MINNEAPOLIS — The decline of the UConn men’s basketball and football teams has been swift over the past decade and Dan Orlovsky, the biggest name in the football program’s recent history, is none too happy about it.
Orlovsky was the quarterback for UConn during the height of athletics at the school in the early-to-mid-2000s as the football team became a D-1A program and quickly appeared in bowl games. During this time the men’s basketball team won its second NCAA title, was routinely ranked in the top 10 nationally, and the women’s basketball team won multiple championships.
Orlovsky told Metro this week at Super Bowl LII in Minneapolis that the school has absolutely lost its mojo, and wants something to be done.
“It’s sad, it really is,” Orlovsky said of the state of sports in Storrs. “I went to the Syracuse game at Madison Square Garden. Even looking at UConn during timeouts, they looked like the inferior team. They looked like a low level college basketball team, and they played like it too. It’s sad.”
Orlovsky believes the team’s current position in the American Conference is the main thing holding the school back from regaining its prominence.
“[Jim] Calhoun could go into someone’s living room and say, ‘Hey, we can put you on the big stage at MSG two or three times during the year and in the conference tournament,” Orlovsky told Metro. “[Kevin] Ollie is like, ‘Want to go play at Tulsa?'”
Current UConn athletic director David Benedict hasn’t been on the job two full years yet but Orlovsky believes that the athletic department has been treading water ever since he took the job.
“The AD is kind of a schmuck,” Orlovsky told Metro. “The whole program is headed in the wrong direction. Rumor has it that they’re looking at bringing in [baseball coach] Jim Penders in as AD. That’s the rumor, but we’ll see. They have to do something soon.”
Orlovsky just wrapped up a 12-year NFL career, most recently appearing on the Los Angeles Rams’ practice squad.