Over the weekend, Brendan Quinn of the Knoxville News-Sentinel published a story on the plight on the Tennessee coaching staff that lost their jobs and got slapped with show-cause penalties stemming from the infamous Aaron Craft barbecue.
We already knew about Steve Forbes, who had spent the past two years as a head coach at Northwest Florida State, a Junior College, accepting an assistant coaching position with Wichita State.
What we didn’t know, however, was just how close Bruce Pearl’s other two assistants — Tony Jones and Jason Shay — have come to getting Division I jobs recently.
Shay, according to Quinn’s story, has gotten a job offer from a school in the Big Sky conference which Shay did not want to name. It’s not the first time he’s gotten such an offer, however; a program in the Sun Belt and another program in the Big Sky had both hired Shay before the deal got kiboshed by a university higher-up. Jones spent last season coaching at a Knoxville high school, but left that job because he thought he had a gig as an assistant coach at a Big East school lined up. That, too, got axed, as did jobs with two different mid-major programs.
In the end, that’s what the goal of the show-cause penalty is. It’s a scarlett letter, a black-eye that is designed to make it as difficult as possible to get back into coaching, yet another deterrent the NCAA uses to try and curtail cheating and convince coaches to be forthcoming during investigations.
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Colorado sophomore forward Tory Miller has been reprimanded by the Pac-12 and he also apologized for biting Air Force’s Hayden Graham earlier this week.
During Colorado’s win over Air Force on Wednesday, Miller was assessed a Flagrant 2 Dead Ball Technical Foul and ejected with 12:25 left in the second half after biting Graham during a loose ball.
In a release from the Pac-12, they announced reprimanding Miller, but he will not be suspended.
“All of our student-athletes must adhere to the Pac-12’s Standards of Conduct and Sportsman-ship,” Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott said in the release. “Regardless of Mr. Miller’s frustration and emotion, such behavior is unacceptable and he is being appropriately reprimanded.”
Miller also released his apology in the same release.
“I would like to apologize for my actions during the Air Force game. I would like to apologize to Hayden Graham, Air Force, my teammates and fans. It was a heat of the moment thing. I’m an emotional player, but I let my emotions get the best of me. I will use this as a learning experience and focus on helping my teammates and respecting my opponents for the rest of the season and beyond,” Miller said.
For Miller to not be suspended for this is good news for him and Colorado since he won’t miss any additional action, but did the Pac-12 make the right decision on this?
Michigan State has climbed on the back of star senior wing Denzel Valentine early in the season but they’ll undoubtedly need more help as the season goes on if they want to sustain their current top-5 ranking. One of the keys to the Spartans could be the on-going health of sophomore point guard Lourawls ‘Tum Tum’ Nairn, who is battling a foot injury.
According to a report from Kyle Austin of MLive.com, Nairn has been putting on a protective boot the last few months to help battle plantar fasciitis as the guard has been playing in practices and hasn’t had his minutes reduced in games.
The injury looked like it was hurting Nairn’s early-season play, but he’s been very good in two games at the Wooden Legacy in California this week, so it could be that he’s getting more used to playing through the pain of the injury.
If Nairn is healthy and capable of contributing, he’s a huge boost to Michigan State because he’s one of the fastest players in college basketball and an additional ball handler on the floor. Through six games so far this season, Nairn is averaging 5.3 points and 4.7 assists per game as he’s been one of the team’s best distributors.
Plantar fasciitis can be a tough injury to fight through, so we’ll have to see if this affects Nairn as the season goes along.