Story/Photo By Ken Krayeske • 7:45 AM EST
Coach Calhoun seems taken aback by the fact that we might care about his graduation rate. These are student-athletes you're training, right Country Club Jim Calhoun?
Among the four number one seeds in the NCAA collegiate basketball championship, Country Club Jim Calhoun has the worst graduation rate at 33 percent. Number one seed North Carolina, under coach Roy Williams, boasts of an 86 percent graduation rate, according to the 2009 annual study by the Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport.
Williams, who like Calhoun makes $1.6 million a year, seems to focus his million-dollar time a little more on athletics. Consider, too, how much more genteel Williams is than Country Club Calhoun. When asked about his $1.6 million salary, Williams at least indicated his family is suffering under the economic buckle, as his son recently lost a job.
Country Club Calhoun, though, earned himself a new nickname, as he was out there rubbing it in our faces again. Mr. "I-make-more-than-that" gave this to a presser, scribed by Brendan Punty of the Newark Star-Ledger:
Calhoun was asked a question about playing first-round opponent Chattanooga and eventually rambled into watching good friend and College of Charleston (which is a Southern League member with Chattanooga) coach Bobby Cremins.
"I watched (Chattanooga) against (Charleston) because of my friendship with Bobby Cremins," Calhoun said. "Same country club down in Hilton Head that I'm a member of."
"Actually, I shouldn't say that, 'I'm a member of a country club,'" Calhoun said grinning. "Probably not a good idea to advertise, I'm sorry. The public course that I go to and play with him -- $35 greens fees down in Hilton Head -- sure."
Unbelievable, Connecticut. He's yours. You can have him, and his 22 percent graduation rate when it comes to African-American players only.
Me, I just picked the Huskies to lose in the third round to Washington. It's happened before. And without Jerome Dyson, they lack the depth.
It showed in that sixth overtime last week. And full disclosure - I was rooting for my alma mater last Thursday night. How could I not cheer for my Orangemen?
Although Syracuse Coach Jim Boeheim's graduation rate needs helping, as he only graduates 50 percent of his players, according to the Institute for Ethics and Diversity in Sport down at the University of Central Florida.
Amazingly, a college basketball team can make the post-season and have a 100 percent graduation rate, witness Florida State. As for the other number one seeds, Louisville has a paltry 42 percent graduation rate, and Pitt, another Big East team, boasts a 69 percent rate.