Football and Jesus at UConn

The University of Connecticut doesn’t exactly have a powerhouse football program. In fact, the defensive coordinator from Michigan State turned down their head coaching position a few weeks ago. But they’ve got a new head coach now and he knows how to turn the program around — with more Jesus.

UConn, which is a public institution, recently hired Ernest T. Jones to serve as the team’s running backs coach and also as its director of “player engagement.” Since nobody would know what “player engagement” means without an explanation, Jones was kind enough to clarify.

“We develop [the players] socially, intellectually, spiritually, physically,” Jones said in a recent radio interview. “That’s what we’re going to do for these young people and [UConn Head] Coach [Bob] Diaco has allowed me to oversee the social and spiritual part of the development. I mean, this is big. This is a big part of our program.”

Spiritual development? That sounds problematic at a public institution. Worse, it turns out that Jones has a very specific type of spiritual development in mind – not to mention that he doesn’t seem to understand what the word “non-denominational” means.

“And we’re going to do things in our building, fellowship, non-denominational type things, players, coaches,” Jones said. “We’re going to make sure they understand that Jesus Christ should be in the center of our huddle, that that’s something that is important. If you want to be successful and you want to win, get championships, then you better understand that this didn’t happen because of you. This happened because of our Lord and Savior. That’s going to be something said by Bob Diaco. That’s something that’s going to be said by Ernest Jones. That’s who we are.”

For a little added irony, Jones was fired as head coach of his alma mater in 2008 for “malfeasance and contumacious conduct” for a variety of rules violations.

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What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • http://www.gregory-gadow.net Gregory in Seattle

    “Non denominational” means that he encourages BOTH kinds, Baptist and Southern Baptist.

  • matty1

    “We’re going to make sure they understand that Jesus Christ should be in the center of our huddle”

    I’m not familiar with this sport but would a non-player be allowed to join the game like this?

  • marcus

    Learned a new word today! So he is…

    contumacious. (stubbornly or willfully disobedient to authority.)

    Unless of course that be the justified authority of Jebus!

  • Artor

    If Jesus can’t keep his GPA up to a passing standard, then he shouldn’t be on the team. How many credits is Jesus enrolled in at UConn anyway?

  • John Pieret

    UConn has already scotched this. President Susan Herbst, in a letter that appears in Wednesday’s Hartford Courant

    said:

    [I]t should go without saying that our employees cannot appear to endorse or advocate for a particular religion or spiritual philosophy as part of their work at the university, or in their interactions with our students. This applies to work-related activity anywhere on or off campus, including on the football field. Our athletic director and Coach Diaco agree wholeheartedly with me, and have made this clear to their staff.

    Jones will now have a chance to add “insubordination” to his resume of “malfeasance and contumacious conduct.”

  • jnorris

    Thank you President Herbst, AD Warde Manuel, and Coach Diaco.

  • Richard Smith

    Jones is truly being non-denominational. Regardless of your denomination, he’ll hit you over the head with Jesus.

    They’d probably have done better by hiring Ernest P. Worrell.

  • http://www.thelosersleague.com theschwa

    “We’re going to make sure they understand that Jesus Christ should be in the center of our huddle, that that’s something that is important. “

    He then added, “Of course, we anticipate frequent penalties for too many players on the field…”

  • Brandon

    If you want to be successful and you want to win, get championships, then you better understand that this didn’t happen because of you.

    This sounds wildly unproductive. Now, if he was telling kids that you don’t become successful by believing that it’s all about you, that you have to learn to rely on your teammates, trust them, and play together, he might be onto something. But no… just hope for magic.

  • matthewhodson

    For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost plays, especially on the fourth down.

    Luke 19:10

  • Wylann

    “We’re going to make sure they understand that Jesus Christ should be in the center of our huddle”

    *blows whistle* Penalty, 12 men in the huddle (I don’t care if one is imaginary, they claim, they pay the price!)

    If you want to be successful and you want to win, get championships, then you better understand that this didn’t happen because of you.

    So they come out of the huddle, hike the ball, and then all kneel down and pray. Do they know what kneeling means in football? I think this will go well…..

  • vmanis1

    Just be glad that Jesus doesn’t play rugby. If he were in the center of the scrum, he’d get nasty kicks from both teams’ players. Crucifixion is probably not as bad as a few minutes in a rugby scrum.

  • kevinalexander

    ‘For He so loved the world that he sent His only begotten Son so that UConn might win a game or two.’

  • peterh

    So: 10 players & one ghost in the huddle = no penalties and plays any decent defense could snuff in a trice.

  • http://polrant@blogspot.com democommie

    “Jones will now have a chance to add “insubordination” to his resume of “malfeasance and contumacious conduct.”

    You forgot, “Martyrdom”.

  • Synfandel

    “And we’re going to do things in our building, fellowship, non-denominational type things, players, coaches,” Jones said.

    Can any of you make the slightest sense out of that alleged sentence?

  • John Hinkle

    Quarterback: Ok Jesus. What’s the play?

    Jesus: Hail Mary pass.

    Quarterback: But we’re second and one on our 11th yard line.

    Jesus: Hail Mary pass.

    Quarterback: But—

    Jesus: Hail Mary pass. Hail Mary pass! HAIL MARY PASS, OR I’LL DROP KICK YOU THROUGH THE GOALPOSTS OF LIFE!!

  • Matt G

    Things like this remind me of Rev. Lovejoy from the Simpsons. He states his support of religious freedom thusly: Everyone is free to worship Jesus in his own way. Wish I knew the exact quote….

  • Doug Little

    Yeah that Jesus and football mix worked out real well for Tim Tebow.

  • http://festeringscabofrealityblogspot.com fifthdentist

    Jesus may have to bail out his dad if he gets drunk and bets heavily on UConn as the bookies whom he owes money start getting heavy.

    “Nice paradise you got here, Mr Yahweh. Shame if somethin’ was to happen to it.”

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000263140906 Donovan

    I’ll wait for the movie, “Ernest Saves UConn,” know what I mean, Vern?

  • had3

    The nails give better grip on the turf, but may be a disqualifier as an aid to catching the ball.

  • dingojack

    Well you wouldn’t want the running backs to worship mammon would you?

    Then they’d be Capitalist Running Backs! (boom tish)

    Ok, ok, I’ll get my coat.

    Dingo

  • Ichthyic

    “We develop [the players] socially, intellectually, spiritually, physically,” Jones said in a recent radio interview. “That’s what we’re going to do for these young people and [UConn Head] Coach [Bob] Diaco has allowed me to oversee the social and spiritual part of the development. I mean, this is big. This is a big part of our program.”

    could almost be describing the Manchurian Candidate…

  • matty1

    I assume he means non-denominational as in non-denominational church not as in suitable for all denominations. A non-denominational church is one that isn’t affiliated to any larger church group but as I recall they tend to be evangelical baptist is character.

  • http://polrant@blogspot.com democommie

    I wonder if their quarterback, ala Peyton Manning, is going to be calling signals with a city’s name in them? For Manning it’s been a lot of “OMAHA!”, I can see the Huskies using, “Jericho”, “Babylon” or “Bethlehem”, maybe.

    It’s just too bad that Mark Twain isn’t still amongst the living (and living in Hartford, CT); I’m sure he would have a pithy remark or six to make.

    @22:

    That is the most egregiously disrespectful and sacrilegious comment I have EVER read in reference to THE MESSIAH! I would have told you last night what a malicious bastard you are, but I just now stopped laughing.