Coach says he 'misused podium'

Updated: January 27, 2004, 11:37 AM ET
Associated Press

STORRS, Conn. -- Connecticut coach Jim Calhoun apologized to a newspaper columnist on Monday, two days after he reacted to a recruiting question with a profanity-laced tirade.

Calhoun lashed out at Dave Solomon of the New Haven Register after UConn's 66-56 loss to Providence when Solomon asked him to comment on the improvement of Providence's Ryan Gomes. The Waterbury native scored 26 points and had 12 rebounds Saturday to lead PC in an upset of the Huskies (No. 8 ESPN/USA Today, No. 6 AP).

The printable version of his tirade: "I took Emeka Okafor and Caron Butler. They're not bad!" Calhoun shouted. "I can't get everyone!"

Calhoun said he felt an apology was necessary "not because whether I agreed or disagreed with his timing or question or anything of that nature, because I berated him in front of his peers."

Calhoun issued his apology during a conference call to discuss the Huskies game Tuesday at Virginia Tech.

"Over 18 years [Solomon] has always treated me exceptionally fair," Calhoun said. "The discussion could have certainly taken place someplace else. I felt very strongly I misused the podium in a moment for someone who I have great respect for professionally and personally."

Solomon said Monday the apology was "appreciated but not necessary."

Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press