Friday, May 28, 2010

The Harsh Cost of Success

I'm just going to flat-out say it. Jim Calhoun....has done one of the greatest program-building/coaching jobs in the history of intercollegiate athletics. He took a UConn basketball program that, while it always had a tremendous level of fan support, never really did much, and quickly turned it into one of the top 5-10 programs in the country. And if you don't believe me, here are the numbers. In his 24 years as the UConn coach, he's won a total of 575 games (he won 248 prior to at Northeastern) and 6 Big East titles. He's taken the Huskies to 12 Sweet Sixteens, 8 Elite Eights, 3 Final Fours, and, yes, 2 National Championships (1999, 2004). And, yes, just take a look at the list of players that Calhoun has sent to the NBA; Clifford Robinson, Tate George, Chris Smith, Scottie Burrell, Donyell Marshall, Ray Allen, Kevin Ollie, Travis Knight, Rip Hamilton, Jake Voskuhl, Khalid El Amin, Caron Butler, Emeka Okafor, Ben Gordon, Charlie Villanueva, Hilton Armstrong, Josh Boone, Rudy Gay, Marcus Williams, A.J. Price, and Hasheem Thabeet. Unbelievable...............................................................................................................But, folks, just as it is with virtually everything, everything isn't as rosy as it seems. Jim Calhoun, for all of his success on the court, has certainly made a lot of enemies during his tenure. A driven man, with a vicious temper, Calhoun has repeatedly berated his players and mistreated the press (just ask the Hartford Courant's Jeff Jacobs what it's like to be on coach Calhoun's shit-list). He's also pushed the envelope when it comes to recruiting. Well, guess what, folks, that little envelope may have finally fallen off the table. Yeah, that's right, the NCAA has just slapped the Huskies with 8 major recruiting violations (most of these charges involve a piece of shit by the name of Nate Miles - a player who, ironically, never even got a chance to play for UConn; legal problems, ultimately kicked out of school, etc.). Yeah, huh? Not that Calhoun is necessarily going to suffer, mind you. This, in that the guy has just signed a 13 million dollar extension. I'm serious here!!

4 comments:

Beach Bum said...

I could put up with a ton of shit for 13 million.

Will "take no prisoners" Hart said...

Calhoun almost took the South Carolina job in 2000-2001. Just think, you'd have been the one writing this post.

Rusty Shackleford said...

Calhoun is a tuff old bird....he's beaten cancer three times.

Will "take no prisoners" Hart said...

He's as tough as they come, Russ. And he's a great coach, too. It's just too bad that he's going to have to spend the last few years of his career under this nasty cloud of suspicion.