Sunday, February 14, 2010


I have nothing against the UConn men's basketball program. Ambivalence would be the best word to describe my level of interest in it.

But when the media covers each game like Under Armour apparel, I generally take a look.

I read with interest one account of how Jim Calhoun berated a state columnist. The columnist couldn't even get one-third of the question out of his mouth when the coach publicly ridiculed him. I could see if the question was inane, and as a person who has to conduct interviews often, sometimes our questions can be weak, but that wasn't the case here. It had the makings of a question that needed to be asked yet was never fully articulated.

I have a deep respect for Calhoun. Anybody who doesn't would be a fool. The man is a coaching genius and has done plenty to put Connecticut on the sports map, but he isn't so high and mighty that he should embarass (a word the coach used often in his postgame press conference after the 60-48 loss to Cincinnati) an esteemed journalist trying to do his job.

The Huskies lost? So what. Somebody loses every time a game is played. The coach's reaction was like that of a petulant teenager who had his I-phone taken away.

I truly believed after hearing of Calhoun's recent medical leave that he should leave the coaching ranks for reasons of self-preservation. I would like to see him enjoy his family and friends for a few years before his time here is through. Judging from the nature of the reports on Calhoun's recent malady, stress is at the roots. Stress is a killer, and if I were Jim, I wouldn't let the bastard win.

With his medical leave over, I thought Calhoun would tone down his act but I guess he can't. Perhaps raining verbal abuse on reporters and columnists is something that has gone on in UConn postgame circles for years. That I wouldn't know because I've never covered a UConn game and nor do I want to.

He reminds me of the grade-school bully who rules with an iron fist at the top of the heap until somebody, or in this case something, knocks him off. I revel in the body of his work but given the account of his postgame actions, that's where my respect ends.

The Huskies are having a bad season. Certain things didn't work out. Live with it, Coach Calhoun, and stop trying to slay the messenger. It's Valentine's Day, Jimmy. Can't you show a little love?

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