BOCA RATON, Fla. -- Twenty-eight Florida Atlantic players,
including 14 starters, won't start against Edward Waters on
Saturday after skipping a day of practice in what was described as
an "ill-conceived practical joke."
Coach Howard Schnellenberger handed down the punishment
Thanksgiving morning during a meeting with the offending players,
all seniors, who skipped practice Wednesday. The mass boycott was
meant as a prank, the players said, and was not meant to express a
grievance with the coaches.
"Obviously they are players and I am a coach and they have a
long way to go before they know how coaches think and feel,"
Schnellenberger accepted the players' explanation.
"We didn't want to upset anybody; we probably didn't think it
all the way through," said Jared Allen, the Owls' starting
quarterback and one of the players who will sit at the beginning of
The Owls (7-3) will likely not suffer much Saturday as they host
Edward Waters (8-2), an NAIA school. A Division I-AA semifinalist
last season, FAU is in its first year as a I-A provisional team and
is heavily favored.
"Any further silliness or immaturity will be dealt with doubly
tough," Schnellenberger said.