NCAA committee on infractions chair Dennis Thomas said it over and over again -- the head coach is responsible for everything that happens within his program. On behalf of college basketball writers from coast to coast, Mr. Thomas, let me tell you that we agree. But then why did Jim Calhoun only get a three-game suspension?
"We think the penalty is appropriate," Thomas said during Tuesday's teleconference to announce the sanctions levied against the Connecticut basketball program.
Rest assured, the committee members are among the only folks who feel that way.
To the rest of us, it's a joke but hardly unexpected.
Calhoun ran a program featuring a coaching staff that made thousands of impermissible phone calls/text messages and used an agent/booster to secure the enrollment of a prospect. He got caught. And the penalty, basically, is that he'll be forced to miss three games next season just like Kansas State guard Jacob Pullen was forced to miss three games this season … for accepting less than $300 in discounted clothing.
You see why this is crazy, don't you?
Calhoun has missed more than that in recent years for exhaustion.
And don't bother pointing out how UConn will have to also endure recruiting restrictions and a reduction in scholarships, because that stuff just doesn't matter as much as the NCAA would like you to think. If Duke's Mike Krzyzewski can recruit from China while coaching Team USA and Ohio State's Thad Matta can start a season 24-0 using roughly seven players, I don't see how anybody can consider recruiting restrictions and scholarship reductions to be a huge deal in college basketball.
A postseason ban?
A television ban?
But all Calhoun really got for cheating was a three-game suspension -- plus the contract extension he signed last May.