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.

Illinois’ injury woes continue as starting center needs knee surgery

George Niang,Abdel Nader,Mike Thorne, Jr.
AP Photo/Mark Wallheiser
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Illinois suffered another blow in what has already turned out to be a brutal season.

Mike Thorne is expected to miss the rest of the season after tearing his meniscus. He reportedly underwent surgery on Monday to repair the injury.

Thorne, a transfer from Charlotte, was starting at center for the Illini and doing a good job of it as well. He was averaging 13.4 points and 8.4 boards, although Illinois has started off the season 3-4.

The reason for that slow start has mainly been those injuries. Tracy Abrams is already out for the season after tearing his achilles, and the Illini training room looked like a M.A.S.H. unit. Kendrick Nunn just returned two games ago from surgery to repair a torn thumb ligament. LeRon Black is still getting back to speed after offseason knee surgery. Jaylon Tate is back after dislocating a finger. Jalen Coleman-Lands was slowed by a stress fracture.

John Groce entered this season on the hot seat, and dealing with all of these injuries certainly isn’t helping his cause.

NEW PODCAST: Recapping Feast Week

Kris Dunn
AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill
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We talk about a lot of stuff of the podcast today, mainly because a lot of stuff happened since we last spoke with you all.

For starters, we need to discuss the ‘realness’ of Syracuse and Xavier. Are they both truly top 15 teams, or do they just have top 15 resumes? We also dive into Chris Mack’s epic troll-job of Dayton at the Advocare Invitational final.

Other topics we touched on: Whether or not Scott is ever going to apologize to Wayne Selden, Wichita State’s tournament hopes, Texas A&M and whether we’d take Ben Simmons, Kris Dunn or Denzel Valentine today.

As always, you can subscribe to the podcast in iTunes right here. It’s the quickest way to get access on your cell phone or tablet.