Not another student-athlete ‘scandal’: UNLV’s Justin Hawkins graduates in three years


Questions have been raised for some time about the relationship between academics and the student-athlete at the collegiate level. See: one-and-done, academic ineligibility, prep schools, etc., etc.

So it’s refreshing to see a story of an athlete who has excelled in the classroom, the type of story that is many times swept under the carpet, in favor of the juicier, more salacious types, the “scandals” and “NCAA investigations.”

Justin Hawkins averaged 7.8 points and 2.9 rebounds for UNLV this past season and this weekend he’ll be graduating from that university on the accelerated, three-year track.

The story is recounted by Ryan Greene of RunRebs.com, telling the story of how Hawkins loaded his academic calendar and took classes in the summer to put himself in a position to graduate early.

“I think that’s what actually helped push me,” Hawkins told RunRebs.com. “You’ve got to teach yourself, do the physical work, and no one’s there to tell you when you have to do a test, do a paper, take a quiz online. You have to be willing to go out to get your education.”

He is in hotel management, understandably a big major in the tourist-rich Las Vegas area, and Hawkins has even interned at the MGM Grand while balancing school and basketball.

He will have one year of eligibility left and will begin work in the fall on a master’s in public administration.

To read the full story, click here.

Daniel Martin is a writer and editor at JohnnyJungle.com, covering St. John’s. You can find him on Twitter:@DanielJMartin_

AUDIO: Rick Pitino discusses allegations, future at Louisville

Rick Pitino
Associated Press
Leave a comment

Thursday afternoon marked the first time since Friday that Louisville head coach Rick Pitino commented on the controversy that has taken his program by storm. Speaking with Terry Meiners of 840 WHAS in Louisville, Pitino discussed the escort scandal, what could have possibly led former staffer Andre McGee down the path he’s alleged to have taken in Katina Powell’s book and his future at Louisville.

The interview began with Meiners asking Pitino if it changed his thinking as to whether or not he needed to resign, which (as one would expect) Pitino shot down. Also discussed was the statement released by school president Dr. James Ramsey, which expressed support for athletic director Tom Jurich but did not mention Pitino at all.

“Well I can’t answer that, Terry,” Pitino said when asked why he wasn’t mentioned in the statement. “Twenty-six years ago Kentucky brought me in to make the program compliant to NCAA rules. (Then-Kentucky president) Dr. (David) Roselle and (then Kentucky athletic director) C.M. Newton thought I was the guy to come in and change around the images, change around the culture and add a lot of discipline to the program. And I did that.

“And then I came here to the University of Louisville, and if someone was five seconds late or not early consequences would be paid from a disciplinary standpoint,” Pitino continued. “This is obviously not a person being late, this is not about a person (not) working hard. This is about things that are very disgusting, things that turn my stomach, things that keep me up without sleeping.

“But unfortunately, I had no knowledge of any of this and don’t believe in it. It’s sickening to me, the whole thing. But I’m thinking of my 13 players, I’m thinking of our program, and I’m sorry that Dr. Ramsey did not think enough to mention me but that’s something I cannot control.”

Below is audio of the full interview, which ran just over 17 minutes in length.

Boise State loses guard Harwell to torn ACL

Leon Rice
Associated Press
Leave a comment

Expected to be one of the favorites in the Mountain West this season, Boise State’s perimeter ranks have shrunk by one player due to injury. Thursday it was reported by the Idaho Statesman that freshman guard Malek Harwell will redshirt after suffering a torn ACL in practice. Along with fellow freshman Paris Austin, Harwell is expected to be a key part of the Broncos’ future beyond the upcoming season.

Now, instead of competing with an experienced backcourt that includes four redshirt seniors, Harwell will work to get his knee back to full strength for the 2016-17 season.

Among the guards who will play significant minutes this season are Anthony Drmic, who took a medical redshirt last season, Montigo Alford, Mikey Thompson and grad transfer Lonnie Jackson (Boston College). Chandler Hutchison, who started in Boise State’s final 18 games of the 2014-15 season as a freshman, will also compete for playing time.