Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Jim Calhoun responds; does he have a right to push for an AD change?

The latest headlines coming out of UConn aren't good for anyone involved.

For starters, there's AD Jeff Hathaway, who is on the verge of losing his job. Whether or not that is the result of a Jim Calhoun wanting Hathaway gone is up for you to decide, but before you do be sure to read this scathing column from Jeff Jacobs of the Hartford Courant. In it, Jacobs more or less says that Calhoun is evil, that he is pushing Hathaway out the door because of a clause in his contract that cost him $175,000 due to poor APR numbers and the lack of a new basketball practice facility.

The biggest issue, however, was one simple statement that Hathaway gave the NCAA. Hathaway told investigators that he had never seen Calhoun as involved with a recruit as he was with Nate Miles, the kid whose recruitment cost two members of Calhoun's staff their jobs and resulted in Calhoun getting hit with a failure to monitor charge. According to Jacobs, Calhoun believes he is innocent of the accusations and still holds a grudge against Hathaway for, well, snitching.

Dana O'Neil, who is in Orlando for the AAU National Championships, asked Calhoun point-blank about the recent headlines:

But Calhoun insists that anyone who believes he is pulling Herbst’s puppet strings, hoping to get Hathaway ousted, is reading things all wrong.

"I do. I 100 percent do think that's unfair," the coach said before heading into the Milk House to watch recruits in Orlando. "I have nothing against anybody. Jeff and I, our relationship hasn't always been all that it should have been. When he came back [in 2003], he seemed to have changed somewhat and they say when you move over six inches to the head coach's chair, things change. But I don't want to see anybody lose a job."


Jim Calhoun saying that he doesn't hold grudges is like Kim Kardashian saying she doesn't like athletes or Lindsay Lohan saying she doesn't like cocaine.

Calhoun is pissed because last season was marked with NCAA sanctions and controversy and columns like this. He's pissed because he was hit with a failure to monitor charge and will be suspended for three games come Big East play in 2011-2012. He's pissed because his most memorable season -- one where Kemba Walker threw a crop of freshmen on his shoulders and carried them from the bottom half of the Big East to a Big East Tournament and an NCAA Tournament title -- will forever be tarnished by those sanctions and those columns.

For UConn fans, regardless of how you feel about Jeff Hathaway as an AD -- and believe me, there are plenty that wanted him gone prior to Calhoun's push -- if you don't think that Calhoun has influenced this changing of the guard, you're naive.

But here's something to think about: does Calhoun deserve the right to request a change in AD's?

I think its fair to say that the athletic department is where it is today because of Calhoun. He built the men's basketball program from almost nothing into a three-time national champion and one of the most powerful programs in the country. The success of the basketball program facilitated the move of UConn football to the Big East, where it made a BCS bowl last season. I think its fair to say that Calhoun is the reason that UConn is on the same level, athletically, as schools like Pitt and Syracuse as opposed to UMass or Rhode Island.

Should that give him the right to decide who his boss is?

No comments: