Tennessee Hits Bruce Pearl Where It Hurts (His Wallet)

Posted by nvr1983 on September 10th, 2010

While most of the college basketball world has been focused on the ongoing Enes Kanter saga at Kentucky, the  first real punishment of off-season was handed out today to the Wildcats’ SEC rival in Knoxville where the Tennessee administration determined that Bruce Pearl lied to NCAA investigators about excessive recruiting calls made by the Volunteer coaching staff. According to Pearl’s statement, he lied to NCAA investigators during a meeting they had in June about those phone calls (like Kelvin Sampson at Indiana), but due to overwhelming remorse he came to the Tennessee administration with the truth the following month. Upon hearing these revelations the Tennessee administration decided to take preemptive action, as many programs have, in an attempt to lessen NCAA penalties against them. Along with the usual punishments like decreasing the number of official visits recruits can make and limiting recruiting by the staff, they also took the unusual measures of banning Pearl from recruiting off-campus for a year (from September 24, 2010 through September 23, 2011) and essentially taking back $1.5 million of his salary over the next five years, as well as reducing the salary of three assistant coaches by 25% and banning them from recruiting off-campus for anywhere from three months to one year (official document with penalties here).

Bruce just realized that he lost a lot of money

While this doesn’t mean that the NCAA won’t take additional action against Tennessee, the move is somewhat refreshing in that a major university has finally gone after a coach’s salary for his egregious errors instead of nebulous concepts like rescinding 1-2 recruiting visits per year, although Pearl won’t be on a street corner begging for money any time soon, as he is still scheduled to collect $1.4 million from coaching in 2011 (plus whatever else he gets from endorsements and speaking engagements). The bigger problem for Tennessee’s program will be the off-campus recruiting ban which should have a marked effect, assuming he doesn’t start racking up the cell phone minutes again (the thing that got him into this mess in the first place). Fans of rival programs are understandably giddy at this news, particularly with Pearl’s reputation as a “snitch,” having turned in Illinois for allegedly paying recruit Deon Thomas (full memos here) while Pearl was an assistant at Iowa. Although the Illini were never found guilty of any wrongdoing related to Thomas, the ensuing investigation led NCAA officials to unearth several other violations that led to recruiting restrictions and a one year postseason ban for the Illini. Since that time, Pearl has carried the negative stigma as a “snitch” around with him and many believe it is what prevented him from getting a prominent job for such a long time. As you can imagine, many fan bases will be more than happy to remind Pearl of his wrongdoing and his penalties when the Volunteers are on the road this season.

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UConn Responds To NCAA Allegations

Posted by nvr1983 on September 7th, 2010

After months of waiting for UConn to respond the NCAA’s allegations of eight infractions against the Huskies that were filed in May, UConn finally delivered its report to the NCAA today. Unfortunately, none of us will have a chance to see what UConn’s administration and bevy of defense attorneys could come up with for quite a while (assuming that our readers don’t work for the NCAA). The charges, based on a NCAA investigation stemming from an outstanding piece of investigative journalism by Dan Wetzel and Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports about the recruitment of guard Nate Miles (who played an uninspiring 16 minutes as a Husky), include making hundreds of illegal phone calls and text messages (Kelvin Sampson alert!), giving recruits improper benefits including free tickets, and the failure of Jim Calhoun to ensure compliance within the program. Although we will probably have to wait quite a while for the NCAA to deliver its punishment, some experts are expecting the NCAA to come down hard on the Huskies particularly in light of how hard they came down on USC (the NCAA’s college football cash cow). Under Connecticut state law, UConn has ten days to respond to a request from the Associated Press open records request of a summary of the report and some sources within the UConn administration have suggested that they will likely wait until next week to release that information. According to UConn spokesman Kyle Muncy, the report, which takes up “several three-ring binders,” provided to the NCAA will have to be scrubbed of names and other information covered under state and federal privacy laws before it can be released to the public.

What we will be reading through this fall

As of right now the only heads to have rolled are Beau Archibald, head of basketball operations, and Patrick Sellars, an assistant coach. According to reports, Archibald, Sellars and Calhoun are expected to provide their own individualized responses to the NCAA’s allegations. For the time being the most immediate impact on the UConn program will be their continued difficulty attracting top recruits with a cloud of uncertainty hanging over the program. The Huskies have already lost Maurice Harkless, a 2011 recruit who previously committed to UConn before pulling out and committing to St. John’s, and have lost Ater Majok, who has decided to pursue a pro basketball career in Australia, in a move that some of pointed to as an ominous sign of things to come for the program.

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NCAA Releases Coaches’ Academic Progress Rating Database

Posted by jstevrtc on August 6th, 2010

The NCAA unleashed the database for academic progress ratings (APRs) for coaches in six different sports on Thursday.  While it’s fun to plug in coaches from a few other sports — anyone surprised by Pete Carroll’s 971, 24 points higher than the college football average in 2008-09, and six-for-six over 925? — the most fun for us comes from plugging in the names of college basketball coaches and seeing how they did each year.

First, though, just a little background.  The NCAA uses this little metric to determine how a team’s athletes are moving toward the ultimate goal of graduating, and the formula they employ to come up with the number is pretty simple.  Each semester, every athlete gets a point for being academically eligible, and another for sticking with the school.  You add those up for your team, then divide by the number of points possible.  For some reason, they decided to multiply those  numbers by 1,000 to get rid of the resulting decimal point (otherwise, it would have been as confusing as, say, a batting average), so if you get a score of .970, that means you got 97% of the points possible, and your APR score is 970. If you fall below the NCAA’s mandated level of 925, you get a warning, and then penalties if you don’t improve.  Keep in mind, though, that if a coach changes schools, he shares his APR with the coach he replaced.  And, the database only goes through 2008-09 right now.  That’s why if you search for John Calipari, you’ll notice he has two APRs — a 980 that he received at Memphis which he shares with Josh Pastner, and a 922 for the same season at Kentucky which he shares with Billy Gillispie even though Calipari technically didn’t coach a game at Kentucky during that season.  Because he was hired in 2009, he shares the APR with the preceding coach.  You get the picture.

Why is this man smiling? How about two straight perfect APRs?

A couple of the numbers that people have been talking about the most since the database was released are the two perfect 1,000s put up by Bob Huggins‘ last two West Virginia teams.  Most college basketball fans like to point the dirty end of the stick at Huggins when it comes to academics, and he’s been a lightning rod since his days at Cincinnati; rightly so, since his last three years as Bearcat boss saw APRs of 917, 826, and a eyebrow-raising 782.  But his scores in Morgantown have been excellent, so he’d appreciate it if we all found a new poster boy for academic underachievement.

An AP report today specifically mentioned Connecticut’s Jim Calhoun, who, in the six years the database covers, has had teams better than the national average — and over the 925 cutoff — only three times.  In fact, the APRs of his last three teams have steadily declined, posting scores of 981, 909, and (ouch) 844 from 2006-2009.  The same AP report fingered Kelvin Sampson as having even more harrowing results, having only two years in which he topped 900 (his 2004-05 Oklahoma squad scored exactly 900) — his 2003-04 Oklahoma team posted a 917, and his final roster at Indiana in 2007-08 turned in a downright hurtful 811.

With a new toy like this, there was no way we could keep from checking all of the APRs of the Ivy League schools.  The most impressive tally was by Columbia’s Joe Jones, who posted six straight perfect scores of 1,000 but will now evidently become an assistant on fellow Ivy man Steve Donahue’s Boston College team next season.  Only two teams in the league didn’t score a perfect score for the 2008-09 season.  The two bad boys of the league were Glen Miller, whose Penn team from that season put up — gasp! — a 950 (he had two straight perfect scores before that), and Tommy Amaker’s Harvard squad from that year, which posted a 985.

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USC Hoops Should Be Thanking Gerrity, Johnson, and Lewis

Posted by jstevrtc on June 10th, 2010

USC received the official response from the NCAA regarding penalties to the men’s basketball team.  Jeff Goodman from FoxSports.com posted a good succinct rundown of USC’s self-imposed penalties plus what the NCAA added today.  The penalties as described below are paraphrased from his article, but you should check out his article by clicking the link above.

Was it worth it?

Here is how USC stuck it to itself in the middle of last season:

  • They ditched one scholarship from last year and this upcoming season,
  • They reduced by one the number of coaches who could hit the road recruiting,
  • Took 20 days off their allowed recruiting time this year,
  • Vacated (a concept we hate) any wins in which O.J. Mayo played,
  • Gave back just over $200,000 they earned by being in the 2008 NCAA Tournament,
  • Let three kids out of their LOIs for the next season, and
  • Took a year off from both the Pac-10 and NCAA Tournaments.

More on that last one in a bit.  Here’s what the NCAA tacked on as far as basketball penalties today:

  • Four years of probation. It starts today, and it ends in exactly 1,461 days on June 9, 2014.  In other words, the NCAA  acknowledges you were bad.  It added some penalties.  But if you screw up any time in the next four years, they’re really going to be ticked.
  • Vacate all those post-season wins from the 2007-2008 season. USC won their first game in the Pac-10 tourney that year over Arizona State, then lost to UCLA.  Then, as a 6-seed, they lost to #11 Kansas State in the NCAA Tournament first round.  Total penalty there?  One win. Crippling.
  • Hold the Mayo.  USC must “disassociate” itself from O.J. Mayo and the guy who provided illegal benefits to Mayo, Rodney Guillory.  USC can’t take any donated money from him, can’t have him helping with recruiting, can’t have him do anything on behalf of the school.  That was probably happening anyway.  We can’t imagine that USC would have him out trumpeting the virtues of USC basketball.
  • If you’re not part of the team, get out. “Non-university personnel” can’t fly on charters, donate money, help with camps, go to practices, or hang out in the locker room during/after games.

Read the rest of this entry »

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Morning Five: 05.28.10 Edition

Posted by rtmsf on May 28th, 2010

  1. Fall guys?  Two UConn assistant coaches resigned last night in light of an announcement that UConn will make later this morning (10am) about its findings with respect to the Nate Miles scandal from two seasons ago.  Pat Sellers and Beau Archibald will undoubtedly be implicated as possible violators in that press conference, which will outline the allegations that the program is facing as a result of Miles’ recruitment.  This will be very interesting to observe, as UConn just handed Jim Calhoun a contract extension a few weeks ago, and it wouldn’t make sense they would have done so unless they believe that his hands are clean here.
  2. One of UCLA’s leading returnees, Malcolm Lee, will have arthroscopic surgery soon to repair cartilage in his right knee.  He is expected to be out for 4-6 weeks and it should not impact his play for next season.  Ben Howland’s team has suffered numerous injuries, transfers and the like in the last calendar year, so the news that Lee will be back better than ever for 2010-11 has to be welcome to UCLA fans.
  3. In light of the Kansas ticket office scandal, as expected, no other major program in America has any problems whatsoever with their ticket policies.  In other news,  BP has this thing under control.
  4. Sometimes it pays to get nailed with a scandal or two under your belt.  Just ask Kelvin Sampson.
  5. Andy Glockner gives us a list of the players we should be watching outside the BCS programs next season.  It’s a great list, and he definitely nails it in starting with San Diego State’s uber-talented Kawhi Leonard.
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Memphis Learns Its Fate, Can’t/Won’t Tell Anyone the Results…

Posted by rtmsf on November 19th, 2009

Sometimes the NCAA’s policies, procedures and processes are so difficult, convoluted and nonsensical that it’s difficult to even begin to explain why they don’t make much sense.  It took a little while, but we think we have a grasp on the latest chapter in NCAA idiocy covered.  It all comes down to transparency (or the NCAA’s lack thereof).  Quite possibly the biggest complaint that fans of schools investigated (or not investigated) by the NCAA is that the whole process — from how schools are targeted and chosen for investigation, reviewed, and ultimately adjudicated, is shrouded in a veil of secrecy.  Sometimes college sports fans must feel like the NCAA is actually a poorly-functioning arm of the NSA given the way they operate.  Some of the more notorious examples of what we’re talking about from the last few years are no surprise to anyone.  For example:

  • How does Corey Maggette not get Duke into hot water after the fact, but Derrick Rose does for Memphis?
  • John Wall and Ryan Kelly, anyone?
  • Eddie Sutton took down Kentucky over payoffs but Kelvin Sampson is banned for five years over phone calls?
  • Why are some legal doctrines (strict liability) selectively used in some situations but not in others?
  • Can anyone, anyone at all, explain Reggie Bush/USC?

secrecy cartoon

There are many others, but those are a few off the top of the dome.  Why do things seem so inconsistent?  How does the NCAA decide to investigate, and when they do so, what are the criteria they use to make their findings?  Do they use generally agreed upon principles of auditing, quasi-legal doctrine, administrative law, or something else they make up as they go along?  How are penalties assessed and what are the mitigating factors that they consider in making those decisions?  Is every single case a uniquely-judged “case-by-case” situation, making it all but impossible to draw generalizations about how the NCAA rules enforcement folks will act in a given situation?  Or is that ultimately the point — to make it so confusing and inconsistent that any school can get in serious trouble for nearly anything (or the perception that you can)?  Now that we think about it, we already go through this seemingly every year in terms of what the NCAA Selection Committee wants to see on NCAA Tournament bubble teams’ resumes — it shouldn’t surprise us that things out of this shop often seem wildly arbitrary and inconsistent.

So here’s the point of this post.  Memphis announced today that it had learned what the NCAA’s response to its appeal in the Derrick Rose SAT scandal was, but according to some bylaw borrowed straight from the Soviet playbook, the school is not allowed to make the response public nor can it/will it (?) discuss these findings.  Memphis is undoubtedly doing some grandstanding here, but it doesn’t change the absurdity of the NCAA’s rule keeping their logic and reasoning secret.  So we now sit in Act III of theater of the absurd while we wait for someone at Memphis to leak the information contained within the document (which can only be viewed on a secret, read-only website administered by the NCAA — sadly, this is not a joke), or for an enterprising news organization to force the NCAA to release the document under open records laws in Tennessee (as recently occurred in a Florida State cheating scandal).

Does the NCAA not understand that operating in this manner in no way engenders public trust and faith in the fairness and equitable nature of the system?  Do they not see that, regardless of the strength of their argument on the merits, John Q. Fan reads this and can only conclude that the NCAA is hiding the ball so as to get its way in the end?  Are they too dense to realize that a simple and consistent application of rules and policies are the first step toward removing much of the thinly-veiled cynicism that those still following big-time college sports have for it?

RTC Applauds RC Johnson's Audacity

RTC Applauds RC Johnson's Audacity

It would be hilarious if it weren’t so pathetic.  Kudos go to Memphis Athletic Director RC Johnson for telling the world that the NCAA has responded to his appeal, but sorry, we’re not allowed to tell you what they said or the logic they use for agreeing/disagreeing with it.  That’s incredibly rich, and it gets exactly the right message across.  Memphis is going to pay for this anyway — the NCAA has already cornered itself on the strict liability argument — but at least they’ll go down lobbing shots across the bow at the absurdity of it all.

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RTC Live: Detroit @ #13 California

Posted by rtmsf on November 11th, 2009

RTCLive

Tonight at 11pm ET we’ll be visiting California for our second RTC Live of the young season.  On Monday, we had a nice turnout  for Cal-Murray State considering it was a late-night game for people in the East and there didn’t seem to be a lot of excitement for that particular game.  But it ended up being the best game of the evening, and maybe we’ll get lucky again.

Detroit is projected as a middle-of-the-pack team in the Horizon League, but they have one thing that could give Cal trouble: a strong frontcourt.  Eli Holman and Xavier Keeling are two former Indiana players who transferred after the Kelvin Sampson fiasco blew up.  You might even recall that Holman was escorted out of the IU basketball offices two years ago because he threw a potted plant at someone or something during a meeting about a transfer with Tom Crean.  We’ve already discussed that Cal’s kryptonite is a strong frontcourt, and this could be a good barometer for Jamal Boykin, Markhuri Sanders-Frison, Harper Kamp and Max Zhang.  Cal has a major advantage in the backcourt, however, and it was clear that Jerome Randle wasn’t happy with his performance on Monday night, so it’ll also be interesting to see how he and Patrick Christopher responds.

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Tim Floyd & Henry Bibby Save the Day!

Posted by rtmsf on November 5th, 2009

The first thing we thought (and most anyone would think) when we heard last night that a Youtube video was circulating (h/t Rome is Burning) involving Tim Floyd and a fight at a southern California casino was “uh-oh.”  These things almost never turn out helping one’s reputation, and given the summer that Floyd endured (turning down the Arizona job, only to get forced out at USC after recruiting improprieties resurfaced), we placed both hands over our eyes and peeked through to see just what kind of horrible offense Floyd may have committed to further sully his rep.  But like a 1000-to-1 shot coming in on the slots, the video shocks you, but it does so not with the horror of watching coaches behaving badly, but rather by showing a random act of sanity and kindness that is often unseen in the world of gotcha-videos taken with cell phones and digital cameras.  Watch for yourself.

There’s Tim Floyd acting as peacemaker, and another former USC coach,  Henry Bibby (who knew they were buds?), coming out of nowhere to save his boy from getting whacked like the moles in the carnival fun house game.    Mark this down – guaranteed.   This video will enter some random AD’s mind in the next couple of years when he’s deciding whether to hire the much-maligned Floyd, and despite all of the baggage he carries with respect to recruiting, he’ll be reminded that Floyd is at heart a pretty good guy and decide to give him another chance. 

Memo to Kelvin Sampson – you might want to have a camera crew start following you around as you help little old ladies cross the street. 

 

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Mike Bellman: Mizzou’s Bartman?

Posted by rtmsf on September 29th, 2009

It’s a good thing for the University of Missouri that Kelvin Sampson and Rob Senderoff haven’t been in their employ in recent years.  Otherwise, the Big 12 school would undoubtedly be facing the death penalty with the goldmine of information about coach’s calls, text messages and general cell phone usage that Mizzou is practically giving away to people off the street (actual price: $7.60 per phone).  Mike Bellman, a Columbia-area information specialist for the public school system, bought twenty-five of the old phones from the UM athletic department, and was surprised to find that the private information stored on them hadn’t been erased.  From the Columbia (MO) Daily Tribune:

text msg

Mike Bellman thought he was buying a box of old cellular phones he planned to resell as parts. Instead, he wound up with a collection of electronic information from the University of Missouri’s Athletics Department.  Now, Bellman is auctioning former Athletics Department staff phones as collector’s items. He’s asking $3,000 for all 25 phones.  One cell phone, a Sprint Treo, belonged to MU basketball Coach Mike Anderson, according to Bellman’s online inventory. Photos of the phone’s screen show text messages between Anderson and MU football Coach Gary Pinkel and Athletics Director Mike Alden. The messages appear to be well wishes for upcoming games and congratulations after victories.  Other phones from assistant coaches and Athletics Department staff have hundreds of contact phone numbers, e-mail messages and text messages.

Somewhere in a dungeon on that campus, the intern responsible for this is getting flogged by the Ghost of Norm Stewart. 

Bellman is insane if he thinks these phones will nab three-large, but he’s definitely onto something with respect to marketing the information to rival schools (especially those Jayhawks down the road a piece).  All we know is that Missouri AD Mike Alden better be having a candid conversation with head coaches Mike Anderson and Gary Pinkel before they allow these phones into the wrong hands.  “Hypothetically speaking, Coach, is there anything you’d not want people to know about what’s on those phones?  Just in case, you know?”  Of course, if there is some kind of illegal text messaging or evidence of foul play on those phones (and for the record, we have NO reason to believe that there is), would Bellman become the Steve Bartman of Missouri?  That’s an interesting question.  Let’s wait until tomorrow (the deadline Bellman has imposed for sale at $3000) to see what happens here. 

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Questionable Test Scores Piling Up At Memphis

Posted by nvr1983 on June 3rd, 2009

As we mentioned in an update to yesterday’s column about how Memphis was handling Derrick Rose‘s questionable test scores, more reports of questionable test scores out of Memphis are surfacing. As Gary Parrish reported earlier today, Robert Dozier‘s SAT scores were questionable enough that Georgia refused to admit him. What most of the media has missed is that a third member of that Memphis team (Doneal Mack) that lost to Kansas in one of the most exciting title games of the past 20 years also had a suspicious ACT score that led Florida to deny him admission too.

the-perfect-score

While Memphis claims to be innocent in Rose’s case because the actions took place before he enrolled at Memphis and that they were unaware of potential inconsistencies in his test scores, the fact that they admitted two other players who had already been denied admission to other schools because of questionable standardized test scores makes the school’s claims of innocence more laughable unless they are going for another version of “don’t ask, don’t tell” with regards to SAT scores. Since John Calipari has already headed to Kentucky the administration at Memphis is left handling this mess.

The question is what kind of punishment, if any, will be handed down by the NCAA. Given the fact that they have done absolutely nothing with the mess at USC, it seems unlikely the Tigers will face any major sanctions particularly since there probably will not be any money trail like there was at Michigan where the Fab 5 played. It will be interesting to see if the NCAA and Kentucky police Calipari more closely than usual to avoid a Kelvin Sampson situation where he committed several violations at Indiana after committing similar violations at Oklahoma.

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Norman, Oklahoma… Where Getting Wasted Is Not a Hobby nor Interest

Posted by nvr1983 on April 21st, 2009

Methinks someone is getting a liiiiiittle too specific with their social networking policy (such a thing exists?).

sooner-cheerleader

Indeed.  The University of Oklahoma, still smarting from probation based on impermissible phone calls by Kelvin Sampson and a pay-for-play scandal involving bogus jobs (not to mention former Sooner Josh Jarboe’s profane riffs on existentialism), has released records of its new social networking policy, which endeavors to outline exactly the kinds of news feed updates, photo montages and tweets that, as student-athletes, are not in the best interests of the Sooner Nation.  Specifically, from the AP:

[A]thletes are warned that their postings must comply with a code of conduct and can be punishable with education, counseling, suspension or expulsion and with the reduction or cancellation of financial aid. It warns athletes not to post pictures that would portray them negatively nor post contact information that agents or their runners could use to put the athletes’ eligibility in jeopardy.  “‘Partying,’ ‘drinking,’ and ‘getting wasted’ do not qualify as real hobbies or interests,” the policy warns.

We’ve yet to see the entire document of prohibitions, but hopefully the OU compliance folks managed to capture some of the other necessary guidelines to avoid the ignominy of NCAA gumshoes once again sniffing around Norman:

  • do not wear a dress ten sizes too small (Blake Griffin)
  • do not publicly refer to the NCAA as the National Communists Against Athletes (Brian Bosworth)
  • do not shoot teammates, rob the coach’s house, distribute controlled substances to the FBI or gang-rape coeds (Switzer’s crew)
  • do not pick up the phone if a coach is indiscriminately calling you whenever he damn well pleases (Kelvin Sampson)

That should do it.  There are undoubtedly more, but these will get the Sooner Nation started.

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Was Nate Miles’ Restraining Order the Best Thing That Could Have Happened to UConn?

Posted by rtmsf on March 25th, 2009

As it stands today, the #1 West seed UConn mens’ basketball team  is sitting in Glendale, Arizona, awaiting its Sweet Sixteen matchup against Purdue on Friday night, having obliterated its sub-regional opponents by roughly 1000 points in two blowout wins.  It’s still relatively early, but the Huskies appear to be the favorite going into the rest of the Tournament, with their scoring threats at every position and their game-changing defensive presence in the middle known as Hasheem Thabeet.  Scarily, UConn isn’t even at full strength, as two players who were on the roster at the beginning of the school year are no longer playing for the Huskies – we all know about Jerome Dyson’s injury, but what about the other guy… Nate Miles? 

You remember Miles, right?  Jim Calhoun brought the troubled-but-talented 6’7 wing player in from Toledo as a freshman, but he was expelled from UConn in early October for violating a restraining order based on an accusation that he assaulted a female student.   Sixteen minutes after the restraining order was issued, mind you.  He then re-surfaced at a JuCo in Idaho, where he dropped in 19 ppg this season.  So why is this all relevant now? 

A Yahoo Sports investigation led by Dan Wetzel and Adrian Wojnarowski issued a comprehensive report today outlining the sordid tale of how Miles was ‘delivered’ to UConn by a former team manager turned agent named Josh Nochimson, and how current and former UConn coaches (including Jim Calhoun) may have pulled a Kelvin Sampson and egregiously violated the recruiting contact provisions with Miles throughout 2006 and 2007.   From the report:

The University of Connecticut violated NCAA rules in the recruitment of former guard Nate Miles, a six-month investigation by Yahoo! Sports has found.  Miles was provided with lodging, transportation, restaurant meals and representation by Josh Nochimson – a professional sports agent and former UConn student manager – between 2006 and 2008, according to multiple sources. As a representative of UConn’s athletic interests, Nochimson was prohibited by NCAA rules from having contact with Miles and from providing him with anything of value.  The UConn basketball staff was in constant contact with Nochimson during a nearly two-year period up to and after Miles’ recruitment. Five different UConn coaches traded at least 1,565 phone and text communications with Nochimson, including 16 from head coach Jim Calhoun.  UConn may have committed major recruiting violations by exceeding NCAA limits on phone calls to Miles and those closest to him, records show. The NCAA allows a single phone call per month to a prospect or his family in a player’s junior year of high school. That limit was exceeded over several months from late 2006 into 2007.

This makes the Kelvin Sampson and Rob Senderoff thing at Indiana look tame by comparison. 

UConn released a statement that doesn’t really say much, but what they should be saying (at least privately) is THANK THE F#%&ING LORD!  Consider…  the Huskies may well be on their way to their third national title in the last eleven seasons.  At worst, they appear a strong contender for another F4 appearance.  If Miles was still on this team, suddenly the entire house of cards could have come crumbling down.  Even if UConn ultimately won the 2009 championship, there would be a strong likelihood that much of their season would be later vacated, Chris Webber-style

Ironically, Miles' Restraining Order May Have Saved UConn's Season

Ironically, Miles' Restraining Order May Have Saved UConn's Season (Unlike C-Webb's Michigan Teams)

Not now.  Now any punishment that UConn will take over this admittedly serious set of violations will be prospective, and it should not affect this year’s Husky team (unless the NCAA digs up some other violations impacting current players).  We don’t mean to be callous, but in a tradeoff, wouldn’t most UConn fans take that deal?  You can win the 2009 title, but you’ll have to face a 1-year postseason ban and scholarship reductions at some future point.  Yeah, thought so.   So congratulations, Connecticut fans, there is a silver lining in what was otherwise not your best day. 

Final thought here: it’s nice to see that Yahoo Sports took it upon itself to do the NCAA’s work here.  A simple FOIA request – that’s all it took?  You’d think that the NCAA’s army of investigators could figure out that one by themselves.  Easy, low-hanging fruit at these public universities.  Or, maybe not. 

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