UConn Support Amidst A Recruitment Scandal

It is with great anger that I write this article. On the eve of a basketball match-up with Purdue, the University of Connecticut is involved in a recruitment scandal; one that they probably will lose.

According to a Yahoo! Sports investigation, Josh Nochimson, a professional sports agent and former student-manager of the basketball team at UConn, former assistant coach Tom Moore, and even head basketball coach Jim Calhoun all violating NCAA rules in the recruitment of Nate Miles.

Nate Miles

Nate Miles

Miles reportedly received transportation, food, and lodging from Nochimson, all of which are NCAA violations because of Nochimson’s role as a “representative of UConn’s athletic interests.”

The NCAA forbid Nochimson from even contacting Miles, but that didn’t stop him. During December 2006, Miles’ junior year in high school, Nochimson made 27 phone calls to the basketball player’s family and three to Miles himself.

Moore, now the head basketball coach at Quinnipiac University, reportedly showed Nochimson who Miles was and who his family was so that the recruitment process could start and go smoothly. From the night Nochimson met Miles, he and Moore were in constant contact.

Calhoun reportedly made 16 phone calls to Nochimson personally during a two-year period up to and after Miles’ recruitment. The week that Miles was set to make a visit to the Storrs campus, Calhoun talked on the phone with him for nearly an hour.

How will this effect the team’s game against Purdue? It probably will not. Jim Calhoun is a Hall of Fame coach who knows how to get his team into the game. The Huskies are led by veteran players A.J. Price and Jeff Adrien who know how to put other thoughts aside for 40 minutes of basketball. I truly believe that this basketball team will take care of business against the Boilermakers from tip-off to the closing seconds.

How will the fans take the news of this alleged violation? For me, it hurts. It shows very little respect for the NCAA and portrays the Huskies as having as little class as possible. We’re the University of Connecticut for crying out loud! Two titles in the last ten years, 13 players currently playing in the NBA, and enough banners to cover the inside of Gampel Pavilion. Why on earth would we need to violate rules to recruit a player?

I am deeply ashamed in our basketball staff’s choices, although the main people in question are no longer a part of this staff. Moore is at Quinnipiac, Nochimson isn’t even a sports agent anymore, and Nate Miles never even put on a Huskies uniform.

Amidst this scandal, I am proud of the men and women that do put on the UConn blue and white. Their passion and intensity for the game they love and the institution they represent is to be commended. It is those players, and the players at all other schools, that make college basketball survive problems like this.



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March 2009
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