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North Carolina tells Iceberg Guards not to use Leslie McDonald to promote product

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The University of North Carolina is in the news again, but this time they are the ones doing the finger pointing — kind of.

Iceberg Guards, on their website and social media pages, had been using North Carolina rising senior guard Leslie McDonald to promote their product. This doesn’t fly for North Carolina athletic officials.

According to Steve Kirschner, North Carolina’s senior associate athletic director for communications: “We sent a cease-and-desist letter to Iceberg regarding Leslie McDonald. They took his name off their site as a customer last week.”

Below is a picture from Iceberg Guards’ Facebook page that was posted on February 22nd:

source:
http://www.statefansnation.com

Iceberg Guards are custom-made mouthguards designed for athletes of all sports. From their website, Iceberg touts Floyd Mayweather (Boxing), John Cholish (UFC), Milani Malik (RCBL), Danny Green (NBA), and Scott Heckman (UFC) all as “success stories.” One of the features that makes Iceberg Guards unique are “[s]everal open airway designs for maximum breathability.”

One of the foundering partners of Iceberg Guards is Lee Gauser, a dentist who earned his undergraduate degree from UNC.

On the outset, this doesn’t seem like a big deal for UNC, but if McDonald was accepting free mouthguards from Iceberg that could bring into question his eligibility as the NCAA is very stringent with athletes accepting gifts.

David Ridpath, a former compliance officer at Marshall and Weber State, said schools can send a cease-and-desist letter to warn a business that using a college athlete in a promotion can jeopardize the player’s eligibility. Now an associate professor of sports administration at Ohio University, Ridpath said those often-inadvertent cases typically amount only to a secondary violation.

Recall just last year the NCAA came down hard on North Carolina football players for accepting improper benefits from people outside of the program.

Given North Carolina’s decision to send a cease-and-desist letter to Iceberg Guards, it’s clear they are being vigilant with this issue, but this story takes a serious turn when it came out that there is a link between P.J. Hairston’s June arrest and Iceberg Guards:

It’s the second off-court issue involving a UNC player the school has faced this offseason, following leading scorer P.J. Hairston’s June arrest on a misdemeanor drug charge while driving a rental vehicle. That vehicle was linked to a man with a criminal history — who also has a business connection to one of the founders of Iceberg Holdings LLC.

Per the AP report, North Carolina athletic director Bubba Cunningham stated the school is gathering information on potential improper conduct by student-athletes.

If McDonald didn’t purchase the mouthguards from Iceberg Guards, then this is an illegal benefit — plain and simple. Per their website, Iceberg Guards’ mouthguards range in price from $150 to $1,500.

Can things get any messier for North Carolina? Where’s Rutgers when you need them to take the spotlight off the Tar Heels?

You can find Kevin on twitter @KLDoyle11

UNLV’s Stephen Zimmerman out with a knee injury

UNLV forward Stephen Zimmerman Jr. shoots against San Diego State during an NCAA college basketball game Saturday, Jan. 30, 2016, in Las Vegas. (L.E. Baskow/Las Vegas Sun via AP)
(L.E. Baskow/Las Vegas Sun via AP)
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The injury Stephen Zimmerman suffered on Saturday will keep the star UNLV freshman out for at least a week, a source told NBC Sports.

The injury is not thought to be serious, however. Zimmerman may be kept out for longer as a precaution, but that’s a result of the Runnin’ Rebels being in a situation where the rest of their regular season is relatively meaningless.

They’re not getting an at-large bid to the NCAA tournament regardless of how they finish out league play. With back-up center Ben Carter out with a torn ACL, it’s more important to make sure that Zimmerman, who is averaging 10.6 points and 9.1 boards this season, is totally healthy for the Mountain West tournament.

That tournament, mind you, will be played at UNLV’s Thomas & Mack Center.

So the Runnin’ Rebels, regardless of how poor they’ve played this season, will always have a chance to land an automatic bid.

Anyway, the more interesting aspect of this story is how Zimmerman injured the knee. It was a completely avoidable play that came after the whistle, but I’m not sure it was what you would call a “dirty play”. You tell me:

VIDEO: Buddy Hield is ‘all money’ on game-winning three vs. No. 24 Texas

Oklahoma guard Buddy Hield (24) takes a shot over Oklahoma State forward Chris Oliver during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game in Stillwater, Okla., Wednesday, Jan. 13, 2016. (AP Photo/Brody Schmidt)
(AP Photo/Brody Schmidt)
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With a little more than three minutes left on Monday night, No. 24 Texas held a 57-51 lead on No. 3 Oklahoma in Norman as Jordan Woodard struggled again and Buddy Hield failed to find the rhythm that he had throughout the first three months of the season.

At that point in the game, Hield was 4-for-14 from the floor with 15 points and four turnovers. He had just missed a pair of wide-open threes

“I couldn’t make a shot,” Hield said after the game. But that changed down the stretch. First, Hield finally got a three to drop. On the next possession, he got all the way to the rim and scored. On the following two possessions, he was fouled on a drive to the rim and hit four free throws. And after missing a pull-up jumper, Hield did this:

“I told coach I wanted the ball,” Hield said, “I saw Lammert coming to bite, so I pulled up.”

“It’s all money.”

Hield is already the favorite to win National Player of the Year, and this performance is only going to help his cause further. Think about it like this: Buddy was not good on Monday night, at least according to his (admittedly lofty) standards. But he still finished with 27 points and shook off a cold shooting night just in time to take over down the stretch.

Now think about this: Hield’s head coach has enough confidence in him to hand him the keys in the final minutes despite the fact that he’s struggling and on a team that has two other players that Lon Kruger trusts on game-winning possessions. Think about it. When Oklahoma beat West Virginia at the buzzer, it was Jordan Woodard that the play was drawn up for. When they beat LSU, it was Isaiah Cousins that got the rock on the final possession while Hield was used as a decoy. .

Want to talk about coaching luxuries?

Kruger has three guards that can shoot, penetrate and score, and penetrate and kick, and one of them is the National Player of the Year that doesn’t mind being used as a decoy.