What’s Next for UConn Basketball?

Paul Doyle and Mike Anthony of the Hartford Courant wrote an excellent story for Sunday’s paper, entitled “UConn’s Testimony Before NCAA Over, Now It’s Time To Wait.”  In the story, Doyle and Anthony analyze the potential outcomes of the NCAA’s investigation of UConn for alleged recruiting violations.  I was interviewed along with sports law experts Michael McCann and Michael Buckner for the article.  Here are a few excerpts:

On whether the self-imposed penalties were strong enough:

“I think UConn presented a pretty compelling case that the sanctions are significant in terms of limiting their recruiting efforts and I also think the sanctions relate to the infractions, which I think the NCAA will find important,” said Vermont Law School professor Michael McCann, an expert in sports law and a columnist at SI.com. “The fact that UConn’s infractions are related to recruiting violations and the penalty will limit their recruiting going forward.”

On Coach Calhoun’s role and denial of wrongdoing:

Fitzgerald said recent NCAA rules — specifically, the case involving Southern Cal football and its former head coach, Pete Carroll — indicate the organization is emphasizing compliance as part of the head coach’s responsibility. Of course, Calhoun said in his response that he questioned the relationship between Nochimson and Miles, advising Hathaway and Evrard of his concerns.

“It doesn’t appear that he has been uncooperative,” Fitzgerald said. “He’s just unwilling to admit to a major violation, for which he argues the NCAA hasn’t met its burden of proof. Also, Coach Calhoun is justifiably bothered by the fact that he was the only individual named, when other UConn administrators were involved in these allegations. In this regard, I think Coach Calhoun is resisting what he perceives to be the NCAA’s overemphasis of a coach’s responsibility for any action of the basketball program.

On the power of head coaches in collegiate athletics:

“I think whenever a coach becomes such a permanent fixture and really an authority figure at the school, in some cases he’ll have traction that no other institutional figure can have,” McCann said. “To [Calhoun’s] credit, he’s created a situation where he’s one of the most powerful figures in the state. Will an athletic administrator have that kind of persuasion? A person who is not a public figure and hasn’t been there as long? Maybe that’s something the NCAA, in reform, should be thinking about — when coaches become too powerful.”

Click here to read the article in its entirety.  I’ll be posting the full Q&A from my interview with Paul Doyle tomorrow.

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