Baylor invokes the Cam Newton defense for Perry Jones


When the NCAA ruled Baylor forward Perry Jones ineligible for the Big 12 tournament, it set off a series tweets and stories that the move wasn’t a surprise. Even we got in on it.

The school pleaded the move was unfair. Also in that camp? Sporting News writer Mike DeCourcy.

At issue is this: Jones, the Bears’ highest-rated recruit ever and possibly the No. 1 pick in this year’s draft, reportedly received impermissible benefits or preferential treatment from an AAU coach before enrolling in college.

At issue are three 15-day loans his mother received while Jones was in high school. Baylor says the loans were repaid in a timely manner. His AAU coach also paid for Jones’ travel to a preseason NFL game in San Diego before attending Baylor.

The school likened Jones’ situation to that of Cam Newton, who was deemed eligible to play for Auburn last season despite alleged improper benefits his dad, Cecil, wanted in return for his son to play football.

DeCourcy says Jones’ situation is no different. How is Jones to know what his mother’s financial decision entail? From his column:

So now it is the athlete’s responsible not only to stay out of trouble and to achieve on the court and in the classroom, but also to run the business affairs of his parents.

If they attempt to barter his athletic ability to benefit their own situations, it now is his fault. He is to blame.
What a pathetic course college athletics is following. What chance does a Perry Jones really have?

If Cam Newton is any precedent, DeCourcy’s reasoning is sound. Should Jones know what his mother is up to? Probably not.

But then, I’m not sure Cam Newton really sets the proper example in decisions like this. Just when will someone be held accountable (if there was anything done wrong, of course). 

You also can follow me on Twitter @MikeMillerNBC.

Gonzaga’s NCAA tournament chances take a major blow in loss to No. 16 SMU

SMU guard Nic Moore (11) shoots over Gonzaga forward Kyle Wiltjer (33) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game, Saturday, Feb. 13, 2016, in Dallas. (AP Photo/Jim Cowsert)
(AP Photo/Jim Cowsert)
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Nic Moore scored 18 of his 25 points in the second half and added 11 assists as No. 16 SMU knocked off Gonzaga in Moody Coliseum on Saturday night, 69-60.

The Zags got 20 points and 16 boards from Domantas Sabonis, but Kyle Wiltjer scored just four points and shot 2-for-17 from the floor.

It wasn’t pretty.

And it may have been the end of Gonzaga’s NCAA tournament hopes.

Entering Saturday, the Zags had an RPI in the mid-60s, enough to keep them in the bubble conversation but not enough to make them anything more than a team that will be projected to end up on the cut-line.

The issue is a complete lack of quality wins on their résumé. Gonzaga beat UConn in the Bahamas. That’s a borderline top 50 win. They beat Washington, another borderline top 50 win. Beyond that? They swept Pepperdine, beat Tennessee and own a win over Montana. None of those are top 100 wins, and that’s why the SMU game was such a big deal. The Mustangs are a top 25 team. This was a road game. This win was the kind of thing that the Zags could pin at the top of their profile.

But Wiltjer didn’t show up, the Zags had no answer for Moore and they’ll head back to Spokane needing, in all likelihood, to win the WCC’s automatic bid if they want to dance.

POSTERIZED: Cal’s Jaylen Brown has his dunk contest entry

California's Jaylen Brown lays up a shot against Oregon State in the second half of an NCAA college basketball game Saturday, Feb. 13, 2016, in Berkeley, Calif. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)
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Cal picked up a big win over Oregon State in Haas Pavilion on Saturday night, and the exclamation point was this emphatic dunk from Jaylen Brown: