Friday, May 7, 2010

Age is Just a Number

Jeff Hathaway insisted that the long duration of negotiating Jim Calhoun's new contract had nothing to do with his age (68 on Monday), his health issues or the current NCAA review of the program's alleged recruiting violations.

""None at all ... Jim is an all-in, 110-percent person. When he's not all-in, he's going to tell me, I'm not going to have to tell him. We all know of his passion. It was never part of the conversation."

Both Calhoun and Hathaway conceded that negative recruiting has almost certainly gone on by other schools, who have warned recruits about Calhoun's age, health, etc. But Calhoun doesn't believe the lack of a contract until now has poorly affected UConn's own recruiting.

"I'll be getting older -- I actually won't, but people will say I'll get much older; they couldn't say I'm getting much grumpier -- that will be used in recruiting. It's an aspect of life that we have to continue to deal with. We did have other things -- a season ... Jeff had responsibilities here as athletic director, and then on the men's basketball committee. An awful lot of things had to take place. If I thought it was so (impactful), we probably would have gotten together at some particular point to solve it. I don't think anything that might have come out of it is not going to be permanent. I'm incredibly happy with the five kids we have coming in -- much happier than you can probably realize."

Calhoun even labeled this year's recruiting class (Roscoe Smith, Shabazz Napier, Tyler Olander, Jeremy Lamb, Michael Bradley) the best the school has had in at least a decade.

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