Calhoun's Questioner “Thrilled” Coach Yelled Back

Blogger and political gadfly Ken Krayeske was "thrilled" in the days following the Saturday press conference where he was yelled at by Jim Calhoun -- who Krayeske is quick to point out is the highest paid state employee as head coach of the UConn men's basketball team.

The question-and-rant session made national headlines, as you could watch the Hall of Famer's blood pressure rise on camera.

Krayeske, who was credentialed by UConn’s sports information office as a freelance journalist, began to ask Calhoun if he would consider taking a pay-cut during these tough economic times.

"Not a dime back," Calhoun interrupted.

Calhoun then proceeded to tell Krayeske to "shut up." Repeatedly. And yelled, "Get some facts, and come back and see me."

Gov. Jodi Rell has since called Calhoun's tirade "embarrassing."

"I’m thrilled we started this discussion," Krayeske said in a phone conversation on Monday.

"It wasn’t me who created this. He happened to respond in that way." Krayeske said he was happy with the press the incident was receiving because it was opening up a debate. "We have to question the amount of importance placed on athletics," he said. "I always wanted to have this discussion on a national level, and here we are."

While Calhoun is the highest paid public servant in the state, Krayeske thinks he should not get special treatment, and should consider taking a cut like other state officials. "It’s not so much about the money as it is symbolism," Krayeske said. "(College athletics) is about youth development. Why does the money matter?"

During Calhoun's tirade, he argued that the men's basketball team racks in $12 million a year for the university. However, Krayeske's blog and other news sources have been reporting that number to be both lower and hard to calculate.

Krayeske's blog says that it's goal "is to not only break news, but to add to the dialogue a solution-oriented approach to societal problems."

He wrote, "Even a small pay cut could help the athletic department sustain more programs for college students. But, in Jim Calhoun's world, a comfortable retirement is more important than scholarships and equipment for young athletes who happen to excel at a sport that doesn't attract a national television audience."

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