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Thursday, July 07, 2005

UConn Playbook on eBay

Former Huskies walk-on football player Mark Punzelt tried to sell his 2004 playbook on eBay according to a report in the Hartford Advocate.

The playbook was listed on the online auction site June 17 and removed by Punzelt two days after UConn officials contacted him. Two users had already placed bids for $24.99 and $100.01, respectively.
Punzelt told the Advocate in an e-mail that his intentions were not malicious.

"As soon as I realized it was a problem, I took it down and had it returned to the UConn football office," he wrote. "I meant to sell it as a collectable, not to jeopardize UConn football in any way."

And there isn't much reason to question Punzelt on that point. He made no efforts to hide his identity as the seller, given his eBay user name contained his first name, last initial and listed his location as Madison, Conn.

In a similar incident, copies of the Miami Hurricanes playbook were stolen in 2002 and parts posted on the Internet. Head coach Larry Coker downplayed the importance of the information leak.

Now, James Hofher, head coach at the University of Buffalo has done the same. His Bulls face the Huskies in both teams' season opener. In an e-mail to the Advocate, Hofher writes that the playbook in question is outdated and thus of little use to anyone.

"They will have changed some things in their attack because the players have changed quite a bit on offense," Hofher writes.

Furthermore, he thinks the speed and complexity of the game limit even the value of a current playbook.

"To expect a collegian to be able to decipher some command from an opposing QB, at the line of scrimmage, in the three to five seconds that it may occur, and try to have the defensive signal caller alert/adjust a defense accordingly in one to three seconds is pretty remote, if not unrealistic," Hofher writes.

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