Just in case the thought crossed your mind (and we can't imagine why it would), but there's no need to worry about Jim Calhoun. Yes, after 26 years, he's no longer the UConn men's basketball coach but he does hold the title of assistant to the athletic director until the spring. Oh, and even if he decided to spend his retirement dropping bags of his money out of an airplane he'd still be fine.
The Hartford Courant's Jeff Jacobs writes Thursday that "Calhoun … is guaranteed at least $2,742,307 of the $3 million that he was scheduled to receive between July 1, 2012, and June 30, 2013, in the fourth year of a five-year, $13 million contract that he signed in 2010. Calhoun made $2.7 million in Year 3. If Calhoun elects to take a final $1 million retirement payment by the March 15, 2013 deadline, the total compensation rises to about $3.75 million."
In general, we have no problem with this. Calhoun, 70, built this program from the ground and is responsible for bringing three national titles to Storrs. But things get muddy when you look at the specifics. There are also the NCAA violations and sanctions now hanging over the program which don't sit well with a lot of people. Then there's this, from Jacobs.
By remaining on the job while recuperating from a broken hip sustained Aug. 4 when he fell off a bicycle, Calhoun received the entire $1.3 million due him on Sept. 7, the first payroll period of September, for speaking fees and media appearances. The second of the semiannual payments is due in January, and as part of a transition agreement signed on Sept. 13, the amount was lowered from $1.3 million to $1.15 million. …
As part of the 2010 coaching deal, one save a few modifications that is still in full effect until March 21, 2013, Calhoun will receive a $400,000 annual salary, payable in equal installments every two weeks. That would mean he'd receive roughly 75 percent of the $400,000 [$292,307].
Jacobs writes that Calhoun could've retired weeks early and foregone the $1.3 million September payout but then adds "How many of us really would forgo that much money?" Fair question but UConn is also a state school and Calhoun was the highest-paid employee in the state. It's reasonable for taxpayers to think their money is serving more immediate needs. Of course, Calhoun was asked in 2009 during a statewide budget crunch if he should give some of his salary back and he famously said "Not a dime!"
Jacobs calls Calhoun's final contract with the university "victory No. 874" for the Hall of Fame coach.