Caron Butler on how former players view UConn



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I listened to this earlier today. Caron says that even though he bleeds blue, he “drew a line in the sand” and has kept the program “at arms length” because of his support for Ollie. He mentioned how he, along with many of the other alums think KO got a raw deal and the school should give him what he is owed. He also thinks the school should not have thrown him under the bus like they did since KO is family and gave the program everything he had as a player and coach. At the end of the UConn segment, Caron mentioned that Hurley has invited him to a practice/talk to the team or something like that but he obviously has not taken him up on that offer yet. Caron’s view on the situation is pretty much how we all thought the alums felt about the situation based on the reports that have been out there since this all started. Its just that actually hearing it from one of the greats like Caron and how open he was about it stings.
 
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At what minute do they discuss UConn?
Around 56:00

Starts off with host aking Caron why Danny Hurley is the right coach for UConn and this is what Caron said:

"I stayed away from the coach conversation for a while...me and my family gave endowments and continue to support UConn because it is dear to our hearts...and this is first time I've talked about this publicly...the way that Kevin Ollie was treated and the way that he was handled I've stayed like an arm length from the organization and the University for some time...hopefully that changes...I think that all of us from Ray to Taliek Brown who is on bench right now we are trying to collectively come back together and heal those wounds but I think that Kevin Ollie has to be done and taken care of accordingly before we can move forward."
 
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Around 56:00

Starts off with host aking Caron why Danny Hurley is the right coach for UConn and this is what Caron said:

"I stayed away from the coach conversation for a while...me and my family gave endowments and continue to support UConn because it is dear to our hearts...and this is first time I've talked about this publicly...the way that Kevin Ollie was treated and the way that he was handled I've stayed like an arm length from the organization and the University for some time...hopefully that changes...I think that all of us from Ray to Taliek Brown who is on bench right now we are trying to collectively come back together and heal those wounds but I think that Kevin Ollie has to be done and taken care of accordingly before we can move forward."
Has to be difficult for guys like Ray and Caron. They love UConn but are torn by their loyalty to their friend. We saw how Kevin did not give his all as a coach after the first two years but they either haven't or don't want to accept that reality. He lost his motivation or ability to function effectively after his wife asked for the divorce and those who've experienced great emotional losses can probably relate, but they undoubtedly weren't kept as employees if they failed to do their jobs for several years and compounded the problem by cheating on their jobs. Ray and Caron will probably never accept that unfortunately.
 
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Has to be difficult for guys like Ray and Caron. They love UConn but are torn by their loyalty to their friend. We saw how Kevin did not give his all as a coach after the first two years but they either haven't or don't want to accept that reality. He lost his motivation or ability to function effectively after his wife asked for the divorce and those who've experienced great emotional losses can probably relate, but they undoubtedly weren't kept as employees if they failed to do their jobs for several years and compounded the problem by cheating on their jobs. Ray and Caron will probably never accept that unfortunately.
You should set them straight.
 

nelsonmuntz

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I think that Ollie's experience at UConn looks very different to people in coaching and the business of basketball.

Ollie showed incredible loyalty to UConn when he didn't bolt after the 2014 championship and decided to stay at a school that had received a virtual permanent exile from big time basketball when we got left behind in the AAC. The AAC was a death sentence for UConn athletics. Most of the world recognized that there was no way the athletic program could be successful as the northern outlier in a southern mid-major conference. I think Ollie, who won a National Championship as an assistant in 2011 and another one as a Head Coach in 2014, had a big enough ego that he thought that he could pull off being the Gonzaga of the AAC.

Ollie was wrong. He chased recruits that he could have easily closed in the Big East, but didn't want to play at a mid-major, and then he ended up scrambling for players like Gilbert that were literally damaged goods. Even a lot of the players he closed decided they didn't want to be at a cold weather school that had been bounced out of the big time. Ollie should have better calibrated which recruits he could close at a program that was sliding down the basketball hierarchy, but there isn't a text book for managing a program down the path to irrelevancy. The closest historical comparable was Houston post-Guy Lewis and post-SWC, and Houston didn't manage it well either.

NO UCONN COACH could have maintained any level of success in the AAC. This conference was going to destroy UConn athletics, and even though we are going back to the big time, it may be too late. Ollie was a casualty of the conference debacle as much as anything, and I will not hold him completely responsible for UConn basketball's decline post-2014.

Then, after all that, UConn walks away from a contract that it had promised Ollie when he had a lot of other offers. That will leave a bad taste in a lot of people's mouth, like Caron's.
 

CL82

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Around 56:00

Starts off with host aking Caron why Danny Hurley is the right coach for UConn and this is what Caron said:

"I stayed away from the coach conversation for a while...me and my family gave endowments and continue to support UConn because it is dear to our hearts...and this is first time I've talked about this publicly...the way that Kevin Ollie was treated and the way that he was handled I've stayed like an arm length from the organization and the University for some time...hopefully that changes...I think that all of us from Ray to Taliek Brown who is on bench right now we are trying to collectively come back together and heal those wounds but I think that Kevin Ollie has to be done and taken care of accordingly before we can move forward."
That’s a lot different than the characterization that @Ts5034 posted. Thanks @tcf15. FWIW does anyone know the status of the arbitration? I wondered about it, but I wasn’t gonna bring it up. It’s unfortunate that arbitration, which is intended to be an expedited process, has been dragged out.
 
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Most of the former players, understandably, feel this way. Most feel Ollie deserved to be fired for his performance, the ncaa violations were minor and much worse was tolerated in the past and would have been tolerated if Ollie was winning. Also, what Glenn Miller did was pretty disgusting and the players who love and will always love Calhoun, do not like that he is on Miller’s side with this.
I know what I said doesn’t really fly around here but that’s what it is.
 

CL82

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this is flat out false.

Gilbert was a McDonald's All-American who got hurt initially in the Jordan Brand Classic long after he was already signed.
He had a history of shoulder injury before the McDonald’s all American game, if I recall correctly, but otherwise fully agree.
 
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It was a perfect storm that got Ollie fired. Partially his arrogance, and recruiting gaffs, partially university expectations versus AAC reality. A lot however is probably due to his personal life falling apart and him trying to act as if he was ok. He should have taken a LOA to deal with those personal issues, and maybe he could have reorganized and came back with a renewed vigor. But hindsight...
 
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He had a history of shoulder injury before the McDonald’s all American game, if I recall correctly, but otherwise fully agree.
you're right. found an article from back in 2016 after his first injury here at UConn that stated he dislocated his shoulder as a sophomore in high school as well.
 
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If it weren't for Coach Calhoun and UConn, who knows what would have become of Caron.

"“I’m not going to make you the best Caron Butler, the ball player, you can be. I’m going to make you the best Caron Butler you can be. Period.”"

"You’d better slim down.
I think he was talking about more than weight.
When I got to UConn, I was a confident freshman … Hold up. I’ll rephrase that. I was a cocky freshman."

 
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"At the podium, I remembered something Coach had said before I left school.
“You’re going to be part of a family for life.”
He was right.
Thank you, Huskies. On Saturday, it’ll be a special moment when I attend the Huskies of Honor ceremony. This is a tremendous honor. And what’s crazy is, if Coach Calhoun hadn’t convinced me to stay after my first year, I might never have had my breakout sophomore season. I might never have met Andrea, who became my girlfriend that year. We’re still together today, married for 12 great years and counting, and we have five kids.
I became a man at UConn. I met the love of my life here. And I’ll never stop coming back here.
“Bad kid” or not."
 
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What about KO's dismissal of JC who supposedly was like a father to both of them? That to me never made any sense
This... I do not go to many car washes, but I was at a bakery and got into a long UConn convo with someone who "knew" about the JC/KO falling out and it's baffling to me (if all this man said was true) that the former players who ALL cut their teeth with JC could still back KO. I didn't believe the gentleman at the time, but when many of the KO allegations came out and was validated here the stories seemed to jive.
 

The Funster

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The whole issue was a clusterduck but all the ex players see is that the school weaseled out of paying KO, which they did, justifiable or not. Yeah there was a perfect storm but let's face it: the school and its AD made some horrendous decisions. KO fell down, no doubt, but going about it the way they did was really bad form...certainly lacked integrity.
 
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This... I do not go to many car washes, but I was at a bakery and got into a long UConn convo with someone who "knew" about the JC/KO falling out and it's baffling to me (if all this man said was true) that the former players who ALL cut their teeth with JC could still back KO. I didn't believe the gentleman at the time, but when many of the KO allegations came out and was validated here the stories seemed to jive.
Why can't they disagree with Calhoun on one issue?
 
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I actually before thought that how UConn let Ollie go was fine. But Iafter hearing Caron speak I have changed my mind. Those violations were not the reason they wanted him gone but it became there justification. Fan base was very unhappy so they made the change. But Caron is correct that Ollie made considerable sacrifices for UConn in staying. I think UConn needs to give him the money.
 
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Why can't they disagree with Calhoun on one issue?
Because it seems as though KO torched the bridge to his mentor... If I was as connected to JC as many of these players let on, I'd have a tough time letting that go.
 
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