It is official. The University of Connecticut men's basketball program is in some hot water. The question now is just how hot is that water? Are we talking a slightly uncomfortable jacuzzi level, or is the program bubbling around in a boiling pot or water? And, maybe just as important, how involved is Jim Calhoun?
Well, let's first look at the allegations, which are very detailed, but also full of redactions, so we can't be completely sure about all parties involved. Besides lying to NCAA investigators and having contact with an agent that was recruiting for UConn (you know, pish-posh stuff), the violations consist of a lot of impermissible phone calls and text messages to recruit(s) between June 2005 and February 2009. To be exact, there were at least 160 impermissible phone calls and 191 text messages.
Director of men's basketball operations, Beau Archibald seems to be the worst culprit making 114 impermissible phone calls. Interesting stat in the allegations is that only 31 of those calls were actually received, which makes me think a lot of the talks with recruits went like this: "Stop calling me, old man! " Or maybe recruits give out a lot of fake phone numbers. ("Dammit, his high school coach told me we had a connection..."). Other assistants are listed as making impermissible phone calls, but on a much smaller level.
Additional violations relate to involvement with agent Josh Nochimson, who is a former manager at UConn. Word on the street is this is over the recruiting of Nate Miles, who never actually suited up for UConn. But Nochimson provided impermissible benefits to a UConn recruit. In the allegations the NCAA basically says, "And don't try to tell us you didn' t know about this, bitches, because that would be impossible." Which can't be good because Archibald and assistant coach Patrick Sellers are accused of lying to NCAA investigators about their relationship with Nochimson.
So how is Calhoun involved?
Well, it looks like he was smart enough to mostly stay above this. He is accused of making two impermissible phone calls in 2007. Also, the basketball staff gave out a total of 26 impermissible game tickets, six of which Calhoun is responsible for. But mostly, the NCAA is angry with him for failing to "promote an atmosphere of compliance" and failing to "adequately monitor the program to ensure compliance." And the NCAA likely thinks he knew something fishy was going on but didn't report anything. The NCAA also requests that Calhoun "bathe a little more, please. We're still trying to get your B.O. stench out of our questioning rooms."
That all listed, I have no idea what this means for UConn basketball. Archibald and Sellers have "resigned." The university has until August 20 to provide a response to the NCAA Committee on infractions. School officials are scheduled to appear before the committee on October 15-16. I imagine there will be some self-imposed violations announced by then. And while none of this looks good, if it all really mostly revolves around Nate Miles, a kid that never actually played for UConn, this might not lead to much more additional penalties.
In the mean time, I say we enjoy this feeling of superiority! UConnvicts, indeed!