If you read this blog, just a few of you will remember the very old television show ' "Art Linkletter." On the show he had a segment called, "Kids Say the Darndest Things." Four of five young people in the four to six years old range would answer his questions. Of course, they would have crazy answers. "Kids Say the Darndest Things." After reading the sports section today, you can add coaches.
Jim Calhoun has my respect, not all of it, but some. The old school, hard nosed basketball coach. has fought off cancer (three times). He built a basketball program at Connecticut from scratch. At 70 years old, he still communicates with young people. Maybe not his best quality, but he stood up against the NCAA. On that one, I do not necessarily agree, but he did. He has won three National titles. Lastly, he really does not cater to the sports media. Maybe, I am thinking of my Woody Hayes days. But I would not put Calhoun on that shelf.
Looking closer to his relationship to the NCAA, he thought, and probably thinks, he knew more about educating athletes than them. I remember the recruitment of Nate Miles from Toledo. Not for sure, but I think that UConn failed to qualify academically for 2013 NCAA tournament. He battled sanctions. Through all of this, he won basketball games.
" I never, ever, ever said that I was mistake free. But I was always trying to do the right thing. It didn't always work that way, but I was always trying to do the right thing." Jim Calhoun.
Like I said, I respect him, and probably would understand him more, if he would define the "right thing."
Of course, Jim Calhoun is not the only coach to make "silly" statements. In fact, he probably does not top the list. Neither does Alabama coach Nick Saban. When asked about following the chain of command in college athletics last summer, he said something to the effect - At Alabama, we believe in the chain of command. We report first to the Athletic Director and then the report goes to the President of the University of Alabama.
Sometimes, coaches say the darndest things."