Huskies plan to wear No. 77 stickers to honor Bearcats OL Ben Flick

After Jasper Howard tragically died in the early morning hours of October 18, 2009, just hours after playing against Louisville, all the other schools in the Big East Conference – and many other schools across the country — reached out to UConn to express their sympathy and offer any assistance they could.
In their first game after Howard’s death, the Huskies played West Virginia in Morgantown. The 6,000 “Mountaineer Maniacs” all wore blue ribbons and the Mountaineer players wore “No. 6” patches on their helmets in memory of Howard in addition to their being a moment of silence at Milan Puskar Stadium.
The next week against Rutgers, Scarlet Knights receiver and Howard’s good friend, Tim Brown of Rutgers, wore black eye patches with “R.I.P.” on one and “Jazz” on the other to honor his memory and both Cincinnati and Notre Dame had moments of silence for Howard when they played UConn.
On September 21, driving back from watching the Cincinnati game against Miami of Ohio in Oxford, Bearcats freshman offensive lineman Ben Flick was killed and three others, freshman receiver Mark Barr, freshman receiver Javon Harrison were severely injured.
Barr was upgraded from critical to stable condition last week.
In talking about the tragedy on his Sunday post-game conference call, Weist spoke about when tragedy strikes one team, it strikes them all.
“This is about life,” Weist said. “I called and talked to the staff members that I still know there when it happened and even some of the players because it’s not about football … our sympathies are will them. And we’ll be … whatever we do in terms of recognition … we’ll have recognition for them and the Cincinnati program because they did that when our program here went through tragedy with jasper Howard, other teams reached out to us and did things for us in recognition, so I’ve already talked to the athletic director at Cincinnati about things that we can do to memorialize him, as person, as a football player, as a guy that’s in our football fraternity.
“It becomes personal for the coaches that are outside the program who knew those kids. I knew Ben and his family. We were involved, all the coaches who were at Tennessee, who were at Cincinnati, we were close with them because we recruited them, had them over at the facility had their families, official visits and all of those things. It becomes less of a football death; it is about people and about families. It is devastating. We all have families and we all go home and hug our kids. You hug your wife and pray.”
At Cincinnati, much like it was at UConn, you have to try and deal with the tragedy but also continue moving forward, as tough as that is.
“It is hard to imagine that life goes by so quick and things change so quickly, but that is something we had to deal with,” Bearcats head coach Tommy Tuberville said on a recent American Athletic Conference call. “It has been very tough on all the players and families as well.
“It has been a different challenge for all of us, not just as players but as coaches knowing we have a young man struggling every day to make it. I have really not known how to handle this even though I have been in this business for 36 years and have been gone through deaths on football teams at the high school and college level. I learn every day and there is no right or wrong way to handle this. You have to handle this because this is life and life at its worst.”
On Saturday, the UConn players will wear a sticker on their helmets with the number 77 – Flick’s number – on it as a show of sympathy and support.
“We feel it’s an appropriate gesture for us,” Weist said. “Seeing that other teams did things for us, for this program when Jasper Howard, it’s the right thing to do. Personally, I knew him, I was part of his recruitment, so whether I was involved or not, it’s the right thing to do.”