On Friday, former UConn men’s basketball coach Jim Calhoun responded to a Title IX lawsuit against the University of Saint Joseph which mentioned him and former athletic director Bill Cardarelli, his current employer, last week.
Calhoun states in the press release that he was “stunned and saddened” by what he called the “misleading headlines and accusations.”
“I am angry and hurt that the reputation that I’ve worked so hard to achieve for over 50 years—actually, for more than 77 years—was so easily dismissed and thrown aside in return for headlines or eyeballs or whatever the appropriate term is here,” Calhoun said in the statement. “And I’m especially angry that my career and my name are being used for legal grandstanding instead of in support for the victims of discrimination.”
Calhoun mentions that, although he is known as a coach, he is first a son to a widowed mother, a husband to a feminist, a father, a brother to four sisters and one brother and a grandfather to five granddaughters and one grandson.
He also said he stands for women’s rights and equality, voted for Hilary Clinton and worked under two women presidents at UConn and USJ. He mentioned he is excited to work under a new female athletic director at USJ.
Calhoun goes on to admit his flaws of “being stubborn, demanding and overly passionate on the basketball court” and admits to making mistakes in his life, and will continue to. But he said he holds those he works with to high standards despite race, gender or position.
According to WFSB, Jaclyn Piscitelli, the university’s former athletic director, sued USJ after she was terminated from her position in June. When she asked if she did something wrong she was told, “no, we’re just moving in a new direction,” according to WFSB.
In the lawsuit, Piscitelli mentions the “K-Cup incident,” where Calhoun asked her to pick up K-Cups he spilled and told her his wife would pick them up if he had spilled them at home. She also mentioned Calhoun telling her, “well, you’re certainly hot.”
According to WFSB, the university said the lawsuit is being reviewed.
“The University of St. Joseph said they are reviewing the lawsuit and take all matters relating to Title IX very seriously,” WFSB said.
Calhoun was the men’s basketball coach from 1986 until his retirement from UConn in 2012, according to Sports Reference. Under Calhoun’s coaching, the men’s basketball team won three NCAA championships. Calhoun signed on as coach to USJ’s men’s basketball team in 2018 according to Patch.
When the story first broke last week, University Spokeswoman Stephanie Reitz said UConn will not be making any comments on the issue.
Olivia Hickey is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.