When UMass had to vacate its NCAA tournament victories in its Final Four year, 1996, this alum heard about it. From Lew Perkins and Jim Calhoun.
The former UConn athletic director and the basketball coach took just a wee bit of satisfaction in letting me know that something was unholy up I-91. And Perkins insisted that would never happen at UConn.
Now, the two men who made UConn Basketball a brand name face serious allegations of improprieties themselves. Perkins, now the athletic director at Kansas, is embroiled in a ticket scandal. Calhoun presides over a staff accused of recruiting violations.
Both are good men who have been very good at what they do for a very long time. But even good men (and women) can’t take their eyes off the prize for even a second at the highest level of college sports. The competition to recruit 16 and 17 year olds is too great. The pressure to win is immense.
They preside over multi-million dollar businesses. That’s what major conference Division One college sports has become.