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Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Rice To Honor Player

HOUSTON (AP) -- Rice will play its scheduled game against Army on Saturday, despite the death of defensive back Dale Lloyd.

"We're going to press on," coach Todd Graham said Tuesday. "We're going to honor Dale on how we do everything the rest of the season."

Lloyd, 19, collapsed on the field about 5 p.m. Sunday during a light workout but was conscious when taken to a hospital by ambulance. He died about 9 a.m. Monday, school officials said. An autopsy was pending.

When Rice takes the field against Army, Lloyd's No. 39 will be affixed between the Owl wings on the players' helmets. The team will also take Lloyd's jersey to each of the games, and plans to present it to his parents at the end of the season.

A heartbroken Graham said Tuesday that when he learned of Lloyd's death, he didn't care about the game. But after talking to his players and several current and former coaches, including Florida State's Bobby Bowden and Bobby Ross of Army, he changed his mind.

"I just went through a lot of emotions there. At first I didn't even think about it," Graham said. "I've had some people talk to me. I called our 15 captains into a room, talked to Dale's parents, and the consensus was let's press on. That's the best thing for our kids to get back out there on the field and have some semblance of normalcy."

Lloyd played in Rice's season opener against Houston but didn't take part the last three games. The team planned to redshirt him this season.


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