Southern working to avoid NCAA postseason ban over academic progress data

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With just a couple weeks remaining in the regular season, the Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) is in danger of having its regular season champion ineligible for postseason play for the second consecutive season.

Last week it was revealed that Southern, which currently leads the conference and reached the NCAA tournament a season ago, has been declared ineligible for postseason play after the Data Collection and Reporting Subcommittee of the NCAA’s Committee on Academic Performance found that unusable data was submitted by the school.

Southern was given a deadline to resubmit the proper data, and on Thursday it was reported that the school still has a “significant amount of work to do” in its quest to get the men’s and women’s basketball teams ruled eligible to compete in postseason play.

“The data were incomplete, inaccurate and the school could not produce documentation to verify the information it submitted,” continued Michelle Brutlag Hosick, the NCAA’s associate director of public and media relations. “A significant amount of work must be completed before NCAA postseason eligibility can be restored.

“The data review process is a collaborative one that requires a school to supply quality, accurate documentation that follows the school’s internal policies and procedures. Often, these requirements are not met initially, and deadlines and requests must be revised to allow the school additional time to fulfill the requests fully and accurately.”

The men’s team is 11-2 in conference play and currently leads the SWAC by two games in the loss column with five games remaining. As for the women’s team they’re tied with Texas Southern in the loss column, although the Lady Jaguars are 12-1 in SWAC play with the Lady Tigers having 11 SWAC wins.

In the men’s tournament last season Texas Southern was declared ineligible due to an unsatisfactory Academic Progress Rate, and Southern went on to earn the SWAC’s automatic bid to the NCAA tournament.

Former Wichita State assistant returns as a consultant

Chris Jans, Gregg Marshall
Associated Press
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Prior to a one-year stint as the head coach coach at Bowling Green that came to an end in early April as a result of an incident at a Bowling Green restaurant, Chris Jans was a member of Gregg Marshall’s coaching staff at Wichita State from 2007-14. During those seven seasons Jans was a key figure as the Shockers made the progression to a respected national power.

Jans is back in Wichita, with Paul Suellentrop of the Wichita Eagle reporting Thursday that he’s serving as a consultant to the program. Jans’ consulting agreement runs for 45 days, which the school can renew, and he’ll be paid $10,000 for the work. While Jans isn’t allowed to do any coaching, he can watch practices and provide Marshall and the coaching staff with his observations.

“He will be able to consult with the coaching staff, only on what he observes in practice,” said Darron Boatright, WSU deputy athletics director. “By NCAA rule, a consultant is not allowed to have communication with student-athletes … not about basketball-related activities or performance.”

While Jans (who according to the story has served in a similar role for another school) can’t do any coaching in this role, his return does give Marshall another trusted voice to call upon when needed. Wichita State bid farewell to an assistant coach this spring with Steve Forbes being hired as the head coach at East Tennessee State, with his position being filled by former Sunrise Christian Academy coach Kyle Lindsted.


AUDIO: Rick Pitino discusses allegations, future at Louisville

Rick Pitino
Associated Press
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Thursday afternoon marked the first time since Friday that Louisville head coach Rick Pitino commented on the controversy that has taken his program by storm. Speaking with Terry Meiners of 840 WHAS in Louisville, Pitino discussed the escort scandal, what could have possibly led former staffer Andre McGee down the path he’s alleged to have taken in Katina Powell’s book and his future at Louisville.

The interview began with Meiners asking Pitino if it changed his thinking as to whether or not he needed to resign, which (as one would expect) Pitino shot down. Also discussed was the statement released by school president Dr. James Ramsey, which expressed support for athletic director Tom Jurich but did not mention Pitino at all.

“Well I can’t answer that, Terry,” Pitino said when asked why he wasn’t mentioned in the statement. “Twenty-six years ago Kentucky brought me in to make the program compliant to NCAA rules. (Then-Kentucky president) Dr. (David) Roselle and (then Kentucky athletic director) C.M. Newton thought I was the guy to come in and change around the images, change around the culture and add a lot of discipline to the program. And I did that.

“And then I came here to the University of Louisville, and if someone was five seconds late or not early consequences would be paid from a disciplinary standpoint,” Pitino continued. “This is obviously not a person being late, this is not about a person (not) working hard. This is about things that are very disgusting, things that turn my stomach, things that keep me up without sleeping.

“But unfortunately, I had no knowledge of any of this and don’t believe in it. It’s sickening to me, the whole thing. But I’m thinking of my 13 players, I’m thinking of our program, and I’m sorry that Dr. Ramsey did not think enough to mention me but that’s something I cannot control.”

Below is audio of the full interview, which ran just over 17 minutes in length.