What a sad, sad situation.
As you probably know by now, UM running back Mike James' 47-year-old mother, Elgusta James, died last Monday morning, Dec. 20th, in a car accident in Haines City.
James immediately left UM with his uncle to drive to Haines City when he learned the news after practice last Monday. His sister, who was driving the car, and her 5-year-old son survived.
We learned from UM this morning that Elgusta James' funeral will be the exact day and time of the Hyundai Sun Bowl kickoff in El Paso, Texas, where the Canes are heading this afternoon and where they will meet Notre Dame at 2 p.m. (Eastern Time) on Dec. 31.
UM said Mike has chosen to play in the game because that's what his mother would have wanted him to do. What a painful decision that had to be. I'm saying my prayers for Mike, who could probably use them right now.
Mike is expected to join the team Monday in El Paso, according to UM spokesman Chris Freet.
Tailback Eduardo Clements said last week that he texted James.
"I told him that I love him and anything he needs, I'm here for him, " Clements said last week. "He texted me back and said, 'I love you, too, bro. Thank you.'''
UM said that anyone who wants to send flowers in memory of Mike's mom should send them to Holmes Funeral Home in Haines City. For more information, call (863) 419-2700.
> I'm in the Dallas airport now and have to go board my connecting flight to El Paso. We'll talk to coach Jeff Stoutland later.
_SUSAN MILLER DEGNAN