Morning Five: 06.14.12 Edition
Posted by nvr1983 on June 14th, 2012
- The incoming class of freshmen is expected to be weaker than last year’s class, but don’t be surprised to see many of them adapting quickly to the college game thanks to a newly adopted rule that will allow coaches increased access to their incoming freshmen over the summer. Coaches will be allowed to work with players for up to two hours a day for a total of eight hours a week in the summer if they are enrolled in the school’s summer session. Given the scrutiny these players will be under and the sudden change they will experience (particularly those going to large state schools) we cannot imagine any coach would not push their incoming freshmen to come to campus early to become more acclimated with their new surroundings particularly with the increased access they will now have.
- We are not quite sure why it had to come to this (ok, we sort of do, but it is still idiotic), but on Tuesday voters in North Dakota voted to allow North Dakota to change the schools mascot from the Fighting Sioux to something else that would most likely be less politically charged. The name, which is one of an increasingly small number referring to Native Americans, has been a source of controversy for several years, but the issue had to be put to the voters because the use of the name Fighting Sioux and the associated logo had been required to be used by state law. The comments regarding the issue are interesting as some people such as Tim O’Keefe, executive vice president and CEO of the UND Alumni Association and Foundation, noted that the move was motivated by potential NCAA sanctions rather than political correctness while other groups including some Sioux groups felt that the association was a positive one.
- The trial for suspended Oklahoma State forward Darrell Williams has been delayed until July 9 as one of the prosecution’s witnesses would have been out of the country for the start of the trial. Williams, who averaged 7.1 points and 7.3 rebounds per game as a junior in the 2010-11 season, is accused of sexually assaulting two women at an off-campus party in December 2010. He faces four counts of rape and one count of sexual battery. While this may seem like a long time especially since Williams pleaded not guilty all the way back in February 2011 it is not unusual a trial to take this long to occur with lawyers filing all of their usual motions.
- We mentioned it a month ago and yesterday the NCAA officially ruled to require temporary logos to be “of a consistent surface” as the rest of the court. It will be interesting to see how in-season tournament sponsors react to this and whether it will affect the amount of money that they are willing to commit to these event (suspect that it will), but for the sake of the players this was a necessary move. Not to be lost in the sticker ruling are the other decisions listed about bench decorum, block/charge calls, and monitor reviews all of which will probably have a bigger impact on college basketball than the sticker rule will even if they are not as easy to write angry columns about.
- Michigan State athletic director Mark Hollis has to be one of the best marketers in the business. After coming up with the idea for the Carrier Classic, an outdoor college hockey game in 2001, and a regular basketball season game at Ford Field, Hollis is pushing for a game at Jenison Field House, the Spartans home until 1989, to commemorate the 50th anniversary of a game between Mississippi State and Loyola (Chicago). That game, which was won by Loyola 61-51 en route to the national title, was the Mideast Regional semifinals and was notable for the fact that Mississippi State (an all-white team) ignored a court injunction forbidding it from playing Loyola, which had four African-American starters. So far plans are in the very preliminary stages (neither of the two teams involved have committed to anything) and it may just involve Michigan State playing a random opponent at Jenison, but it would be a nice way to commemorate the event at a site that has not hosted a Spartan men’s basketball game since the 1989 NIT Tournament.