Morning Five: 09.16.11 EditionPosted by nvr1983 on September 16th, 2011
- St. John’s was dealt a major blow yesterday when the NCAA ruled that three of its prized freshman recruits–Amir Garrett, Jakarr Sampson, and Norvel Pelle–were ruled ineligible by the NCAA for the fall semester. This will be a huge blow for Steve Lavin, who was looking to build on his success last season with one of the top freshman classes in the country. St. John’s is planning on appealing to get the trio eligible for the spring semester, but the earliest that they could join the team would be for a practice on December 19 and see their first game-time action against Texas Pan-American on December 21. Of course, rumors have already started spreading about all three players exploring their other options while they await that decision. Until then, Lavin will have to try to make it through challenging non-conference schedule that includes a game against Arizona in the 2K Sports Classic in Madison Square Garden and a game at Kentucky with a young, but talented group of players.
- It took almost a month, but Frank Haith has finally come out to (sort of) defend himself against the reports of wrongdoing while he was at Miami. In an interview with a local reporter, Haith denies any wrongdoing on his part, but states that he cannot explain much more including his relationship with Nevin Shapiro, the Ponzi scheme artist at the center of the controversy. Haith also claims that it has not affected his recruiting, but we will believe that when we see what kind of recruits he is able to lure to Missouri. Outside of potential NCAA sanctions against him (we still can’t believe the NCAA acted so swiftly against the players, but has not made any indication that it will punish the coaches involved) there is the looming concern about Haith’s job security at Missouri and that’s before they even evaluate his on-court performance, which left a lot to be desired at Miami.
- As usual Dana O’Neil has come up with another outstanding profile piece. This time it is on new Princeton coach Mitch Henderson, who was the iconic image from Princeton’s shocking upset of defending champion UCLA in the 1996 NCAA Tournament. Henderson took the job after his former teammate Sydney Johnson (in the background of the image with Henderson leaping) left Princeton to take the same job at Fairfield. Fortunately, Johnson left his former teammate with a program that was in good shape, but Henderson will have to find a way to replace the contributions of departed seniors Kareem Maddox and Dan Mavraides.
- Former Arizona coach Lute Olson filed a lawsuit earlier this month claiming that he lost a little over $1 million in the David Salinas investment scam. Olson was among the approximately 100 investors who lost a combined $39 million to Salinas and his partner Brian Bjork, but to our knowledge Olson lost the second biggest amount of any investor as only Billy Gillispie‘s reported $2.3 million loss exceeds Olson’s $1 million. According to the lawsuit, this loss has taken away a significant amount of the money that Olson had planned to use in retirement. Olson, like many others, was reportedly lured in by promises of low-risk corporate bonds with 9% yields, which any investor with even minimal experience would tell you is too good to be true. It is unclear how much if any of the $39 million will every be returned to the investors.
- This year’s ESPN Tip-Off Classic had to be altered after Hawaii had cancel its Rainbow Classic after one of the participants pulled out leading the other two schools to follow suit. As a result Hawaii had to quickly schedule a game against Cal State Northridge to be played at 11 PM local Hawaii time. For Cal State Northridge, it is a huge break as the program is ineligible for postseason play due to its low APR score, but now they get to play on national television in one of the premier events of the regular season.