Calhoun does raise hundreds of thousands in funding for charities. His ego, however, is so out of kilter that one has to wonder how helpful it is in the long run for his players' (particularly the stars) attitudes and their development as human beings ...
... When I was a Hartford Courant reporter some years back, a colleague, Matt Kauffman, and myself sought Coach Calhoun's and the university women's basketball coach, Geno Auriemma's outside income, beyond their state salaries, from sports apparel and other companies ...
... Why should you as a state official, paid by state taxpayers, be able to hide what you make in both salary and outside perks. Shouldn't the taxpayers be able to judge on their own if you two are worthy of such huge salaries and perks? Why would you want to hide your finances ...
By Thomas D. Williams
The Cool Justice Report
March 7, 2009
EDITOR'S NOTE: This column is available for reprint courtesy of The Cool Justice Report, http://cooljustice.blogspot.com
As we learn more and more each day, the pay, bonuses, stock options and other benefits of sports figures, movie stars, other celebrities, and particularly corporate officers, have gone into the stratosphere. The average worker, laid off employee, mother, father, child or retiree cannot compute the millions, now billions, flowing into the pockets of these luminaries. And, as that incredible cash flows into the millionaires' and billionaires' numerous businesses, homes and enjoyments, there are millions of homeless, sick and war-wounded around the nation and the world who don't have a dime to spare.
University of Connecticutbasketball coaches, on the other hand, do have thousands of dollars to spare. They are not only being paid large sums by the state, whose governor has just put a freeze on the budget, but they receive huge bucks for advertising products and pushing sports apparel of all sorts.
In an interview recently, Coach Jim Calhoun told a reporter, who said the coach's salary is $1.6 million, and makes him the highest paid state official: "I make a lot more than that."
When the coach was asked if he regretted his hefty salary while the state was suffering through a two billion dollar budget deficit, he replied, "Not a dime back! I'd like to retire some day. I’m getting tired."
Soon afterward, Calhoun told the reporter, Ken Krayeske, and others that he brings in $12 million to the university so he is more than worth what the state pays him. In front of the assembled, he ultimately told Krayeske he had a bit of sage counsel for him: "My best advice to you is to shut up!" Next, Calhoun went on a short rant insulting the reporter.
Calhoun does raise hundreds of thousands in funding for charities. His ego, however, is so out of kilter that one has to wonder how helpful it is in the long run for his players' (particularly the stars) attitudes and their development as human beings. One code of ethics and sports conduct says: "Sports coaches are expected to conform to ethical standards in a number of areas: humanity, relationships, commitment, co-operation, integrity, advertising, confidentiality, abuse of privilege, safety and competence."
The arrogant manner with which Coach Calhoun handled himself in this recent interview with reporters, as well as his tirades toward other reporters, referees and players often doesn't live up to all such standards. So is that why the taxpayers of Connecticut and the advertisers pay him so much money? Certainly, the flow of dollars into Coach Calhoun's pockets don't help him get a grip on reality; just as they don't help reality or contriteness for corporate executives, movie stars and others vastly overpaid today in this universe.
When I was a Hartford Courant reporter some years back, a colleague, Matt Kauffman, and myself sought Coach Calhoun's and the university women's basketball coach, Geno Auriemma's outside income, beyond their state salaries, from sports apparel and other companies. They used an assistant state attorney general and hired their own lawyers to fight us at the State Freedom of Information Commission. Lawyerless, we lost that battle, but eventually found what we needed for a salary plus perks story from the State Ethics Commission.
Recently, it was Coach Auriemma who defended Coach Calhoun from queries about his salary and other perks. ESPN reported: Auriemma, who recently signed a 5-year, $8 million deal, said he doesn't think it's fair to ask someone who has worked as hard as Calhoun whether he deserves the money he makes, especially during a postgame news conference. “I think it's unfair in this setting and I would venture to say it's unfair in any setting," Auriemma said.” How do you answer questions about money, about your personal life," he asked.
My questions for you, Coach Auriemma, and you, Coach Calhoun are: Why should you as a state official, paid by state taxpayers, be able to hide what you make in both salary and outside perks. Shouldn't the taxpayers be able to judge on their own if you two are worthy of such huge salaries and perks? Why would you want to hide your finances, when you two have responsibilities to properly represent, their basketball players, the fans, the university, the state, and its taxpayers?
Thomas "Dennie" Williams is a former state and federal court reporter, who specialized in investigations, for the Hartford Courant. Since the 1970s, he has written extensively about irregularities in the Connecticut Superior Court, Probate Court systems for disciplining both judges and lawyers for misconduct and the failures of the Pentagon and the VA to assist sick veterans returning from war. He is now a freelance writer for several Internet sites including The Cool Justice Report, Truthout.org and The Public Record. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org