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Syracuse Backs Pasqualoni

October 29, 2002|From Associated Press

Despite rising fan dissatisfaction over the sudden fall of Syracuse football, Paul Pasqualoni received a vote of confidence Monday from the university as he endures his worst season in 12 years as coach.

"This is not a snapshot in a one-year situation," Athletic Director Jake Crouthamel said before Pasqualoni's weekly news conference. "It is a long-term evaluation, and we are very conscious of making sure that we don't just do a knee-jerk reaction, that we visit these things and revisit them on an annual basis over a long period of time."

Syracuse has not finished below .500 since 1986, but it appears its string of 15 consecutive winning seasons will end this year.

The Orangemen are 2-6, their only victories coming against Division I-AA Rhode Island and Rutgers, perennially one of the worst teams in Division I-A.

In 2001, the Orangemen finished 10-3, won 10 of their last 11 games, and finished ranked No. 14 in the nation.

Pasqualoni is 93-45-1 at Syracuse, including 55-24 in Big East games.

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Brigham Young quarterback Ben Olson will take the next two years off to serve a Mormon mission, Coach Gary Crowton said.

The 6-foot-4, 210-pound freshman, who has not played this season, is expected to leave in January. He will have four years of eligibility remaining when he returns from his mission.

Olson was among the nation's most sought-after recruits last year. As a senior at Thousand Oaks High, he passed for 2,989 yards and 30 touchdowns.

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