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UConn tragedy hits home for UM's Bell

It's the type of early morning phone call no football coach ever wants to receive -- news that one of their guys is gone.

Corey Bell Corey Bell, the director of football operations at the University of Miami, got one of those calls early Sunday morning as news of the stabbing death of University of Connecticut cornerback Jasper Howard began to spread. Bell, who coached Howard at Miami Edison High for two years, was stunned and saddened to learn of the tragedy.

"I'm real close to all my guys, but Jazz and I were real close," said Bell, who awoke at 6 a.m. to phone calls and text messages from Edison alumni.

"We spoke at least once every week. He's a great kid, coachable, dependable, real tough mentally and talented. He's like most of the kids from that area in Little Haiti. He had dreams of getting to the next level and making it and taking care of his mom and his sister."

Howard died early Sunday morning, hours after the team's victory 35-28 Saturday night against Louisville. The Hartford Courant reported the stabbing happened following the end of a school-sponsored dance at the university student union. It reported that an altercation occurred outside building after someone pulled a fire alarm.

Howard was reportedly one of two people stabbed at the center of campus. He was airlifted to a nearby hospital, where he died. The second victim, who was not named, survived, and was treated and released from the hospital.

The newspaper reported that the suspect in the stabbings was still at large early Sunday. UConn president Michael Hogan told The Associated Press that the stabbing is a tragedy for the entire university community. He says state police are working with campus police.

"Jazz would have never been the type to get himself involved in trouble," Bell said. "On the contrary, he was the type of guy who wouldn't let his teammates get in trouble. He was smart and a great leader."

Howard was a first-team All-Dade defensive back at Edison in 2007, as well as a first team All-Dade track and field long jumper. Howard, who also played wide receiver in high school, had 27 catches for 604 yards and seven touchdowns and intercepted two passes to go along with 42 tackles his senior season. He chose UConn over North Carolina.

"I remember the last day I was Edison before I came to UM," Bell said. "All the kids were sad and upset with me. Jazz stood up and said 'We should be happy for coach. He always pushes for us to get the next level. We should be happy for him too.' I'll never forget that. That's the type of kid Jazz was."

Howard was credited with 11 tackles, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery in UConn's victory Saturday over Louisville. He led the Big East in punt returns last season.

Bell said Howard was close friends with current UM offensive lineman Brandon Washington and Clemson cornerback Chris Chancellor, who were his teammates at Edison.

"He was really starting to come into his own," Bell said of Howard. "A lot of kids who don't end up coming here need to get out of Miami to get away from the things in their neighborhood.

"You coach them up to do the right thing and make the right decisions when trouble starts. I know Jazz. He knew how much his family was depending on him. When you get a phone call like this, it just breaks your heart."

Comments

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Very sad story, may god rest his soul...hope they catch who ever did this ...

God bless him.

When will thw blck community stand up and say No MoRE to this sensless violence? How many youngmen must be killed and incarcerated over incidents that when I grew up were fist fights-not homicides. A whole generation is commiting genocide upon itself. This isn't Ruwanda-this is Hartford!

go canes ,rip

Its a tragedy and just goes to prove that tragedy can happen anywhere. These kids can go anywhere and anything can happen. I understand these kids might want to get out of a certain area, but it can happen anywhere anytime. This story is real sad, sounded like he was a good kid and this shouldn't have happened.

They need to burn these people at the stake. The family is in the Canenations prayers. The people at UCONN know something they need to STAND UP and talk to the police.

RIP youngman....

Senseless. Senseless. Makes no friiginn sense. Why does the life of a young man hve to end that way? A young man who likely would have done good to society. Although I agree with David's point, I dont like his tone. Nonethelss he is right. When will someone stand the f up, and take responsibility for their kids so thatthey dont grow up to comitt crp like this? To place such a low value onto someone's life is bizarre. Its cruel and its disgusting

My condolences to this young man's family and his friends and team mates, both current and past.

That is a sick story! Where do these people come from? Setting fire to kids and stabbing and shooting is ridiculous.

Nice comment Rawpimple?

We know what your actually saying.

What an a**hole you are, hopefully nothing bad happens to your family members anytime soon.

RIP... Condolences to the family & friends...

RIP! Say a quick prayer for him and his family. Everybody can take a minute out of the day.

May g-d bless his mother and sister. TO many of our hometown heros getting taken down.
Jasper beruch atta adoni eloheinu melach ha olam.
Mama know that he is at g-ds side now where a good boy like him belongs.

My heart goes out to his family and friends....

That is a sick story! Where do these people come from? Setting fire to kids and stabbing and shooting is ridiculous.

Posted by: gaturd agent provocateur | October 18, 2009 at 09:51 PM

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Minstrel_show

like the utah jazz …
blacks perform for whites in homogenous hogtown …
honk your horn, sambo …
way down upon the swanee river …
far, far away …
that's where my heart is turning ever …
there's where the old folks stay …

MINSTREL SHOW

Not true. why did he ask the question where do they come from? Like Only in Miami is there crp like this in fact the stabbing took place in Conn. What about Haighley Cummings? The little girl abducted in Central Fl? Has anybody seen the trl trash that was taking care of her prior to her abduction? On one occasion she had a turds hat on. What about the Chicago beating?

This is about a young man that was killed by the violence all of our cities are enduring. Paents ned to step up. Men need to control their sons and teach them to be real men. Not gator fans.

RIP Brother Howard. God Bless Your Family. I hope the UCONN players stick to their word and look after his unborn child. It hurts as a dad to see this.

You Canes fans make other canes fans look bad. This Raw guy didnt say anything bad and I agree with him. Yet you Canes fans want to take a comment and make it into something in this thread? Give it a rest!

Posted by: Sarasota 'cane | October 19, 2009 at 12:36 PM

Pretending to be me on a blog discussing anothers death is a new low even for you "fake" Sarasota, aka rawpimple, aka "D" Bag. We have already established that you are taking some very strong medication(s), did you forget to take it/them today? Do you have "good days" and "bad days"?

Rawpimple is a Rawdouche. Sorry excuse for a human.

100% agree with Caniac. Sarasota must go.

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