The state of Connecticut's highest paid employee announced his retirement on Wednesday: The press and other members of the college basketball world greeted Jim Calhoun's retirement from UCONN basketball (after 26 years and national championships in 1999, 2004 and 2011) with, mostly, a predictable whitewash of his impressive but checkered tenure and, less frequently, by pointing out that Calhoun's most immediate legacy—if not, probably, the one that will last longest—is leaving his basketball team in total disrepair.
Other college basketball coaches have made exits that made them look far worse—Billy Gillispie is currently making a case for awkwardest final days coaching a program ever—and Calhoun cited legitimate health problems as reason for leaving now. Still, the specifics of Calhoun's exit might raise eyebrows if Connecticut wasn't so busy mourning the man who yelled UCONN into athletic relevance. In June came news of the university's newest problem with the higher-ups: the men's basketball team had failed to meet the lower cut-off point of the NCAA's cursory, at-least-pretend-to-go-to-class APR metric. At the time, the lower limit of academic engagement corresponded to something a little below a 50% graduation rate over a given four year period (the NCAA calls it "a term-by-term measure of eligibility and retention" intended to predict graduation rates). UCONN's men's basketball team couldn't cut it; the NCAA, as it's done with schools like USC for other infractions, took UCONN out of contention for the postseason, meaning no Big East tournament and no March Madness run in 2013.