The Calhoun Effect in the Hofstra Suspensions

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Hofstra suspended two transfer students for four games each before the season started, one of whom used to be a player under Jim Calhoun. Coincidence?

Early Wednesday afternoon, Hofstra suspended UConn transfer Jamal McCoombs-Daniel and Penn State transfer Taran Buie for two preseason games and the first two regular season games of the 2012-13 season. The Pride were already coming into this year looking a little shorthanded, and the two suspended players were brought in with the hopes of contributing to the team from game one. Now they'll have to wait until game three.

Hofstra isn't perceived as a powerhouse in the CAA, which renders the suspensions relatively minute even in the mid-major landscape. The Pride face Monmouth in their season opener, a game that could be tightly contested, and then will take on Purdue, a match-up that would prove out of reach even with McCoombs-Daniel and Buie in the lineup.

The true intrigue here is the McCoombs-Daniel aspect of it. Here we have the first true example of Jim Calhoun's post-career "legacy." The first thing to involve his lineage after his retirement? A former player of his is suspended for four games after leaving UConn. We know about the NCAA's investigation into Calhoun's tenure at UConn; specifically, the illegitimate recruiting of Nate Miles in 2008. After "failing to maintain an atmosphere of compliance" with the NCAA, Calhoun ended up serving a 3-game suspension last winter, two assistant coaches resigned, and questions were also raised about the educational standards going on during Calhoun's reign.

It brings to mind the question: what exactly did players learn under his watch? What kind of lessons were taught? The success of Calhoun's players once they made it to the NBA is documented; nobody needs to explain to the public that he was a very talented and successful college basketball coach. But McCoombs-Daniel was associated with the program during the time period in question in the Calhoun investigation, which lends it even more weight. It's simply a good thing to ponder as we reflect on such a storied career: in today's collegiate athletic landscape, it's always important to remember that even our "idols" aren't perfect. It takes time to truly define a legacy, and one of these Hofstra suspensions make that apparently clear.

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