The tide may be turning on Jim Calhoun.
When the Connecticut coach defended his $1.6 salary during a state budgetary crisis from a freelance reporter on Saturday, it made for entertaining theater. Calhoun didn't mince words, telling him to "shut up" and "get some facts." (The video is on the link.)
Calhoun was, to my knowledge, roundly considered right by various pundits, bloggers and commentators, though a touch rude. Tuesday, Connecticut governor M. Jodi Rell agreed.
"I think if Coach Calhoun had the opportunity right now, he would welcome a do-over and not have that embarrassing display from last week," Rell said.
Even more embarrassing? Calhoun's authoritative response may have contained the wrong facts.
"We bring $12 million into this university. Nothing to do with state funds. We make $12 million dollars a year for this university," he said.
I didn't crunch the numbers, but they come from Deadspin's Rick Chandler, a guy I used to work with and trust. And the numbers have the Huskies well shy of $12 million.
According to the Department of Education's Equity in Athletics Data Analysis site, UConn's men's program generated $7,332, last season. It's still a healthy chunk, but there's $4.7 million missing somewhere. Added advertising or endorsement deals maybe?
Whether Calhoun's worth $1.6 million is irrelevant. The school deemed it an appropriate salary. I just want the rest of the facts, like the man said.
So I read Pat Forde's story later Tuesday, which clears up some more of the UConn numbers. What'd he find?
Here are the facts as the U.S. Department of Education sees them, per an annual financial report submitted by UConn assistant athletic director Maureen O'Connor: The men's basketball program generated $7.3 million in revenues in 2007-08. It spent $6.1 million.
One UConn source said those numbers don't tell the whole story. The source said men's basketball is conservatively responsible for an additional $4 million in corporate marketing revenue and $4.5 million in donations to the school's booster organization, the UConn Club. That gets closer to a net profit of $12 million, but not all the way there.
Check out Forde's story. It's an insightful look into high salaries and what role coaches play in the growing state budget woes.