Campus Mourns Death of Student-athlete

<p>Jasper Howard. Photo supplied by the Division of Athletics</p>

Jasper Howard. Photo supplied by the Division of Athletics

The University community is mourning the death of student-athlete Jasper Howard, a member of the UConn Football team, who died after being stabbed early Sunday morning.

“Many of you know Jasper – a devoted son, friend, and promising student-athlete. I know that our community is grieving this loss and is distressed by the violence it involved,” said University President Michael Hogan in a statement. “We extend our deepest condolences to Jasper’s family, friends, and teammates at this time of incredible sorrow.”

Hogan noted that grief counseling is available to students through Counseling & Mental Health Services at (860) 486-4705. Professional assistance is also available to faculty and staff through UConn’s Employee Assistance Program at (860) 679-2877.

The President also encouraged members of the community to reach out to those around them. “Tragedies like this have a profound effect on us all, and can cause extraordinary grief,” he said, noting that small acts of kindness can help individuals and strengthen the community.

According to Maj. Ronald Blicher of the UConn Police, this is thought to be the first homicide on the Storrs campus. As events unfolded, the police indicated they do not think the event is random and do not anticipate the University community at large is at risk.

The UConn community was notified of the incident via e-mail and text message sent by the UConn police in the early hours of Sunday morning. Hogan sent an e-mail to parents of UConn students on Sunday, and the president of the Undergraduate Student Government also sent an e-mail to students. A press conference was held on campus Sunday afternoon, Oct. 18.

The incident is currently under investigation by UConn and state police. Anyone who has information that could assist the investigation is asked to call the UConn Police at (860) 486-4800.

“The UConn family is a special one and we will all get through this together,” said Jeff Hathaway, director of athletics. “Jasper was a great young man and he will be missed by all of his fellow student-athletes in each of our athletic programs. Our thoughts go out to the Howard family.”

Randy Edsall, head football coach, said “Jazz was a tremendous young man who had grown so much in his short time with us at UConn. He was starting to come into his own as both a player and a person. He will be sorely missed but we will have him in our memories.”

He noted that the team would resume practice on Tuesday and play its game against West Virginia on Saturday. “That is what Jasper would want us to do,” he said.