Monday, March 30, 2009

Jim Calhoun of UConn: Deniable Accountability?

Market Update: GM's Wagoner To Resign

In the better late than never department, an executive that helped put his company in the position that it finds itself in today has to step down in order for that firm, GM, to receive more bailout money. Chief Executive Rick Wagoner is stepping down at the request of the Obama administration. President Obama, fresh from his appearance on Leno and ESPN as well as countless other face time opportunities will be back on tomorrow discussing his plans for the automobile industry.

The NCAA Rulebook Is Long (between 439 and 508 pages depending on who you ask), The Rules Are Simple. Or Are They?

College coaches report to many bosses including the AD, alumni, boosters as well as the NCAA. The first 3 on the list want you to win, win often and to what it takes to achieve that result (while bending the rules as far as they can go without breaking, and if they break to do so without getting caught), while the 4th wants you to try and win within a rules structure that attempts to level the playing field for all schools. The NCAA has not accomplished that yet.

Some of the rules fall into a shade of grey, while others are fairly straight forward. Some can be manipulated and loopholes found, while others are just a matter of counting phone, email and text message contacts made to a potential recruit during a given time frame. Some of the ways around the limitations of the recruiting process are special camps for top recruits, or maybe an AAU coach coincidentally ending up at the same school that ends up with a coveted player.

Rules were made to be broken is a saying that is at least as old as I am, but in the case of the alleged violations by UConn, it all seems fairly cut and dried. Jim Calhoun is trying to hide behind the fact the the rulebook is a long document. In the parlance of coaching, what is a more important book to know inside and out.

It is a somewhat convoluted story involving a recruit (Nate Miles) coaches (Jim Calhoun) , assistant coaches (Tom Moore), agents (Josh Nochimson – Former UConn student manager turned professional sports agent), phone calls and text messages.

..."The University of Connecticut violated NCAA rules in the recruitment of former guard Nate Miles, a six-month investigation by Yahoo! Sports has found.

Miles was provided with lodging, transportation, restaurant meals and representation by Josh Nochimson – a professional sports agent and former UConn student manager – between 2006 and 2008, according to multiple sources. As a representative of UConn’s athletic interests, Nochimson was prohibited by NCAA rules from having contact with Miles and from providing him with anything of value.

A UConn assistant coach said he made Nochimson aware of the Huskies’ recruitment of Miles. Later, the assistant coach said he knew that Nochimson and Miles had talked.

The relationship and UConn’s knowledge of the situation are potential major NCAA violations. The findings are part of Yahoo! Sports’ ongoing look into the changing role of agents and their impact on college basketball. Agents aren’t just recruiting players from college programs, they are recruiting players for them, according to an NCAA official.

The UConn basketball staff was in constant contact with Nochimson during a nearly two-year period up to and after Miles’ recruitment. Five different UConn coaches traded at least 1,565 phone and text communications with Nochimson, including 16 from head coach Jim Calhoun. Yahoo! Sports obtained the records through the Freedom of Information Act. The documents were requested in October and received two weeks ago. Many of UConn’s communications with Nochimson were clustered with calls and texts to Miles or his inner circle."...(

One thing is certain, the head coach either knew what was going on or should have known, and standing behind the length of the rulebook is crap. This has the potential to cost UConn plenty.

Many programs bend the rules and some break them, and it is usually a source other than the NCAA that figures it out, much like the way that the ratings agencies on Wall Street are usually the last to know.

The bottom line is that cheating is rampant, and college sports is merely a metaphor for what goes on in the rest of society. Whether or not UConn goes on probation really does not have an impact on the world outside of the alumni and Storrs.

If some semblance of morality does not find its way back into the fabric of the humanity, then the decline is destined to continue.


  1. he's the president schmuck...he doesn't need face time

  2. So are you calling him president schmuck, or are you saying that he is the president,and you are calling me schmuck.

    I thought we were beyond name calling. If he doesn't need face time, why does he look for it every chance he gets. Do you think the President of the United States should be appearing on Jay Leno or be filling out his NCAA grid on ESPN?

    Don't you want him fixing the world that Rush Limbaugh destroyed? You have to try and focus and stay consistent.

  3. firstly i'm calling you a answer this mike..was it the right move to fire wagoner from gm? did he do it for face time?if he did nothing you would have critisized or said good move it's a start....lets hear your warped negative view on this

  4. #1 Only a schmuck calls someone else a schmuck.

    #2 If you could read I think I said it was the right thing to do.

    #3 Obama did not use face time to get rid of Wagoner so get your facts straight.

    #4 Maybe he could fill in as guest host on Around The Horn. Or maybe The Soup. He is going to have to get his union card though.