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The review of the UConn athletic department — one that is perhaps a precursor to the school parting ways with athletic director Jeff Hathaway — is being conducted by MGT of America at a cost of $28,400.
UConn men’s basketball coach Jim Calhoun was thought by some to be the driving force behind efforts to oust Hathaway. But the coach, speaking to ESPN.com before heading into an Orlando arena to watch recruits, said that’s undeserved.
“I do. I 100 percent do think that’s unfair,” Calhoun told ESPN. “I have nothing against anybody. Jeff and I, our relationship hasn’t always been all that it should have been. When he came back (in 2003), he seemed to have changed somewhat and they say when you move over six inches to the head coach’s chair, things change. But I don’t want to see anybody lose a job.”
MGT of America, which is based in Tallahassee, Fla., has been “a leader in public sector management research and advice” for 35 years, according to its web site. It has offices in six major cities.
Higher education is one of six categories of services that are offered on its web site, and one of the primary types of work done in that vein are “management and organizational reviews.” Its list of former clients includes more than 100 colleges and universities, including Auburn, Arizona State, Mississippi State, Ohio State and Georgia.
UConn President Susan Herbst, who took office only last month, acknowledged that the review was taking place in a statement Sunday but has refused further comment.
UConn’s on-field success over the last academic year is unmatched in its history, though there have been other issues in the department. A major dip in fund-raising, the lack of a top fund-raiser and the NCAA violations by the men’s basketball program have all perhaps given Hathaway’s detractors ammunition to call for his ouster.
Hathaway has been UConn’s AD since taking over for Lew Perkins in 2003. He is slated to chair the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Committee, the group that selects and seeds teams for the annual NCAA tournament, in the coming year.