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UConn(vict) Preview

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Ladies, gentlemen and the creatures that are fans of Cuse, welcome to the Big East Season. Georgetown opens up against arguably one of the toughest stretches any team will face this season. At UConn (#2), vs. Pitt (#3) and at Notre Dame (#8). And those numbers in parenthesis aren't Big East standings, they are national rankings. So three games against top ten teams in eight days, two of which are on the road. JT3 has never opened the BE season 0-3, the worst was 1-2 in '06-'07, but it is a very real possibility this season. If we walk out of this stretch with one win, consider it a moral victory.

And now on to the fun stuff. I'm not going to tell you what to expect against UConn because I have talked about it enough the past few weeks. In sum, we are going to get absolutely destroyed on the boards. Only way to win is to stay out of foul trouble (i.e. limit use of our weak bench) and take smart shots (i.e. good ball movement). If we shoot under 40% from three point land we cannot win this game. All that said, I am going to focus my attention on something sent to me by follower jhags99.

First, read the heart warming story of UConn junior Stanley Robinson.

Wow, that Coach Jim Calhoun is a class act. Saw one of this student-athletes (emphasis on student because that is what Calhoun really cares about) heading for trouble and wanted to put the derailed train back on the tracks. Can't say enough about him, we need more good, earnest, hard working folk like Jim Calhoun not only in college basketball, but life in general. Three cheers for Jim!

But wait, something seems askew. This pathetic piece of journalism by Dana O'Neil is missing something. She provides the facts but forgets to the connect the dots. Let me step in where Dana failed.

Let's review the facts as presented. Coach/Savior Calhoun was worried about his starting forward after he was late for a few study halls. In order to teach him a valuable life lesson, he suspended Robinson for the first semester of the year. Robinson, so inspired by said punishment, works hard to get his life back in order and rejoins the team, having earned enough money to pay for his education, thereby not requiring a scholarship. Hmmmm...

Here is what really happened folks, and why Calhoun is a notorious dirtbag. At the end of last season, Calhoun was looking ahead to this year (and trying to forget about his embarrassing loss to #13-seed San Diego in the first round of the NCAA tournament). He had no seniors on the team and had eight definite returning scholarship players, since Hasheem Thabeet was leaning towards going pro. He had four incoming players: freshmen Scottie Haralson, Kemba Walker and Nate Miles and Juco transfer Charles Okwandu. He was also heavily recruiting Australian sensation Ater Majok and had extended him a scholarship offer. If Thabeet decided to postpone his NBA dreams and come back for his junior season and Majok accepted the offer, Calhoun would have fourteen scholarship players for the '08-'09 season. That is one over the thirteen maximum scholarships allowed under NCAA rules. Knowing this, Calhoun took a good hard look at his roster and saw that Stanley Robinson, a five-star recruit, wasn't really living up to his expectations. Although he was billed to be a superstar player, Robinson took a smaller role on the team, over-shadowed by fellow big men Jeff Adrien and Hasheem Thabeet. So Calhoun called Robinson into his office at the end of the season and told him that he no longer had a scholarship at UConn and had two options (1) transfer to another school or (2) become a walk-on. No idea why Robinson didn't choose option #1, but I think it might have something to do with the money thrown at him through a BS job with a former player of Calhoun.

A few things to note:
- Coach/Savior Calhoun rescinded a scholarship from a 19 year old father of two, who was notoriously shy and quiet, in order to extend it to someone else who Saint Calhoun deemed to be a better player
- Robinson was suspended a semester for being late to study hall. He was not allowed to attend class and had his scholarship taken away.
- In 2006 Marcus Williams of UConn was suspended eleven games after being arrested on four counts of third-degree felony larceny. Williams still went to class and kept his scholarship.
- As per the idiot author of the article: "Ruslan Inyatkin returned from vacation to find he had a new employee at Prime Materials" meaning Calhoun somehow had Robinson hired at the company without an interview with his supervisor
- Robinson receives somewhere around $25/hr to clean scrap metal ($700/wk working 9:30-3:30)
- The player that received Robinson's scholarship, has yet to play a minute of basketball for UConn because the NCAA has not cleared him to be eligible

Some more tidbits about the Grade A program Calhoun is running up in Storrs:
- Nate Miles, one of the recruits coming in this year, was expelled before playing a single minute after abusing a female student and violating a restraining order
- Jerome Dyson, current starting guard for UConn, was suspended last year after failing two drug tests
- Doug Wiggins, UConn guard that transferred to UMass, was suspended from UConn last year for alcohol possession and then suspended from UMass this year for breaking and entering
- A.J. Price, current starting guard for UConn, was suspended a full season after trying to sell stolen laptops
- Marcus Williams, former star player for UConn, was suspended for four months after stealing laptops with Price
- Antonio Kellogg, former starting guard for UConn, was suspended from the team for drugs and then attempted to assault a police officer

UConn and Calhoun represent all that is wrong with college athletics today. A scumbag coach running a dirty program with a University that looks the other way as long as the money keeps flowing. What Calhoun did with Robinson is not illegal but it certainly raises an eyebrow as to what coaches can get away with, and how secondary something as important as an education can be in collegiate athletics. And nothing is going to ever change as long as morons like Dana O'Neil write garbage pieces praising the perpetrators for doing something so obviously suspect.

Good talk.