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UConn Hit; Calhoun Whines

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The general consensus after the NCAA ruling on UConn seems to be that Jim Calhoun got away with something, and it is hard to argue with that sentiment -- unless of course you are Jim Calhoun, who says that "I am very disappointed with the NCAA's decision in this case...[m]y lawyer and I are evaluating my options and will make a decision which way to proceed."

Embarrassment is apparently not part of his vocabulary.  Never has been.

Whatever else you can say, here's the bottom line: his staff made over 2,000 calls to former team manager turned agent Josh Nochimson, who in turn gave recruit Nate Miles $6,000.

In fairness, it's just as likely that Nochimson spent his own money and thought it an investment in a future client as it is that the money came from UConn.  In fact, it's more likely.

Nonetheless, at some point presumably, somebody at UConn, either someone with the staff or with compliance, looked at the phone records (programs which ignore such things run the risk of being accused of a lack of institutional control) and you have to think questions were asked.

Which leads to the logical question: where was Jim?  Are we to believe that recruiting at UConn is so decentralized that he had absolutely no idea this was going on?  That when staff meetings were held and recruiting was discussed that no one ever mentioned, hey remember Josh? He has an in with Miles.  When that happened, do you imagine that Calhoun said "under no circumstances will anybody speak to Josh about Nate," or do you imagine that he said "what what does he have to say?" (According to Jeff Jacoby of the Hartford paper, Calhoun says he did tell them not to have anything to do with Nochimson).

We're always told in these situations that assistants have essentially gone rogue, that they are recruiting and making commitments, violating rules and doing unacceptable things -- and that the head coach never knows a thing about it.

In almost every case, this defies belief. By nature, coaches are control freaks. Further, modern basketball programs are very tightly controlled.  It's very hard to imagine a situation where the assistant is out of control, if for no other reason than the money has to be accounted for and the head coach is responsible for the budget.

Whatever actually happened, Calhoun got a slap on the wrist: being forced to sit out three games next season is a pretty minimal punishment for what happened at UConn.  If he knew about it, and that could be proved, the punishment should be severe. However, if he didn't know about it, he seriously neglected his responsibilities.

This of course isn't the first time there's been trouble at UConn. here's a partial list below taken from a Georgetown site, which does not include the notorious laptop thefts by Marcus Williams and A.J. Price.  Nor does it include the mostly forgotten arrangement with a local car dealership where UConn traded tickets for cars -- basically scalping. Also not listed: Antonio Kellogg's arrest for marijuana.  And:  Nate Miles, who received a restraining order and violated it within 16 minutes.

The rest of the list:

UConn freshman basketball player Rashad Anderson was arrested on Sept. 16. for threatening and breach of peace. The police report stated there was a complaint of a person hiding in the woods near the Hilltop dormitories dressed in black and wearing a mask. The report also stated the person was scaring pedestrians. Officers, who arrived on scene, found Anderson hiding in the woods wearing a blue jump suit, mask and he was holding what appeared to be a bloody knife.

Connecticut basketball player Marcus Cox was given a special form of probation Tuesday in connection with a marijuana bust on Feb. 22. A Vernon Superior Court judge granted Cox's application for accelerated rehabilitation. Cox will be on the probation for one year, and the drug possession charge will be erased from his record if he stays out of trouble. Cox was arrested on campus last month while riding in a vehicle driven by former St. John's player Jack Wolfinger, a boyhood friend. Police said they stopped the vehicle for swerving and detected the smell of marijuana. Cox told police the pot was his. University officials suspended Cox after his arrest, and he remained on suspension Tuesday.

Basketball player Marcus Cox was suspended by the University of Connecticut after he was arrested for possession of marijuana. The sophomore guard was arrested early Thursday while riding in a car on campus. Police stopped the car for a motor vehicle violation at 12:43 a.m. and the officer could smell marijuana, according to the arrest report. A search of the car turned up 10.2 grams of marijuana. Police said the 19-year-old Cox, passenger in the car, told them the marijuana belonged to him. Coach Jim Calhoun, who said the suspension is indefinite, would not comment until the investigation was complete. Cox is a former state high school player of the year out of Bridgeport's Kolbe-Cathedral. He was suspended earlier this month for skipping a team meeting Feb. 5, the night before the Huskies played Providence.

Connecticut has lifted the suspensions of freshmen Tony Robertson and Doug Wrenn. Coach Jim Calhoun suspended the pair Friday, a day before an 85-66 loss at Michigan State, following an offcampus incident. Farmington police reportedly are investigating whether the players improperly received merchandise last month at a Westfarms mall store. ``I made one mistake,'' Robertson said, without elaborating on the reason for the penalty. ``I'll get over it. And i just want to get on with the rest of the season.'' Robertson practiced on Tuesday, but Wrenn did not.

Doug Wrenn, Connecticut's promising freshman swingman, has run out of second chances with basketball coach Jim Calhoun. The 6-6 Wrenn was kicked off the team Saturday after his campus arrest on a breach of peace charge. The arrest came during the university's Spring Weekend -- the often-rowdy, last few days
before final exams. Campus police said more than two dozen UConn students had been arrested since Thursday on a variety of charges ranging from underage drinking to criminal mischief. Wrenn, who is due in court on May 10, was arrested just after 12:30 a.m. Saturday after a report of a dormitory disturbance. He allegedly was shoving and swearing at dorm staff stationed at outside doors. It's been one thing after another with Wrenn at Connecticut. He and reserve center Souleymane Wane were suspended for the Duke game in November for taking a taxi instead of the team bus home from the first game of the season against Iowa during the Coaches vs. Cancer tournament in Madison Square Garden. He also was cited by police outside a New Haven bar a month earlier for allegedly creating a public disturbance. At the time, Calhoun said the citation was like a parking ticket and reprimanded Wrenn. In February, Wrenn and freshman point guard Tony Robertson were suspended for a game while police investigated whether they took part in a scheme to swap tickets for boots at a Hartford-area clothing store. No charges were filed. When he was at the court in March after his last suspension, Wrenn said he had no intention of transferring. "I am going to stay at the University of Connecticut," he said at that time. "They are going to have to throw me out of this school, but I'm going to be a Husky until I die."

Connecticut guard Ben Gordon was arrested early Friday morning after allegedly slapping a female student. According to the police report, originally obtained by the Journal Inquirer of Manchester, Gordon was charged with assault and disorderly conduct. The report says a woman flagged down a campus police officer near Gampel Pavilion. The woman, who had a bloody lip and was upset and crying, asked police to arrest Gordon. He was released on $1,000 bond.

Arrested in late model red Cadillac with illegal drugs



The offseason has been incredibly rocky with the departure of assistant coach Clyde Vaughan after he was arrested for solicitation.

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