Morning Five: 05.31.11 EditionPosted by rtmsf on May 31st, 2011
- The biggest news involving college sports on Monday was the resignation of Ohio State football coach Jim Tressel after ten very successful seasons amidst swirling allegations of misconduct involving at least 28 of his players trading memorabilia for tattoos, marijuana and cash (as reported by SI). Normally this sort of thing wouldn’t involve this site unless the allegations leaked over to the basketball program, but speculation on Twitter and around the web about whether Tressel may face a show-cause penalty set off a mini-firestorm among several going back and forth over Kentucky’s John Calipari as a basketball equivalent (Searching for Billy Edelin noted several others here). Calipari himself added a little fuel to the fire with his tweet on Monday night needling “the triumvirate and compadres” for their “radio silence” with respect to positive stories surrounding the Kentucky program, one of which was Brett McMurphy’s piece Monday on Cal’s association with Dick Vitale’s Jimmy V gala recently and his general philanthropy. Remember the mantra when it comes to Calipari: loved, hated but never ignored.
- After quite a few names thrown around in recent days (including the itinerant Larry Brown of all people), Penn State appears closer to making a hire to replace abruptly-departed Ed DeChellis. Andy Katz reported on Monday that three names were likely candidates — Duquesne’s Ron Everhart, Boston University’s Pat Chambers, and Wisconsin-Milwaukee’s Rob Jeter — with Everhart confirmed as interviewing at PSU on Tuesday. Frankly, Penn State fans would likely be thrilled with any of those three, as each has shown a proven capability of success at the mid-major level, but recruiting a winner to a basketball wasteland with a low (for Big Ten standards) salary will require a rather compelling pitch from AD Tim Curley.
- Welcome to next year. One of the first jobs that new Tennessee head coach Cuonzo Martin has in front of him is to face the NCAA’s Committee on Infractions in two weeks to answer for allegations that occurred under the previous guy’s direction (a jocular dude named Bruce Pearl; remember him?). The Vols don’t expect that any probation ultimately coming their way will involve a postseason ban, but they expect to at least lose a scholarship for a year or two and have some restrictions placed on his recruiting. We’re not sure exactly what Martin will be asked to say at this hearing other than “yes, sir” and “no, sir,” but we’re quite certain that he’ll be hoping all the while that his appearance at this sort of thing in Indianapolis will be his last.
- Mike DeCourcy writes about the five teams that he believes have a pretty good shot at ending NCAA Tournament droughts next season. We won’t spoil the surprise other than to say that Ivy League fans based in Cambridge are not going to be happy with their exclusion from this list — 66 years! Truthfully, though, his five are eminently reasonable, although choosing Northwestern to come through is probably just as dubious as referencing John Harvard’s school on any kind of such list.
- An elite Class of 2012 guard named RJ Hunter from Indianapolis recently committed to Georgia State over notable BCS-level schools Virginia Tech, Wake Forest and Iowa. Um, why would a player receiving offers from those schools commit to Georgia State? Turns out that the school had a bit of an advantage in his recruiting process — his father, Ron Hunter, recently took the head coaching job at GSU in Atlanta after nearly two decades at IUPUI. RJ said that Bryce Drew’s experience playing for his dad, Homer, at Valparaiso had an influence on his decision, and we’ve seen in recent years as Ray McCallum, Jr., and Trey Ziegler both had successful freshman seasons playing for their old men at mid-majors Detroit and Central Michigan, respectively, last year. Good for him.