NCAA Basketball Tournament - Practice Round - Omaha

Missouri coach Frank Haith will not appeal NCAA’s suspension: “It’s time for closure”

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Earlier today, it was revealed that former Miami (FL) coach and current Missouri coach Frank Haith was suspended for the first five regular season games of the 2013-14 season for his role in a scandal at Miami (FL) involving notorious booster Nevin Shapiro, the NCAA announced.

Haith coached at Miami (FL) from 2004-11, and is embarking on his third season with Missouri. He has a career record of 182-117, with three appearances in the NCAA Tournament.

After the announcement from the NCAA, Haith released a statement:

While I strongly disagree with today’s report, and the inference on how the program was run at the University of Miami, as head basketball coach during that period, I accept responsibility for all actions in and around that program. This has been an excruciating ordeal for my family. An appeal, which would likely drag further into the season, would only prolong what has already been a lengthy and trying period of time for our student-athletes, the University of Missouri and our fans, and it’s time for closure. I’m pleased with the positive working relationship we have with our compliance staff at Mizzou and we will continue our focus in that area as we move forward. I am very humbled and grateful for the support that I have received from the University of Missouri, its leadership, and our tremendous fans.

Mike Alden, Missouri’s athletic director, echoed Haith’s statement:

We certainly recognize the serious nature of the allegations included in today’s report.  At Missouri, we take great pride in our conduct with regard to NCAA rules and regulations.  During his time here, Coach Haith has been forthright with me and our compliance staff throughout this long process.  After all this time, Coach Haith, his family, the University of Missouri, our student-athletes, and our fans, deserve closure.  We are extremely excited about the direction of our program and look forward to his continued leadership for our young men.  I’m proud to have Frank Haith as our men’s basketball coach.

Haith will return in time to coach Missouri in the Las Vegas Invitational against Northwestern and Nevada.

SMU won’t appeal tournament ban, Brown suspension

Associated Press
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Last month the NCAA announced that due to rules violations found in their investigation of the SMU men’s basketball program, the team would be banned from postseason play in 2015-16 and head coach Larry Brown would be suspended for the first nine games of the 2015-16 season. With a team led by seniors Nic Moore and Markus Kennedy and just one player (Keith Frazier) being the subject of the investigation, it was assumed that SMU would at the very least appeal the postseason ban.

Friday, the school announced that while it will appeal some of the penalties handed down by the NCAA to the men’s basketball and men’s golf programs they will not appeal the postseason ban or Brown’s suspension.

“After careful consideration, however, we will not appeal the NCAA post-season ban on men’s basketball or partial season suspension of Head Men’s Basketball Coach Larry Brown,” SMU president R. Gerald Turner stated in the release. “Although we regret the severe impact on our student-athletes, the simple fact is that the NCAA penalty structure mandates at minimum a one-year post-season ban for the level of misconduct that occurred, in our case, when a former staff member completed an online high school course for a prospective student-athlete, committing academic misconduct.

“In addition, should we appeal this matter, the lengthy process and uncertainty during this period could harm many aspects of the program. Coach Brown and his staff also agree that it is in the best interests of the program to accept these sanctions and move forward.”

Among the penalties the school will appeal (with regards to the basketball program) are the “duration of scholarship losses” and how long the recruiting restrictions placed on the program will last, and the vacating of games Frazier played in during the 2013-14 season.

This a tough turn of events for players who had nothing to do with the violations, as they see their opportunity to return to the NCAA tournament taken away. As a result of the school’s decision, SMU’s season will end March 9 following their regular season finale against Cincinnati.

Kevin Marfo commits to George Washington

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Kevin Marfo committed to George Washington on Friday evening, announcing his decision on Twitter.

“I am grateful and appreciative to all the schools that recruited me. But I will be spending the next four years at George Washington University,” he tweeted.

This caps a successful week for Mike Lonergan on the recruiting trail. On Tuesday, GW landed a commitment from Darnell Rogers, a 5-foot-3 point guard. He is the son of former GW guard Shawnta Rogers, the 1999 Atlantic 10 Player of the Year. GW ends the week by adding a tenacious rebounder to a front court that graduates top rebounder Kevin Larsen after this season. Rogers and Marfo join power forward Collin Smith in the Class of 2016. Seton Hall transfer Jaren Sina will also be eligible in 2016-17.

He cut his list to 10 in August with Pittsburgh, Georgia Tech, Minnesota, Boston College, UMass, Saint Joseph’s, DePaul, Rhode Island and Providence all making the cut along wit the Colonials. He later trimmed the list to five finalists: BC, Providence, DePaul, GW and Rhode Island.

The Worcester Academy (Mass.) forward played for BABC this summer in the Nike EYBL, averaging 11.3 points and 8.8 rebounds per game.  The 6-foot-8 Marfo is listed as the No. 148 overall player in the Class of 2016 by Rivals.