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UConn assistant coach admonished for religious comment

Jan. 15, 2014 at 3:00 PM

STORRS, Conn., Jan. 15 (UPI) -- An assistant football coach at the University of Connecticut was admonished by the school's president for remarks about players' religious beliefs.

Ernest Jones, UConn's running backs coach and director of player engagement, said in an interview with the Hartford (Conn.) Courant he strives to create an environment where players can grow spiritually. He mentioned several Christian religions generally, but eventually said, "we're going to make sure [players] understand that Jesus Christ should be in the center of our huddle, that that's something that is important."

University President Susan Herbst wrote Wednesday in a letter to the Courant school employees cannot be perceived as advocating for particular religious beliefs.

"Our staff should educate and guide students, to ensure they are well-prepared for life at UConn and beyond," Herbst said. "But it should go without saying that our employees cannot appear to endorse or advocate for a particular religion or spiritual philosophy as part of their work at the university, or in their interactions with our students. This applies to work-related activity anywhere on or off campus, including on the football field."

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