Bar Association Honors Coach
As Two Assistants Resign
By JOHN P. WISE
One Great Season
I'd never wish ill on anyone, but at the same time, seeing Connecticut basketball coach Jim Calhoun get busted for at least eight alleged NCAA violations doesn't bother me one bit.
There's no doubt he's an excellent coach who's done great things for his community, but I couldn't help but feel the need for a shower after watching him condescendingly dress down Ken Krayeske last year. Krayeske is the freelance writer whose ill-timed inquiry into Calhoun's $1.6 million salary during a $1 billion state budget shortfall led to an embarrassing 72 seconds that will forever live on YouTube.
Living in Big East country, I watch UConn on television regularly and have seen many of the Huskies' games since that February 2009 episode. One thing I always keep an eye on is the postgame handshake, and that surly 68-year-old might be the poorest loser I've ever seen.
Krayeske surely was out of his league and perhaps a more formal interview could have been scheduled privately. But I think I read somewhere that the writer did try to arrange a meeting and was denied, leaving a post-win press conference as the only available venue for Krayeske's investigation.
But now, Calhoun is beginning his Memorial Day weekend by sounding like he's auditioning for a PR job, saying he and his school "look forward to working with the NCAA" after being accused of failing to "promote an atmosphere of compliance." He's also got to start looking for two new assistants to replace the ones who stepped down this week as the NCAA's notice was approaching. Coincidence?
Calhoun stuttered carefully at a news conference Friday morning, conceding nothing while saying twice, "...if, in fact, we did make mistakes..." UConn athletic director Jeff Hathaway said the school "takes the matter very seriously," but making this whole thing kind of funny is that just last night, Calhoun was honored by, of all organizations, The Connecticut Bar Association.