Rob Dauster

Canadian entertainer Drake greets Kentucky fans during halftime of an NCAA Final Four tournament college basketball semifinal game against Wisconsin Saturday, April 5, 2014, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
AP Photo/David J. Phillip

Drake forced Kentucky into reporting another violation

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Drake can’t stop committing NCAA violations.

Kentucky was forced to report a Level III violation to the NCAA back in October due to “preferential treatment” that a player received, according to a report from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Here’s what happened: a player, whose name was redacted in the report, was spotted by Drake or one of his entourage and was invited backstage at a concert. Drake did not provide the tickets and was not in touch with the player prior to the start of the show, but it is a violation nonetheless.

In late May of 2015, Tyler Ulis, who had just finished up his freshman season with the Wildcats, posted this picture on Instagram:

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In 2014, Drake was the cause of a similar violation when he took pictures with a recruit at Big Blue Madness.

He also wore a Kentucky shirt and Kentucky shorts while touring the Texas athletic facilities this week.

You can’t take this guy anywhere.

Iowa forward Dale Jones gets 6th year of eligibility

Fran McCaffery
AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall
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IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) Iowa power forward Dale Jones has been granted an extra year of eligibility.

Jones tore a ligament in his right knee for the second time in three years in December after playing just six games. He was averaging 5.5 points and three rebounds for the Hawkeyes.

Jones, a junior college transfer, is expected to give Iowa’s thin frontcourt a major boost over the next two seasons. The 6-foot-7, 227-pound Jones will likely get plenty of playing time after the Hawkeyes lost center Adam Woodbury and forward Jarrod Uthoff to graduation.

Hawkeyes coach Fran McCaffery announced the NCAA’s decision Thursday.

George Washington investigating basketball coach Lonergan

Mike Lonergan
AP Photo/Seth Wenig
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WASHINGTON (AP) George Washington University says it is bringing in outside counsel as part of an investigation into allegations against men’s basketball coach Mike Lonergan.

The school says in a statement released by a spokesman Thursday night that it is “undertaking a Title IX review” but that “some of the reported allegations go beyond the scope of Title IX.”

The statement comes in response to a story posted earlier Thursday in the Washington Post that says former GW players – quoted anonymously – complained about Lonergan’s behavior.

Lonergan told The Washington Post that “these types of accusations” were previously investigated by the school “and found to be groundless.”

Lonergan led GW to the National Invitation Tournament championship last season.

NCAA gives $50,000 in honor of Summitt to fight Alzheimer’s

KNOXVILLE, TN - JULY 14:  Flower wreaths line the wall at Pat Summitt Plaza before the start of a ceremony to celebrate the life of former Tennessee women's basketball coach Pat Summitt at the Thompson-Boling Arena on July 14, 2016 in Knoxville, Tennessee. Summitt died June 28 at the age of 64, five years after being diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease. (Photo by Craig Bisacre/Tennessee Athletics - Pool/Getty Images)
Craig Bisacre/Tennessee Athletics
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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — The NCAA has donated $50,000 to the Pat Summitt Foundation in memory of the late Tennessee coach.

The foundation announced the donation Wednesday.

The money will go toward the Summitt Foundation’s goal of raising $2.5 million for the Pat Summitt Alzheimer’s Clinic at the University of Tennessee Medical Center, which is scheduled to open in December.

Foundation director Patrick Wade thanked the NCAA for its support in the fight against Alzheimer’s. The NCAA’s donation and money donated since Summitt died June 28 will be used for research, treatment and support of Alzheimer’s patients and families in Tennessee.

Summitt was the winningest Division I college basketball coach with 1,098 wins over 38 seasons. She announced in August 2011 that she had been diagnosed with early onset dementia, Alzheimer’s type.

Report: GW players allege verbal, emotional abuse from Lonergan

George Washington head coach Mike Lonergan yells to his team during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game against DePaul on Tuesday, Dec. 22, 2015, in Rosemont, Ill. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)
AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh
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Mike Lonergan has had a pretty successful five-year run as the head coach of George Washington, getting the Colonials back to the NCAA tournament, winning the NIT this past season and making the program an annual contender in the Atlantic 10.

He’s also made GW one of college basketball’s biggest transfer hubs. In each of the past four offseasons, the Colonials have lost three players to transfers, and in total, 13 players after left the program with Lonergan as the head coach.

On Thursday, we may have gotten a bit of a glimpse into why that is happening.

The Washington Post ran a story detailing allegations against Lonergan of verbal and emotional abuse by former players. After each of the past two seasons, according to the story, players have gone to the athletic department to complain about an “offensive, uncomfortable environment” created by the head coach. Anecdotes like this stand out:

According to multiple players, Lonergan’s critiques crossed the line from constructive to mean-spirited. He told one player his son would always be on food stamps. He told another, in front of the team, he should transfer to a “transgender league,” multiple players said.

One person close to a former GW player said he “went through hell” playing for Lonergan because of constant personal comments and critiques. One former player said he attended therapy and considered quitting basketball because of Lonergan’s language and actions toward him.

That’s bad, and in today’s PC climate and the crackdown that comes with this style of coaching, this is not a story that’s going to be going away. Division I coaches are not going to sugar coat anything. What Lonergan is saying and the style in which he says it is not unique. But when players — plural — are going to the athletics department and therapy because of what they’re hearing in practice and in the locker room, it may be time to tone it down a bit. The ‘beat ’em down to build ’em back up’ style of coaching only works when you can build ’em back up.

The other part of this story that is fascinating is the dynamic between athletic director Patrick Nero and Lonergan. According to the story, the coach was tamer this past season, as their was a member of the athletic department in practices reportedly monitoring his behavior, which is why he turned his ire on Nero. Check this nugget out:

Players said Lonergan shared his distaste for Nero in a manner both inappropriate and outlandish. Five current and former players said Lonergan made explicit remarks about Nero, among them telling them to avoid Nero because he was obsessed with them.

Five current and former players said Lonergan told players Nero requested the practice tapes so he could masturbate while viewing them in his office. The players said Lonergan also told them Nero had engaged in a sexual relationship with a member of the team. Players said they found those comments to be shocking and offensive, with no grounding in reality.

What the what?

Like I said earlier, this is not a story that’s going to go away anytime soon.

Florida State’s Rathan-Mayes taking control during offseason

Florida State guard Xavier Rathan-Mayes (22) drives past Notre Dame guard Rex Pflueger, left, for a score in the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in Tallahassee, Fla., Saturday, Feb. 27, 2016. (AP Photo/Mark Wallheiser)
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) Xavier Rathan-Mayes finally feels comfortable as Florida State’s point guard after a learning curve the past two seasons.

As the Seminoles are going through offseason workouts, the 6-foot-4 junior has done a better job of directing the action on the floor. In his first full season running the point last year, Rathan-Mayes averaged 4.4 assists, which is second in the Atlantic Coast Conference among returning players, but he also had six conference games where he committed four or more turnovers.

In order to cut down on the turnovers, Rathan-Mayes has spent a lot of time looking at film from last season and has been concentrating more on making sure his teammates are on the right spot on the floor.

“Xavier has been extremely focused and in a good frame of mind,” coach Leonard Hamilton said. “We had our ups and downs last season but that is part of the process with point guards and young teams.”

Rathan-Mayes said he realized while watching film that he had to do a better job of taking more control on the floor. A lot of the turnovers last season were the result of poor passes or cases where players were not in the right position.

Ball spacing was a huge problem late in the year as the Seminoles finished 20-14 and missed the NCAA Tournament for the fourth straight season.

“I have to do a better job of making sure guys are where they need to be,” he said.

Taking control may also mean an increase in scoring. After leading Florida State in scoring as a freshman (14.9 points per game), Rathan-Mayes average dropped to 11.8 last season. In conference games he averaged 12.1 points last season after having 16.1 as a freshman.

Rathan-Mayes did say one of the things he has been working on individually is shooting and trying to have better form, especially on perimeter shots.

Hamilton and Rathan-Mayes had their moments of strife last season as many wondered if he would return to school. The low point came on Jan. 20 at Louisville as Rathan-Mayes was benched for a violation of team rules. Both sides though have appeared to work out their differences after Rathan-Mayes decided to come back this season after briefly putting his name in consideration for the NBA draft.

Rathan-Mayes and Dwayne Bacon are the only two returning starters, but the Seminoles did add another talented recruiting class that many services ranked in the top 10. It is led by 6-foot-10 forward Jonathan Isaac, who averaged 17.6 points and 10.4 rebounds at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida.

During Hamilton’s basketball camps last month, many of the players would stick around until 11 p.m. in order to play pickup games.

“They are working their way in and doing a better job as the summer has gone along,” Rathan-Mayes said. “There have been some good battles but they have come in and focused.”