The Florida and Miami athletic departments continue discussing the possibility of renewing the in-state rivalry.
Two weeks ago, it was reported both athletic directors were “receptive” to schedule one another in football, although, the games would have to be played at neutral sites.
On Saturday afternoon, multiple outlets reported that the Gators and Hurricanes were in talks for a home-and-home series on the hardwood. Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald was the first to report the potential series while Matt Porter of the Palm Beach Post confirmed the likelihood of this deal being completed.
A UM source said a home-and-home series between the Hurricanes and Gators is “in the works,” but has not been finalized.
However, asked to put a percentage on the chances of a UM-UF series happening, the UM source said “100.”
According to Porter’s sources, the first game would be played in Gainesville this season, followed by a rematch scheduled next season in Coral Gables.
The Gators made another deep run into the NCAA tournament this March, getting past the Elite 8 after three tries for Billy Donovan’s fourth Final Four appearance. The Hurricanes stumbled toward the bottom half of the conference standings after winning the ACC regular season and tournament titles in 2012-2013.
Florida will lose SEC Player of the Year Scottie Wilbekin, Patric Young and Casey Prather, but should still be a top 15 team. Miami is poised for a bounce-back season as its back court will be bolstered by the additions of transfers Angel Rodriguez and Sheldon McClellan.
The last time these two teams met in basketball was during the second round of 2009 NIT. Florida won 74-60. The Gators and Hurricanes most recent regular season contest was in Dec. 2005 with Florida earning a 77-67 victory.
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.
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.