:55 a.m. – Introduction and Welcome
9:00 a.m. – Todd Berry, Louisiana-Monroe
9:30 a.m. – Mario Cristobal, FIU
10:00 a.m. – Head Coach Rick Stockstill
10:30 a.m. – Willie Taggart, WKU
11:00 a.m. – Dan McCarney, North Texas
 
Tuesday, July 19
8:55 a.m. – Introduction and Welcome
9:00 a.m. – Hugh Freeze, Arkansas State
9:30 a.m. – Mark Hudspeth, Louisiana-Lafayette
10:00 a.m. – Howard Schnellenberger, Florida Atlantic
10:30 a.m. – Larry Blakeney, Troy
11:00 a.m. – Jerry Silverstein, President - GoDaddy.com Bowl and Billy Ferrante, Executive Director - R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl
11:10 a.m. – Wright Waters, Commissioner of the Sun Belt Conference
 
 
All coaches will be joined by a student-athlete
 
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We began scouting the Owls’ opponents this season, starting with Florida.
 
Other linkage
Rivals.com takes a look at FAU’s stadium and says Schnellenberger is “weighing his options.”
Tuesday's Daily Briefing: Planking catching on with FAU football players

It's easy, somewhat creative and certainly silly. And it's striking the FAU football team.

In case you don't immediately recognize what is going on the photo, that's running back Alfred Morris (top) and defensive end Jamere Johnson doing a little "planking."

“I wouldn't say I'm a planker,” Morris explained. “I've planked before. It's so stupid that it's funny.”

For those new to the craze, here's how it works: Lay down like a board on something and have someone take a picture.

If you think you're missing something, don't worry. You're not. It's that simple – kind of the pet rock of the current college crowd.

“It's like a disease,” Johnson said. “It's just going through everybody. It's spreading.”

For those looking for a little further explanation, here's a pretty good TV news story about it.

Apparently the photo on this page happened after Darian Williams and C.J. Falconer challenged Morris and Johnson to do it in the weight room.

And it sounds like the trend could make it to the field. Morris said he'd consider doing it as a touchdown celebration. Johnson's thinking about it, too.

“After I get a sack, it's going to look like I got knocked out, but I'm going to be planking,” he explained. “As soon as someone comes and touches me I'm going to jump up.”

The duo expects some of their teammates, like defensive end Kevin Cyrille, will never embrace planking. Others, they believe, can be swayed.

“I would pay to see (6-foot-9, 320 pound tackle Chris) Chappel plank,” Morris said.

Speaking of payment, there is even a rumored bounty for the first Owl to plank coach Howard Schnellenberger's desk.

While Schnellenberger is aware of trend, and it isn't his favorite, he's not going to stop players from planking on their own time.

“This is America - you can't forbid things like that,” Schnellenberger said.

Still, he doesn't expect to take part in planking parties any time soon.

“If I expressed my opinion about that and took it to it's ultimate ramifications  - it's not worth talking about,” he said.

It's probably good that Schnellenberger hasn't caught the planking disease.

I asked Johnson what would the players would think if they saw their coach planking.

“The world is ending,” Johnson laughed.

What do you think FAU fans? Are you ready for some planking? If you've got any good planking photos, send them our way: info@fauowlaccess.com

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We continued our series about the features of the new on-campus stadium not by looking at another item, but by focusing on a person. FAU center Jordan Sessa is spending the summer interning with Balfour Beatty Construction, which means he's helping to build the stadium he will one day play in. Pretty freakin' cool.
 

Monday's Daily Briefing: Schnellenberger gives UM AD Eichorst tour of stadium

Of all the people who have toured FAU's new on-campus stadium, this one is perhaps the most intriguing.

Late last week FAU coach Howard Schnellenberger showed new University of Miami athletic director Shawn Eichorst the grounds.

The tour was set up by Don Bailey Jr., the color commentator of the Hurricanes and one of the first players Schnellenberger recruited when he took the job at Miami.

“It was a study in what a new stadium can do for a campus,” Schnellenberger said. “First of all what a 30,000 seat stadium looks like – there's not a lot of them built – and to visualize the impact is was going to have on this university and this community.”

The photos were taken on Friday, the day after Schnellenberger's tour.

Schnellenberger campaigned for an on-campus stadium while at Miami, but an on-campus stadium for the Canes may be even more unlikely than it was back then. The Hurricanes now play at Sun Life stadium – the former home of the Owls which Schnellenberger says “nearly broke our backs”– and are contractually obligated to to play there for quite some time.

Besides, there is still very little land near the Miami campus to put a stadium.

“Maybe it will be of value if he sometime leaves Miami one way or another and has to continue working in another place,” Schnellenberger said.

Of course, during the tour there was plenty of time for talk on other subjects. Schnellenberger, who has always wanted a game against the Canes, said Eichorst seemed open to it. That wasn't always the case when Paul Dee and Kirby Hocutt where in control at Miami.

“It's good to have a new AD in there,” Schnellenberger mused.

Schnellenberger insisted that the purpose of the trip wasn't to schedule a game, and if the two schools did play it would likely be well in the future.

“It's almost too long term – the odds are so far against it - it  might be worth talking about but it's not worth writing about,” Schnellenberger said.

Well, it's kind of worth writing about...

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One of our more popular segments, 3-2-See, made its summer debut. Take a look at the highlights from Friday's 7-on-7 football workouts, including a look at the progress of running back Willie Floyd.
 

Sunday's Daily Briefing: Football magazines not giving Owls much of a chance

I’m worried that some FAU fans haven’t been getting their regular weather reports lately, so today, I will oblige.

 
It appears to be a perfect day to head to the beach. You know sunny, warm and with a nice beach breeze. This morning it's generally the kind of day that would make me consider enrolling at FAU if I had any eligibility left. Of course, the weather in South Florida could change - it's the only thing that changes faster than some FAU fans' opinion of who should be coaching the Owls.
 
And what goes better with a Corona and some reggae music while lounging on a beach chair on a stretch of sand in Boca Raton ? A good magazine, of course.
 
Today I may make mine one of the many college football preview football magazines that have hit the newsstands. But which one?
 
The Lakeland Ledger breaks the magazines down here. The Ledger gives a good guide on which magazines are the best, while noting that the best ranking for FAU is No. 108 by Lindy’s.
 
However, remember that most of these magazines are created to sell more magazines. They spend very little time on the Sun Belt and FAU while devoting most of their resources to slobbering over the SEC. It makes a good business model, but don’t spend much time looking for a cover with Alfred Morris on it.
 
No matter, even if I don’t agree with their analysis of the Owls, I can still get caught up with two FAU opponents this season – Florida and Auburn. Got to love the Athlon's cover (pictured) with UF quarterback John Brantley, who apparently will make fans forget about Tim Tebow.
 
Yep, today I’ll be flipping through the pages of a magazine reading about games to be played in late November with my toes in the sand.
 
It sure feels like Football in Paradise is around the corner.
Saturday’s Daily Briefing: Schnellenberger busy on Facebook

We knew FAU coach Howard Schnellenberger (@Schnellenberger) could Twitter.
 
Now we know he can upload videos, photos and articles on Facebook – or at least his wife, Beverlee, can.
 
The last few days his page has been updated with some great stuff and I urge you to check it out.
 
There have been some great articles photos and some videos chronicling the growth of the FAU program but also going back to his days at Miami that anyone who is a Schnellenberger supporter should check out.
 
I’ll go a step further and say those who think there is anyone who could do a better job as FAU’s coach than Schnellenberger should check the page out as well.
 
After watching some of those videos, all I can say is that I think a small, but vocal, minority should realize the instant prestige Schnellenberger brings to FAU and that this 10-year old program is fortunate to have Schnellenberger at the helm.
 
Keep up the good work, Beverlee. The updates are great.
 
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Our weekly Former Owl Friday feature gave an update on former FAU pitcher Mickey Storey.  And you can always follow former FAU players plaing pro baseball at this link.

 

Friday's Daily Briefing: Turner not coming to FAU

A few weeks ago there was a rumor going around about FIU signee Ezekiel Turner possibly arriving at FAU and we reported Turner was interested in playing for the Owls.

 
It turns out for Turner, who played at Delray Beach-Atlantic, suiting up for FAU was just that – a rumor.
 
The Palm Beach Post reported Thursday night that Turner will be heading to Division II Findlay (Ohio).
 
While Turner was a decent player who was at one time being recruited by the Owls, it really isn’t a big loss for FAU, which really wasn’t too interested in Turner after he signed with FIU and then was hung out to dry when the Golden Panthers signed more players than they had scholarships, according to The Post.
 
The Owls have plenty of young receivers and I kind of get the feeling FAU wasn’t exactly in a hurry to court someone whose heart evidently was playing for the Golden Panthers.
 
I think the Owls will be just fine – maybe even better – without Turner.
 
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The popular podcast, Owl Talk with Brian Rowitz made its return after an absence of a few weeks.
Thursday's Daily Briefing: NCAA letter to FAU doesn't mean violation occurred

Remember those T-shirts FAU distributed earlier this season to commemorate Mike Jarvis winning his 400th game?
Well, it looks like they may be able to be used again when Jarvis wins his 400th game for the second time.
 

As first reported by FAUOwlAccess.com on Wenesday, the NCAA sent a letter warning FAU it can’t count 46 victories vacated by St. John’s following NCAA infractions when Jarvis was the coach there.
 

The letter was sent by the NCAA committee on infractions, but this doesn’t mean FAU broke NCAA rules. It simply is a clarification on how the NCAA wants schools to count vacated victories and FAU has until Aug. 1 to comply or explain why it won't.
 

You can thank Kentucky and coach John Calipari for the controversy.
 

Calipari was honored by Kentucky for winning his 500th game this season,but when the NCAA got wind of the celebration they urged Kentucky to re-do the math with games vacated by UMass and Memphis when he was the coach there.
 

Some pointed out there were other places that counted vacated victories, forcing the hand of the NCAA to take a stance.
 

Is it fair for the NCAA to saddle a coach who leaves for a new school? I’ve heard both sides of the issue recently. All I know is the NCAA needs to decide on the policy and apply it evenly.
 

It looks like it is taking steps to do just that.

> JUST ADDED: Click here to see the NCAA letter to FAU

 

Owl Links

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As mentioned, we reported on the NCAA letter to FAU asking them to re-do the math

Other linkage

The Sun-Sentinel notes FAU coach Howard Schnellenberger is on the last year of his contract.  

Wednesday's Daily Briefing: New FAU sound system could be real find

FAU is taking a bit of a chance with the sound system it is installing in the new on-campus football stadium.

As mentioned in Monday's story, consultant Anthony James Partners recommended speakers from Danley's Jericho Horn series to provide the main sound within the stadium bowl.

These speakers use shaded amplitude technology to distribute the sound. It's a relatively new technology that wasn't universally embraced immediately.

“A lot of consultants said this is not a viable product, but we are proving that this is more than a viable product at a dramatically reduced cost,” said Michael Rowe, a principal within Anthony James Partners, the sound consultants for the stadium.

“We are a huge believer in what it is capable of doing. We feel like they built a tremendous product and did a tremendous job. We felt like this is a product that is going to change the way sound is designed.”

The graphic above shows the scoreboard design, with the positions of the speakers highlighted in blue.

Danley's speakers are in Turner Field and Bryant-Denny Stadium in Alabama. Their web site includes details of recent installs, and more specifics about the technology for you tech heads.

Suffice it to say, the technology is becoming more widely accepted. That's a huge positive, because these were easily the best speakers FAU could find in its price range.

A couple other notes about the system:

  • Mentioned in the story that the wireless microphones can operate on any one of 999 frequencies. That's important because there is a lot of potential interference coming from the airport next door. It also allows system to be flexible when television trucks and all their wireless equipment come to town. Anyone who attended an FAU sporting event this season knows those wireless mics are hit, miss, or not even in the ballpark.
  • According to the Daktronics folks, the person who runs this system on game day will likely need five years experience working with sound boards mixers and the like. A Daktronics representative will provide training on the particulars of FAU's system prior to the first game and will be on hand for at least the first two games in case problems arise.
  • Hopefully this will never come into play, but in the event of an emergency, responders outside the stadium can tap into the sound system to relay instructions about evacuation procedures through the loudspeakers to fans inside the stadium bowl.

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FAU quarterback Graham Wilbert's broken finger healed in time for the start of summer 7-on-7s. We talked with him on Tuesday about the injury and his progress these past couple months.

Tuesday's Daily Briefing: Gash will be next FAU assistant basketball coach

At the beginning of his search for a new assistant coach, FAU coach Mike Jarvis noted that he'd like to keep the job in the family if at all possible.

It appears that was possible.

Sources told FAUOwlAccess.com that Pete Gash will be named an assistant coach, completing Jarvis' coaching staff. Gash, the Owls' director of basketball operations since 2009, will be filling the vacancy created when Matt McCall left to join Billy Donovan's staff at Florida.

Gash came to FAU after serving as a graduate assistant under Tom Crean at Indiana. He's also worked at LaSalle and Lynn. You can read the rest of his bio here.

In the past few years Gash has managed the basketball office and handled video production for the basketball Owls, among other duties. He was instrumental in putting together the recent team camp, which saw a record 46 high school teams from across the state travel to FAU for a weekend.

One of the biggest selling points for Gash was his knowledge of Jarvis' system and the current players. Gash should be able to make an immediate impact on the staff, bringing consistency to a team that took a large leap forward last season.
Seems like a smart move.

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We found our own way to celebrate the Fourth of July holiday. On Monday we continued our series looking at different aspects of FAU's new on-campus stadium by examining the sound system. And yes, we managed to have some fun away from this site, too. Thanks for asking.
 

Happy Fourth of July from FAUOwlAccess.com

On behalf of all the staff at FAUOwlAccess.com. we would like to wish you a happy Fourth of July.

 
There are several places to celebrate the greatest country in the world, and one of the best places to take in the fireworks is at Florida Atlantic University. The FAU fireworks will begin around 9 p.m. and I imagine seeing the bombs bursting in air against a silhouette of the FAU football stadium will be quite a sight.
 
Here are the complete details of the event and I’m sure our reader base of mostly students and recent graduates will enjoy the cutting-edge comedy-musical, The 1940s Radio Hour.
 
One thing to note is how easily the traffic usually flows at an event that will have more people on campus than a football game.
 
No matter where you celebrate, have a safe and happy Independence Day!
 
Sunday’s Daily Briefing: Brandon Flowers’ 7-on-7 is next weekend

While there aren’t any camps at FAU this weekend, next weekend there will be a large 7-on-7 tournament with a distinct local flavor.

Several NFL players who are from area high schools, including Brandon Flowers, who played at Atlantic High School before continuing his career with Virginia Tech and the Kansas City Chiefs, will be holding their big charity weekend on July 7-10 including an impressive 7-on-7 tournament.
 
Former FAU running back Anthony Jackson, who worked as an academic advisor before recently taking a position with the city of Dania Beack, helps with the weekend and passed this along.
 
You may remember Jackson, a member of the Owls’ inaguraul team, spoke at the groundbreaking ceremony for the new stadium. He will be missed at the Oxley Center, but we wish him good luck with his new job.
 
Here’s the information Jackson passed along for the events…
 
Prep and Sports, Inc. and Kansas City Chief Brandon Flowers are excited to announce the Brandon Flowers Charity Weekend Presented By Prep and Sports, Inc. July 7 – 10th, 2011 in Delray Beach, Fl.
 
The Brandon Flowers Prep and Sports, Inc. Charity Weekend will kick off with a Comedy Show on
Thursday, July 7th at Old School Square in Delray Beach. Friday the 8th, community members can Bowl
with an NFL Pro and compete to be the Grid Iron Great Bowling Champion. Saturday the 9h, sixteen
high school football teams from around the country will compete in the Brandon Flowers 7 on 7 high
school tournament while NFL athletes are the spectators. Sunday the weekend concludes with the Grid
Iron Challenge with local student athletes running drills and competing alongside the NFL Athletes. All
proceeds from the weekend benefit the program participants enrolled in Prep and Sports, Inc.
 
Thursday’s Comedy Show Lineup includes comedians as seen on Comedy Central, BET’s Comic View and Def Comedy Jam. Comedians include: Chris Spencer, Sarge, Rayzor and Marvin Dixon. Tickets range
from $50 up to $150 for VIP seating, reception and meet and greet.
 
Friday, guests of all ages will have a chance to bowl against NFL athletes, elected officials and
distinguished guests at Strikes in Boca Raton. The family friendly event is $20 for children and $40 for
adults and includes food, drinks and shoes.
 
Saturday, high school teams from across the country will be in Delray Beach competing in the Brandon
Flowers 7 on 7 High School Tournament. Up and coming athletes will have the chance to show off their
skills as the NFL players are in the stands. This unique, switch of field perspective for the players creates
a fun environment. Community members are encouraged to attend. The tournament takes place at
the Seacrest Athletic Complex. Food and drinks will be available for purchase. Last year over 1,000 fans
watched the tournament.
 
Sunday, local athletes ages 11-17 will have the chance to be coached and evaluated by NFL Players. $10
registration fee. Space is limited. Register at www.prepandsports.org and fee includes t-shirt and food.
 
All funds raised will go to youth academic and educational programs provided by Prep and Sports,
Inc. Invited athletes include but not limited to: Kansas City Chief’s Eric Berry and Brandon Flowers ,
Indianapolis Colt Pierre Garcon, Cleveland Brown Monterio Hardesty, Philadelphia Eagle Jerome
Harison, Houston Texan Kareem Jackson, Tampa Bay Buc Preston Parker, and Chicago Bear Major Wright and more.
 
“I am very excited about Prep and Sports, Inc. and Brandon Flowers Charity Weekend. We have so
much support from my NFL colleagues, and the Palm Beach County community, we will certainly raise
much needed funds for our program participants,” said Brandon Flowers. Brandon is a Delray Beach
native and a program graduate of Prep and Sports, Inc.
 
For more information on how to become a sponsor or participate in the Brandon Flowers
Charity Weekend presented by Prep and Sports, Inc. contact Dana Brookes at 561-789-5651 or
dana@danabrookes.com or www.prepandsports.org
Looking to get out of the rain? Try the Blues

Dreary weather got you feeling a little blue this weekend? Maybe you should go with that emotion. Boston's on the Beach in Delray kicked off its annual Red White and Blues Festival last night. I was there and can tell you it's a pretty cool event.

Caught J.P. Soars and the Red Hots, along with the Fabulous Fleetwoods on Friday. Tonight, Matt “Guitar” Murphy (of Blues Brothers fame) plays along with a boatload of other acts. Boston's actually has three stages set up for today and tomorrow. Here's the web site which contains all the information you'll need.

Trust me, you don't have to be a big blues fan to enjoy this event. Some of the performers are simply amazing to watch. I'm told Muggie Doo (aka Mark Leach) will have his Hammond B3 organ parked at Boston's for the next couple of days. Just watching this guy play what was originally designed to be a church organ is well worth the cost of admission. (Don't worry, one of the stages is free entertainment).

Of course, Boston's is also a great place to watch the fireworks on the fourth. They are actually blocking off A1A, setting up a stage, and having the Funkabilly Playboys play for the final hours leading up to the fireworks display.

How does this apply to FAU? Well, it's a bit of a stretch, but Boston's has always done what it can to support the Owls. A couple seasons back Boston's hosted the Mike Jarvis show on ESPN 760. And I know a bunch of you FAU students are fond of Reggae Nights on Monday. But mostly, it's just going to be a pretty good time – and I figure every FAU fan could use one of those.

Plus, when watching the Funkabillies, if you tell Bongo you're an FAU fan, he'll likely give you a present. Be prepared, though. He might try to kiss you – but only if he's already super sweaty...

Saturday’s Daily Briefing: Stadium was easy selection as top story of year

Earlier this week, we announced our top story of the 2010-11 sports season.

We don’t have a real flair for the dramatic do we?
 
As most could have guessed, the approval and groundbreaking for the new on-campus football stadium was our top story. But what else to do but pick the one aspect that will change life for FAU and all Owl fans?
 
By the way, Vegas has the early odds on our story of the year for next season and the favorite, of course, is the opening of the stadium. If the stadium doesn’t open, the riots to follow will probably be No. 2.
 
But here’s a final look at our Top 10 plus the stories that we considered, but didn’t make the list. If we had a glaring omission please let us know. Otherwise it’s assumed everyone agrees with our expert selections.
 
Stories of the Year
 
 
Also considered…
Football: The Ford Field Fiasco as Howard Schnellenberger settles for late FG vs. Michigan State. ...LB Michael Lockley blocks FG to seal win vs. UAB. ...CB Tavios Polo and DE Daniel Joseph suspended for role in planning post-game party after loss to North Texas. ... FAU players compete in All-Star Games. ...Offensive line learns on the job. ...Defense switches base to a 3-4. ...Rusty Smith makes debut for Titans to become first Owl to play in NFL.
 
Basketball: FAU celebrates Mike Jarvis'  400th victory. ...Baylor transfer heads signing class. ....FAU goes on 12-day, 5-game road swing. ...Team tours Europe. ...Jarvis named Sun Belt Coach of the Year
 
 
Baseball: Raymond Church's 24-game hit streak...Owls slump at Sun Belt Tournament....Former pitcher Mike Crotta makes Pirates' opening-day roster. ...Dan Scheffler returns after being hit in the face. ...Paul Davis drafted by Giants. ...FAU faces Florida at Roger Dean Stadium
 
 
Other: magicJack moves games to FAU
 
Owl Links
FAUOwlAccess.com
We cought up with former FAU pitcher Tim McNabb as part of Former Owl Friday.
 
Other linkage
Check out this video of a stadium tour with Rick Horrow from the excellent show on the local Fox affiliate, Beyond the Box Score

 

 

Friday's Daily Briefing: FAU season tickets on sale to general public

As we flip our calendars ahead to July this morning, here’s another reminder that football season is right around the corner.

 
Beginning today, FAU begins its push to selling football season tickets without a donation.
 
Like most places, the first choice of seats have gone to those who have made donations to the university – and that’s the way it should be.
 
But beginning today, FAU is now courting the general population – and that’s where FAU can make the most progress.
 
The donors and previous season ticket holders are FAU’s base, but the biggest difference in attendance will come from how well FAU can appeal to the masses. FAU’s causal fans greatly outnumber its hard-core supporters and getting them on board is the only way the stadium will be full.
 
For more information on FAU football tickets click here.
 
Owl Links
FAUOwlAccess.com
We took a look at the budget for FAU's athletic department, which is projecting a$4 million surplus.

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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.

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