UConn's Calhoun remains on leave

Updated: January 29, 2010, 3:26 PM ET
By Andy Katz | ESPN.com

Connecticut coach Jim Calhoun's medical leave of absence will continue for a fourth game and likely a fifth.

Calhoun
Calhoun

Calhoun will not coach the 19th-ranked Huskies against Marquette on Saturday, UConn spokesperson Kyle Muncy said Friday by e-mail. The Huskies play at Louisville on Monday.

Calhoun has been on leave for "temporary" medical issues since Jan. 19. He missed games against St. John's and Texas, both wins, and Wednesday's loss at Providence. Associate head coach George Blaney has led the team in Calhoun's absence.

When Calhoun returns this season, he will do so for a practice before his first game back, multiple sources at Connecticut have told ESPN.com, and that it would be highly unlikely for his first game to be a road game. UConn officials do not want to put an opposing school in a position to accommodate Calhoun's return. UConn has consecutive Saturday home games against DePaul (Feb. 6) and Cincinnati (Feb. 13), which could be possibilities for a Calhoun return to the bench.

UConn officials have said that Calhoun's absence is not related to his previous bouts of cancer or any kind of heart-related issues. Multiple sources have said that Calhoun's condition is stress-related. The Hall of Fame and two-time national championship coach has chosen to stay at his home in Pomfret, Conn., instead of going to his summer home in South Carolina to rest during his absence. He has been in touch with his staff by phone on a near-daily basis and made a call to his players after they upset No. 1 Texas on Jan. 23.

Calhoun, 67, is in the final year of a six-year contract that pays him $1.6 million annually and expires June 30. He has agreed in principle, both sides say, to a new four-year contract but hasn't signed the deal. UConn athletic director Jeff Hathaway said Calhoun's contract situation has nothing to do with whether he will return. Hathaway said last week that Calhoun's illness is not career-threatening and expects Calhoun to coach again.

Andy Katz is a senior writer at ESPN.com.

Andy Katz | email

Senior Writer, ESPN.com