Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Warde Manuel Talks UConn Before Teeing Off at Travelers Championship

Kevin Ollie and Warde Manuel were in the same group today at the Travelers Championship celebrity pro-am. The two were in a group along with Jen Rizzotti and pro Jonaz Blixt, teeing off at 7:30 a.m. off the 10th tee. Here's some video:

Manuel jokingly sported Ollie's caddy's bib as Ollie joined him on the tee.

I talked to Manuel for a few minutes on the practice range. Asked him if he was nervous about teeing off in front of a large group of fans.

"They (the fans) should be nervous," Manuel joked.

In truth, he's a 6-handicap whose swing looks pretty good. And with a 7:30 a.m. pro-am tee time, there wasn't much of a gallery at the 10th tee.

Here's what Manuel had to say about some UConn-related items:

(on being named to Mark Emmert's 10-person council of athletic directors)

"I’m honored to be a part of that group. It’s a great group of AD’s and colleagues from around the country, really just to provide Mark with some advice from our perspective, and to be a sounding board for him, to talk to him about some of the things that are important to us and to really help the membership, long-term. That’s the goal. I’m looking forward to it."

Manuel said the council was selected by the AD's, not Emmert, and that he doesn't envision drumming up the APR issue with Emmert again.

"We made our arguments ... it is what it is, at this point. They’re good people, Mark's a good person. We agree to disagree on the way it was doled out, and the timing of the rule, the implementation. But it’s water under the bridge."

(on the UConn men's hoops team's latest strong APR scores)

"Very happy. Ecstatic with the results and the effort of the student-athletes and the academic staff. It’s really positive, because the kids on the team had nothing to do with it, but it’s a university issue, and they are really pulling through and doing well in the classroom, and on the field of play."

(on whether UConn will replace George Blaney on the coaching staff)

"Unknown at this point. Kevin and I are talking, and we’ll see how the staff shapes up."

(on Jim Calhoun's present and future with the program)

"He’s coach emeritus. He’s going to be helping us with the fundraising stuff within athletics and the university, and continue to be a great ambassador for UConn. He’s already helping us make inroads into some donors and opening doors and talking to people about supporting UConn athletics, as he always has. It’s great to have him with us. I know I’m happy, Kevin’s happy, that he’s going to be around on a consistent basis."

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