The back and forth decision on whether or not Jim Calhoun is actually returning to coach the 2011-2012 season is getting out of hand. Mostly because of the recent discussion that new UConn President Susan Herbst wants to oust athletic director Jeff Hathaway.
It doesn't take a genius to realize Calhoun and Hathaway don't get along, and that events have occurred in the past that have led us down this unsettling path.
It all starts with the Nate Miles fiasco. The fact this kid is still getting talked about is quite ridiculous. Nevertheless Hathaway didn't fully support Calhoun at the NCAA hearing in Indianapolis last year. Calhoun looked awful after the disaster ending to the 2009-2010 season.
Well after the magical 2011 run that ended in Calhoun's third national championship it is amazing how the tables have turned. Some will say that Coach Calhoun can't go out any better way, but I have feeling he wants all the handshakes and recognition that comes with defending the national title.
Hathaway and the entire athletic department is being evaluated by an outside firm. There are a lot of questions around the ability to raise funds and increase the donor participation in athletics. Calhoun has been staunch on the building of a new practice facility. That has been very slow moving and he believes needs to get done soon so that UConn can keep up in recruiting.
The three-way triangle that results in Hathaway-Calhoun-Herbst seems like a massive power-play to me. It is quite obvious Calhoun wants something in writing that he has a say in the next UConn coach. Jim Calhoun can't coach forever and I think Kevin Ollie has the inside track in becoming the coach after Calhoun calls it quits.
Hathaway has never agreed to any of this. Now we are at a point where it is almost August and there is a ton of uncertainty as the fall semester is four weeks away. I would imagine that all of the players are getting ready as if Calhoun is coming back, but there is a lot that needs to be settled first.
Susan Herbst could make a big move by firing Hathaway but she better have good reason. Hathaway is owed almost three million dollars left in his contract. They will result in a massive buyout, and UConn would have to pay the difference if Hathaway went out and got a job at another school that paid less money.
The State of Connecticut is having enough difficulty balancing the budget, this is the last thing a new President has to answer to. It seems to me that Calhoun has had discussions Herbst about him returning, but that Hathaway has to be out of the equation. Herbst has openly praised Calhoun and all he has gave in building UConn basketball.
Calhoun is larger than life in this State. Of course he is going to have a lot of say of what ultimately ends up happening here. I still believe he should announce he intends to coach next season as soon as possible.
Jim Calhoun admitted in a recent interview that he and Hathaway have had their disagreements but that he doesn't want to see anyone lose their job and out of work.
I find that hard to believe, I think Calhoun would be quite okay with a new athletic director. It would give him exactly what he wants. He would be able to leave when he wants, on his terms, and a big say on who is the next coach. Maybe even that project about a new practice facility would get a move on.
Calhoun wins a national championship and it look like he is 10 years younger. It was an unbelievable run, but enough playing around it is time to let the world know your intentions and try to do it all over again!