Aug 28, 2021; Fresno, California, USA; Connecticut Huskies head coach Randy Edsall stands on the sideline during action against the Fresno State Bulldogs in the fourth quarter at Bulldog Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

UConn’s Randy Edsall steps down as head coach

Randy Edsall stepped down as UConn head coach Monday afternoon, one day after announcing he would retire at the end of the season.

Defensive coordinator Lou Spanos will serve as interim head coach for the rest of the season.

“Upon further reflection by both Randy and I, and after having the opportunity to visit with Randy today, we are both in agreement that it is in the best interest of our student-athletes to have a new voice leading UConn football,” Huskies athletic director David Benedict said in a statement.

Edsall, 63, was in his second stint as the Huskies’ head coach. He first coached the program from 1999-2010 before returning in 2017.

His first stint in Storrs was very successful, as he led the program’s transition from FCS football to major Division I football as a member of the Big East. He won conference titles in 2007 and 2010 and led the team to the 2011 Fiesta Bowl.

He left after the 2010 season to take the job at Maryland before returning to Connecticut in 2017.

UConn was 6-30 from 2017-2019 before canceling the 2020 season.

The Huskies got off to a terrible start this year, losing 45-0 to Fresno State and 38-28 to FCS Holy Cross at home Saturday.

Overall, Edsall compiled a 76-95 record at UConn.

Spanos, 50, was hired as the defensive coordinator in 2019. This will be his first time leading a football team as a head coach.

–Field Level Media

Oct 19, 2019; East Hartford, CT, USA; Connecticut Huskies head coach Randy Edsall reacts from the sideline after a Houston Cougars touchdown in the second half at Pratt & Whitney Stadium at Rentschler Field. Houston defeated UConn  24-17. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

UConn first FBS team to suspend football season

The University of Connecticut became the first FBS program to suspend its 2020 football season due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The Huskies were preparing to play their first season as an independent after leaving the American Athletic Conference last month. However, Gov. Ned Lamont had expressed concern about the team traveling to play in any state with a high COVID-19 infection rate.

UConn already had four opponents remove them from the schedule and other games were in jeopardy with several Power 5 programs moving to conference-only schedules. Lamont had said the Huskies would be subject to the state’s 14-day quarantine rule upon their return from any out-of-state games.

“After receiving guidance from state and public health officials and consulting with football student-athletes, we’ve decided that we will not compete on the gridiron this season,” athletic director David Benedict said in a statement. “The safety challenges created by COVID-19 place our football student-athletes at an unacceptable level of risk.”

Illinois, Indiana, Maine and Mississippi already removed UConn from their 2020 schedules, and games against ACC schools North Carolina and Virginia were uncertain. Maine plays in the Colonial Athletic Association, which won’t play football this year.

The Huskies returned to campus last month and no one has tested positive for COVID-19, according to school officials. Coach Randy Edsall said he consulted with players before the decision was made to suspend the season.

“We engaged and listened to the concerns of our football student-athletes and feel this is the best decision for their health, safety, and well-being,” Edsall said. “Our team is united in this approach and we will use this time to further player development within the program and gear ourselves to the 2021 season.”

The university said members of the football team will remain enrolled in school and have access to facilities and academic support services.

“The necessary measures needed to mitigate risk of football student-athletes contracting the coronavirus are not conducive to delivering an optimal experience for our team,” Benedict said. “Ultimately, the student-athletes would rather preserve their year of eligibility with an eye to competing under more typical circumstances during the 2021 season.”

UConn went 2-10 in its final season as an AAC member and is 6-30 in three years since Edsall returned. The Huskies’ last winning season came when Edsall led them to an 8-5 record in 2010 before leaving for Maryland.

The university is required to pay a $17 million exit fee to the AAC by 2026 and is joining the Big East for all sports other than football, men’s and women’s ice hockey, and rowing.

–Field Level Media

Here’s Why Rhode Island Sports Betting’s Launch Is Delayed

Rhode Island lawmakers were counting on an immediate windfall of revenue from sports betting when they legalized sports wagering in June. But five months later, neither of the state’s two commercial casinos have opened their sportsbooks, and the projected opening date of Oct. 1 has come and gone.

Why? Testing of software is still ongoing, and negotiations between the state’s two casinos and William Hill and IGT, who will operate the sportsbooks, is taking longer than expected, according to Rhode Island Department of Revenue chief of information and public relations Paul Grimaldi.

“Our expectation is for sports betting to begin around Thanksgiving. I cannot give you a specific date today as it is dependent on the completion of testing of the IGT/William Hill sports betting software,” Grimaldi told Sports Handle in an e-mail Tuesday. “They released the software to the Division of Lottery on Nov. 5  We expect two weeks +/- for completion of the testing. The sportsbook will start taking bets once the software is certified.”

 
 

Read more Here’s Why Rhode Island Sports Betting’s Launch Is Delayed on SportsHandle.

Where Do Gubernatorial Candidates Stand on Sports Betting? East Edition

 

Thirty-six states will elect governors next month, and we at Sports Handle wondered if sports betting was among the key issues in any states, or at least on the keychain.

In most cases, sports betting is not a hot topic and likely won’t be a deciding factor in electing a governor, but there are some states where legislatures have been actively exploring sports betting — and having a “friendly” governor will speed the process in those states. But in some cases, sports betting is a non-issue for the election.

Using the Mighty Mississippi as our divider, we present our findings in two parts. Today’s Part I focuses on where gubernatorial candidates in the East stand on sports betting:

Sports Betting Legalization’s Impact on Governor Races Across the U.S.: ‘East Coast’ Edition Looks Up and Down The Atlantic And Over to Central States

Alabama: Democrat Walt Maddox said in August that he believes sports betting should be part of the equation to solve the state’s financial troubles. After tweeting about that in August, he has not offered any additional thoughts on sports betting. The front-runner and incumbent, Republican Kay Ivey, has not weighed on sports betting, and for that matter, according to AL.com, has been avoiding debates or discussing the issues in general.

Read more Where Do Gubernatorial Candidates Stand on Sports Betting? East Edition on SportsHandle.

Arizona Must Consider Tribes When Crafting Sports Betting Law

The post Arizona Must Consider Tribes When Crafting Sports Betting Law appeared first on SportsHandle.

Arizona lawmakers are finding themselves in a pinch similar to other states — it’s slow going on the sports betting front because of existing tribal compacts with Indian gaming interests. Arizona hasn’t made any real progress on sports betting this year, and part of the reason is what’s often referred to as the “poison pill” that states dealing with tribal compacts must consider.

In Arizona’s case, according to a recent report from the Bloomberg, the state would lose significant revenue should it introduce sports betting without reworking the tribal pacts. The state has deals with more than 20 tribes, each of which pay the state a tax of up to 8 percent — which translates into about $80 million annually — on gaming revenue. From the Bloomberg story, Stephen Hart, who practices Indian and gaming law, said Arizona would be hard-pressed to pass a sports betting law that would allow the state or commercial interests to offer sports betting, but not the local tribes.

The current gaming compact dates to 2002 and was approved by voters. Tribal leaders are open to adding sports betting to their repertoire and working with the state to hammer out an agreement.

AZ Sports Betting Law Would Have to Include Reworking Tribal Pacts.

“We are looking forward to discussing with the state how we can go about working together on developing this opportunity, which could be a win/win for the state of Arizona and Arizona tribes,” Stephen Roe Lewis, governor of the Gila River Indian community told 12 News in May.

But working with tribes is tricky, as lawmakers in Connecticut, Michigan and many other states are learning. In Connecticut, outgoing governor Dannel Malloy was pushing for a special session to legalize sports betting, but put that on the back burner after failing to come to an agreement with the state’s two Indian tribes. In Michigan, Representative Brandt Iden, who was hoping to move quickly with sports betting legislation, tabled much of the discussion for the summer so he could focus on negotiating with the state’s tribes.

Of the six states that have legalized sports betting to date, only Mississippi has tribal gaming, but the tribes do not have any relationship with the state’s gaming commission.

The Arizona legislature has considered sports betting and daily fantasy in past sessions, but neither has gained much traction.

The post Arizona Must Consider Tribes When Crafting Sports Betting Law appeared first on SportsHandle.

Get a Grip: The Week in Sports Betting

The post Get a Grip: The Week in Sports Betting appeared first on SportsHandle.

It’s information overload everywhere, and there’s not time enough to sleep and eat and stay fully apprised of what’s happening on this crazy blue dot of ours (two out of three ain’t bad).

Here’s the weekend Sports Handle item, “Get a Grip,” rounding up top stories in sports betting and gaming, and the world of sports at large. You may have missed them, and they are worth reading. This is meant to be brief, so that’s it.

MGM, PlaySugarHouse.com Debut Mobile App, Online Platform

It’s been a busy week in the virtual world of sports betting, as MGM finally dropped its mobile app in New Jersey. The company soft-launched the app for Android users on Wednesday with the intention of making it more widely available in the coming weeks. The playMGM NJ Sports app was released through the MGM-owned Borgata in Atlantic City will give company to the DraftKings Sportsbook, which had fully launched on Aug. 6 and remained the only online sports betting app available in New Jersey. The current version of the app offers tons of betting opportunities, including straight bets, futures, props, and parlays available. The professional (NFL) and college football menus are queued up with a wide variety of different player and team props, futures and totals. The only thing that appears to be missing the chance for in-play wagering.

MGM Mobile Sportsbook In New Jersey With Borgata’s PlayMGM App

PlaySugarHouse.com, owned by Rush Street Gaming, followed a day later when it launched an online betting platform, also for New Jersey users. What’s special about this one is that it integrates the new sports wagering opportunity for state residents with its already operating online casino. Rush Street’s platform is the third to be introduced in the Garden State this summer, with plenty more sure to come.

ICMY SportsHandle Edition

Illinois Holds First Gaming Hearing: Lawmakers are starting to lay the groundwork for sports betting in Illinois and on Wednesday, heard from gaming stakeholders ahead of an October meeting that will feature sports betting as one of the key topics.

Is the Time Right?: According to a study presented to Kentucky’s working group on sports betting, despite struggles in the past, now may well be the time to legalize sports betting.

Bookies in the Legalized Sports Betting Market: Sports betting and other forms of illegal gambling used to take up lots of space in the justice system, but according to former Brooklyn and Bronx Criminal Courts judge John Wilson, not so much anymore.