It's not Jim Calhoun's salary. I get that. He coached a major Division I program and did great things with it. He was gonna get paid.
It's not that he delayed his retirement in order to keep receiving that salary. In reality – that seems completely reasonable. Sure, people making normal wages don't get that option, but Jim Calhoun isn't normal. How many of us – if given the same option – wouldn't have delayed just like Calhoun in order to get the money? I'll give you a hint: it's a number that rhymes with zero.
Besides, Calhoun broke his hip. That's about the most 70-year-old thing you can do to remind yourself that you're 70, so if he gets some cash out of the deal, big whoop.
It's not that Kevin Ollie – who is doing the actual work for which Calhoun is being paid – is getting such a pittance in comparson with Calhoun. One way to look at it is that he's getting paid way below market value. Another way to look at it is that he's making nearly $6,000 a week. Again, I think the vast majority of us would be fine with that salary.
What it is is this: there are two worlds, those getting paid, and those who aren't getting paid. College basketball is big business. If you don't believe me then go back and read the beginning of this story. Jim Calhoun is getting paid nearly $3,000,000 dollars to do nothing. Meanwhile – the people who enable him to make $3,000,0000 dollars to do nothing in the first place – are getting free books and tuition. Their path to the free market is blocked by collusion which, in effect, forces them to spend a year making money for Jim Calhoun and his buddies before they themselves are allowed to go begin their careers.
And apparently it's perfectly reasonable for countless writers from both the old and new medias to write columns dissecting Calhoun's decision. It's all about whether he did or did not do the right (or popular) thing by working the system. But that's not the right question. Who cares if he worked the system? The system is there to be worked. The real question is how do we fix it? We're a country which prides ourself on econmic opportunity for all. But at this point, it's all talk. Instead of fixing it we just keep passing the buck – to men like Jim Calhoun.