You may remember that broad distribution of the Pac-12 Network is being held up by DirecTV, which has balked at assigning bandwidth to the upstart sports network. Only the Big Ten Network has managed to make a profit running its own network, and other BCS conferences – most notably the SEC – have turned to big-time partners like ESPN to ensure distribution.
Going it alone, the Pac-12 may do battle with DirecTV for a while yet. But they have added a major piece of the distribution puzzle this week, signing on with AT&T U-verse today. There was no standing on ceremony, either. The network went live on AT&T U-verse immediately, so more homes were able to tune in today’s football games.
From the official press release:
With the deal, Pac-12 Networks now is available on four of the top six distributors in the U.S., and more than 50 television providers overall. Existing partners continue to launch Pac-12 Networks in more markets around the country including Comcast in Chicago, Time Warner Cable in the Midwest, and Cox in New England and the Washington DC area, among others.
As always, football is driving the bus on this deal, but a couple of months from now, college hoops fans on the left coast will have more opportunities to see their favorite teams lace ’em up.
One of the most interesting aspects of the U-verse deal is the plan to make the Pac-12 Network available on mobile devices such as phones, tablets and PCs. Sneak-watching sports at work just gets easier every day.
Rice didn’t have to look far for its new head coach.
The university announced on Thursday afternoon that associate coach Scott Pera will take over the program. He replaces Mike Rhoades who returned to VCU to fill its vacancy on Tuesday.
Pera had been with the program for three seasons following stints at Penn and Arizona State. Based on the reaction from the players, they approve of the hire.
Pera was also the high school coach of James Harden.
The Owls, coming off a 23-12 season, are expected to bring back three double-digit scorers for next season: Marcus Evans, Egor Koulechov and Marcus Jackson.
The NCAA continues to hold the position that Louisville coach Rick Pitino failed to properly monitor the program amid the scandal surrounding a former staffer and illicit parties, according to documents obtained by ESPN.
Louisville received the notice of allegations from the NCAA in January, and In its response, Louisville did not deny the NCAA’s findings, but argued that Pitino should not have been seen as failing to monitor Andre McGee, who is alleged to have organized the gatherings at Minardi Hall on the Louisville campus.
McGee is alleged to have paid for women to dance for and perform sex acts on Cardinals recruits.
The NCAA stated that Pitino “did not uphold his duties as head coach and in doing so, failed to discover” McGee’s actions and that if he “saw no red flags in connection with McGee’s interactions with then prospective student-athletes, it was because he was not looking for them,” according to ESPN’s report.
The original allegations were made by Katina Powell in a book that was published in 2015.
Louisville self-imposed a 2016 postseason ban and scholarship reductions as part of the scandal, but was looking to avoid further punishment on Pitino, who could be subject to suspension.
Moments before Pat Kelsey was set to be formally introduced as the new head coach at the University of Massachusetts, the school canceled the press conference citing, “unforeseen circumstances.”
According to Jeff Goodman of ESPN, the former Winthrop coach has decided not to accept the job after all. Kelsey, 41, had agreed to terms with UMass on Tuesday. Pete Thamel of Sports Illustrated reports that Kelsey is heading back to Winthrop.
In five seasons at Winthrop, Kelsey compiled a 102–59 (56–30 Big South) record, leading the Eagles to the 2017 NCAA Tournament.
Kelsey was expected to replace Derek Kellogg, who was relieved of his duties after nine years at his alma mater. Kelsey was a smart hire. He had ties to the Atlantic 10, both as a player and an assistant coach at Xavier. His freshman recruiting class included a player out of the NEPSAC, showing that Kelsey was also familiar with the New England prep school recruiting landscape.
This has gone from a hire that was seen as a good one by many, to a nightmare scenario for UMass athletic director Ryan Bamford, who was making his first major decision in Amherst.
Other names linked to the vacancy were Vermont’s John Becker, Miami associate head coach Chris Caputo and Boston Celtics assistant coach, and former Butler and Purdue assistant, Micah Shrewsberry.
Virginia lost another member of its team Thursday.
The Cavaliers announced Darius Thompson will transfer out of the program, a day after the news of Marial Shayok and Jarred Reuter’s departures.
“Darius Thompson informed me he has decided to play his final season at another school following his graduation from Virginia,” Virginia coach Tony Bennett said in a statement released by the school. “Although you never want to see young men transfer, I understand this is part of coaching. Darius, Marial, and Jarred feel it’s in their best interests to pursue other options for the remainder of their college careers.
“I will always appreciate the contributions they made to our program.”
Thompson, who would be immediately eligible as a graduate transfer, began his career at Tennessee before transferring to Charlottesville, where he averaged 5.2 points and 1.8 assists over two seasons. The 6-foot-4 guard shot 44.8 percent from the field and 35.1 percent from 3-point range last season.
Despite the three defections, Virginia returns a number of pieces that contributed to their 23-11 season.
“As we look forward, we have a strong nucleus of players returning,” Bennett said, “and I’m excited for their continued development. As a staff, we are focused on finding student-athletes who want to be a part of this program and all the University of Virginia has to offer.”
Georgetown has parted ways with head coach John Thompson III, sources confirmed to NBC Sports.
Thompson has been the head coach of the Hoyas for 13 seasons, going 278-151 during his tenure. He won three Big East regular season titles with the program, the last of which came in 2013, and he reached the 2007 Final Four, but in recent years the program has fallen on hard times.
Georgetown confirmed the news Thursday afternoon.
“For thirteen years, he has been one of the elite coaches in college basketball,” Georgetown president John J. DeGioia said in a statement released by the school. “His performance as a coach has been exceptional, and he has served our community with remarkable distinction and integrity, sustaining our commitment to the academic performance of our students and providing them with the very best preparation for their lives beyond the Hilltop.”
Georgetown is 29-36 over the course of the last two seasons and the Hoyas have missed the NCAA tournament in three of the last four years. They’ve failed to make it out of the first weekend of the NCAA tournament since that Final Four, losing to five double-digit seeds in their last six NCAA tournament appearances.
Thompson is the son of John Thompson Jr., the Hall of Fame head coach that built the Hoyas into a national power in the 80s and 90s. The University just invested more than $60 million into a renovation of the team’s practice facility which is now named The Thompson Center.
“We are committed to taking the necessary steps to strengthen our program and maintaining the highest levels of academic integrity and national competitiveness,” DeGioia said. “We will work immediately to begin a national search for a new head men’s basketball coach.
“I remain deeply grateful to John for all that he has done on behalf of Georgetown University.”
The news was first reported by CasualHoya.com.