NCAA Basketball Tournament - New Mexico v Louisville

Discount he didn’t know about cost New Mexico’s Jamal Fenton three games

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When it was announced at the beginning of the week that New Mexico point guard Jamal Fenton was suspended for three games for a violation of NCAA rules, the school did not provide any details as to why Fenton was disciplined.

Thanks to the Albuquerque Journal we now know what happened.

According to the paper Fenton rented out a ballroom at the Albuquerque Marriott for his 21st birthday, and the hotel gave him a $250 discount on the room that he did not know about.

“Not knowing I already got the discount, (the hotel sales representative) told me the price and it sounded like a good price for me,” Fenton wrote in an April 25 email to the UNM compliance office after the violation was brought to his attention. Fenton paid $500 for a ballroom that ultimately could have gone to any member of the public for $750.

“If I would have known the real price, I still would have got it because money wasn’t the issue. I had no idea I was getting a good price on the ballroom because this was my first time ever throwing a party in a ballroom and the price she gave me already sounded like a lot.”

Per NCAA rules in addition to the repayment of the $250 (which goes to a charity of Fenton’s choice and not the hotel) he has to sit out 10% of New Mexico’s schedule, which worked out to three games.

I can understand the repayment aspect of the penalty, and to be fair this ruling is consistent with other NCAA rulings on cases like this.

But should Fenton really be suspended for a violation he didn’t know (and the investigation turned up no proof that he did know) was being committed? More than a few people would say that he shouldn’t.

The good news for the Lobos is that Fenton will be available for the team’s third game at the Paradise Jam. But there’s the season opener against a very good Davidson squad in Albuquerque that he will miss.

Instead of simply having to pay $750 to begin with, Fenton now gets to sit three games in addition to ultimately paying that much money thanks to a hotel employee. Sweet.

h/t CBS Sports

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

Sun Belt approves new scheduling format

Sun Belt Conference
Sun Belt Conference
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With an 11-member setup the Sun Belt Conference has played a 20-game conference schedule the last couple of years, which may be seen as a positive when it comes to determining the regular season champion (home-and-home between every team). But for a conference that spans from North Carolina (Appalachian State) to Texas (UT-Arlington, Texas State) travel was far from easy in that setup.

And with Coastal Carolina joining next season, it was clear that the league needed to do something with its scheduling.

Thursday the Sun Belt members approved an 18-game conference schedule, which will begin with the 2016-17 season when the league consists of 12 members. Included in the agreement is the assignment of travel partners (similar to setups in the Pac-12 and Ivy League), and teams playing no more than three consecutive conference games on the road.

Schools will also be guaranteed at least five weekend home games during conference play, and there will be no more weekends in which teams play conference games both home and away (thus cutting down on travel). Obviously with the addition of Coastal Carolina the Sun Belt needed to make some changes in their scheduling, and this week the conference made the moves they needed to make.

Former Wichita State assistant returns as a consultant

Chris Jans, Gregg Marshall
Associated Press
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Prior to a one-year stint as the head coach coach at Bowling Green that came to an end in early April as a result of an incident at a Bowling Green restaurant, Chris Jans was a member of Gregg Marshall’s coaching staff at Wichita State from 2007-14. During those seven seasons Jans was a key figure as the Shockers made the progression to a respected national power.

Jans is back in Wichita, with Paul Suellentrop of the Wichita Eagle reporting Thursday that he’s serving as a consultant to the program. Jans’ consulting agreement runs for 45 days, which the school can renew, and he’ll be paid $10,000 for the work. While Jans isn’t allowed to do any coaching, he can watch practices and provide Marshall and the coaching staff with his observations.

“He will be able to consult with the coaching staff, only on what he observes in practice,” said Darron Boatright, WSU deputy athletics director. “By NCAA rule, a consultant is not allowed to have communication with student-athletes … not about basketball-related activities or performance.”

While Jans (who according to the story has served in a similar role for another school) can’t do any coaching in this role, his return does give Marshall another trusted voice to call upon when needed. Wichita State bid farewell to an assistant coach this spring with Steve Forbes being hired as the head coach at East Tennessee State, with his position being filled by former Sunrise Christian Academy coach Kyle Lindsted.