We can’t prove it statistically, but anecdotally it seems like every year at the start of the fall semester players just can’t help themselves from getting into all kinds of trouble. Wake Forest’s Tony Woodsis the latest knucklehead, as the 6’11, 250-lb. center was arrested late last week on charges of assault inflicting serious injury, assault on a female and assault with a minor present (his 1-year old child). According to the official statement from his girlfriend/victim, he allegedly pushed and kicked her on Labor Day, resulting in a fractured spine and a probable loss of his freedom if these claims are substantiated. Woods was once a highly-regarded (top 25) recruit of whom great things were expected, but he’s been relatively slow on the uptake, averaging only 5/3 in thirteen minutes per game last (sophomore) season. If these allegations are true, he’s slow in more ways than one, and we hope he doesn’t see a junior or senior campaign at Wake or anywhere else.
St. Mary’s is set to add a key transfer piece to its backcourt, as sources tell us that SMU transfer Paul McCoy is enrolled and already taking classes at the tiny school in Moraga, California. The 5’11 guard from Portland was an all-CUSA freshman two seasons ago, averaging 13/4/3 APG as a full-time starter, but tore his ACL in February last season and missed the remainder of his sophomore year. McCoy will be eligible to play in 2011-12, conveniently exactly when SMC will need a seasoned point guard to take over for the departing starter, Mickey McConnell.
According to Commissioner Larry Scott, the Pac-10does not expect Colorado to join Utah in its new twelve-team configuration for the 2011-12 academic year due to financial considerations. He gave the possibility a less than 50/50 chance, but said that if the league has eleven teams next year, they will retain the name Pac-10 until the twelfth team, CU, shows up in 2012-13. One other interesting note from this article: much like the Big Ten, the league does not anticipate a split into two divisions in sports other than football.
As we wrote about on Friday night when the news hit, Tennesseeannounced self-imposed sanctions on its basketball program, including specific restrictions on Bruce Pearl and his top assistants leaving campus to recruit and sizable givebacks (~$2M) from their salaries. The issue, of course, wasn’t as much the illegality of numerous phone calls to recruits as much as the fact that Pearl lied to NCAA investigators about something during the investigation. As Michael Rosenberg discusses in his article, that’s a serious transgression that could have gotten many less successful coaches fired. Pearl appears that he will survive, and two players in his 2011 recruiting class — Chris Jones and Kevin Ware — have already re-affirmed their commitments. This is understandable given they’re already sold on the program; the concern for UT fans will be what impact having Pearl out-of-sight/out-of-mind on the recruiting trail during the next year might bring. And then there’s the question of whether these sanctions could satisfy the NCAA — according to Gary Parrish, it could actually get worse.
For what it’s worth, at least one head coach (and undoubtedly many others) has no sympathy for Pearl’s current plight, especially given that he dropped dime on Illinois twenty years ago over the recruitment of hotshot high schooler Deon Thomas. In the late 1980s, recently retired Illinois-Chicago head coach Jimmy Collins was an assistant for Lou Henson’s Illini, and it was he who bore the brunt of Pearl’s allegations with the NCAA. Even though Collins was ultimately cleared of wrongdoing, he remained stigmatized by the incident, and he felt that Pearl’s holier-than-thou attitude was irresponsible and baseless. We’re certain that Collins watched Pearl’s mea culpa (below) with a certain amount of satisfaction.
The MAAC conference tournament gave us another buzzer-beater last night. Saint Peter’s guard Desi Washington rushed down the court and nailed a trey to eliminate Fairfield 65-62 on Washington’s THIRD game-winning buzzer-beater against the Stags this season.
Clown, thy name is UCSB fan. Although players and coaches alike are expected to behave professionally, fans also have a responsibility to contain themselves. Incidents like last night’s approach by a rabid UCSB fan are dangerous for everyone involved.