The Pledge of Allegiance has become a staple before all UConn home games thanks to interim athletic director Paul Pendergast.
Via the Hartford Courant:
Pendergast said Wednesday he was impressed with the way the Middlesex Chamber of Commerce begins its functions with it, how Hartford radio icon Brad Davis uses it on his show. And with the 10th anniversary of 9/11, Pendergast thought the idea of using it before his program's games would be a worthwhile tribute to the nation.
"I've noticed each time we do it there has been an added crescendo of reaction," Pendergast said. "To lead into the National Anthem with the Pledge of Allegiance gives the fans a little extra insight into what the Anthem is all about.
"I think as a prelude to the Anthem, the Pledge has put people into a different frame of mind so that the anthem is not as rote as it sometimes seems to be," he continued. "I think the two work well together."
Auriemma added: "I am old enough to remember when we said it in school. We'd say it right before we'd hide under our wooden desks in case a nuclear attack came."