Sports Law Blog
All things legal relating
to the sports world...
Friday, April 03, 2009
Examining Josh Nochimson's Role in Alleged UConn Scandal
I wrote about the alleged UConn scandal involving Nate Miles last week, a scandal that has raised serious questions about UConn men's basketball coach Jim Calhoun's possible knowledge and involvement in recruiting violations.
Today, Michael Rosenberg of the Free Press writes a provocative column and interviews Alan Milstein, who, in addition to writing excellent pieces for Sports Law Blog and speaking at great sports law panels, is representing Detroit Pistons star (and former UConn star) Rip Hamilton in his lawsuit against former UConn student manager-turned NBA agent Josh Nochimson. Here are some excerpts:
[Calhoun] hasn't refuted any of the facts in Yahoo! Sports' investigative report. He hasn't denied that Josh Nochimson, a professional sports agent and former UConn student manager, provided all sorts of extra benefits to recruit Nate Miles of Toledo -- which constitute major NCAA violations.
He hasn't denied that he and his assistant coaches were in constant contact with Nochimson. And he can't deny that because Yahoo has a paper trail that includes 1,565 calls and text messages between UConn coaches and Nochimson.
Calhoun is mostly setting off smoke bombs and looking for a place to disappear. He says the NCAA rule book is "508 pages" and "someone could've made a mistake." But these are not obscure rules, and it is simply not credible to say it was one big unhappy accident.
Calhoun called the Yahoo! report "a blog story, I guess" -- an obvious attempt to make it seem like some know-nothing wrote the story in his basement. Calhoun neglected to mention that he knows the two Yahoo! journalists who wrote the story, Adrian Wojnarowski and Dan Wetzel, quite well, and has for more than 15 years.
Yahoo!, by all appearances, caught UConn cheating.
And that's not even the worst of it.
Nochimson, the agent/booster/illegal recruiter, has been accused of stealing more than $1 million from Pistons star Rip Hamilton, a former UConn star. Nochimson was Hamilton's business manager.
Yet Calhoun still won't distance himself from Nochimson. There is ample evidence to suggest UConn continued using Nochimson even after Hamilton accused him of stealing all that money.
"It certainly bothers Rip," Alan Milstein, Hamilton's attorney, told me. "I'll say that."
Calhoun says Nochimson is "a good kid, worked hard."
Why does he say this? Why is Jim Calhoun still sitting in a boat with a man who is accused of stealing a million bucks from one of Calhoun's favorite players?
Maybe it's because Calhoun knows if he has a falling-out with Nochimson, then Nochimson might flip on him and talk to the NCAA.
Maybe Josh Nochimson knows too much.
* * *