Two unseemly matters that have popped up at our state’s flagship university.
First, the men’s basketball program has been put on probation as a result of allegations of multiple recruiting violations. This in itself isn’t remarkable. It’s hard to find a big-time Div. 1 men’s program that’s entirely clean.
But most disappointing is the extent to which the investigation concluded that legendary Coach Jim Calhoun was guilty of only the most minor violations. And great lengths were taken to distance him from a failure to monitor his program.
Isn’t it obvious what’s going on here? Two assistant coaches were fired but Calhoun faces no personal sanctions? In a statement posted on its website, the university placed more blame on itself than on Calhoun. As anyone knows who has worked for an organization, the tone is set at the top. Those coaches had to know that Calhoun either approved of their actions or was willing to look the other way.
This is a great example for young people: preside over a program that repeatedly violates regulations and only those under you will feel the consequences. Heck, even most corporations wouldn’t tolerate that. Dark days (and years) are ahead for that program.
Just down the street on Gurleyville Road, a home rented by the university for its former president is for sale. Nor is that story particularly remarkable. But as Dave Altimari has detailed in a terrific piece in The Courant this week, the university spent nearly half a million dollars in renovations on the leased home because former rent-a-president Michael Hogan claimed his wife was allergic to mold in the official president’s residence.
Now that beautiful house and its manicured five acres are on-the-block. In selling the $1 million home, the owner will get the benefit of most of the improvements and the university is largely abandoning its claim to recover the funds spent on the renovations.
People talk about waste, fraud and abuse in government. This is but a small example. But this is the kind of waste we actually know about. What is going on that we don’t know about. If there is a god, maybe s/he knows …