Comments on Jeff Hathaway’s situation


Amidst all of the talk that Jeff Hathaway is likely being forced out as the UConn Athletic Director, let me make a few comments.

 

  • I’ve never been a huge fan of Hathaway.  Until a couple of years ago I had nothing specific to point to, but my opinion was based more on the fact that he seemed to be a caretaker.  Hathaway didn’t hire Jim Calhoun, Geno Auriemma, or Randy Edsall.  The success of the basketball programs predates Hathaway.  Gampel Pavilion predates Hathaway.  I’m not convinced that Jeff Hathaway’s actions have made the football program successful.  I’m not saying that Hathaway didn’t earn his position, but he certainly walked into a good situation.
  • A couple of years ago, I felt that Hathaway dragged his feet in extending Jim Calhoun’s contract.  Remember how long that dragged on?  It was supposedly agreed to late in the year, but not signed for several months.  I remember reading at the time that it was due to Hathaway’s busy travel schedule.  It seems to me that Hathaway’s priority should have been to get Calhoun signed.  Calhoun’s contract situation was used as the basis for negative recruiting, and it sure seemed that the Huskies lost out on some quality prospects who believed that Calhoun wouldn’t be sticking around.  Jeff Jacobs of the Hartford Courant reported today that:

“A number of coaches evidently expressed discontent because it took so long to have contracts finalized. Hathaway is the chairman of the Division I Men’s Basketball Committee and any appearance of spending too much time away from home is not good.”

  • I didn’t like the choice of Paul Pasqualoni as Head Football Coach.  I would have liked to have gone after a rising star in the college ranks, not a retread.  I hope that I will be proven wrong.
  • Having said that, and understanding that Hathaway has supposedly not done enough on the fund raising side of the business, Robert Burton’s attack on him was out of line.  He had some valid points, but the manner he went about them was wrong.
  • Does it seem that perhaps the university supported Hathaway at the time (though not strongly enough), bided time to save face, and is now following through on Burton’s demands?
  • Interestingly, Burton threatened to withdraw $3M in donations.  Hathaway supposedly will want a $3M buyout from his contact.  Coindidence?
  • Speaking of Pasqualoni, I’ve read comments that say that Hathaway is liked by Auriemma and Pasqualoni, but doesn’t get along at all with Calhoun – meaning that the coaches of two of the three highest visibility programs support Hathaway.  That’s fine, but Pasqualoni has been on the job less than a year, and was hired by Hathaway.  His support at this point is meaningless.
  • I wonder if Hathaway is being assigned much of the blame for the Men’s Basketball recruiting scandal.  Jacobs points out that Hathaway allowed the number of compliance officers to dwindle.  I seem to recall reading a claim that Beau Archibald was asked by the athletic department to contact Josh Nochimson, because there were not enough compliance officers to handle the issue.  Still, I’m sure that I buy assigning the blame to Hathaway.
  • Jacobs also cites, “The failure to replace a chief academic fundraiser, allowing the number of compliance officers to dwindle, micromanaging, the tickets-for-cars Monaco Ford scandal of several years ago, the complaints against Hathaway are well known.”
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