|Calhoun, right, with UConn assistant Kevin Ollie, who Calhoun wants to succeed him as Huskies coach. (US Presswire)|
It will not be NCAA punishment or internal pressure from his school that will force Jim Calhoun out of his post at Connecticut. As many have speculated and/or feared for years, his body could be the decider.
Calhoun fractured his left hip after a bike-ride spill in early August. That injury is healing, but it's again caused the Hall-of-Fame coach to look at his own mortality and ponder whether it's worth it, again, to go forward and coach this team for another season. Let us remember: UConn is not even eligible to play in the 2013 postseason due to punishments stemming from poor APR scores.
How's his life right now? Apparently, the 70-year-old Calhoun is not even well enough to use a cane at this point, let alone have it there to help him walk. It's only natural for Calhoun to wonder if he should, could or can coach at the passionate and demanding level he has for decades, especially when he can barely even get about.
Rehab and health worries aside, the point is, here we are, again, heading toward another season with Calhoun putting his program, school and the state of Connecticut a few feet off the ground and letting all twist with the gust that comes from his gut.
In an interview with SI.com, Calhoun said he expects to make a decision on his coaching future in the next two weeks. So this isn't going to be a situation like last year, then? Calhoun indicated in May of 2011 that he'd make a decision by June if he'd coach the team for the 2011-12 season. That announcement never came. Once Andre Drummond tweeted -- completely out of the blue -- that he'd be attending UConn, Calhoun's future for the upcoming season was flatly determined, and even before then everyone shrugged their shoulders and assumed no news was good news, as it were.
When Calhoun was on the recruiting trail in July, I and most others assumed he was certainly on the way back. I mean, he was still grinding it out in Las Vegas gyms, scoping out targets for UConn's next good recruiting class. But the bike accident clearly changed things.
Here's what Calhoun had to say to SI.com on Thursday:
"I would be very, very surprised if I didn't have something to say within the next two weeks,'' he said as he talks more about the past than the future. Calhoun said he has not decided whether or not to retire, but he sounds like he might be ready to step away. Although the competitive part of him thinks he could coach for another two years, the practical side realizes that this might be time.
Calhoun says he has waffled on his decision on whether or not to return for months. "Depends on how I feel sometimes," he said. "But I'm very close to knowing. I'm just going to wake up one morning and I will know what is the right thing to do. I always said if I ever come here and say, 'Jeez I'm not sure, I will know it's time.'''