The NCAA Division I Board of Directors held a teleconference to discuss some of the possible changes the organization is considering for the future. There very well could be a change in which Division I is governed, with the goal being for larger schools (and conferences) to not have to deal with pushback from members who don’t play football at the FBS level when it comes to new rules.
Those discussions will continue in January, with a possible vote coming in August, so it remains to be seen what the powers that be ultimately do. But this wasn’t the portion of the NCAA teleconference that received the most attention.
The subject: the sale of jerseys and memorabilia associated with individual players in the NCAA’s official online store.
This came to the forefront earlier this week when lawyer and ESPN college basketball analyst Jay Bilas had some fun with the shop’s search engine. Type in the name of a famous player, and up would pop various jersey and memorabilia options associated with said player. This, of course, sparked an uproar that NCAA President Mark Emmert ultimately had to acknowledge during the question/answer portion of the teleconference.
“There’s no compelling reason the NCAA should essentially be re-selling paraphernalia from institutions,” Emmert said. “I can’t speak to why we entered into that enterprise, but it’s not appropriate for us, and we’re going to exit it immediately.”
President Emmert even acknowledged the fact that critics could very well see the fact that the governing body can make money off of individual players but the players themselves can’t as being hypocritical. So now, in addition to the search option being disabled you won’t see those jerseys (or memorabilia) available in the NCAA’s official store.
How much good will this decision do? For one the NCAA doesn’t control the store itself (according to Emmert), and it doesn’t stop schools (or other merchandising sites) from selling the jerseys and memorabilia in question. So while the gesture may seem like an acknowledgement of the hypocrisy that many see in all of this, people shouldn’t see this as a landmark change either.
If anything, these last few days should be seen as a positive development for the plaintiffs in the Ed O’Bannon lawsuit against the NCAA, EA Sports and Collegiate Licensing Corporation (CLC).
Brandone Francis-Ramirez is transferring out of the Florida program, the school announced on Wednesday.
A former top 40 recruit, Francis-Ramirez had his two seasons in Gainesville ruined by an academic issues and a loss of confidence. He was academically ineligible in 2014-15, practicing with the team during the second semester. He was granted a redshirt for the year, but he struggled to find any kind of a rhythm this past season. There was a two-month stretch in the middle of the year where he shot 6-for-58 from the floor and 2-for-31 from three.
On the season, he shot 20.2 percent from the floor and 16.9 percent from three.
“I want it to work out for him,” Gators coach Mike White said in a release. “We really appreciate what Brandone did here and wish him the best.”
The forgotten star of the national title game underwent an arthroscopic on his left knee on Wednesday.
Phil Booth, who scored a season-high 20 points in the 2016 National Title game, will be a junior next season and one of the guys called upon to help replace Ryan Arcidiacono, who graduated. He should be ready to go by the middle of the summer; according to a statement put out by the program, Booth will need 6-to-8 weeks to heal.
“Phil is as mentally tough a young man as we have had at Villanova,” head coach Jay Wright said in the release. “He continually impresses our coaching staff with his outstanding attitude. Phil will attack this recovery challenge with great determination, as he does everything in life.”
Booth averaged 7.0 points and 2.2 assists this past season.
LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) Kentucky coach Matthew Mitchell has announced that sophomore forward Alexis Jennings will transfer, the seventh Wildcat to leave the program since last fall.
Jennings’ departure comes a week after Mitchell publicly addressed the mass exodus of players and assistant coaches and stressed the need for building stability. Jennings figured to be part of that process and the coach said in a release Wednesday night that “it saddens us that Alexis did not see a path for her at Kentucky. … She felt it was in her best interest to finish her career elsewhere and we owe her that opportunity.”
The 6-foot-2 Jennings started 18 of 33 games last season and averaged 10 points and 7.1 rebounds.
Wisconsin guard John Diener has committed to DePaul, his grassroots program announced Wednesday night.
The 6-foot-4 Class of 2018 guard ends his recruitment rather early with offers also from instate schools Green Bay and Milwaukee. He’s known as a shooter and becomes the first commit for Dave Leitao in the 2018 class.
Diener, who plays with the Wisconsin Playground Warriors in the spring and summer, commits to the Blue Demons with them coming off a disappointing campaign, Leitao’s first in Chicago. DePaul went 9-22 overall and 3-15 in the Big East, finishing only ahead of St. John’s.
DePaul has been recruiting the Midwest hard with incoming 2016 recruits from La Lumiere School in Indiana, Sagninow, Mich. and locally in Chicago.
Jamie Dixon’s presence is already being felt in the Big 12 and on the recruiting trail.
TCU received its first commitment of the Dixon era when four-star 2016 point guard Jaylen Fisher announced his decision to join the Horned Frogs on Wednesday.
“Due to how comfortable my family and I are with the coaching staff,” Fisher posted from his Twitter account, “and the emphasis the university has put on making basketball a priority, I’m committing to be a student-athlete at TCU.”
Getting a consensus top-75 prospect, who was once committed to UNLV, is a heck of a coup for being just a couple months on the job. It instantly shows the Frogs are going to be a player for some of the country’s top players, which is a necessity if you have designs on making a move up the ladder of arguably the country’s best league in the Big 12.
Maybe the most gratifying thing for TCU, though, is the reason Fisher publicly stated for making his decision, the school’s “making basketball a priority.” The hoops program has suffered immensely in the Big 12 (while the football program has flourished), winning a total of eight games in their four seasons (including a winless 2014), but the school sank $72 million into renovating its arena, made an aggressive move in firing Trent Johnson and then went out and got its dream candidate, Dixon, an alum. Fisher’s commitment is the first time those moves have shown that commitment to basketball paying off.