Was Jim Calhoun Playing Fast And Loose With The Numbers?

Before Jim Calhoun's weekend press conference rant reaches YouTube meme proportions ("I'm forty! I'm a man!"), I think it's important that we look at the numbers he quoted and adjust them for inflation.

And they do need adjusting. First, let's once again set the scene. UConn had just beaten South Florida, and freelance journalist Ken Kreyeske — who was on the premises with a photo pass (in other words, he's a dick) — questioned the coach's $1.6 million salary. Considering that the state is running close to a billion dollars in the red, and UConn is a state university, how do you feel about that, coach? Calhoun, as is his custom in tense situations, responded with the tact and diplomacy of a berserk chimpanzee. Here's the exchange.

Calhoun's big finish went like this:

"Quite frankly, we bring $12 million into this university. Nothing to do with state funds. We make $12 million dollars a year for this university. Get some facts, and come back and see me. Get some facts, and come back and see me! Don't throw out salaries or other things; get some facts, and come back and see me. We took over $12 million for the University of Connecticut, which is state run. Next question."

Unfortunately, Calhoun's numbers seem to be a little off. First, he didn't say that the men's basketball program netted $12 million for the university. There are these things called expenses — uniforms and travel and wax for the floor at the Gampel Pavilion. In fact, as with most big college hoops programs, the expenses are quite substantial. It was Brian Foley of The College Baseball Blog who took a look at the Department of Education's Equity in Athletics Data Analysis site and gathered some numbers, and they're pretty interesting. UConn's men's basketball program brought in $7,332,214 last season, according to the site. A nice sum, but not nearly the $12 million Calhoun mentioned (four times).

And now further down the chart we see that the men's program had $6,009,728 in expenses. Unless I'm reading this wrong, that's a difference of $1,324,486, which is less than Calhoun's total salary. I'm not sure where the coach's $12 million figure comes from. Are there off-the-books bake sales we're not aware of? These are the numbers the schools report to the Dept. of Education, so they're not likely to be off. Now, the UConn men's and womens' programs combined generate close to $13 million in revenue; perhaps that's what Calhoun was talking about. But how does he get credit for the turnstile-spinning machine that is Lady Huskies? And how does he not mention the expenses side of the ledger?

So it seems that it's Calhoun that didn't have his facts straight. If anyone can see how I'm off on these numbers, let me know. But please, no screaming.

The Equity In Athletics Data Analysis Cutting Tool [U.S. Department Of Education]