No Timetable for Committee Decision

Jim Calhoun's three-game suspension is over. Connecticut won twice and lost once and Calhoun will return to the bench Saturday when the eighth-ranked Huskies play at Rutgers. That much is clear. What isn't clear at all is whether those results will go on Calhoun's record or the record of associate head coach George Blaney, who took over in Calhoun's absence.

Believe it or not, that decision is in the hands of the NCAA's Committee on Infractions, the same group that reviewed the allegations of recruiting violations against UConn and then handed down penalties last February.

Andy Katz of ESPN reported Saturday during UConn's game against St. John's that the results would go on Calhoun's record. Other media outlets have repeated that report. But it simply is not true because the matter has not been decided.

UConn officials said Monday in Storrs that they had been in contact with the NCAA and hoped to have a ruling on Tuesday, before the Huskies played Seton Hall in Newark, N.J. But UConn received no such communication.

Gary Johnson, longtime Division I men's basketball statistician for the NCAA, responded to my email Wednesday and said he is awaiting the ruling of the committee like everyone else.

"Right now there is no timetable as to when we will receive an answer," Johnson wrote in his email response. "This is the first time the COI has suspended a coach, so we are waiting to see if it was the committee's intention that the suspended coach not receive any wins or losses during the suspension."

Ordinarily, any missed games considered to be part of a temporary absence – such as the games Calhoun has missed with illness – have gone on the head coach's record. Suspensions issued by a conference or by a school have followed the same precedent.

But the stipulations related to Calhoun's suspension were much different in the details. Calhoun was not allowed to spend any time with his team from Christmas night until Wednesday, when he rejoined the team. In contrast, former Tennessee coach Bruce Pearl was suspended last season by the Southeastern Conference and was allowed to be at practices and he traveled with the Vols. He simply could not be on the bench during games.

It is possible the committee will leave the decision to UConn's discretion. In that case the results would go on Calhoun's record, UConn officials said.

It is not known whether the Committee on Infractions could deal with Calhoun's record by conference call or if a vote would have to be taken during one of the committee's regularly scheduled meetings.

Under Blaney's leadership, UConn defeated South Florida and St. John's before losing to Seton Hall during Calhoun's absence.

UConn now is 22-10 in games that Calhoun has either missed entirely or left the bench early. The record is 11-10 in games that Calhoun has missed completely and Blaney is 9-9 in those games. Blaney recorded 459 victories in 30 seasons as a head coach prior to coming to UConn.


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