Commentary

An embarassing turn for Calhoun

Updated: June 1, 2010, 12:28 PM ET
By Dick Vitale | ESPN.com

The news out of Storrs, Connecticut was tough on Hall of Fame coach Jim Calhoun.

The NCAA recently accused the University of Connecticut men's program of eight violations, including improper phone calls, text messages and benefits.

Knowing Calhoun as well as I do, and he is such proud guy, he has to feel bad about it. It is a total humiliation and it should not be happening.

He said he is as low as can be. As the head of the basketball program, he should know what is happening. You saw the assistant coaches (in this case Patrick Sellers and Beau Archibald) getting the ziggy, but it is the guy on top who is supposed to be in control.

[+] EnlargeJim Calhoun
AP Photo/Jessica HillConnecticut coach Jim Calhoun, attending a news conference Friday just finished coaching his 24th season at UConn.

When you hear that 100 illegal phone calls were made, you have to be concerned. This is a proud program which has had great success. The Huskies have won two national championships under Calhoun. This program has placed many players into the NBA, including Ray Allen, Rudy Gay, Emeka Okafor and Richard Hamilton.

Over the years, you think about coaches like Bob Knight, Dean Smith, Mike Krzyzewski and Roy Williams, you never hear one word about violations.

Connecticut will have to respond to these allegations within three months. In my view, because Nate Miles (the central player being recruited in this scenario) never played at Connecticut, there will be a reduction of scholarships and other minor penalties.

I don't see the Huskies being hit with the major blow of being denied the NCAA tournament.

For Connecticut, and Hall of Famer Calhoun, it is painful to see what has transpired. The school and the coach are hurt and embarrassed.

Sometimes you trust people too much. Perhaps Calhoun is guilty of that. That is not an excuse or alibi because as the leader of the pack, you have to be in control.

Time will tell how this program handles this adversity.

Dick Vitale

College Basketball analyst
Dick Vitale, college basketball's top analyst and ambassador, joined ESPN during the 1979-80 season. His thorough knowledge of the game is brought forth in an enthusiastic, passionate style. Vitale also contributes columns to ESPN.com.