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October 20, 2007

Comments

Jim

I'm glad you are so worried about LT's health but next time you write about a blown call by the ref's can you please mention our recovery of the fumble at the 1 yard line that was taken away by a bad call.
7-7=0 Yeesh...

From Shawn:
You wouldn’t see the forest through the trees if some guy was yelling timber and dropping oak limbs on your head. How about going back and reading again what I wrote and then commenting on that subject. The bad call that possibly went against UConn on the punt you're talking about was simply that, a bad call by the officials, I’m not arguing that one way or another here and what I wrote about the Larry Taylor return had nothing to do with the call made by the officials on the field on his play and everything to do with the set up of the play by Taylor. He knowingly took advantage of a rule put in place for his own personal safety. It’s a move that likely will come back to haunt him. He will be a target now, and don’t think that other players in the Big East aren’t going to see that play and remember it and be looking to take their shot when he raises his arm but doesn’t wave his hand over his head.

Jay Kim

You guys the moral police? Competitive advantages are part of the game. Baseball players are constantly deking to fool baserunners, Peyton Mannings antics are intended to fool the other team and clearly stealing signs happen in baseball and in football. Why do you think third base coaches have to create intricate signs to inform players of plays, or football coaches hold their play cards over their mikes when they call in the plays. If you watch sports, you know it is part of the game. Frankly on that play, the Louisville players didn't follow the most simple rule, play until the whistle is blown.

From Shawn:
Did you read what I wrote? Absolutely gaining competitive advantages by looking for loopholes in the rules is part of sports. But when you do that by taking advantage of a rule that is in place for the singular reason of keeping a player safe from injury, you’re setting a very bad precedent.

Mark

You're exactly right. It was a bad call all around. The ball should have been blown dead because even an invalid fair catch signal means the ball cannot be advanced, but the larger picture means no team will let up on Taylor for the rest of the season. Everyone will risk the 15 yard penalty rather than the chance of a bad call and just tee off on him.

The likelihood that he will survive fielding punts past the USF game is not very high given the USF defense and the speed of their special teams. I sih him luck but I'm afraid he'll get what he deserves.

Brian

I agree with you Shawn, Taylor could have definitely put himself in a bad position for the next return, but say he had been hit and the fair catch call was acknowledged wouldnt that have been a penalty on Louisvilles part? So other teams might be reluctant to hit him if he clearly waves his hands next time because if the refs do acknowledge the fair catch they will be penalized.

David Bessettte

The NCAA rulebook states that the signal for a fair catch is waving a hand over the head back and forth more than once.

At most,Taylor waved his hand back once(I could not tell if it was enen over his head.). That is a minimum of THREE missing waves of the hand.

This was not a blown call. For Louisville fans, which evidently includes the Courant and ESPN, to complain is unwarranted.

If you do not like the rule, complain to the Rules Committee. Don't blaim Taylor. Don't blaim the officials for not making up their own rule on the spot. There is no doubt whatsoever that the play was legal and that the officials made the correct call.

As for trying to trick your opponent, it is part of sport. Do you object to fake handoffs where the phantom ball carrier gets needlessly tackled which could result in his injury? Do you object to the punter keeping his leg extended long after he has kicked the ball, hoping someone gets knocked into him, whereupon he does a soccer flop?

How about the quarterback pump fake. Should the chaging lineman stop, thinking the quarterback has released the ball? What about fake punts, fake field goals?

I could go on but you should get the messsage.

I am not surprised that the Louisville team should be dismayed. However, I think you fans at the Courant and ESPN who side with the Other Team should try to be objective.

Rockville, MD

From Shawn:
In no way am I "siding" with Louisville on this and I'm not even arguing the call made by the officals, let's get that straight. All I'm saying is that Taylor took advantage of a rule that's in place for his personal safety. That could come back to haunt in a dire way.

Robert

If Larry Taylor made a valid OR invalid fair call signal is not the point. If you read the rules laid down by the NCAA, the call STILL SHOULD HAVE BEEN BLOWN DEAD. Don't believe me? Go check the NCAA rulebook

http://www.ncaa.org/library/rules/2007/2007_football_rules.pdf

Section 5. Article 3b
Rule 4 Article 3g
To be honest all in all, bad officiating.

Alex

Shawn... maybe some day when you discover that it's possible to also breath through your nose, you will see that it was the officials that put Larry Taylor in this position. Considering you were present for the postgame press conference you should be conginzant of that fact.

You should stick to the cars going in circles or the powderpuff races at the Speedbowl. That's more in your range.

From Shawn:
Hilarious, really Alex. I do love the powderpuff race comment, always a favorite. You need some new material buddy, really.

Jeff

I assume you're not a parent, you fool. Nice job discussing the possibility of a student-athlete being carted off on a stretcher. It's a game. Unfortunately you get an opinion, but let's leave the commentary about someone's son being injured out of the public eye. Wake you, you self-serving moron.

From Shawn:
Please don’t assume anything about me sir. You don’t know me. The fact that the topic needs to be discussed is not by my doing but rather because of the fact that a player, to gain a competitive advantage, knowingly toyed with the interpretation of a rule that’s in place expressly to protect him from injury.
This is word-for-word from the NCAA rulebook – “The purpose of the fair catch provision is to protect the receiver who, by his fair catch signal, agrees he or a teammate will not advance after the catch.”
It’s a rule, put in place for the express reason of protecting the player catching the ball. When you start playing games with how officials should judge how many times you wave your hand or how high you put it over your head you’re asking for trouble, simple as that. There should be no black and white on this, you raise your hand before the kick comes down and you’re calling a fair catch. Larry Taylor said he never called a fair catch yet there’s video proof that he raised his arm. Why did he do that? Why did he ask the official for an interpretation of the rule right before the play? He took advantage of a rule put in place to protect him. That he now likely becomes a stationary target on the field for return defenders who refuse to fall for a trick play is the unfortunate consequence of what happened Friday night.

Alex

Shawn,

I'm not joking around here. Get off of the UConn football beat. We don't need homers, but we don't need saboteurs like you.

Isn't there some 75 year-old trying to qualify for Daytona next year that you can write about? Man, those guys are athletes.

From Shawn:
I'm a saboteur now? You really do live in quite a little fantasy land over there Alex. Good to know that you're "not joking around here." bud. So tell me again how I'm a saboteur?

Mac

Gray area my ---. The Taylor kid is a no good cheater, and a brazen one at that. It takes Vick-like mentality to smile that way on national television after what he did. Yes, he got away with it because the officials are pitiful. It's amazing that they get paid for that and the poor kids busting their backs and playing by the rules are the ones who suffer. The officials make money and the cheaters win.
The other bad call should have put UCon at the 16 and UofL would have stopped them, again. Big difference from a touchdown and all that smiling - sickening and embarrassing.

Kevin

Mac, wrong - the muffed punt would have put UConn at the 1-yard line and a near-sure TD on the board. So add both missed calls, and you get a final score of...?

21-17.

Thanks.

Oh, and LT's probably going to get destroyed next time he tries to do something like that. I don't really get the hate for Shawn - arguing whether or not LT made a fair catch is semantics. It looked like that's what he was going to do, that's why everyone stopped.

The point is that LT won't get the benefit of the doubt from punt coverage guys any more and yes, he could get hurt. It has nothing to do with whether Shawn's trying to sabotage Randy Edsall or not.

Ryan

The way you wrote the article, your writing it as if Larry Taylor commited murder.That was way over the edge when you were talking about Taylor being paralyzed. If someone were to layout Taylor, you can be almost certain that someone like Danny Lansanah would have his back by laying out the QB. When you dont hear a whistle you keep going. Oh, yeah you wouldnt understand that because you are some Nascar %$# who has never played on the gridiron before.

From Shawn:
That's a quality comment. The reason the rule is there is to avoid what could be devestating injuries to punt return guys with their heads pointed to the sky as defenders barrel down the field looking to rock them into tomorrow. It says that pretty explicitly in the NCAA rulebook. Football is an inherently violent game and when you go so far as to disrespect a rule that is in place for the singular reason of avoiding injuries from taking place then you're just setting up for something terrible to happen. But I guess because I cover auto racing I wouldn't know about that.

Jeff

Your friend or loved on (not that you have any) played in the gray area with the definition of the jay-walking rule that is in place to protect him from injury. Every indication is that they knew exactly what he was doing when they crossed in traffic before the Walk sign flashed green, while cars and trucks were bearing down on him.

When Taylor gets carted off road on a stretcher, unconscious, or dare we say even paralyzed (it’s life, it happens

How does it sound Hot Shot? Why don't you stick to commentary on something relevent? Oh, I'm sorry...I don't you know anything relevent.

football MOM

I thought you were our local writer? It sounds like you think LT should get hit and pay for the refs blowing a call! I'll be sure and get other parents on board NOT to EVER give your paper interviews - Coach will also hear about it. You should be ignored!! I'll not be back.

From Shawn:
I never said Larry Taylor should get hit, I said HE is setting himself up to get hit by toying with the rules. I didn't raise my hand to try and play a mind game with defenders (as Taylor said he did after the game), he did.

Tim Riordan

I have to laugh at holier than thou columnists like you who carve out distinctions to justify some commentary on life. The ref didn't call the fair catch and the kid took advantage of it. Any 5'6" 160 lb kid willing to risk the hits has a lot more guts than the wimpy reporters supposedly so concerned with his welfare. The only mistake that I see the kid making is not admitting that he called for the fair catch and the official missed it. No different than holding on pass rush and having the official miss it. Or maybe thats different because it keeps the quarterback from getting hurt. Football players certainly shouldn't think the other team might try to hurt them!Give me a break.

pete

excellent column shawn. i agree 100%.
it was a cheap way to win a game, thats for damn sure.

Mac

My mistake for mentioning the other bad call. The debate here is the dishonest, low-class behavior of Taylor. His fame is now etched not for his great run- back but for his devious, unsportsmanlike behavior. Would anyone care to guess what would have happened if UofL had tackled him? My guess is that it would be a 15 yard penalty. The signal Taylor made was clear enough for the entire Louisville team to not hit him, clear enough to the ESPN announcers who were expressing outrage that the officials had not stopped Taylor and definitely clear on all the replays of the the play. He clearly raises his arm in a deliberate manner to call off his attackers. Interesting though is UCon thought it was fair - you know that institute of higher learning!? Are you that impaired by winning to condone cheating in front of the entire viewing audience? My question now is what can be done about it. Where is the contact name and number for the Big East Officials to take criticism? Doesn't some of the ticket price go to their salaries? The eyes of all the officials should have been on one player - Taylor - and obviously that was not done.

Ross

I am having a difficult time understanding where some of these comments are coming from. I would be interested in knowing if some of these people making comments even bothered to read the entire article.

A reporters job is to report the story, it isn't to stroke over inflated ego's and support local fan's and player's ignorance.

What Shawn has reported makes perfect sense to a person who doesn't have a jaded view or opinion toward the team that cheated.

Perhaps the reporter (Shawn) should borrow some rose colored glasses before writing his next report.

Steve

Shawn, every single UConn fan that is blasting you would be irate if that kind of play went against them. They are only responding to a good, well-written article that was fair and accurate, because they KNOW it was wrong for this kid to do what he did and then his behavior on the sidelines was even more atrocious. Bad day for UConn as a sports program and a school. The rest of the Big East watched this and they don't like it. They will be more fired-up for this game than they would have been. And UConn will get creamed by UL for years to come! Nobody likes or respects a cheater and this was just plain and simple cheating. Think about it, he is saying, I can score if nobody defends me! Even if the other disputed call was clear, and it was not, the UL player didn't intend to cheat as the UConn player did. Sad act and sad, weak attempts by UConn fans to try and defend the indefensible! Shame is on the entire school for not publicly speaking out against this kind of poor sprtsmanship. I promise you this will cost UConn way more than they gained in a very tainted victory!

rick amos

The referee's blew it. UCONN's player took advantage of a rule that is there to PROTECT HIM. UCONN's coaches either defend this or are unwilling to call it what it is 'NO CLASS". I hope everyone at UCONN is happy with your victory. You can have it!!!1

Phil

I don't understand why there are so many personal attacks on the writer. The point of the article is rather simple - Taylor took advantage of a rule set in place to protect players such as him. I don't think there can be much dispute about it, as written in the article. The article doesn't say the lack of a call cost U of L the game or that the win for UCONN is tainted. It simply says that taking advantage of a rule put in place to protect players is wrong and can lead to unintended consequences. It is ironic that the Big East featured a new commercial on sportsmanship, while Taylor was caught by the cameras seeimingly giggling about how he pulled one over on the other team. The bottom line is that UCONN won the game, but I am hopeful that no one can be proud of Taylor's actions. If I had the choice of winning the game with Taylor's actions or not winning the game without his actions, I would choose the latter. I fear there will be reprecussions from this that go way beyond this game and even this season. I had also hoped that Coach Edsall would be more forthcoming about the situation during the Big East press conference. His unwillingness to address it in a straighforward manner was almost as disappointing as Taylor's actions.

Tony

That was a disgraceful act by Taylor. For the UConn coach days later to not acknowledge it is equally disgraceful. Given that this is a safety rule the officials should have used their discretion and blown it dead. I've seen many half-hearted attempts called fair catches especially when a player is advancing forward quickly to catch a misjudged kick.

Taylor is in for a world of hurt returning punts the rest of the way. I would suggest that Edsall alleviate him of this duty for his own safety.

Card Fan

Was the punt returner a Sr.? I would like to see what happens to him if attempts a return next year. And if he will be able to attempt a second.

Chris

The response to this is laughable. Mostly b/c everyone is completely trashing this kid's character based on one play in a football game. From everything I've ever known/heard about him...the kid is a good kid. So, he appeared to wave for a fair catch and then started to run...all the officials had to do was blow the whistle. He took a chance and got away with it...like I said, all the officials had to do was blow the play dead. How many times do guys pick up a dead ball and run and risk being hammered? All the freakin time. The difference is the competent officials blow the play dead. GET OVER IT. Louisville blew a 10 point lead in the 4th Q after the punt return. their defense sucks and couldn't close the game out. how about you hold your defense and coaching staff accountable for their inability to close out a team they and their ridiculous fan base perceived as inferior. It's great to see how people seem to be rooting for this kid to get hurt. That'll learn him right? You stay classy. What a joke. maybe we should be rooting for you to get in a car accident next time you go over the speed limit. after all, it is there to protect you.

Matt

Hey Louisville,

Get over it your football sucks this year!!! Stop whining, the games over and we win...I'll be sure to send you all a postcard from sunny Miami...freaking Louisville so mad they couldn't be Kentucky...and you lost to Syracuse hahahahahahahaha.

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