Tag:Jim Calhoun
Posted on: August 19, 2011 1:14 pm
Edited on: August 19, 2011 1:17 pm

Report: Today is Hathaway's final day at UConn

By Matt Norlander

The New London Day reports it has sources claiming today, Friday, Aug. 19, 2011, is the final day of employment for Jeff Hathaway as athletic director at Connecticut.

I'm setting the over/under on Jim Calhoun announcing his return as the coach of the Huskies for Monday at 4:15 p.m.

It's a buyout situation, of course. Hathaway's come to the end of the line, and if he doesn't take the deal then he'll officially be fired by UConn and its new president, Susan Herbst. The Day reports:

The sources said Hathaway will have until the end of business today to accept a buyout plan. If Hathaway does not accept one, he will be terminated.

The sources said Hathaway has asked for $3 million plus other bonuses. It was unclear what UConn has offered. Hathaway works under a six-year contract that rolls over yearly. His base pay, according to the university, is $351,717 with another approximately $600,000 annually for speaking engagements and other duties.

Hathaway's job performance was recently subjected to a "360 evaluation" by MGT of America. The report, which the sources said reveals mostly unflattering opinions about Hathaway from more than 30 people interviewed, is due today.

Hathaway had long been rumored to be on his way out. There are a number of reasons for it, but Calhoun's insistence were chief among them. To say Calhoun detests Hathaway would not be out of bounds; the long-frosty relationship between the two has been public knowledge for awhile now.

With Hathaway leaving there's a spot open at one of the top basketball programs in the country. It's an interesting and challening job. Calhoun will be gone within three years, so going forward, it's quite a gig to take. The person coming in will have to handle Calhoun's ego and the expectation of hiring a big-time men's basketball coach to Storrs, Conn., which is in the middle of nowhere. Calhoun will want a coach on staff to take over, while the boosters and fanbase will likely expect and/or want a national time to take the reigns once Calhoun leaves.

Photo: AP
Category: NCAAB
Posted on: July 27, 2011 10:43 am
Edited on: July 27, 2011 11:22 am

Calhoun could stop all this, but he won't

By Gary Parrish

I don't know whether Connecticut coach Jim Calhoun has explicitly told the president of his university that he wants his athletic director fired. How could I? But I do know this: If Calhoun -- the most powerful man on campus, by far -- wanted to stop what appears to be the imminent buyout of Jeff Hathaway, he could. But Calhoun doesn't want to do that. So he won't. And that's why the quote he delivered to ESPN.com's Dana O'Neil seems silly and insincere.

"I don’t want to see anybody lose a job."

Really, Jim?

If that were true, Hathaway's job would be safe.

But the reality is that most believe the only reason Hathaway's job is in jeopardy is because Calhoun, for lack of a better word, hates Hathaway. That's the picture painted by almost everybody close to the Connecticut program -- including Hartford Courant columnist Jeff Jacobs, who described Hathaway as a "dead AD walking" while adding that Hathaway "never had a chance against the baddest man in Connecticut."

"I have nothing against anybody."

That's another quote Calhoun delivered to O'Neil.

It's also unbelievable.

But can you really blame Calhoun for thinking he can say something so absurd?

The man, just last season, basically got away with using a booster turned agent to buy a prospect, and then he won the national championship, too. So I completely understand why Calhoun thinks he can use his power to remove his athletic director while simultaneously claiming he has no interest in doing so. What I don't understand, though, is why anybody would believe Calhoun when he says he has "nothing against anybody" and doesn't "want to see anybody lose a job."

If that were true, Calhoun could stop this.

But I bet you all the money Josh Nochimson gave Nate Miles that he won't.

Photo: AP
Posted on: July 24, 2011 6:14 pm
Edited on: July 24, 2011 8:21 pm

UConn AD Hathaway probably on his way out

By Matt Norlander

UPDATE: Late Sunday night, Susan Herbst put out a thinly veiled, broad press release which doesn't name Hathaway specifically.

The New London Day reported Saturday that new UConn president Susan Herbst is catalyzing a removal of Jeff Hathaway as athletic director.

Hathaway (above, left) has been at Connecticut for eight years, witnessing two men's and four women's national championships in basketball during his tenure. Of course, he was also in the house when the NCAA slapped the men's program with a tag of failure to promote an atmosphere of compliance. Hathaway is also the chair of the NCAA men's basketball selection committee for the 2012 NCAA tournament. Stories of his impending departure from the university are only the latest in the series of sagas in Storrs, Conn., the past few years. The latest here, this news, is not surprising. Some would say it's been a long time coming.

There's a clear power struggle and crisscross of communication in the athletic offices at the school. And it seems the new president is siding on behalf of those who'd like to see a new leader in charge. From the Day's report:
Hathaway, who operates under a six-year rollover contract (through 2017) with a base salary of $351,717, will receive a buyout. Once the parties reach an agreeable monetary figure, the sources said, Hathaway will leave the job he's had for the last eight years.

The process could take at least "a few weeks" and likely longer, according to one of the sources, who said it is doubtful Hathaway will be the athletic director by the time classes begin in September. The sources had no knowledge of potential candidates for Hathaway's successor.
Hathaway begins his duties as chairman of the Selection Committee in September.

Rumors of Hathaway's departure -- for instance, replacing Debbie Yow at his alma mater, Maryland -- have existed for some time; well more than a year. There's been an increasing amount of frustration in Hathaway's inability to run a tight ship and bring in public money for the school. And the stink from the men's basketball violations -- violations that would get most coaches fired -- is still something that inhibits Hathaway more for than any other person.

Perhaps rightfully so; he is the athletic director. Still, this is quite a big change. Hathaway was also the associate athletic director at the school form 1990 to 2001. He's been along for nearly as much of the UConn empire-building as Jim Calhoun. More perspective from the Day:
Hathaway's most serious deficiencies, the sources said, centered primarily on fundraising revenues in consistent decline and a lack of attention paid to NCAA compliance. In both cases, the sources said, Hathaway failed to hire experienced replacements for former athletic fundraiser Paul Pendergast and former compliance director Bill Shults.

The sources said that Herbst is taking NCAA compliance with the utmost seriousness, given the recent transgressions of the men's basketball program. UConn's compliance staff now has four full-time staffers (it previously had two). By comparison, Ohio State has eight (six full-time members and two interns) and Tennessee has five full-time employees.
There is not only a probable change in athletic director coming, but a change in culture, too, as Calhoun creeps ever closer to retiring. The Hartford Courant's Jeff Jacobs had an outstanding column this weekend, a column that really nailed just what a mess this whole situation is. Before the summer's out (read: once this becomes official) I can and will get into the effect this change will have on UConn. For now, please read Jacobs' editorial for a sense of how reputations and legacies (within the state, at least) could be established based upon the effect and fallout from Hathaway's departure.

But for now, I present this: Has Calhoun not publicly said he's coming back yet because Hathaway is still there? There is no love loss between the two. Is this a power play by Calhoun? Get rid of Hathaway, and then you'll have my vow for a return for next season.

It wouldn't shock me if that's the case. Calhoun's been active on the recruiting trail and looks vibrant and ready to start again. But he's keeping his lips sealed -- for now -- as we wait to see when this buyout happens.

To sum it up: UConn just won a national title three months ago. Its athletic director is on his way to being forced out. Its head coach still hasn't publicly made his decision. This is more problematic, short-term and long-term, than most realize.

Photo: AP
Category: NCAAB
Posted on: July 5, 2011 1:43 pm

It is July. Jim Calhoun, please stop posturing

By Matt Norlander

As if we ever believed Jim Calhoun in the first place.

The 69-year-old UConn coach told the media in mid-May that he'd take a family vacation in June, and it was then that he'd decide whether or not to come back to coach the Huskies for another year.

Well, June's come and gone and we still have no official word from Calhoun. He very well may have made up his mind. It's just not gone public yet. The fact we have no news probably means good news for UConn fans that want Calhoun back -- because he's coming back. He has to be. Going this long into the offseason, with the ever-critical July recruiting period beginning tomorrow, and on the heels of Jeremy Lamb putting 35 on Lithuania earlier this afternoon ... the man will be back on the sidelines next year. Right?

So let's get on with it and just make it official already. It's gotten to the point where UConn's new president has, for the second time, publicly supported the Hall of Fame coach's return and ... wait ... there's another vacation on the horizon?
Susan Herbst said Tuesday she has told the 69-year-old Hall of Famer that she loves having him in the job, and that his achievements as a coach and philanthropist inspire the UConn community.

He says he is not setting a deadline for himself to decide on whether to retire, and probably will not make up his mind until after a family vacation this month in the Caribbean.
I'm not privy to the Calhoun family travel plans, but who knows where the wires got crossed. Did the man take a vacation a few weeks ago and just sort of forget to write down the pros and cons? Nothing like a Caribbean trip to really get a guy's mind in order though, right? Was there no vacation in June, and if so, what was Calhoun doing? I know he golfed in the Pro-Am at the Travelers in Cromwell, Conn. I digress.

At this point, Connecticut needs Calhoun more than vice versa. It's been that way for awhile. Calhoun will never end a season as thrillingly, successfully, unexpectedly and triumphantly as 2011. It'd be best for him to retire. But that doesn't look like it's happening. At least I don't think it does. We're approaching a Favre-like spectrum of deliberation with Calhoun. I know, I just shuddered for a second there, too.

Category: NCAAB
Posted on: June 8, 2011 11:27 am
Edited on: June 8, 2011 11:28 am

Daniels' UConn choice means Calhoun's coming back

Posted by Matt Norlander

The news of Connecticut landing highly touted 2011 prospect DeAndre Daniels could cause an array reactions for Huskies fans, all of them positive.

Make no mistake about it -- the commitment is huge and meaningful on a lot of levels. Daniels had offers from Duke, Kentucky, Kansas, Texas (where he originally verbally committed to) and plenty of others, but he chose Storrs, Conn., to be his home for the 2011-12 season. It was a very surprising choice; many didn't even considering Connecticut to be a viable player in Daniels. Yet Jim Calhoun made it happen. Let that sink in, as it's probably going to be the last huge recruiting coup for Calhoun. It's one of his biggest. The man still has it, unbelievably.

This means UConn will have a team that's worthy of the preseason top 25 and should be thought of as an NCAA tournament team next season. Daniels will arrive on campus with Ryan Boatright, and extremely athletic guard who leaps out of the gym.

UConn will be fun, but young and frustrating.

The Daniels news, exciting as it may be, quickly takes a back seat to the conceit that Calhoun will be back. He has to be. No way Daniels commits to UConn if he doesn't have a guarantee from the 69-year-old coach that the 69-year-old coach will be returning, right? We're still waiting for official word from Calhoun that he'll be back, and I'd expect that news to come by the end of next week. All of this is savvy, classic Calhoun, and Huskies fans are no doubt reveling in this today. The program won't drift back to the pack. Not yet, at least.

Is this the right decision for Calhoun? Only he knows that right now. Retiring on top, after winning a national title, seemed the right way to go. But Calhoun doesn't seem to care about tying up his career with a bow. He wants to leave UConn with a sense of national prominence (he's said that means a top-10-program-type reputation, which exists today), knowing he built this thing from the earth with his bloodied knuckles. He's done that, and he's not done yet, it seems.

Calhoun has always loved proving doubters wrong, making cynics look silly. Once again, he keeps going while we keep underestimating what he's capable of. There are still three years left on that contract. I used to believe there was no way he'd finish those out. Now I'm wondering how he'll manage to pry himself away before it expires.

Photo: AP
Category: NCAAB
Posted on: May 24, 2011 10:54 am
Edited on: May 24, 2011 10:55 am

Calhoun believes a Big East split is coming

Posted by Brett McMurphy, CBSSports.com Senior Writer

PONTA VERDA BEACH, Fla. -- UConn basketball coach Jim Calhoun admits he likely won’t be coaching when it happens, but he still sees it coming. And it can’t be stopped.

Rapture? The end of the world? Not quite, but the end of the Big East Conference as we know it now.

“My own personal opinion -- and I won't probably see this -- in the next couple of years, four or five years down the road, I think you'll see a separation [of the football and non-football membership],” Calhoun said. “I think it's inevitable.”

The Big East currently has 16 members, including eight football members. Next season with the addition of TCU, that number inflates to 17 all-sport members and nine football members.

That number could increase even more in the next couple of years with the Big East looking to expand its football membership by as many as three teams, which conceivably could result in a behemoth 20 member conference, including 12 football members.

Big East commissioner John Marinatto has said the Big East’s 16-team basketball league could evolve into 20-teams, split into four pods of five teams or two 10-team divisions.

“If you go to 18 [members], oh boy,” Calhoun said. “We're talking about going to 17 [now and that] creates enough different issues.”

A split of the football and non-football schools has been speculated for some time, but league sources feel that would happen as only a last resort.

Calhoun, 68, said if the league split, the eight basketball members – DePaul, Georgetown, Marquette, Notre Dame, Providence, Seton Hall, St. John’s and Villanova – would pursue some additional teams from the Atlantic 10, such as Xavier and Dayton.

“That’s what I think could happen,” Calhoun said.
Category: NCAAB
Posted on: May 18, 2011 2:47 pm
Edited on: May 19, 2011 5:47 am

Jim Calhoun says his decision will come in June

Posted by Matt Norlander

Jim Calhoun wants to let us know there's a chance he won't be back to coach next season.

Yes, we're going to do and go through with this, apparently. An offseason that's been filled with more than a fair share of tardy coaching changeover could see its biggest vacancy open furthest down the linear path. If only we knew when that would happen -- or if it will at all.

Calhoun's been on a tour de force of publicity, plaques, picture-ops and handshakes since his team unexpectedly won the national title in Houston back on that ugly first Monday in April. In the immediate aftermath, many suggested or wondered if Calhoun would call it quits, an easy and obvious choice for a man creeping in on 70 years old with three titles and a three-game suspension awaiting him at the start of next season, should he choose to come back.

But Calhoun deflected that question in the then and there -- in a spacious, dark-blue press room in Houston -- of course, choosing to celebrate the moment rather than pontificate on the future. That pontification has now taken hold, and Calhoun hasn't made up his mind.

The 69-year-old coach spoke to the media this morning as a precursor to his recieving of the Winged Foot Award, which is handed out at the New York Athletic Club every year to the winners of the men's and women's NCAA tournament. He told the media that, during his family vacation in June, that's when he'll decide, once and for all, whether to return to coaching next season.

"I still don't know how I'll feel when I get on the floor next season," CBSSports.com's Jon Rothstein tweeted Calhoun as saying, continuing "at the end of this month, I can do a little more reflection. The thing that will make me stay is impacting the kids."

More from the Hartford Courant's Paul Doyle:
"By the end of this month, I'm pretty good," said Calhoun. ... "Then I can do a little more reflection. … It's too close and the afterglow is too good, so I've got to get a little more distance away from it. I think June is a good month. That will be a good time because I haven't gotten away from the game."
Deciding what to do for the rest of your life while on a week-long trip doesn't sound like much of a vacation, right? Anyway, here's the deal: Calhoun hasn't decided yet. For UConn fans, that's a good sign. He loses arguably the best player he's ever coached, but he's got a staff he loves, a new president in Susan Herbst who he gets along with terrifically, and a firecracker recruit named Ryan Boatright coming in next season. The counterpoint: all the health issues, the suspension (that's not really that big a deal, though) and the temptation of leaving on top.

Looks like one of college basketball's biggest headlines of the offseason should be coming next month. I repeat: should. Never bet against Calhoun to do something you can't predict.

Photo: AP
Category: NCAAB
Posted on: April 7, 2011 12:41 pm
Edited on: April 7, 2011 12:45 pm

Calhoun says he offered to miss games this year

Posted by Matt Norlander

What if I told you, earlier this year Jim Calhoun offered to serve his three-game suspension from the NCAA as soon as possible, and the NCAA told him no? According to Calhoun, that's exactly what happened. The UConn coach went on the Dan Patrick Show this morning and stated he went to the NCAA, said he'd sit out three games this season rather than next (which is what the NCAA ruled as part of UConn's overarching punishment), only to be told he'd be punished next year.

"I haven't really discussed publicly too much about the NCAA," Calhoun said. "I volunteered ... this is the first time I've publicly have said this, to sit out games this year. Because I took full responsibility of anything that happened within my program. Whether I agree or disagree with the NCAA is not important. I am the head coach at the University of Connecticut, therefore I should take full responsibility for anything that happened. Their answer was "no," and I said, "All right, but I don't want to appeal anything," that's why I'm not going to appeal anything. They said no."

With that comment, if it's true, Calhoun makes the NCAA look even worse. What's the point of not punishing him immediately? Calhoun knew very well three games docked in late February/early March would've had more impact than the first three games of next season. The UConn sanctions were seen as light, considering everything that was involved in the Nate Miles scandal. It would've made the NCAA look a lot better to punish a coach immediately, rather than wait for next season, something it got killed for in the Ohio State football scenario as well.

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"The three games is fine," Calhoun said. "I would live with that. If they feel they need something that's penal, that's OK. But I would have liked to have done it at the end of this season, and I thought that would've been more fair. Because, why start it up next year? Again, it's been two and a half years."

The man makes a point that's hard to refute. Patrick then asked Calhoun directly if he was the one being punished here, or if it was more about his program, in general.

"I gave out three unauthorized tickets to people who told me they weren't coaching AAU and I made four impermissible calls," Calhoun said. "That's what I've been charged with."

To be fair, Calhoun's not taking full responsibility there, claiming ignorance about people who said they were something they weren't. But he did continue to own his mistakes, when in reality, this punishment still stokes his fires. Those close to the program know Calhoun believes, in his heart of hearts, he shouldn't be serving a three-game suspension.

Outside of this press release, Calhoun hasn't spoken much publicly about his team's violations, his suspension or given true reaction to the NCAA's punishment for him and his program. Somewhat out of nowhere, he decided to open up on Patrick's show. A credit to Patrick for getting the 68-year-old coach to divulge about this matter mere days after doing the unthinkable, winning a third national title with a team that wasn't ranked in the preseason.

"I've done this for 39 years," he said. "I know that I'm not warm and fuzzy to everybody, nor do I really care that people do or don't perceive me as that. I care if you talk to my former players, if you talk to the people who really know me. But I don't seek out to have everyone know me, either. ... I know what I've done, I know who I am, and I'm very comfortable with that. ... I'm responsible for anything that happens, whether I know or don't know."

Aside from the suspension talk, Calhoun also said he has every intention of coming back to coach next season. He wasn't definitive, but was very optimistic about returning, talking about his incoming recruits (UConn has a highly touted class) and the expected growth of Alex Oriakhi, Shabazz Napier and Jeremy Lamb.

Photo: US Presswire
Category: NCAAB
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com