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Saturday, August 12, 2006

Two key issues for MU athletics

No.1 - the new athletic center, the MAAC. Monmouth U officials are hopeful it will receive local town (West Long Branch) approval later this month.. next month at the latest. Then it's a 2-3 year construction time period.

After many, many, many, years of talk it looks like it may actually happen. Still, I won't believe it until the doors open!!!

No. 2 - What next for MU football? The next two years the Northeast
Conference champ faces the Pioneer League champ in the post season "Gridiron Classic." After that MU is hopeful NEC gets the automatic qualifier to the NCAA 1-AA playoffs. The face of NEC football could change. Stony Brook, I am told, is leaving after this year, Albany eventually may.

Monmouth? If NEC remains in line for the NCAA AQ (automatic qualifier) in football I believe no move is anticipated. If the AQ seems unlikely MU could look to annex with another league (Patriot?) as at least an associate member.

Also: Down the road there may be some modifications though not necessarily expansion of Kessler Field. So much of everything depends on the building of the MAAC. It's the key to the future of the entire athletic program.

Also Friday chatted with MU men's soccer coach Rob McCourt and striker Tom Gray (Middletown South) for upcoming story. Despite some key losses to graduation McCourt seems very optimistic MU can repeat as NEC regular season champs with the aim of this time winning the NEC Tournament (it lost in the finals last season).

Prior to football practice MU AD Marilyn McNeil addressed the team. Included in her remarks were how the athletes represent the school, etc. She says she does this for every team at their first practices. It's a very sound policy. Sadly, for some athletes, her well intentioned remarks go in one ear and then into outer space.


Blogger Tony Graham said...

This is in response to a comment on MU pass defense.

Hawks were fourth in the NEC in that area last season and were mainly in the upper echelon in most other defensive categories.

If you look at the reasons for their four defeats...vs. Lehigh they had a disastrous third quarter, vs. Wagner Boland had an awful day, vs. CCSU (13-15) and SFPA (15-19) offense bogged down minus Austin.

With eight starters returning including several fifth year seniors I expect defense to be a strong point for MU even though safety Nick Castellano was denied his fifth year by the NCAA.

My question marks remain in the passing game and at RB. Our main feature leading into the season I expect will be on several defensive players and the defense overall.

12:36 AM, August 14, 2006  

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