UConn men’s basketball coach, Jim Calhoun, is taking a indefinite leave of absence from the team due to a condition called spinal stenosis. This won’t be the first time he’s taken a leave from the team . Starting back in 2003, he has missed blocks of games due to issues like prostate cancer and “stress related” issues in 2010.
Calhoun, 69, is not doing well. Just looking up what spinal stenosis is can make your back tighten up reading about it:
Spinal stenosis is narrowing of the spinal column that causes pressure on the spinal cord, or narrowing of the openings (called neural foramina) where spinal nerves leave the spinal column.
Sounds painful. But the obvious question is: why would Calhoun, who has three national titles to his credit, want to continue coaching? He’s made a ton of money and he can retire to the shoreline and live a comfortable life with the time he has left. Hang it up already, what’s the point of killing yourself in a gym anymore?
It might not be that simple. Maybe the stress and grind of a college basketball season is what has been keeping him alive and feisty. He’s a lifer, and without basketball he could be totally lost in life. Sort of like how Joe Paterno all of a sudden died after getting fired from Penn State, despite being sick for a number of years.
There are skeptics who might say he’s taking a few games off due to UConn’s sucking the past few games. (Really, how do they go from winning the national title in 2011 to being unranked right now and being 3-4 in the Big East!? No Kemba Walker, that’s how.) But Calhoun has suffered through other mediocre seasons before and there’s no doubt he would prefer being on the sideline to getting surgery for a serious back problem.
In Calhoun’s absence, longtime assistant George Blaney will take over coaching duties. Maybe he can get Alex Oriakhi to be a more consistent presence by the basket. Seriously, he should be dominating down there! He’s playing too passively.
Anyway, good luck to CT’s favorite curmudgeon, Jim Calhoun. Get better so you can get back to chewing out refs in no time!