Florida Gulf Coast guard Brett Comer talks with Dan Patrick about his school’s improbable run to the Sweet 16. A little more than three years ago, Comer’s dad died of cancer. Comer discusses how hard it is to look up at the stands during games, because his father isn’t there.
Virginia’s Tony Bennett finally spoke out on last weekend’s clash between white supremacists protesting the removal of a statue of Robert E. Lee and counter-protesters that resulted in the deaths of a 32-year old woman named Heather Heyer and two police officers involved in a helicopter crash:
Bennett does not exactly take a hard-line stance — the message is more about healing within the community and how much he loves his current hometown than it is about condemning what happened — but he does say “we believe in diversity and unity to its fullest extent.”
Kyle Guy, a sophomore on the Virginia roster, had this to say on Sunday:
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — It has taken more than two years for North Carolina to appear before an NCAA infractions committee panel since initially being charged with five top-level violations amid its long-running academic scandal.
The two-day hearing begins Wednesday in Nashville, Tennessee. The panel will ultimately determine whether the school faces penalties that could include fines, probation or vacated wins and championships, making this a major step toward resolution in an oft-delayed case filled with starts, stops and twice-rewritten charges.
“The hearing stage, no matter what size of a case, it’s a big deal to any university,” said Michael L. Buckner, a Florida-based attorney who has worked on infractions cases. “I’ve been a part of what you’d consider small cases, I’ve been a part of one of the largest cases. And trust me: The client feels the same anxiousness and apprehension no matter what size of a case it is.
“But I can definitely imagine with North Carolina, this is definitely a momentous occasion.”
The charges include lack of institutional control in a case tied to irregular courses in the formerly named African and Afro-American Studies (AFAM) department. The case is an offshoot of a 2010 football probe, with the NCAA reopening an investigation in summer 2014, filing charges in May 2015, revising them in April 2016 and then again in December.
The panel, which would typically issue a ruling weeks to months later, is chaired by Southeastern Conference Commissioner Greg Sankey and includes former U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales.
UNC’s representatives were seen arriving for the closed-door hearing at a Nashville hotel Wednesday morning. The contingent included athletic director Bubba Cunningham, men’s basketball coach Roy Williams, football coach Larry Fedora and women’s basketball coach Sylvia Hatchell. Jan Boxill and Deborah Crowder, two former UNC employees charged individually in the case, were also seen with their attorneys.
None of the coaches are charged with a violation. But football and men’s basketball are referenced in a broad-based improper benefits charge tied to athlete access to the irregular courses, while women’s basketball is tied to a charge focused on a former professor and academic counselor providing improper assistance on assignments.
Fedora wasn’t working at UNC during the time in question.
“There’s nothing that I can add to what happened before I ever got here,” Fedora said last week. “But I’m there for support. I think me being there is important — not only for the NCAA but the university — that it shows compliance is important to me and our program.”
The focus is independent study-style courses misidentified as lecture classes that didn’t meet and required a research paper or two for typically high grades. In a 2014 investigation, former U.S. Justice Department official Keorneth Wainstein estimated more than 3,100 students were affected between 1993 and 2011, with athletes making up roughly half the enrollments.
The NCAA has said UNC used those courses to help keep athletes eligible.
UNC has challenged the NCAA’s jurisdiction, saying its accreditation agency — which sanctioned the school with a year of probation — was the proper authority. In a May filing , the school stated it “fundamentally believes that the matters at issue here were of an academic nature” and don’t involve NCAA bylaws.
The NCAA enforcement staff countered in a July filing: “The issues at the heart of this case are clearly the NCAA’s business.”
UNC has argued non-athletes had access to the courses and athletes didn’t receive special treatment. It has also challenged Wainstein’s estimate of athlete enrollments, saying Wainstein counted athletes who were no longer team members and putting the figure at less than 30 percent.
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Duke made one of the biggest recruiting moves of the year official Tuesday.
The Blue Devils announced that Marvin Bagley has formally reclassified from 2018 to 2017 and will join Duke for the upcoming season.
“Marvin is a special basketball talent and a tremendous young man,” Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski said in a statement. “He is completely dedicated to his improvement as both a player and student and, given his family’s deep history in this area, he is fully aware of what it means to be part of Duke University. We’re thrilled to add Marvin to our program.”
Bagley’s history in the area comes from his father, who is a Durham native and played football collegiately at North Carolina A&T.
Duke’s official announcement comes just a day after Bagley committed to the Blue Devils and said he planned to enroll in the fall semester.
Bagley, who was the top-ranked player in 2018 and is considered by many now the top 2017 prospect and potential No. 1 NBA draft pick next summer, makes Duke the presumptive No. 1 preseason team as he joins a highly-touted recruiting class for Coach K that was previously headlined by Wendell Carter, Jr., Trevon Duval and Gary Trent, Jr.
The 6-foot-11 Bagley averaged 25.8 points, 14.9 rebounds and 3.1 blocks per game while playing in the EYBL this summer.
With Marvin Bagley III now in the fold, Duke has jumped up to become the favorite to win the national title in 2017-18, according to the Westgate Superbook.
Prior to Bagley’s commitment, both Kentucky and Duke were sitting at 7/1 odds to win the title, but the addition of Bagley not only dropped Kentucky’s chances, it made betting on Duke silly. The Blue Devils are the preseason No. 1 team in the country, but they are anything but a lock to win the title. As we discussed on this podcast, there are still some major flaws with this team. They are not that much better than the field that they deserve to had those odds.
If you’re looking to place a wager on a team to win the title, the bets I really like are USC and Wichita State at 30/1 odds and Miami at 60/1. Those are three top ten teams with the horses to make a deep run in March.
Anyway, here is the full list of odds from the Westgate.
|San Diego State||100/1||200/1|
|East Tennessee State||1000/1||1000/1|
|New Mexico State||1000/1||1000/1|
|Florida Gulf Coast||2000/1||2000/1|
|Mount St. Mary’s||5000/1||5000/1|
|North Dakota State||5000/1||5000/1|
|South Dakota State||5000/1||5000/1|
|Cal State Bakersfield||5000/1||5000/1|
|FIELD (All others)||300/1||300/1|
Marvin Bagley III committed to play for the Duke Blue Devils this season on Monday night. Rob Dauster was joined by Scott Phillips of NBC Sports to discuss the commitment. How good is Bagley? How good is Duke going to be? Are they going to be the No. 1 team in the country again? How do the pieces on that roster fit? We break it all down for you.