Paperwork issue results in three-game suspension for Xavier’s Isaiah Philmore

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As if a Xavier team that lacks depth needed any more bad news, the program received just that on Thursday afternoon.

6-8 junior forward Isaiah Philmore, who is entering his first season of eligibility at Xavier after playing two seasons at Towson, has been suspended for the first three games of the season due to what amounted to a paperwork oversight.

According to Xavier, Philmore did not complete a form that would have validated his amateur status before he played a single game at Towson.

The mistake wasn’t made until Xavier ran its checks once Philmore transferred, and even though this is a minor mistake by NCAA rules it results in Philmore missing 10% of the Musketeers’ games.

“It’s frustrating that three years after his initial enrollment, this penalty has to be served. But it wasn’t discovered until he got to Xavier, through the normal checking process,” athletic director Mike Bobinski said to Shannon Russell of the Cincinnati Enquirer.

As a sophomore at Towson, Philmore averaged 15.3 points and 7.0 rebounds per contest, numbers that led the Tigers in 2010-11.

As a result of the suspension Chris Mack will likely field a team with just seven scholarship players in games against FDU, Butler and Robert Morris.

And while much of the focus will be on that meeting with Butler, Robert Morris is expected to be a contender in the NEC so that won’t be an easy task either.

There’s also the case of Chris Cantino, who has been cleared by the NCAA to practice but not play in games.

“As the NCAA is sort of reviewing the situation – it’s a step-by-step process – it’s not finalized in terms of what he’ll ultimately be allowed to do. But he has been cleared to practice. He’s on scholarship. And that’s about all I know at this point,” coach Chris Mack said Friday before the season-opening practice.

There’s never a set timetable when it comes to how the NCAA goes about dealing with such issues, but there’s no doubt that Xavier needs to receive good news on Cantino in a hurry.

Photo credit: Xavier Athletics

Raphielle is also the assistant editor at and can be followed on Twitter at @raphiellej.

AUDIO: Rick Pitino discusses allegations, future at Louisville

Rick Pitino
Associated Press
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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
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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.