Legal questions remain in aftermath of College of Charleston’s firing of Doug Wojcik

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Eight days ago the College of Charleston fired then-head coach Doug Wojcik, with the decision coming on the heels of an investigation into allegations of player abuse. Wojcik was originally suspended for the entire month of August, with the decision to relieve him of his duties permanently resulting in Antonio Reynolds-Dean being named interim head coach.

But the process of finding a new head coach (the school has put together a search committee) isn’t the only issue the administrators could have to deal with. According to Andrew Miller of The Post and Courier, there’s a chance that Wojcik and attorney Scott Thompsett could file a wrongful termination lawsuit to dispute school president Glenn McConnell’s assertion that Wojcik was fired for “just cause” following a second investigation.

And that could prove costly for both sides, and not just from a financial standpoint either.

The fact that Wojcik had accepted the punishment handed down by [former school president George] Benson but later was fired by McConnell with no substantial new evidence could be the strongest argument for the coach, [lawyer and ESPN analyst Jay] Bilas said.

“From Doug Wojcik’s position, I think one could raise some questions about whether or not the second investigation was undertaken simply to take the action to fire him,” Bilas said. “They had suspended him and for whatever reason, later on decided that they needed to, or should have, fired Doug. So now they need to create a situation under which we can fire him for just cause.”

The College of Charleston’s changing of presidents in the midst of this controversy is something that could hurt them should a wrongful termination suit be filed, with the quoted text above being one reason why. And while there has been reported interest in the open position, could a lawsuit hurt the school’s chances of bringing in the best possible candidate for the job?

The answer to that question won’t be known until Wojcik and his attorney make a decision with regards to the possibility of suing the school. And should there be a lawsuit, according to the story it may be a long time before the courts render a verdict given how much needs to be done from a legal standpoint.

“If the suit were to survive all the initial filings and motions and counter motions, then it’ll go to the discovery phase,” Bilas said. “And that’s where things could get very interesting. During that discovery phase an attorney can ask any question they reasonably think will lead to discovery of admissible evidence. It’s a nice way of saying that Scott (Tompsett) or the College of Charleston attorneys can ask anything they want.”

And if this dispute were to reach that point, things could get ugly for all involved parties.

Memphis lands commitment from 2018 center Connor Vanover

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Memphis picked up its first commitment in the Class of 2018 on Wednesday night as unique center prospect Connor Vanover announced his decision on Twitter.

At 7-foot-2, Vanover brings elite size to the interior for the Tigers and he’s also skilled enough that he was a 43 percent three-point shooter during his stint playing with Pro Skills in the Nike EYBL this spring. Although Vanover needs to add strength and athleticism to adapt to the college level, he simply has size that you can’t teach. Pair that size with an intriguing perimeter jumper and it’ll be interesting to see how head coach Tubby Smith is able to develop Vanover the next few years.

A three-star prospect according to Rivals, Vanover averaged 9.1 points, 5.5 rebounds and 1.5 blocks per game during the spring. Originally from Arkansas, Vanover is spending his senior season of high school ball at prep school powerhouse Findlay Prep.

Bill Self unsure of how long he will continue to coach

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Kansas head coach Bill Self is one of the most decorated college basketball coaches of all time.

Recently inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame earlier this month, Self has won a record 13 consecutive Big 12 regular-season championships while also claiming a national title for the Jayhawks during his storied career.

But while most legendary coaches in contemporary college basketball have stayed around to coach well into their late 60s or early 70s, the 54-year-old Self doesn’t necessarily see his career playing out that way.

Speaking with ESPN.com reporter Myron Medcalf on Wednesday, Self acknowledged that he’s thinking about potentially retiring once his next contract ends after the 2021-22 season. With five more years left on his current deal, that would mean that Self would be retiring before he would even turn 60.

“I’ve said all along that if I could go to my late 50s, that’d be good for me,” Self said to Medcalf. “Now that I’m getting close to my late 50s, I’m like, ‘Well…’ but my contract runs until I’m 59, so I’ve got five more years left. I definitely want to do that. Then whatever happens after that I’d be happy with whatever. But I don’t want to [coach too late].”

While Hall of Fame coaches like Syracuse’s Jim Boeheim (72 years old), Duke’s Mike Krzyzewski (70 years old) and North Carolina’s Roy Williams (67 years old) are showing no signs of slowing down, Self acknowledged to Medcalf that coach, and specifically recruiting, has started to take its toll on him.

“With recruiting the way that it is, it just wears you down,” Self said to Medcalf.

With Kansas pursuing so many potential one-and-done prospects over the past few seasons, it means that Self usually has to recruit sizable recruiting classes

Self is certainly entitled to do what he wants with his career and his life but it would be a shame to see one of the game’s greats hang it up at that point in his career. Potentially retiring at that age means that Self won’t chase 1,000 wins or any additional longevity records

Ohio State lands second pledge in two days with 2018 guard Duane Washington

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Ohio State stayed hot on the recruiting trail on Wednesday as the Buckeyes landed a commitment from Class of 2018 guard Duane Washington.

The 6-foot-3 Washington is the second commitment for Ohio State and new head coach Chris Holtmann in the last two days after four-star forward Jaedon LeDee pledged to the Buckeyes on Tuesday.

One of the better shooters in the Class of 2018, Washington averaged 14.9 points per game on tremendous shooting splits (48% FG, 87% FT, 45% 3PT) playing with The Family in the Nike EYBL this spring. A Michigan native who now resides in California, Washington gives Ohio State a much-needed guard commitment in the Class of 2018.

With the Buckeyes needing to fill a lot of scholarships due to roster turnover, Washington is a solid start to their perimeter class. While Washington isn’t likely to play point guard, he can play multiple perimeter spots and should be a solid addition to the Buckeye rotation.

Syracuse walk-on accused of sexual assault

Syracuse Post-Standard
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Dominick Parker, an 18-year old freshman who was added to the Syracuse roster as a walk-on just 12 days ago, was arrested last Friday and charged with sexual abuse in the first degree, reports Syracuse.com.

Parker is accused of having sexual contact with an 18-year old female student while she was incapable of giving consent. His name and picture have been removed from the Syracuse athletics website.

“Sexual and relationship violence is not tolerated at Syracuse University,” the school said in a statement. “We are now doing all that we can to support and provide assistance to those affected by the alleged incident. As this is an ongoing investigation, Syracuse University will not be providing further comment.”

Wichita State to sell beer at Koch Arena

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As if it wasn’t already hard enough to win games at Koch Arena.

Starting this season, Wichita State fans will be able to buy beer during games at their home arena, a fact that should ensure that the raucous home environs that have made the Shockers so difficult to beat in Wichita remains the same.

That’s not a bad thing to add to a home court advantage while making the move into a new conference, the American, for the 2017-18 season.

Once a rarity, beer at college sporting events in a growing trend. Minnesota, Florida and Texas, among a number of others have added alcohol sales in recent years. Given the money that would seem likely to be generated, it’s a trend that will probably become even more pervasive in college athletics.

Let’s just make sure that everyone partakes in moderation.