HARTFORD, Conn. — Connecticut coach Jim Calhoun has acknowledged that he or his staff may have made mistakes in recruiting basketball player Nate Miles.
Calhoun, speaking to Yahoo! Sports after Thursday night’s 72-60 UConn win over Purdue in the NCAA tournament, said it’s sometimes hard to determine what is or is not permissible under the NCAA’s recruiting guidelines.
“Could I have made a mistake? Sure.” Calhoun said. “The (rules) manual is 508 pages. Someone could’ve made a mistake.”
Yahoo reported Wednesday that Miles, a 6-7 guard from Toledo, Ohio, was given lodging, transportation, meals and representation by sports agent Josh Nochimson, and that a UConn assistant coach knew about the relationship between the player and the agent.
The story cited interviews, documents obtained under Freedom of Information laws and other sources.
Nochimson, a former student manager at Connecticut, was considered a representative of UConn’s athletic interests by the NCAA and was prohibited from having contact with Miles or giving him anything of value, Yahoo reported.
Documents obtained by the Web site showed pages and pages of phone and text message correspondence between Nochimson and Miles.
The Yahoo report also alleged that UConn coaches exceeded limits on the number of phone calls that can be made to recruits during Miles’ junior year of high school.
Miles was expelled from UConn in October without ever playing a game for the Huskies after he was charged with violating a restraining order in a case involving a woman who claimed he assaulted her.
He played this season for the College of Southern Idaho.
Calhoun told Yahoo! and the New York Daily News that he felt better about the situation after talking to UConn athletic director Jeff Hathaway on Thursday.
“I’ve heard the expression that clear skies don’t fear thunder,” Calhoun said.
Meanwhile, Tampa radio station 1010 CBS Sports Radio, and the Tampa Tribune reported Friday that the same agent, Nochimson, paid for Miles to have surgery in December 2007.
Dr. M. Christopher MacLaren, a specialist sports medicine and arthroscopic surgical reconstruction of the shoulder and knee, said the surgery was performed at the Tampa Bay Surgery Centre.
MacLaren, citing federal medical privacy laws, would not disclose what type of surgery was performed, but told the Tribune that the average cost of the surgery ranges between $8,000 to $10,000.