NCAA opens investigation into high school powerhouse Notre Dame Prep (Mass.)

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As the NCAA continues to crack down on so-called “diploma mills” that supposedly clean up academic records before high-major players move on to college, Notre Dame Prep (Mass.) is the next in the NCAA’s crosshairs, according to Yahoo! Sports.

The report says that the NCAA is looking into “academic and eligibility issues, financial irregularities and recruiting practices” at the school, now in the wake of two higher-profile rulings of NCAA ineligibility for former athletes at the Massachusetts prep school.

“They seemed to be focused on academic issues at Notre Dame Prep, but they asked about a number of other issues as well, how tuition payments worked, visits by assistant coaches from certain schools, the behavior of specific players and general life within the program,” Everett Swain, the father of a former Notre Dame Prep player, told Yahoo!.

Sam Cassell Jr., the son of the former NBA guard and current Washington Wizards assistant, was ruled academically ineligible at Maryland and eventually enrolled at Chipola Junior College (Fla.) for this season.

Myles Davis, a sharpshooting guard headed to Xavier, must sit out this season and is not on scholarship, meaning he must pay his own way through school for this year.

Notre Dame Prep is not alone in being reviewed, as the report points out, with over 50 schools under the same sort of evaluation.

The report goes on to detail more from Swain, who spoke about the unchallenging academic environment that the school supposedly offers, claiming that players received A’s just for showing up, but often slept in class and had no incentive to pay attention.

If there are significant findings by the NCAA, the school could be deemed “not cleared,” voiding all of the schools offerings when it comes to players attempting to gain initial eligibility with the NCAA, effectively drying up the strong flow of high-major talent to the school.

To read the full report, click here.

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

VIDEO Ron Hunter dances at Georgia State’s midnight madness

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Georgia State’s Ron Hunter appears to have recovered from the Achilles tendon tear he suffered last March celebrating the Panthers winning the Sun Belt Conference Tournament.

On Thursday night, at the third annual GSU Jam, Hunter broke out the dance moves to the song “Hit The Quan” by iHeart Memphis.

Georgia State went on to defeat No. 3 seed Baylor in the Round of 64, thanks to a game-winning three from Hunter’s son, R.J. That shot made for one of the best moments of March Madness, as Ron Hunter fell of his rolling chair in disbelief.

R.J. Hunter is nowa a rookie with the Boston Celtics. Ron Hunter enters his fifth season with the Panthers.

SMU won’t appeal tournament ban, Brown suspension

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Last month the NCAA announced that due to rules violations found in their investigation of the SMU men’s basketball program, the team would be banned from postseason play in 2015-16 and head coach Larry Brown would be suspended for the first nine games of the 2015-16 season. With a team led by seniors Nic Moore and Markus Kennedy and just one player (Keith Frazier) being the subject of the investigation, it was assumed that SMU would at the very least appeal the postseason ban.

Friday, the school announced that while it will appeal some of the penalties handed down by the NCAA to the men’s basketball and men’s golf programs they will not appeal the postseason ban or Brown’s suspension.

“After careful consideration, however, we will not appeal the NCAA post-season ban on men’s basketball or partial season suspension of Head Men’s Basketball Coach Larry Brown,” SMU president R. Gerald Turner stated in the release. “Although we regret the severe impact on our student-athletes, the simple fact is that the NCAA penalty structure mandates at minimum a one-year post-season ban for the level of misconduct that occurred, in our case, when a former staff member completed an online high school course for a prospective student-athlete, committing academic misconduct.

“In addition, should we appeal this matter, the lengthy process and uncertainty during this period could harm many aspects of the program. Coach Brown and his staff also agree that it is in the best interests of the program to accept these sanctions and move forward.”

Among the penalties the school will appeal (with regards to the basketball program) are the “duration of scholarship losses” and how long the recruiting restrictions placed on the program will last, and the vacating of games Frazier played in during the 2013-14 season.

This a tough turn of events for players who had nothing to do with the violations, as they see their opportunity to return to the NCAA tournament taken away. As a result of the school’s decision, SMU’s season will end March 9 following their regular season finale against Cincinnati.