HOUSTON, TX - APRIL 04: Head coach Jim Calhoun of the Connecticut Huskies looks on from the sidelines against the Butler Bulldogs during the National Championship Game of the 2011 NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Tournament at Reliant Stadium on April 4, 2011 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
The dust has sort of settled since the first shots in Incompetencegate were fired over the weekend.
One newspaper said buyout negotiations of UConn Jeff Hathaway were underway. Another countered, saying there was smoke, but no fire. UConn president Susan Herbst put out a statement that somehow only added fuel to said fire, before going on what I assume is a camping trip of some sorts.
And now we're at a standstill, with not much hard information and what appears to be the beginning of some sort of woodland motif.
But Jim Calhoun probably could've saved the school some money.
If it were up to him, Hathaway would be gone. Or so says a Courant report, which, according to a source, labels Coach Cal as one of the people not in the AD's corner.
But the Hall of Fame coach is signing a different tune.
When asked by ESPN.com's Dana O'Neil if people are reading things the wrong way, Calhoun replied:
"I do. I 100 percent do think that’s unfair,’’ the coach said before heading into the Milk House to watch recruits in Orlando. "I have nothing against anybody. Jeff and I, our relationship hasn’t always been all that it should have been. When he came back [in 2003], he seemed to have changed somewhat and they say when you move over six inches to the head coach’s chair, things change. But I don’t want to see anybody lose a job.’’
Fair enough. Calhoun and Hathaway have never seen eye to eye; that's nothing new.
But then there's this:
"Professionally you’re not always going to get along with people, but I don’t want to see anyone out of work,’’ Calhoun said. "I believe in Susan Herbst and what she’s doing. She’s young, energetic. She has great ideas. She gets it. She wants to make sure why we’ve had problems in the past, fiscally and otherwise, and point us to the future. That’s all I’m focusing on.’’
And therein lies what we in the biz (actually, I have no idea; but it sounds cool to say) call "wiggle room."
Calhoun doesn't want to see anyone fire, and, really, who does? But if someone has to go for the better of the university, well, he's not exactly going to throw himself in front of that bus. Or bicycle. Or Tonka truck.
There's no way to be sure, of course. Especially in today's age, where it's incredibly hard to take athletes and the like at face value because they're now all trained to say the most bland, unnewsworthy thing; and where athletes and the like will get mad when you don't believe them, even though they (and the media) have created this culture of distrust to begin with.
But I'd wager that Calhoun won't be too broken up when Hathaway is ultimately shown the door.