NCAA Closes the Book on Miami Scandal as Frank Haith Skates

Posted by Matt Patton on October 23rd, 2013

Yesterday, over two years after Nevin Shapiro contacted the NCAA with allegations of wrongdoing throughout the athletic department, Miami finally got closure from the Committee on Infractions in a scathing 102-page report that confirmed nearly all of the substantive allegations from Charles Robinson’s initial report. More specifically, the NCAA found that Miami “lacked institutional control” in both overlooking Shapiro’s violations and actively covering them up after the fact.

Mark Emmert and the NCAA seemed bigger than life before handing down Miami's judgement. (AP Photo/LM Otero)

Mark Emmert and the NCAA seemed bigger than life before handing down Miami’s judgement. (AP/LM Otero)

The most serious punishments were reserved for some of the coaches implicated — Frank Haith (“former head men’s basketball coach”), Jorge Fernandez (“former assistant men’s basketball coach B”), and two former assistant football coaches — each of whom received punishments ranging from  a five-game suspension for Haith (now at Missouri) to a two-year show-cause for Fernandez. The football team will lose three scholarships per year over the next three years, and the basketball team will lose one scholarship per year over the same time. All of this comes on top of the university’s self-imposed punishments, which were significant. But the penalties are a far cry from two years ago when Mark Emmert threw around the phrase “death penalty” with various major media outlets.

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ACC M5: 10.23.13 Edition

Posted by mpatton on October 23rd, 2013

morning5_ACC

  1. Miami Herald: The biggest news out of ACC country yesterday was the conclusion of the NCAA’s investigation into Miami. We will have more on that later today, but Michelle Kaufman has an interesting perspective. Rather than looking at the punishments, she asks, “Where are they now?” The answers are damning to say the least: Nevin Shapiro is in prison, two lead NCAA investigators moved on, and Frank Haith and Cecil Hurtt are still in coaching positions. It’s not hard to figure out why the NCAA didn’t hammer the Hurricanes.
  2. Wilmington Star News: It’s no secret Roy Williams’s system develops elite college point guards. The Tar Heels have three of the ten Bob Cousy Award trophies on campus. This year Marcus Paige joins fellow ACC floor generals Quinn Cook, Devon Bookert (an interesting choice), Eric Atkins, and Tyler Ennis on the preseason Cousy Award watch list. None are considered the favorites for the award (ahem, Marcus Smart), but all are point guards to watch in ACC play.
  3. Raleigh News & Observer: While Mark Turgeon didn’t seem concerned about recruiting to Maryland once he moves to the Big Ten, Mike Brey is. Brey is considering scheduling Georgetown in the future to keep his in with the DMV. On a side note I think Laura Keeley underestimates the difference in media money between Big Ten and ACC schools. It is true that it is only a few million this year, but the ACC just renegotiated its deal. Also Maryland’s athletic department was facing fiscal crisis, which made the money that much more important.
  4. Baltimore Sun: Speaking of Maryland, some tough news out of College Park yesterday, as Terrapin assistant Dalonte Hill started a leave of absence following his third DUI charge in the last five years. Hill’s importance to Maryland recruiting cannot be overstated, as he has close ties to the premier AAU team from the area.
  5. Syracuse Post-Standard: You want a dark horse rookie of the year candidate? Look no further than Tyler Ennis, who is Jim Boeheim’s only point guard this season. That means Ennis will have a large role for Syracuse this year, potentially a more integral role than Duke’s Jabari Parker who will have his playing time eaten into by a roster chock full of athletic wings.
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Morning Five: 03.07.13 Edition

Posted by rtmsf on May 7th, 2013

morning5

  1. The beauty of advanced quantitative analysis in sports is that, when done correctly, it can validate things that you already inherently know. Trey Burke as the best player in America? It sure felt like it while we were watching him lead Michigan past Kansas and Florida on the way to the Final Four. Rick Pitino as the best coach going right now? Considering how his Louisville Cardinals were essentially the same cast of characters from a surprise 2012 Final Four run and became recognizably better on the offensive end (especially out of timeouts) in 2013? Sure seems like it. Of course, there are limitations — Florida rated tops in KenPom’s efficiency ratings for most of the season, but the Gators were merely a good team filled with good players, not a great one. SI.com‘s Luke Winn keeps us interested by doing what only he has proven he can do — sifting through terabytes of efficiency data and video clips to come up with his second annual Data-Based Coaching/Player Awards. Lots of good information in the piece, but perhaps the neatest has to be his quantification of Oregon’s Arsalan Kazemi as the nation’s best all-around defender. 
  2. Speaking of Pitino, the guy continues to get a surplus of positive press in the wake of his second national title. Several outlets had a Pitino/Kentucky Derby story coming out of the weekend, but ESPN.com‘s Dana O’Neil wrote the quintessential story about the man she calls “the Derby King.” The crux of the story is that regardless of whether Pitino’s horse “Goldencents” finished first, 10th, 17th or somewhere behind the barns in Saturday’s Derby, the 60-year old tattooed grandfather owns the town of Louisville and everything in it. Including Millionaire’s Row. It’s not the kind of read you see much of anymore in the instant-gratification world of online writing, but that makes it even more worth your time.
  3. This news is circumstantial and ultimately may not mean anything at all, but the possibility that it could mean something is really disturbing given recent events. Dennis Dodd at CBSSports.com reported on Wednesday that Missouri head coach Frank Haith has filed a petition in federal court to determine how the NCAA got its hands on what appears to be microfiche copies of his personal bank records. According to the report, some of Haith’s Bank of America records were voluntarily turned over as part of the NCAA’s investigation into the Nevin Shapiro violations at his former school, Miami, but those records did not include the more detailed microfiche copies which Haith seems to believe that the NCAA has in its possession. The gigantic elephant in the room, of course, is that the NCAA already admitted missteps in this case by offering payment to certain witnesses for testimony, but an as-yet unfounded assertion that the organization may have illegally solicited bank records to bolster its case could set off yet another firestorm surrounding the organization. Stay tuned on this one.
  4. If there’s one thing we love about college sports, it’s when former stars come back into the fold as a coach at their alma mater. The Arizona Star-Republic reported on Monday that “Mighty Mouse,” former Arizona star and current Memphis assistant, Damon Stoudamire, is returning to Tucson to join Sean Miller’s staff as an assistant there. For those who don’t remember him at Arizona, he was a three-time all-Pac-10 guard, an All-American in 1995, and, along with backcourt mate Khalid Reeves, led the Wildcats to Lute Olson’s second Final Four in 1994. He’ll fit in great on Miller’s staff, focusing on work with the guards, a role he has fulfilled with Josh Pastner the last couple of seasons.
  5. One other significant coming and going from Monday was out of Florida, as the second Gator in a week announced his transfer out of the program. Last week it was freshman Braxton Ogbueze who say the writing on the wall with two top 10 recruits and Rutgers transfer Eli Carter entering the program; this week it is Devon Walker, a freshman wing who saw just a handful of minutes in 25 contests this season. The Gators are coming off three straight Elite Eight appearances, but none of those three teams were loaded with NBA talent (Bradley Beal’s freshman year was the lone exception). With Kasey Hill and Chris Walker both headed to Gainesville next season, though, the Gators could actually boast more elite talent in 2013-14 than it has the last several years.
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ACC M5: 02.07.13 Edition

Posted by mpatton on February 7th, 2013

morning5_ACC

  1. Raleigh News & Observer: Huge ACC media news out of Raleigh as Caulton Tudor announced his retirement after over four decades of work with the News & Observer. For those keeping score at home–as any good sports fan should–that’s over 6,000 columns, 40 conference tournaments and 24 Final Fours for good measure. I didn’t always agree with Tudor (notably after he put the entire North Carolina team on his first-team All-ACC last season), but you always knew what you were getting. Luke DeCock, the other primary sports columnist on staff, had many more anecdotes to share.
  2. CBSSports.com: So the NCAA may be caught in a lie. After Mark Emmert’s self-deprecating presser claiming the NCAA found out about the improper use of Nevin Shapiro’s lawyer when his bill showed up on their doorstep, Dennis Dodd caught onto something different. NCAA vice-president (of enforcement) Jule Lach approved at least $20,000 to pay Shapiro’s lawyer. This isn’t good for the NCAA and doesn’t bode well for Elena Perez, Shapiro’s lawyer, either. It is good for Miami, where Al Golden took to the signing day pulpit to proclaim his program has paid enough for its sins. Smart move, considering it looks like at best the NCAA will have to throw out much of its case against the Hurricanes.
  3. Run the Floor: This article points out several interesting facts about the ACC and college basketball as a whole. First, as I sort of suspected, the ACC is really young (significantly younger than any other major conferences). As an aside, the Mountain West is by far the most experienced league. Which helps explain why the league is outperforming its normal expectations and is competitive top to bottom. In the ACC, Miami and Duke lead both the conference standings and the percentage of minutes played by seniors. It’s no coincidence: barring unbelievable talent (see: Michigan this year or Kentucky last year), experience is extraordinarily valuable in college basketball. Between coming experience and the additions of Syracuse and Pittsburgh, the ACC should be back atop the conference power struggle next season.
  4. Charlotte Observer: Speaking of the Blue Devils, what is their plan for the game against NC State? Play better. Specifically, stop the Wolfpack in transition and defend Richard Howell and CJ Leslie. It’s funny, reading Duke talk about these goals reads more like a review of its game against Miami instead of NC State. It’s true the Wolfpack outscored Duke in transition and dominated the frontcourt battle. But that was also the team’s first game without Ryan Kelly–in an incredibly hostile environment. That’s not the game Duke wants revenge for. The Blue Devils want revenge for the game that made everyone question its place as a national title contender. That was the game at Coral Gables.
  5. CBS Atlanta: How about an ACC Player Power Rankings for dessert? Interestingly, no NC State players make the cut. Right now my power rankings would probably look similar (Michael Snaer, Shane Larkin, Erick Green, Kenny Kadji and Mason Plumlee). How can you go against buzzer beaters ad winning? But All-ACC will be a very interesting discussion should prove a very interesting discussion this season.
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ACC M5: 01.25.13 Edition

Posted by mpatton on January 25th, 2013

morning5_ACC

  1. Wilmington Star News: NC State became the second of the Triangle teams to call a players-only meeting lately (and based on Duke’s performance against Miami, its players won’t be far behind). Lorenzo Brown pretty bluntly outlined the reason behind the meeting: “”There’s been a lot of nonsense going on between us, but we’re all grown men […] We sat down and talked it out, so we’re perfectly fine now.” My guess is that some of that nonsense has to do with people failing to play defense. Some more probably comes from TJ Warren retweeting Thomas DeThaey ripping Mark Gottfried. With a more polished North Carolina looming on Saturday, the Wolfpack need to get their minds right, and fast.
  2. USA Today: Dickie V. has a well-earned reputation for loving Duke. But I wasn’t shocked at all when Vitale was ripping the Blue Devils’ performance against Miami. First, Duke deserved the tongue-lashing. If there’s one thing Dickie V. (and most other commentators) have to say about Duke under Mike Krzyzewski, it’s that the Blue Devils outwork opponents. That didn’t happen in Coral Gables Wednesday night. Although I’m not sure I should waste too much effort responding to an author who thought it was newsworthy to post North Carolina fans chanting “go to hell Duke” during their win over Georgia Tech. Duke, North Carolina and NC State chant about their rivals in every game — this is nothing new.
  3. Washington Post: Right now Maryland is still evolving offensively. It’s a little surprising to see a coach of Mark Turgeon’s stature struggling so much to find the right offensive roles for his players, but he’s trying everything at this point. This idea seems like a good one: Dez Wells will handle the ball more. He’s a very different player (who plays very different defense), but Maryland might be well-served treating Wells a little like Duke treated Austin Rivers last season. The only thing Maryland has to watch out for is focusing on getting Alex Len the ball.
  4. AP (via Sports Illustrated): Another wrinkle in the NCAA-Miami saga is starting to unfold. Nevin Shapiro’s lawyer, Maria Elena Perez, is going to tell her side of the story. In a short statement, Perez called herself “a victim of their [the NCAA’s] enforcement staff’s misconduct,” passively adding, “The dubious party is not me. What I have done is 150 percent above the board.” Her statements come after Mark Emmert’s nebulous comments appeared to imply she took money to question people under oath. If you haven’t already, you’ll definitely want to grab some popcorn over the coming weeks as this story develops.
  5. Charlotte Observer: Luke DeCock nails the result of an ACC full of parity. Home court advantage is massive this year, as home teams are 22-10 in league play thus far this season. The Florida duo alone have five road wins between them. Duke and North Carolina? There’s only one road win to be found. The only teams to truly trust on the road at this point are Miami and Florida State. Duke may grow into one of those teams once Ryan Kelly is back (and it has played the top two teams in the league), but it’s not there yet. But apart from the top few teams, road wins are going to be a rarity.
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NCAA Pauses Investigation of Miami To Investigate Itself

Posted by mpatton on January 24th, 2013

Right on the heels of Jeff Goodman breaking the news that the NCAA was nearly ready to release Miami‘s notice of allegations and that Frank Haith would be slapped with unethical content and failure to promote an atmosphere of compliance, the NCAA held a press conference that changed everything.

Haith went from dead man walking–unethical conduct was the same verdict that slapped Bruce Pearl before giving him a multiyear show-cause penalty–to potentially getting away totally unscathed when Mark Emmert announced that the NCAA is conducting an external review of its enforcement program. But this won’t stop with Miami. This has the potential to change NCAA enforcement as we know it.

Frank Haith will reportedly receive a Notice of Infractions soon, which is bad news for the Hurricanes.

Frank Haith doesn’t have to worry about a show-cause from NCAA–for now.

The problem facing the NCAA is that investigators “gained information for the investigation that would not have been accessible otherwise.” Now, alone that sounds like a minor deal, but in the press conference things became more clear: the NCAA worked with Nevin Shapiro’s lawyer to collect evidence against Miami’s athletic department. My (and John Infante’s) guess is the enforcement staff used the bankruptcy case as a way to get relevant parties to talk about the scandal under oath. To add insult to injury, the NCAA noticed the rule-bending when Shapiro’s attorney sent it a bill for his help. So for those of you keeping score at home, the NCAA effectively hired a lawyer to question people under oath for an investigation. Not surprisingly, that’s not OK.

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ACC M5: 11.21.12 Edition

Posted by mpatton on November 21st, 2012

  1. Raleigh News & Observer: North Carolina lost to Butler in the Maui Invitational, sending fans on a roller coaster ride bottoming out down 29 points, peaking at a last gasp comeback that cut the deficit to six, before settling somewhere in between. The Tar Heels were pushed around all night, and defended the perimeter woefully. About the only positive to take away from the game was the last 12 minutes, but North Carolina has to get a lot tougher and can’t coast after big wins.
  2. Sports Illustrated: Mike Krzyzewski wants to “circle wagons” and figure out who’s staying in the ACC. It’s clear the Maryland move caught Coach K by surprised, and he’s concerned about the stability of the conference. Before the powwow he may want to wait to see if the Terrapins manage to reduce the $50 million exit fee: if they can, Krzyzewski is absolutely right to question the conference stability. It sounds like Coach K wants reaffirmation from Clemson and Florida State and supports replacing Maryland with Connecticut or Louisville.
  3. Charlottesville Daily Progress: Tony Bennett really likes the progress of his freshmen, three of whom made up the Cavaliers’ top scoring trio in their win over North Texas. Bennett’s system definitely has a steep learning curve, so expect the frosh to get better as they understand their roles in the pack-line defense. Long story short: don’t write off Virginia finishing in the top half of the conference just yet. This team still has a long way to go, but it’s improved a lot even just through six games.
  4. Tomahawk Nation: Props to Michael Rogner for charting an efficiency-based +/- for Florida State that takes into account garbage time and other anomalies. While the charts need more data to help take care of outliers (for instance, Terrance Shannon likely won’t play as well most games as he did against St. Joseph’s), but the data is still interesting. It confirms the Seminoles are a more consistent offensive team so far this season, and freshman point guards Montay Brandon and Devon Bookert have a lot to do with it.
  5. Miami Herald: This story is mostly about football, but the NCAA just issued a brutal ultimatum to former Miami players. Mark Ennis described it best: “The NCAA is holding a gun to Miami’s head and telling former players ‘give us what we want or she dies.'” Barry Jackson reported that the NCAA sent out a letter to Miami players telling players that the NCAA will assume their guilty if they don’t talk. This definitely feels like a intimidation tactic by the NCAA to get evidence.
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New NCAA Penalty Enforcement: Any Impact on ACC Programs?

Posted by mpatton on October 30th, 2012

It’s no secret the ACC has more than a few outstanding NCAA issues right now:

  • There’s Miami and renegade booster Nevin Shapiro who allegedly ran wild, taking recruits to strip clubs, throwing private parties on his yacht and generally supplying impermissible benefits wherever possible.
  • There’s North Carolina and its academic fraud situation that grows by the week, as the Raleigh News & Observer and Dan Kane weed through the evidence alongside an internal audit (that should soon release its findings to the public).
  • And there’s Duke’s Lance Thomas and his $100,000 jewelry purchase during the team’s national championship season in 2010.

Nevin Shapiro’s Alleged Violations At Miami Are Still Unresolved (credit: David Adame / AP)

This isn’t to say all three ACC cases will be affected by the new guidelines the NCAA hopes will deter cheating by holding head coaches more accountable. Essentially the NCAA got tired of head coaches skating by on violations while letting their assistant coaches fall on the sword. Now head coaches will be presumed guilty until they provide tangible evidence that they made every attempt to run their program within NCAA rules. A skeptic would say that this just means head coaches will create a second email account, using the first to promote NCAA compliance and the second to monitor the seedy happenings in recruiting. The true cynic probably thinks this is already the case.

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The Big 12’s New Faces: Missouri’s Frank Haith

Posted by dnspewak on October 21st, 2011

Frank Haith: The Essentials

  • Previous coaching stop: Miami (FL)
  • Career overview: Assistant coach (1985-2004); head coach at Miami (2004-11)
  • Playing experience: N/A
  • Accolades: ACC Coach of the Year finalist (2007-08)

The Breakdown

Frank Haith isn’t exactly the most popular person in Columbia, Missouri, right now — and he knows it. In his introductory press conference, the new Missouri coach admitted he wasn’t the school’s first choice after finishing 43-69 in ACC play during his six years at Miami.  To make matters worse, he’s now embroiled in the NCAA’s investigation of the Hurricanes. Booster Nevin Shapiro accused him of having knowledge of a $10,000 payment to DeQuan Jones, and he’s pictured at social events with Shapiro.  So that’s been the theme of the 2011 off-season: damage control. Plus, in addition to suffering through a PR nightmare this summer, Haith also just found out this month that his senior forward Laurence Bowers will miss the entire season with an ACL injury.

Frank Haith Walked into a Great Situation at Missouri (Christie Megura)

Welcome to Columbia, coach. Luckily, even without Bowers, Haith has an experienced squad with a real shot at a Big 12 title. Before he cuts down the nets, though, Haith has some work to do. His biggest challenge will be finding a way to adjust Mike Anderson’s players to play a more traditional style. Haith has said he will continue to push the tempo offensively, but he also said he will back off on the all-out pressure defense and will introduce more of a pick-and-roll, inside-oriented offense.  Haith’s personnel could thrive under his system. Point guards Phil Pressey and Mike Dixon might benefit in this offense, and senior Ricardo Ratliffe might be primed for a big year if his guards get him more involved. And with Marcus Denmon and Kim English back in the fold, this is a team that could take off in Haith’s first season.

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Morning Five: 09.15.11 Edition

Posted by jstevrtc on September 15th, 2011

  1. SI.com’s Andy Glockner (one of RTC’s favorites) has summarized the prospects of no less than 46 teams for the upcoming season…Twitter-style. Or, as he says in his intro, heh heh, “We’re going to do it quickly, @AndyGlockner-style.” A fun read, this, and a darn good follow if you’re not already among his legion of almost 6,000. This kind of thing isn’t easy, since the 140-character limit forces you to take what you’re trying to say and distill it down to the smallest thimbleful of demi-glace of your original point, and so many teams (Georgetown, this means you) have had extremely interesting summers. Shameless self-promotion: for the past couple of seasons we’ve tweeted a preview (a series we cleverly call “Tweeting the Preview”) every hour on the hour for every Division I team in the 344 hours leading up to the tipoff of the season’s first game, and we’ll be doing it again this October.
  2. Florida State AD Randy Spetman remarked yesterday that while his school was keeping a sharp eye on all the conference realignment happenings and an ear tuned into the latest gossip, FSU is “comfortable in the ACC.” There’s certainly no reason to doubt that, but…it’s that word. “Comfortable.” We’ve known a lot of relationships in our day in which each partner felt comfortable but one of them bolted as quickly as they could when a more exciting option came along. And in the conference realignment game, excitement comes in the form of TV network dollars. With the kind of cash that’s being thrown around these days in the SEC (and Pac-12), which now needs a 14th member, we wouldn’t be surprised if FSU’s seat at the ACC table started to feel a little less comfortable and more on the lumpy side in the near future.
  3. Dan Wiederer has covered the ACC for the past seven seasons for the Fayetteville Observer and, because of both his insight and his humor, has been a required read for any college basketball lover — especially those territorial Tobacco Road types — over that time span. He’s soon leaving his post there to cover something called the Minnesota Vikings (anyone?) for the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, and he hasn’t much time left. In one of his last articles for the FO, he recalls his five greatest moments during his seven-year run of chronicling ACC basketball. RTC is sorry to see this defection, another example of college basketball suffering at the hands of a football-related decision. Good luck at the new gig, Mr. W, and tell Tubby we said “‘Sup.” He’ll probably play that game, you know, where he acts like he doesn’t know us…
  4. Right now we’re in one of those stretches on the calendar in which one usually sees an increase in the rate of stories about ballers getting into some mischief and ending up suspended for, say, an exhibition game and the season opener. Hey, it happens — these guys are back at school, they’re going to parties, the season is still weeks away, coaches are off recruiting, and all that. Hope we’re not jinxing it, but there hasn’t been much of that so far this year. Not that they’re particularly trouble-prone, but Lorenzo Romar has his charges at Washington occupying their time by helping out at various charities in the community. That alone would merit a link here, but the article also has a small photo of Desmond Simmons, Scott Suggs, and Darnell Gant wearing high heels. It was for a good cause, but we’re sorry, fellas. We couldn’t resist. You can probably expect to see enlarged versions of it at some road games this year, but because it was part of a charity appearance, you gents should be proud.
  5. Even though the NCAA has asked him not to discuss the matter, Missouri head coach Frank Haith told StLToday.com that he “did nothing wrong at the University of Miami.” This is noteworthy because it’s the first public denial that we’ve heard from Haith regarding the allegation that he helped grease the rails for a $10,000 payment from the infamous Nevin Shapiro to then-recruit DeQuan Jones (now a senior) to secure the latter’s commitment to the basketball team. That is, it’s the first public direct denial; his few previous denials have been of the “non-denying” type. In the short linked article, Haith also mentions the effect it’s having on his recruiting efforts. Even though it’s not hard to predict what he said, there’s a pretty somber tone to his comments, as they’re written. If you’re a Mizzou fan, you should probably just skip this one.
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Morning Five: 08.18.11 Edition

Posted by rtmsf on August 18th, 2011

  1. USC point guard and best returning player, Jio Fontan, flew back to Los Angeles on Wednesday due to an injury he suffered on Tuesday night during an exhibition game in Sao Paolo against a professional team, Mogi Das Cruzes.  According to reports, he landed awkwardly on his knee on a drive to the hoop and was removed from the game immediately thereafter.  X-rays taken in Brazil were negative, but the injury was deemed serious enough that Fontan was sent back to the US rather than try to get an MRI in Rio de Janeiro, the Trojans’ next stop on their international tour.  Needless to say, this seems very bad, and if Fontan did in fact do something  tragic like tear his ACL, Kevin O’Neill’s program will once again be facing an uphill battle toward respectability in both the Pac-12 and nationally next season.
  2. The Miami (FL)/Nevin Shapiro aftermath began in earnest yesterday, with opinions flying from all over the blogosphere as to what will happen next, what should happen next, and what can be done to fix it (if anything).  If you read nothing else on this topic and couldn’t care less whether the U ever suits up in the green and orange again, read this Dan Wetzel piece from Yahoo Sports Wednesday.  He poignantly and eloquently calls out this situation for what it is — nothing more than another slap-in-the-face example of student-athletes following the apparent lead (read: greed and avarice) of the administrators at their schools and at the NCAA.  He asks why should we expect anyone to act differently when the “people running college athletics are desperate for money – for themselves and their salaries and their facilities, for their private planes and their comped cars and their golf-course memberships. They want to avoid paying players and taxes as if they run a little league, then get paid and pampered like they run the NFL. Everyone is chasing the cash.”  Answer: they shouldn’t, we shouldn’t, and the whole damn system is rotten to the core.  Compelling stuff.
  3. As we noted yesterday, basketball is a relatively minor part of this scandal, but it probably doesn’t feel that way to Missouri administrators, fans and new head coach Frank Haith right now.  As Luke Winn writes, ‘character and integrity’ were the two attributes that Mizzou AD Mike Alden relied upon when he made the decision last spring to hire Haith, but if the allegations against him have any legs whatsoever, it will be difficult to to justify keeping him on board in Columbia.   Mike DeCourcy writes that Haith is harmed by the NCAA’s gag order policy on pending investigations, and it’s a good point.  The narrative involving Shapiro buying off DeQuan Jones on Haith’s behalf is already being told, written, and memorialized, and Haith has veritably no recourse to defend his position in the interim.  Whether Haith will survive the next month or longer at Missouri is anyone’s guess, but our best speculation suggests that if UM brass catches any whiff of impropriety related to this situation, he’ll be gone immediately.  (By the way, DeQuan Jones’ career total points at Miami:  372, or $26.88 per point, allegedly.)
  4. Things continue to improve down in the great state of Florida.  Didn’t we already refer to the Miami Hurricanes fiasco in the two spaces above?  Right, we did.  But it was a different Orange State school a few hours north that on Wednesday received an official notice of inquiry from the NCAA related to potential violations in both the basketball and football programs.  Central Florida is now feeling the heat over its association with booster Ken Caldwell, a Chicago native who has allegedly been involved in steering several basketball recruits and one football recruit to the school.  With all the shenanigans going on down there, maybe the NCAA should consider setting up a special Florida Task Force just to deal with its rampant NCAA lawlessness (and remember, Isiah is still at FIU).
  5. Some international hoops updates.  First, Team USA has rolled through its four games so far in the World University Games in Shenzhen, China, this week.  So far, the Yanks have defeated Mexico by 41 points, Hungary by 49 points, South Korea by 44 points, and most recently, Finland by 60.  The team has clinched the top seed in its group, and will play one more game against Israel before moving into the quarterfinal round on Saturday.  Five players are averaging double figures, led by Ashton Gibbs’ (Pittsburgh) 13.5 PPG, John Jenkins’ (Vanderbilt) 13.0 PPG, and JaMychal Green’s (Alabama) 12.3 PPG.  The team is shooting a very nice 51% from the field and 42% from three while holding its opponents to an icy 36% overall and 22% from outside the arc.  Impressive.  One other quick international note is that Rice junior Arsalam Kazemi will not be able to play for his native Iran in the upcoming FIBA Asia Championships in September because he’d have to miss two much coursework.
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Morning Five: 08.17.11 Edition

Posted by rtmsf on August 17th, 2011

  1. Boom.  That explosion you just heard coming from South Beach and nearby environs had nothing to do with Texas A&M, Mike Slive or Mark Emmert.  No, it was Yahoo Sports’ Tuesday release of a penetrating and ultimately damning piece exposing a long-term, sustained pattern of NCAA lawlessness, “some of it with the knowledge or direct participation of at least seven coaches from the Miami football and basketball programs.”  While the majority of the allegations and claims made by currently imprisoned Ponzi schemer Nevin Shapiro involves the football program, former Hurricane head coach Frank Haith, former assistants Jorge Fernandez and Jake Martin, and current senior basketball player, DeQuan Jones, were all named as having benefited or been involved in some capacity (click the links on their names to see the specific allegations and evidence against them).  Notwithstanding the mess that new Miami coach Jim Larranaga has now stepped into down in Coral Gables, all three of Missouri (Haith), Western Kentucky (Morton), and Marshall (Fernandez) must all be wondering what kind of damage control they’re going to need to employ in order to keep the NCAA from roosting on their doorsteps.  Haith has already denied any allegations relating to Shapiro, for whatever that’s worth.  Certainly the NCAA is already on its way to south Florida, and depending on what else they uncover, Hurricane basketball could be in serious trouble (although not nearly to the extent of the football team).
  2. From the last-thing-on-anyone’s-mind department at the U, there was also a Tuesday announcement that DePaul freshman guard Shane Larkin, the son of former Cincinnati Reds baseball star Barry Larkin, is transferring to Miami to be closer to home (Orlando) because of an unnamed medical condition.  Since he already took part in summer coursework and preseason practices at DePaul before the Blue Demon team went to France this month, he’ll either have to sit out the 2011-12 season in Coral Gables or apply for and receive a medical waiver from the NCAA to play this year.  Larkin is already taking some heat from those who believe his “condition” is a mere smokescreen so he can get out of Chicago without penalty, but given what’s going on at Miami right now, he may want to reconsider.  Undoubtedly new head coach Jim Larranaga, whose program cannot help but feel some of the heat and fallout from this scandal, would be happy to have him on the court this coming season.
  3. We alluded yesterday to the fact that the vast majority of the top players in the Class of 2012 remain uncommitted.  Jeff Goodman points out that this is an anomaly in an environment where kids have usually been locked and loaded to a specific school for quite a bit of time at this point.  Whatever the reason for this year’s weirdness (15 of last year’s top 25 were committed at the same point), Goodman is correct in noting that the coming months of September and October will be an all-out war among schools trying to impress the top prospects with on-campus visits in the hopes of getting a verbal and, subsequently, a John Hancock during the November 11-17 signing period.
  4. Horrible story from down south this week involving a Sun Belt and Southland Conference referee who apparently committed suicide after learning that his wife had been murdered at their home in Houston.  Troy Raymond, a long-time NBA and college basketball official with a good reputation for his on-court skill set, was found in a hotel room in New Orleans on Friday only a few hours after his wife’s strangled body was discovered a few hours west.  There appears to be much more to this story, though, as CBSSports.com reported that his wife had recently asked him for a divorce and that at least one conference had recently informed him that he would not be brought back to officiate next season.  You hate to speculate as to what might have happened because two lives are already gone and assuredly countless others impacted, but let’s cross our fingers and hope against hope that it wasn’t the unthinkable.
  5. Last week we thought that Swiperboy, a/k/a Tennessee forward Renaldo Woolridge, had decided to hang up his microphone for good, but according to his blog in a post called “You really thought I was done?”, he now claims he was misinterpreted.  The new story is that his upcoming mixtape, Zazzzle, will in fact be his last; but, he has no plans to give up rapping and he expects his first studio album “Crossover” to drop in stores next spring.  Say what you like about Swiperboy, but he’s already got down the dramatic essence of becoming a hip-hop superstar — always leave them wanting more.  He also seems to enjoy rapping about his environment, the University of Tennessee at Knoxville, although what America (and RTC) really wants to hear is a “Hit ‘em Up” missive on his former coach, Bruce Pearl.  For now, we’ll have to settle on his new single, “Teach Me How to Dooley,” a song dedicated to Derek Dooley, UT’s head football coach [ed note: is that pool located at Pearl’s house currently for sale?].

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