Saturday, February 21, 2009

Conn-frontation

Despite a rather uninspired, 64-50 win over South Florida, Jim Calhoun entered today's postgame press conference in a pretty good mood. No rants against the officials, or against the statistician gyping Hasheem Thabeet out of blocked shots. No digs at Digger Phelps, either.

Then, with the first question of the press conference, Calhoun's mood took a quick U-turn. And rightfully so.

Some guy from a paper called the Hartford News, who apparently considers himself The Last Brave Journalist (my words, not his), decided to take up a cause. Here's how it unfolded:

Last Brave Journalist: Considering that you're the highest-paid state employee and there's a $2 billion budget deficit, do you think …

Jim Calhoun: Not a dime back.

LBJ: Not a dime back?

JC: Not a dime back. I'd like to be able to retire some day.

LBJ: You don't think $1.5 million is enough?

JC: I make a lot more than that.

LBJ: You do?

JC: What was the take tonight?

LBJ: What's the deal with ComCast worth?

JC: You're not really that stupid, are you?

LBJ: Yes, I am.

JC: My best advice to you – shut up.

LBJ: Thank you. That's very polite of you.

JC: No, it wasn't polite of me, I want you to shut up. If you want to talk to me outside, I'd be more than happy to.

LBJ: If these guys covered this stuff, I wouldn't have to do it.

JC: Quite frankly, we bring in $12 million a year for this university. (Then, Calhoun's volume really increased) GET SOME FACTS AND COME BACK AND SEE ME. GET SOME FACTS AND COME BACK AND SEE ME. DON'T THROW OUT SALARIES OR OTHER THINGS. GET SOME FACTS AND COME BACK AND SEE ME. WE TURN OVER MORE THAN $12 MILLION TO THE UNIVERSITY OF CONNECTICUT, WHICH IS STATE-RUN. NEXT QUESTION.

The Last Brave Journalist does, in fact, have a name: Ken Krayeske. Apparently, he asked for a photographer's credential earlier in the week because he said he was working on a story on UConn and needed some pictures to run with it. Didn't see a camera around his neck, however.

Bottom line: there's a time and place to ask Calhoun questions about this. Leading off a postgame presser with this line of questioning isn't the time or the place, and rather comes across as simply a way to call attention to yourself in a loud and obnoxious way.

13 Comments:

Anonymous kev said...

can you find that post game stuff anywhere?

6:09 PM 
Blogger David Borges said...

I believe you can get it here: http://uconnhuskies.com/AllStories/Athletic ... but you have to pay for it.

6:30 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Calhoun and Auriemma are the most productive employees the state has. At least they can be judged by there records, can't say the same about the damn DMV or highway department.

7:42 PM 
Blogger David Borges said...

There's plenty of room for debate on whether the reporter had a valid point with his question. I just thought he chose the absolute wrong time and place for it, and was just trying to create a spectacle.

9:19 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ken went to the Newhouse School at Syracuse and his blog bio reads like true journalist, as opposed to yours, which reads like you are conversing with 4 year olds. Not to say it isn't nice to know about you, but it just serves to drive home the point that sports reporters aren't really interested in journalism. It's all about idolizing coaches and spewing out cliches. At least you have something interesting to write about for once. And by the way, why don't you use this time to bring to light some of the "facts" that were debated? You do mention there is plenty of time for debate, but I'll bet you won't do anything to further uncover anything about the underlying discussion in the story. Instead you'll probably continue with your cutesy monikers as a way to demean someone who is actually voluntarily doing the job you get paid to do.

10:16 AM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Did the "Last Brave Journalist" take financial aid to pay for his time at Syracuse and UCONN? I'll bet he did. Maybe Mr. LBJ should be explaining why he's wasting all his taxpayer funded education on doing volunteer journalism instead of actually contributing something to society. People who don't pay taxes, unemployed people like Ken Krayeske, shouldn't be complaining how taxpayer money wasted.

11:58 AM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

@ two posts ago:

If you don't like what Dave has to say in his blog and are looking for "real sports journalism" then go watch E60 or Outside the Lines. This is a blog, not a newspaper article. It is meant to serve as a means of behind the scenes look into UConn Men's basketball for all of us who enjoy the standard articles, but woudld like additional information. I have read Dave's real articles for the Register and they read nothing like this blog. They are very well written and informative. On the other hand I will still continue to read this blog and hope Dave keeps it going.

12:28 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"which reads like you are conversing with 4 year olds"

If I wanted to read something intellectually stimulating, I would pick up a book. Sports are entertainment, nothing more. I turn to sports as an escape from the shitty world that we are all living in. And every once in a while, I can feel optimistic over something trivial like a sports team, but then people have to go and ruin it. Sports are meant as an escape from the world, don't ruin it.

Furthermore, the budget deficit is in no way the fault of Calhoun, why don't we look at the real problem and identify that, instead of creating a scapegoat out of a basketball coach?

12:52 PM 
Anonymous andy thibault said...

Whoever wrote the headline,
Jim Calhoun Owns Reporter
(Ken Krayeske),
needs a case of chapstick. He can share it with the so-called beat reporters.

http://cooljustice.blogspot.com/2009/02/krayeske-calhoun-economic-summit.html

1:20 PM 
Blogger Lobster said...

Of course whoever it was that commented on Krayeske's professionalism and then lobbed a few insulting bromides at the author of this blog, did so anonymously.

Look, maybe Krayeske is exploiting a real issue in an attempt to inject his own name into a completely unrelated story. And maybe he lied his way into a press event that he's not credentialed to cover only to then hide behind his supposed self-righteousness. But at least he lets people know who he is, which by comparison, makes him look like a profile in courage.

8:54 AM 
Anonymous SYR said...

sorry to be the one to leave my two cents in chiming in on this interview/confrontation

yes the LBJ is entitled to his opinion and ask a relevant question
however, jumping on Calhoun because
he is paid whatever, is not entirely relevant and neither is Calhoun's response that they contribute $12 million to the budget. The only relevant question
is what is the team's record and that is indisputable.

I would love to hear Calhoun's response concerning the Blair/Thabeet judo match from last week's Pitt game. Where was the call given the violence associated with Blair's flipping Thabeet and what would the press be saying had he suffered a season ending or possibly career ending should injury?
Regards from the UCONN Club of Chicago

12:39 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's pronounced "Krays-kee". Rhymes with "crazy".

11:07 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think it was a legitimate question. He is after all a STATE employee, he new this when he took the job. I think Calhoun has done a great job, but in time of state financial crisis a pay cut is a reasonable question for the highest paid employee. He sounds as if HE is responsible for additional 12 mill. coming in to the college. Last I checked Calhoun hasn't made a shot in years. His players don't get any $, they just generate all the $. Many of the CEO's are taking pay cuts now and they generate billions for their companies. I think it is reasonable to ask him if he has considered a pay cut (of TAX payers $) since he makes so much off other deals anyway.

9:12 AM 

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