NCAA Men's Final Four - Practice

Ed O’Bannon plaintiffs, NCAA find common ground in one area

Leave a comment

While Judge Claudia Wilken ruled in favor of the plaintiffs in the Ed O’Bannon lawsuit, much has yet to be determined with regards to how the verdict will impact collegiate athletics. There are still appeals to be sorted out, as well as the question of when the changes that would require athletes to be compensated for the use of the name and likeness. According to Steve Berkowitz of USA Today, both sides in the lawsuit are hoping that the changes won’t go into effect until the 2016-17 academic year.

Both sides have asked Wilken to make that clear in her judgement, which did not give a definitive start date. One would think that with the number of ongoing cases the NCAA is faced with, having more time to figure things out would work to the benefit of the defendants. But obviously the plaintiffs are also in favor of there being more time to figure it all out before Wilken’s ruling goes into effect.

In her 99-page ruling, Wilken said the injunction will not be stayed pending any appeal of her ruling, but it will not take effect until the start of the next FBS and Division I basketball recruiting cycles. In the separate injunction document she wrote: “This injunction shall not affect any prospective student-athlete who will enroll in college before July 1, 2016.”

While both sides agree on the need to push things back with regards to when the injunction would go into effect, they don’t agree on who would be eligible for the compensation. The NCAA wants to limit compensation to “prospective student-athletes enrolling in college on or after July 1, 2016” the plaintiffs don’t believe that’s fair to those currently enrolled.

“That exclusion of thousands of current student-athletes (operating under one-year renewable scholarships or multi-year scholarships) is plainly inconsistent with the Court’s injunction,” the plaintiffs wrote.

With the NCAA dealing with the lawsuit led by Jeffrey Kessler and the Northwestern football team/union situation, there are a number of “dominoes” to consider when debating the future of collegiate athletics. What will college sports look like in the end? Not sure anyone has a concrete answer at this point in time.

Former Wichita State assistant returns as a consultant

Chris Jans, Gregg Marshall
Associated Press
1 Comment

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
Leave a comment

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.