Most of the time, when reporting these stories, we don't really know the person we are writing about. This time I do. Former 16-year NFL veteran and UAlbany assistant football coach, Jim Sweeney unexpectedly passed away on Saturday. The news rocked the New York Jets organization, as well as Sweeney's friends and family at the University at Albany.
Only a few years ago, universities and colleges were the only ones that could benefit from a student-athlete's name, likeness and image (NLI) but we all know that has changed. When you think about programs like Alabama and Texas, where the head coaches are racking in tens of millions of dollars in contracts and endorsements, student-athletes were given a small fraction of a percent of those profits through scholarships and sometimes stipends. That rule has changed and now a University at Albany football player is benefitting from the modification.
Tuesday morning was media training with yours truly giving the presentation to the University at Albany football team. 100 players packed into the academic center, where the team generally holds training camp team meetings. The UAlbany Great Danes are preparing to take on 10th-ranked Baylor on September 3rd, so information had to be quick and to the point. Plus, one Great Danes player was about to learn that he earned something incredibly special.
Timing can be everything and the UAlbany Great Danes Football team needed the week 4 bye in their schedule. The Danes started the season September 4th by visiting the reigning national champion North Dakota State, then came home to lose to CAA rival Rhode Island because of special teams and traveled east on I-90 to get kicked by Syracuse. It was the perfect time for Coach Gattuso and the team to reset.
The UAlbany Great Danes began their season by visiting national powerhouse No. 4 North Dakota State University last Saturday. The Danes fell 28-6, but showed some awesome signs of potential this season against a team that has won 8 of the last 10 FCS National Championships, including finishing the first half with more total yards. UAlbany Head Coach Gattuso joined The Drive with Charlie & Dan on Tuesday and pointed out a lot of positives for the Great Danes on both sides of the ball.
Sometimes you don't have to be in the "state of the art" football stadium to get a feel for the tradition of a football program. Let's take a look at 5 easy trips from the Capital Region in New York, for people who love college football! You won't just enjoy the ride, you'll love these trips from the pre-game tailgate parties to the post game celebrations!