Barely two months into retirement, he told Michael Kay on MSG that he would never say never to a coaching return. I asked then, wasn’t the hero’s goodbye press conference enough? Wasn’t $2.74 million not to coach the 2012-2013 season enough? Wasn’t positioning Kevin Ollie to get the job enough?
“Not surprised that any college would be interested in him: truly stellar coach from a top-20 public research university,” UConn President Susan Herbst emailed Friday. “No worries about this distracting from our team. We love this team and all eyes are on them.”
And the UConn athletic director’s view of the reports of his special adviser and BC?
“No comment,” Warde Manuel said.
Manuel did say he didn’t believe it’s in Calhoun’s current contract that he would need permission to discuss a coaching opening with another school.
All my background information in recent years points to the Boston College hierarchy, which did not support a UConn move to the Atlantic Coast Conference, having pointed concerns about the academic integrity of Calhoun’s basketball program. BC has a strong academic reputation, and UConn’s APR under Calhoun, which led to a one-year NCAA Tournament ban, would figure to be a mighty tough sell at an introductory press conference.
That’s not to mention the hard feelings between UConn and BC over the years. Are we suddenly going to pretend they don’t exist? Calhoun was at the root of much of it, refusing to play BC after the Eagles bolted for the ACC.
“I was upset because I felt they were taking away from something I loved,” a more conciliatory Calhoun told our Dom Amore last November. “I certainly understood that Boston College had to do what it had to do.”
Yes, Calhoun is from the Boston area. Yes, BC missed out on its chance to hire him in the 1980s. And, yes, BC dearly wants to win again. But I’m thinking Jim Calhoun is the last guy BC would hire in 2014.