No Show on First Night

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Connecticut State Police

Thousands of UConn fans packed into Gampel Pavilion for this year’s First Night to kick off the 2010-2011 basketball season.

Both the men’s and women’s players were introduced to huge applause. The coaches also received a warm reception.But one coach was noticeably absent.

Men’s head coach Jim Calhoun was not in Storrs. He and other UConn officials were in Indianapolis meeting with NCAA investigators, hoping to convince them that the school has done enough to punish itself for recruiting violations in the men’s basketball program. Some students were taken aback by Calhoun’s absence.

“I'm disappointed we couldn't see Calhoun but he's got stuff to do so you understand,” said one UConn freshman.

A decision from the NCAA could take weeks. Fans hope it won't be a distraction.

“I guess UConn did make some mistakes with the phone calls but I don't think it's gonna carry over into the season,” said UConn freshman Christopher Dombakly. “I don't think it's gonna be a distraction either.”

The show went on Friday night. The men and women battled it out on the court in different skills competitions. It was a night to get the fans pumped up for the season.

On Saturday both teams will open practice. Coach Calhoun is expected to return.

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