Project that includes a new arena for DePaul more complicated than anticipated


Last Wednesday it was reported that plans to build a new arena at Chicago’s McCormick Place, which will be home to the DePaul men’s basketball program as well as other city events, were approved unanimously by the Chicago City Council.

But that isn’t the case, according to the Chicago Tribune, which reported on July 28 that “city and McCormick Place officials will have to pry land from three prominent corporate entities with ties to the university, City Hall and Springfield” in order to begin the project.

And as fate should have it, one of the corporate entities the parties would have to negotiate with is DePaul Athletic Hall of Fame member Victor J. Cacciatore Sr., whose family is majority owner of Lakeside Bank.

To build a facility that will draw DePaul’s basketball games back to the city after a long run in suburban Rosemont, McPier will have to strike a deal with a man whom the university inducted into its Athletic Hall of Fame.

The parcel at 2141 S. Indiana Ave. is owned by Lakeside Bank, and Cacciatore still runs the longtime Chicago financial firm as chairman and CEO. He served on DePaul’s board for decades, starting in 1973, and has been a prominent fundraiser for the university.

His family’s contributions to DePaul exceed $1 million, including what the university called “the largest outright gift in DePaul athletics history” for upgrades to its soccer and softball facility that bears the name “Cacciatore Stadium.”

Why has this project become such a hot-button topic in Chicago political circles? One major reason is what’s been going on with the Chicago public school system. On July 24, Chicago Public Schools announced a new budget for the 2013-14 academic year that includes some $68 million in budget cuts.

As a result 49 schools were expected to be closed, and on Wednesday the Chicago Teachers Union saw its motion to halt the closing of ten schools denied by a Cook County judge. Over the next two days there will be public hearings on the new CPS budget, with a final vote to come on August 24.

Whether it’s the school system or the need to negotiate deals with business owners in the proposed area for the new arena, it looks as if things won’t move at the pace those in favor of building the facility would like them to.

A new arena to show off to recruits and donors will help DePaul on the basketball court, although how much of a boost the programs receive remains to be seen. But how long will the process take? That’s anyone’s guess right now.

South Carolina freshman Felder arrested, jailed for assault

South Carolina head coach Frank Martin gestures from the bench during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game against Vanderbilt Saturday, Jan. 9, 2016, in Columbia, S.C.  (AP Photo/Sean Rayford)
AP Photo/Sean Rayford
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COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) South Carolina freshman guard Rakym Felder was arrested Sunday and charged with several counts, including assault, resisting arrest and public disorderly conduct.

Felder, a 6-foot-1 shooting guard from New York, is being held at Alvin S. Glenn Detention Center in Richland County, according to the facility’s website.

A team spokeswoman said coach Frank Martin was aware of Felder’s arrest and was gathering more information. Per South Carolina athletic department policy, Felder is suspended indefinitely.

Felder was charged by the Columbia police with simple assault and battery, resisting arrest, public disorderly conduct, failure to stop on police command, a pedestrian on a controlled access highway and use of another’s or altered license or identification card.

#CBTtop100: Counting down the Top 100 Players in college basketball

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We’ll be counting down the top 100 players in college basketball all week long. Be sure to check back here throughout the week as the countdown continues over @CBTonNBC.

Jalen Coleman-Lands cleared to practice

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - MARCH 10: Jarrod Uthoff #20 of the Iowa Hawkeyes defends against Jalen Coleman-Lands #5 of the Illinois Fighting Illini in the second round of the Big Ten Basketball Tournament at Bankers Life Fieldhouse on March 10, 2016 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
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When Illinois takes on Southeast Missouri State in the opener of the 2016-17 season, the Fighting Illini should have it’s starting backcourt out on the floor.

According to Jon Rothstein, Jalen Coleman-Lands has been cleared for all basketball activities. The sophomore two-guard has been recovering from a broken bone in his right hand.

The 6-foot-3 guard averaged 10.3 points per game, while shooting 42 percent from three, as a freshman. He, along with Malcolm Hill and Michael Thorne Jr., is one of three returning players who averaged double figures last season.

Coleman-Lands will team up with Tracy Abrams, a point guard who was granted a sixth year of eligibility after missing the past two seasons due to injuries.

This could prove to be a make-or-break year for John Groce, who enters his fifth season at the helm. He guided the Illini to an NCAA Tournament in his first season, but hasn’t been back since.

The key for the Illini is health. Abrams gives them experience and leadership, but it won’t be a surprise if there’s some rust in his game after spending the past two seasons on the sideline. Having a healthy Coleman-Lands will help stabilize the backcourt, while Hill, an all-conference caliber forward, and Thorne anchor the frontcourt.

NBC Sports projected Illinois to finish eighth in the Big Ten this season.

Curtis Jones jumps over Tom Crean

Tom Crean
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Indiana held its annual Hoosier Hysteria on Saturday night.

One of the highlights from the team’s dunk contest was when freshman guard Curtis Jones jumped over Indiana head coach Tom Crean.

This isn’t the first time we’ve seen a newcomer us his coach as a dunk contest prop. Last week, Rawle Alkins cleared Arizona head coach Sean Miller en route to a reverse jam.

Like Alkins, Jones was a sought-after scorer. The 6-foot-4 two-guard was rated No. 69 overall in the Class of 2016 by Rivals. He picked Indiana over offers from Cal, Cincinnati, Georgetown and more than a dozen other high-major programs.

WATCH: Edmond Sumner take off from the foul line

CINCINNATI, OH - FEBRUARY 03:  Edmond Sumner #4 of the Xavier Musketeers dunks the ball during the game against the St. John's Red Storm at Cintas Center on February 3, 2016 in Cincinnati, Ohio.  (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
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Edmond Sumner is a big reason why Xavier is likely going to be a preseason top-10 team.

On Saturday night, during Musketeer Madness, Sumner won the team’s dunk contest when he took off from the foul line.

Sumner defeated freshmen Tyrique Jones and Quentin Goodin. J.P. Macura, the reigning Big East Sixth Man of the Year, took home the honors last year.

The 6-foot-6 redshirt sophomore is coming off a debut season in which he averaged 11.0 points, 3.4 rebounds and 3.6 assists per game.