NCAA Ruling Gives Credit to Blaney

The NCAA has ruled that Connecticut coach Jim Calhoun's record will not reflect either the two wins or the one loss that occurred during his recent three-game suspension imposed by the NCAA.

Cameron Schuh, associate director for public relations and media relations, told Thursday that was the clarification issued by the Committee on Infractions.

"According to the Committee on Infractions, a coach is not given credit for any wins that occur while that coach is serving a suspension from a Committee on Infractions penalty," Schuh wrote in an e-mail. "This is consistent with the complete removal of the coach from all aspects of game preparation (practices, film study, team meetings, etc.) from the time the last game the coach is allowed to be present for through the end of the final game of the suspension period.

"This was a clarification of the COI's intent when handing out a penalty of this nature, and has always been the case. . . . We were awaiting clarification on this and heard from them today with what the intent has always been."

Schuh also said it would be UConn's decision regarding who gets the two wins and one loss. The school issued a statement saying UConn would comply with the ruling and associate head coach George Blaney, who filled in for Calhoun, would be credited with the results. Blaney's coaching record is now 461-383 and Jim Calhoun's is 865-368.

Calhoun's three-game suspension for this season was part of the sanctions imposed last February as a result of the NCAA finding there had been numerous violations of recruiting rules in the case involving prospect Nate Miles. The NCAA stated that Calhoun failed to monitor and promote an atmosphere for compliance and suspended him for the first three Big East games of the 2011-12 season.

UConn also was penalized with recruiting restrictions and a reduction of scholarships for three academic years.

Dennis Thomas, then chairman of the Committee on Infractions, said last February that the committee thought the length of Calhoun's suspension was appropriate.

"The head coach should be aware but obviously can't be aware of everything that goes on," Thomas said. "However, the head coach bears that responsibility."

In Calhoun's absence, UConn defeated South Florida and St. John's before losing to Seton Hall on Tuesday.


The Big East hosted its first media teleconference of the season with the league's men's basketball coaches on Thursday. Calhoun, back from his three-game NCAA suspension, opted not to participate in his usual time slot. Blaney filled in for him in that capacity.

Speaking just before noon Thursday, Blaney said the Huskies were boarding a bus for their first practice since Tuesday night's 75-63 loss at Seton Hall – and their first practice with Calhoun since he stopped by to address the team on Christmas night.

Blaney said there was little doubt what Calhoun's message would be upon his return. The Huskies are still in New Jersey, preparing for Saturday night's game at Rutgers.

"It'll be defend, it'll be run, it'll be compete, and it'll be rebound," Blaney said. "That's the core of what we do. And that's the core of what he has always done with his teams. That's what we always go back to. I'm convinced that's what we'll do."

That to-do list could easily be expanded after the Seton Hall loss. Before the game Blaney had talked about playing with energy and how the UConn players needed to show everyone from the opposing team to the fans in the stands that they were ready to play – from the opening tap.

Instead, the Huskies couldn't have played with less energy at Seton Hall. One of Blaney's comments following the game was his disappointment in how stagnant the Huskies looked. After the first four minutes of the game, when the Huskies scored 11 points, UConn simply didn't respond to anything the Pirates did. UConn had 13 first-half turnovers and only scored 11 points the final 16 minutes of the half to trail 35-22 at the break.

"Seton Hall gave us a whole lot of problems with the changing defenses and how aggressively they played us," Blaney said. "And we didn't shoot the ball well (35.1 percent from the field)."

And as Tyler Olander said after the game, Seton Hall threw the first punch and the Huskies never punched back. That might have been the first indication that the players were missing Calhoun's fire on the bench during the three-game suspension.

Blaney knows the Huskies have to play with more emotion at Rutgers. The Huskies have had some close encounters and difficult games over the years at the Louis Brown Athletic Center, better known as the RAC.

Rutgers is 7-3 at home this season and that includes a double-overtime victory over Florida on Dec. 29.

"Any time you go to the RAC, you've got a problem," Blaney said. "We know we're in for a battle.

"You're always happier to have a home game coming off a game where you didn't play as well. But we're looking forward to getting back on the winning track."


The 20 finalists for the 2012 Bob Cousy Collegiate Point Guard of the Year Award have been announced and UConn's Shabazz Napier survived the cut. The original list of more than 60 candidates was sliced to 20 earlier this week.

The award, given by the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, is named for Hall of Famer and former Boston Celtic great Bob Cousy.

"The talent level among our 20 finalists demonstrates the competitiveness at the point guard position in college basketball this year," said Ken Kauffman, chair of the 2012 Bob Cousy Award. "As we move through the next rounds to our final award-winner, it will clearly be a difficult decision to select one player from this elite group."

The winner of the 2012 Bob Cousy Award will be awarded at the Hall of Fame's Class Announcement on Monday April 2nd in New Orleans as part of NCAA Final Four weekend. UConn's Kemba Walker won the award last season.

Here are the 2012 finalists: Pierre Jackson, Baylor; Shabazz Napier, UConn; Ray McCallum, Detroit; Seth Curry, Duke; Erving Walker, Florida; Scott Machado, Iona; Casper Ware, Long Beach State; Peyton Siva, Louisville; Trey Burke, Michigan; Dee Bost, Mississippi State; Phil Pressey, Missouri; Kendall Marshall, North Carolina; Aaron Craft, Ohio State; D.J. Cooper, Ohio; Zack Rosen, Pennsylvania; Ashton Gibbs, Pittsburgh; Scoop Jardine, Syracuse; Damian Lillard, Weber State; Jordan Taylor, Wisconsin; and Tu Holloway, Xavier.

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