Calhoun contemplating his future
DETROIT -- Connecticut coach Jim Calhoun has always said he would not make any decisions about his future after a tough defeat.
But the disappointment of losing to the underdog Spartans, coupled with frustration over allegations that Calhoun's program violated NCAA recruiting rules, bubbled over after the Huskies' 82-73 loss to Michigan State in the national semifinals on Saturday night.
"Those kind of things, that's why Dean Smith told me at 67 he got out," Calhoun said, referring to North Carolina's retired Hall of Fame coach. "It wasn't basketball. It was the other things.
"I love the kids, love the game. I don't plan to go anyplace. But I'm going to give a lot of reflection, maybe more reflection than normal, because of that," the 66-year Hall of Famer said.
Asked about Calhoun's comments, Villanova coach Jay Wright said he hopes Calhoun will not make any decision quickly.
"I could probably be talked into retiring were it now," Wright said after the Wildcats' 83-69 loss to North Carolina in the late semifinal. "Tomorrow I'll be excited about next year. I hope he waits a couple days.
"He's a young, energetic guy who is a big part of our conference. Their program is a big part of our conference. UConn basketball is Jim Calhoun. I really couldn't imagine UConn without Jim Calhoun."
Yahoo! Sports recently reported former Connecticut recruit Nate Miles was given lodging, transportation, meals and representation by sports agent Josh Nochimson, and that a UConn assistant coach knew about the relationship between the player and the agent.
The story cited interviews and documents obtained under Freedom of Information laws, and other sources.
Calhoun said the NCAA has asked him not to speak about the facts of the case and when he said he had a "gag order," he was reprimanded.
"I probably shouldn't be expressing it, but that's just who I am," Calhoun said, answering why he would think about leaving despite his love of the game and his players. "I couldn't be more disappointed in people who just jump on and make two people all of a sudden become the expert on who Jim Calhoun is.
"That's incredibly disappointing to me. And it would be to you, too, by the way."
Calhoun has acknowledged that he or his staff may have made mistakes in recruiting Miles.
He recently said it's sometimes hard to determine what is or is not permissible under the NCAA's recruiting guidelines.
"Do I know if any has been made? No, I'm not making judgment one way or the other," Calhoun said last week. "I said could there have been a mistake made.
"I have done this for 37 years," he added. "I truly believe that everything I have tried to do, I have done with a good, clean conscience and if we made a mistake, we'll find out about it. If we didn't, we will also find out about that."
Nochimson, a former student manager at Connecticut, was considered a representative of UConn's athletic interests by the NCAA and was prohibited from having contact with Miles or giving him anything of value, Yahoo reported. Documents obtained by the Web site showed pages and pages of phone and text message correspondence between Nochimson and Miles.
The player was expelled from UConn in October without playing a game for the Huskies after he was charged with violating a restraining order in a case involving a woman who claimed he assaulted her. He played this season for the College of Southern Idaho.
Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press
MORE MEN'S COLLEGE BASKETBALL HEADLINES
- Top Cats: Zona is new No. 1; Syracuse 2nd
- UF guards Wilbekin, Hill to play vs. Kansas
- Ducks overcome Henderson, Ole Miss in OT
- No. 24 San Diego St. rallies by Washington