Connecticut is paying some serious basketball money right now.
Not only did the school just finalize a 5-year, $13 million contract extension for men's coach Jim Calhoun, it also asked the state to spend an additional $375,000 to a Kansas City law firm to defend the school against an ongoing NCAA investigation into the men's team.
The original contract with Bond, Schoeneck & King called for a three-year deal capped at $300,000, according to a story in the Hartford Courant. Yet the state spent more than that in a one-year period between April 2009 and April 2010, when $338,000 in legal bills were paid.
(But before anyone sends nasty letters to the school and state officials for wasting taxpayer money, know that the athletic department reimburses the attorney general's office for all the payments. It's just that that state comptroller's office has to pay the firm.)
This will hardly be the end of the legal fees, too. From the Courant:
And the bill is only going to get larger as the NCAA investigation into the school's recruitment of Nate Miles and the program's ties to former UConn team manager-turned-agent Josh Nochimson continues…
OPM Deputy Secretary Michael Cicchetti approved an additional $200,000 in legal fees to pay the Kansas City firm in late 2009. That was the second time that OPM had granted additional funds; it signed off on an extra $175,000 in July 2009, records show.
The school is already burning through the new money, records show. In a five-day period last month between April 10 and April 15, Bond, Schoeneck & King billed the state for more than $37,000. Enright said those legal bills were accrued from Dec. 1, 2009, through Jan. 31, 2010, and not during just a five-day period.
Well, at least the basketball coach is in place.
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