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A confusing 18-hours at UConn concerning Casey Cochran.

POSTED September 09, 2014
BY Timothy W. Gaffney
Twitter: @TimothyGaffney


STORRS: There are two trains of thought concerning what happened on Tuesday morning when the Connecticut Media made the trip up for our weekly talk with UConn football head coach Bob Diaco.

It had been a whirlwind 18-hours since the news came down that sophomore quarterback Casey Cochran would be hanging up his cleats for good after one too many concussions over his career.

Cochran and his family, after consulting with the UConn medical staff and Diaco, had made the decision on Saturday during the Huskies 19-10 win over Stony Brook, a game that he suited up for but was not going to play.

It was a hard pill for the record setting signal caller from Monroe, CT who set those records with Masuk High School before becoming a member of the UConn family after graduating in 2011.

Cochran was at the helm at the end of 2013 when the Huskies won three of their last four game to finish 3-9 and had been named the starting quarterback for UConn after a heated battle with Chandler Whitmer this past spring and summer.

So when news came down about and “Upper Body injury”, two days before the Huskies Saturday win over the Seawolves, nobody thought this was going to be career ending.

Diaco had told reporters on Sunday and Monday that an announcement would be made on Tuesday in regards to the health of Cochran so one ventured to think that perhaps concussion protocol might be calling for a couple more games sans contact.

Nobody, except for the family and members of UConn, thought what came out on Monday was coming.

So, up to Storrs everyone trucked on Tuesday after Monday’s chain of events to talk to Cochran.

Except soon after arriving for the noon presser, we found out that the one person most would want to hear from, would not be there.

Not having access to certain players this spring and summer, along with not seeing more than a glimpse of stretching during practice had been a sore spot with those who write for a living.

Diaco’s grip on the message has been tight. No talking about last year. No quarterbacks until four of them were paraded in front of us less than two weeks before the opener against BYU.

When asked about why Cochran was made available, a curt Diaco told the questioner, Jeff Jacobs of the Hartford Courant that “He wasn’t requested, I got a sheet Monday at dinner and he wasn’t on it. You didn’t request him, right? Maybe next time, you can request him.”

Cochran had every right not to talk to the media on Tuesday.

After all, his entire 20-year life to this point was focused on one thing; football.

The son of Jack Coichran, a legendary coach for decades in Connecticut, Cochran is a big name in CT.

If it was Cochran who requested that he not appear today, I’m 100 percent in support of that decision.

What makes you scratch your head a bit is the history the media has experienced first-hand since Diaco got here in December.

Perhaps it was the wording, that he wasn’t requested.

Sounded from many reports that Cochran did not want to talk to the media at this time but would down the road.

By saying he wasn’t requested, it leaves one with the impression that if he was asked for, he would be there.

There were eight players in the room after the coach finished his portion of the news conference and I’m not sure they were all asked for.

So which was it?

Did Cochran not want to talk or did the coach not want him to talk.

I’m hoping for the first one because this was going to be one time that the media would have been slanted clearly towards feeling bad for the kid who has been a Connecticut sports figure more than half his two decades.

The positive stories would be flowing, as they should have been.

Great kid, home state player playing for the state school, a gimmie.

We were supposed to hear about the condition of the QB on Tuesday but the email was sent out on Monday afternoon.

Cochran will keep his scholarship and be on the sidelines helping his teammates in a way to be defined over the next few days. A mentor and a leader for some of the younger players.

If he wants to coach, he has the pedigree from his father and all involved think he would make a great coach.

It just didn’t feel right on Tuesday and considering the history that is building between the coach and the media, one hopes it will get better before it gets worse.

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