Today UConn released a response to NCAA allegations of eight major rules violations involving the school’s basketball program. Included in the UConn response was the acknowledgement that the program did commit multiple violations and that it would offer to enact self-imposed sanctions that included minimal scholarship reductions.
(UConn Officials To NCAA: Rogues Are People Too!)
Though despite taking 62 pages (pdf) to defend itself against a serious threat of harsh NCAA penalties, the UConn administration absolved Jim Calhoun of any serious blame.
The entire NCAA investigation started after Yahoo Sports (who else?!) first broke the news last year of an alleged relationship between Calhoun and his program, former UConn basketball manager, booster and de-certified agent Josh Nochimson and then-prized recruit Nate Miles.
Nochimson is the key player in the most serious of UConn’s myriad violations. The HARTFORD COURANT describes him thusly:
A team manager-turned-agent, Nochimson was Richard Hamilton’s business manager before that relationship soured and ended with Hamilton suing Nochimson for allegedly stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars from him. Nochimson, because of his time spent at UConn, is considered a “representative of the institution’s athletic interests,” by the NCAA.
He is accused of developing a relationship with Miles and providing him with gifts (lodging, transportation, meals, etc.) and also working closely with members of the UConn staff during Miles’ recruitment. Nochimson has not commented publicly since these accusations surfaced and his whereabouts are unknown.
So as a “representative of the UConn’s athletic interests,” by NCAA rule Nochimson was not permitted any contact with a prospective UConn recruit, let alone provide a recruit with significant benefits - as he reportedly did with Miles.