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Here’s UConn coach Jim Calhoun responding to the Yahoo! Sports report alleging recruiting violations made by his program.

It’s a weak response, especially since this is the same coach who told a freelance reporter/activist who was questioning his $1.6 million salary (in a state that is facing a budget crisis — which state isn’t?) to “shut up.”

The comment that rankled me was his dismissive remark about where the report came from. It was from a “blog story, I guess, that appeared on something that I probably can’t get ahold of.”

Well, it wasn’t a blog — although it’s time for people still living in the stone age to stop believing blog is a dirty word — it was on Yahoo! Sports, the most trafficked sports site on the Web. The story was uncovered by Adrian Wojnarowski and Dan Wetzel, two reporters with extensive journalism backgrounds. Yahoo! Sports is a major online journalism operation, led by the former sports editor of the Los Angeles Times. I have to believe that they’ve sourced the story, verified their research and ran it through legal (not that a blog can’t do that, just pointing out what every publication should do on a story of this magnitude).

While we can debate the way Yahoo! Sports framed and packaged the story (as one former colleague was all too happy to knock this afternoon), we have to acknowledge the “break.” Breaking news online — whether it be TMZ, The Smoking Gun, etc — is here to stay.

While it may be just a blog report written by two pot-smoking dudes in a basement to Coach Calhoun, it’s also a report that could send the Hall of Fame coach into early retirement. Now that would be something to blog about.

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