SIDELINE PATROL: Allegations against UConn display Web’s muscle

Peter Silas Pasqua
Peter Silas Pasqua is the sports editor for the Gonzales Weekly Citizen. He can be reached at

Roughly a day before the No. 1 seed Connecticut Huskies were to return to play in the NCAA tournament after advancing to the Sweet 16, allegations of recruiting violations surfaced against the basketball program.

What is new here? UConn is a powerhouse college basketball team and the reason they are is because powerhouses recruit the best players. You have to figure it was just the Huskies turn to battle the allegations and move on with whatever sanctions would be given or not given.

But this story is different. Unlike, so many other allegations brought upon other schools by coaches who turn to newspapers to tell their story or investigative reporters who dig up evidence against baseball players taking steroids for a national magazine, this story never saw print.

The release of information was strictly distributed through the World Wide Web. Nevertheless it was through a company best known for its web portal and search engine. Not a trusted newspaper or high profile magazine. Remeber recruiting allegations against Reggie Bush.

Yahoo! Sports claims that through its six-month investigation, former UConn guard Nate Miles was provided lodging, transportation, restaurant meals and representation by Josh Nochimson, a professional sports agent and former UConn student manager.

What is even more shocking is that it could well be true because it has become the biggest storyline of the NCAA tournament during the week hiatus in between play. Head coach Jim Calhoun didn’t vehemently refute it thus giving it more legs.

Calhoun admitted that he knew words were written about his program although he hadn’t read them. But where the real story lies is where the story came from. Calhoun initially called it a newspaper story before deciding it was  a "blog story, I guess, that appeared on something that I probably can't get ahold of.''

Just this morning, I?heard on the radio that the Houston Chronicle was laying off many employees. Newspapers are going under in every part of the nation due to the spread of the Internet because of the unbeatable quickness and convenience it offers to our pampered society.

The radio talk show host acted like it was funny. That only elderly people still read the newspaper because they don’t know how to get the information online. That it is only good for wrapping fish  or crawfish boils and that local newspapers are no longer needed. That is where he loses his argument. Without local newspapers you would lose too  much information you can’t get anywhere else. It is my job to provide people with coverage of their local teams and you can’t receive that without the dedication of a local newspaper providing local news. Sometimes I get frustrated with my job but press on because I?know someone has to be reading it or at least looking at the pictures. (I?hope.) More than anything I?love what I do and it is a gift to be able to love what you do.

I admit, we might not be far from everything being online but I don’t know where I would be without the Sunday sports page.