(Updated 9 p.m.) The chairs of the legislature’s Higher Education Committee wrote University of Connecticut President Michael Hogan Thursday and asked him to reprimand men’s basketball Coach Jim Calhoun for his much-discussed exchange last weekend with a freelance reporter.
In their letter to President Hogan, Rep. Roberta Willis and Sen. Mary Ann Handley said Calhoun’s “behavior was unacceptable and we request that the university take appropriate disciplinary action to reinforce the high ethical standards we have come to expect from our flagship institution.”
Click here to read the letter.
Keep reading to see what Calhoun, President Hogan, and Athletic Director Jeff Hathaway had to say about the controversial press conference.
“It has become clear that my comments have been misinterpreted by some as being insensitive to the current economic climate that those of us around our country and here in Connecticut are all facing,” Calhoun said in an emailed statement Thursday evening. “I believe I have a duty, responsibility and obligation to support the state I love and the many people and organizations of Connecticut that are in need. I look forward to continuing with the same amount of passion and commitment to assist people and causes that are important to me and my family.”
Hogan, who did not mention any potential discipline for Calhoun, said, “As to the controversy over Coach Calhoun’s recent press conference, the question he was asked about his salary was perfectly fair, although the reporter, as Coach Calhoun suggested, might have found a more appropriate and less provocative setting for his inquiry.”
“I am sure that we all regret the controversy, including Coach Calhoun, and I can assure you that we will continue to encourage all members of the UConn community to resist temptation and treat others in a judicious and respectful manner, no matter what the circumstances,” Hogan said.
“I am confident that Jim understands the impact of his comments from last Saturday and I believe with this behind us, Coach will now be able to focus his attention on the remainder of the regular season and the postseason ahead,” Hathaway added.
Click here to read their comments in their entirety.
Gov. M. Jodi Rell, who said earlier this week that Calhoun may want a “do-over,” called Calhoun Wednesday and had a private conversation with him. It’s unknown exactly what was said.
Related story:UConn Students Question Budget Cuts and Tuition Hikes