Police say witnesses threatened

Updated: October 23, 2009, 8:19 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

STORRS, Conn. -- University of Connecticut police say witnesses to the killing of football player Jasper Howard are being threatened with violence if they come forward with evidence.

Maj. Ronald Blicher told the student newspaper, The Daily Campus, that the threats are being made in Internet postings and police are looking into them. He says authorities are still urging people to submit videos, photos or other information.

Howard, a Miami native and starting cornerback for the Huskies, was stabbed outside a university-sanctioned dance early Sunday, hours after helping his team to a homecoming game win over Louisville.

A 21-year-old Hartford man, Johnny Hood, has been arrested in connection with the fight, but is not charged with stabbing Howard.

A message left with university police early Friday morning was not immediately returned.

Connecticut plays at West Virginia on Saturday. Coach Randy Edsall said Thursday that sophomore receivers Kashif Moore and Mike Smith, who were with Howard when the Connecticut cornerback was stabbed, are ready to play this weekend.

Moore held Howard in his arms after the stabbing. Edsall earlier said a player had put pressure on the wound, and identified him Thursday as Smith.

The two players and everyone else on the team had a good energy level and focus in practices Wednesday and Thursday, Edsall said.

"There's nobody from an emotional standpoint who is not ready to go and play," he said.

The Huskies plan to wear helmet stickers with Howard's initials on them and will take his jersey and helmet to Morgantown for Saturday's game.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.