Statements from UConn
And now, this recent Jim Calhoun controversy. Not sure how this thing has blown up as much as it has. Not sure how Calhoun seems to have become some sort of poster boy for being out of touch with the current economic crisis, and for coaches who make too much money.
I've said it before and I'll say it again: Ken Krayeske had the right to ask the question he did, though it should have been done one-on-one and not in the grandstanding manner by which he chose. And Calhoun could have handled the situation better, as well. Short of that, Krayeske is proving more and more, with each interview he gives (freeing all non-violent prisoners in Connecticut?) that he is a fool and a fraud. And Calhoun is being unduly pilloried for last weekend's rant.
The Ken Krayeskes and Jason Pages of the world will likely brand me some sort of Calhoun lackey for that statement, but that's my educated opinion.
Anyway, here are statements released by UConn from president Michael Hogan, athletic director Jeff Hathaway and Calhoun on the subject that won't die:
STATEMENT FROM MICHAEL HOGAN
Coach Calhoun is a valued member of the UConn community, a Hall of Fame coach with two national titles to his credit. His salary reflects a fair-market value and his teams generate considerable resources for our Division of Athletics. In addition, while the current controversy may cloud the facts, Coach Calhoun and his wife give back to our community in many ways – through the time, energy, and personal donations they invest in important charities. We at UConn (and the charities to which they give so generously) are grateful for their contributions and support.
As to the controversy over Coach Calhoun’s recent press conference, the question he was asked about his salary was perfectly fair, although the reporter, as Coach Calhoun suggested, might have found a more appropriate and less provocative setting for his inquiry. I am sure that we all regret the controversy, including Coach Calhoun, and I can assure you that we will continue to encourage all members of the UConn community to resist temptation and treat others in a judicious and respectful manner, no matter what the circumstances.
STATEMENT FROM JEFF HATHAWAY
Jim and I have talked on a number of occasions about the debate over his comments from last Saturday. It is clear to me that Jim is now aware of the potential impact his comments may have had.
We are in agreement that in challenging and emotional settings we must always be sensitive to the manner in which we make our comments and how others may interpret them.
Everyone would agree that Jim, Pat and the entire Calhoun family are passionate about their commitment to assisting and participating in the many charitable endeavors associated with our University, the state of Connecticut and on the national level.
The significant contributions of Jim’s 23-year tenure at UConn have provided our institution with a nationally ranked men’s basketball program along with a platform to showcase our outstanding academic institution and serve as a rallying point for students, faculty, staff, alumni, friends and the state of Connecticut.
I am confident that Jim understands the impact of his comments from last Saturday and I believe with this behind us, Coach will now be able to focus his attention on the remainder of the regular season and the postseason ahead.
STATEMENT FROM JIM CALHOUN
It has become clear that my comments have been misinterpreted by some as being insensitive to the current economic climate that those of us around our country and here in Connecticut are all facing.
I believe I have a duty, responsibility and obligation to support the state I love and the many people and organizations of Connecticut that are in need. I look forward to continuing with the same amount of passion and commitment to assist people and causes that are important to me and my family.