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Report: NCAA will give more notices of allegations soon

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Now that the FBI’s college basketball corruption cases are complete, the NCAA will likely move forward with more notices of allegations.

Speaking to ESPN’s Heather Dinich on Wednesday at the Knight Commission on Intercollegiate Athletics, NCAA vice president of Division I Governance Kevin Lennon said that more investigations could come “in due time and I think  very quickly.”

The NCAA needed to wait for the FBI’s trials to finish up before launching its own investigations on schools mentioned over the past 18 months. We could see a high number of big-name programs get investigated during the NCAA’s process.

“You don’t get in the way of a federal investigation,” Lennon said Wednesday. “Activity was going on during that span that was within our purview, but now that the court cases are done, now we’re in a position where you’re likely to see notices of allegations going to institutions that have violated NCAA rules, etc. I think you can anticipate notices of allegations will be coming.”

Following the completion of the first FBI trial in October 2018, the NCAA already reportedly sent notice of allegations to Arizona, Kansas, NC State and Louisville. Other prominent programs, including but not limited to, Auburn, LSU, Oklahoma State and USC have also been mentioned during recent college basketball corruption trials.

While the NCAA will seek all documents that schools turned over to the federal government during legal procedures, the real difficulty in the NCAA’s investigations will be getting third-party participants to speak — or even cooperate in the first place. Those not tied to the NCAA through member schools have no legal obligation to help the NCAA during their investigation process.

Wednesday’s Knight Commission meeting also went over processes discussed or implemented because of the Rice Commission’s April 2018 report. Notre Dame head coach Mike Brey, president of the board of directors for the NABC, made waves by questioning where accountability comes from when it comes to coaching penalties.

Asking why “there’s been no hammer from the top of campus,” Brey asked why schools haven’t been accountable with coaches who break the rules.

“Why hasn’t an athletic director or a president acted in some of these current cases?” Brey said.

“I think a lot of our coaches want to know why hasn’t the hammer come down? I’m a little naïve to it. Is it legal stuff? A lot of lawyers? I think our profession would love to see the hammer be dropped on some of these situations. We need an explosion back.”

Brey has every right to question where penalties are coming from since only Louisville head coach Rick Pitino has lost his job among head coaches during this scandal. There seems to be a lot of confusion on where some things stand with the NCAA, and its rules, but maybe we’ll get more clarification now that the FBI trials are done.

Report: Charges filed against Josh Pastner accusers

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Charges have been filed against a couple who accused Georgia Tech coach Josh Pastner of sexually assaulting a woman in a hotel room in early 2016.

According to a report from ESPN’s Mark Schlabach, Ron Bell and his girlfriend, Jennifer Pendley are accused of being “engaged in a plan or scheme … to allege a false, fraudulent accusation of sexual assault against Josh Pastner with the goal of obtaining an anticipated civil monetary settlement/judgment,” according to court records in Arizona.

Pendley, a partner with Bell in the scheme, tried to turn on Pastner, a former friend of Bell’s, as the duo hatched a plan to call police and accuse Pastner of sexually assaulting her in a hotel room while he was coaching Memphis more than three years earlier.

The call came before mediation of a civil lawsuit related to the accusation. Pastner’s attorney countered with a court filing that included recorded jailhouse conversations suggesting the couple fabricated the allegations.

In January 2018, Pastner filed a civil suit against the two in Arizona, alleging extortion and blackmail by threatening to release false allegations about him. A countersuit was filed by Bell and Pendley the next month alleging the sexual assault along with other times he allegedly harassed her.

A Title IX investigation conducted by attorneys hired at Georgia Tech cleared Pastner on it in June 2018.

Bell was previously linked to Pastner in a November 2017 report from CBS Sports in which he provided Georgia Tech’s Josh Okogie and Tadric Jackson with improper benefits. Bell paid for flights to his home in Tucson, meals in Atlanta and claimed to send the players shoes and shirts purchased online. Georgia Tech self-reported the violations to the NCAA after Pastner reported the violations to them as Okogie and Jackson were suspended for the start of the 2017-18 season.

The warrant for Pendley was issued last week when she failed to appear in court twice to be arraigned. Pendley was facing misdemeanor charges of facilitation of a fraud scheme practice, facilitation of influencing a witness and facilitation of tampering with a witness. Bell was hit with seven misdemeanor counts in March, including solicitation of a fraud scheme practice, solicitation of influencing witness, attempted tampering with a witness, use of an electronic communication to terrify, intimidate, threaten or harass and impersonating a public servant.

(H/t: Mark Schlabach, ESPN)

Villanova grabs Tulane transfer Caleb Daniels

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Villanova dipped into the transfer market once again and landed a productive player in Tulane guard Caleb Daniels on Tuesday night. Daniels announced his commitment on Twitter.

A 6-foot-4 guard who just finished a solid second season with the Green Wave, Daniels averaged 16.9 points, 5.3 rebounds and 3.3 assists per game while shooting 44 percent from the floor and 34 percent from three-point range.

Although Daniels played for a lowly team in the American, those are still pretty impressive to put up in a multi-bid league, as Daniels should be positioned to potentially remain a double-figure scorer once he’s eligible to play for the Wildcats. Sitting out the 2019-2020 season due to NCAA transfer regulations, Daniels will have two years of eligibility remaining once he’s suited up at Villanova.

If Daniels can raise his three-point percentage back to around the 39 percent he shot as a freshman then the Wildcats should have yet another weapon at their disposal as they’ve done an effective job of corralling transfers and developing them in redshirt seasons.

Syracuse forward Oshae Brissett staying in 2019 NBA Draft

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Syracuse sophomore forward Oshae Brissett is keeping his name in the 2019 NBA Draft, he announced on Tuesday.

Following a promising freshman season with the Orange, Brissett’s numbers dipped slightly in his second season as he put up 12.4 points, 7.5 rebounds and 1.8 assists per contest. After shooting 33 percent from three-point range as a freshman, Brissett saw that number dip to 27 percent as a sophomore — although he did raise his overall field-goal percentage from 35 percent to 39 percent from season-to-season.

If Brissett can figure out the perimeter jumper then he has a lot of enticing things to bring to the pro game, including multi-positional versatility and good bounciness around the basket. Brissett’s stock will be fascinating to follow up to draft time as tries to work his way into draft-pick status. At the very least, Brissett is an enticing two-way option who could develop over time.

Michigan’s Ignas Brazdeikis staying in 2019 NBA Draft

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Following a breakout freshman season, Michigan wing Ignas Brazdeikis will stay in the 2019 NBA Draft, he announced Tuesday on Twitter.

The 6-foot-7 Brazdeikis was one of the nation’s most productive freshmen this season, helping the Wolverines maintain top-ranked status despite some big losses from the season before. A confident scorer with an intriguing skillset, Brazdeikis put up 14.8 points and 5.4 rebounds per game last season as he was one of the team’s go-to offensive weapons.

Brazdeikis shot 46 percent from the floor, 39 percent from the field and 77 percent from the free-throw line during the season. With Michigan making a coaching change with John Beilein accepting the Cleveland Cavaliers offer earlier in May, Brazdeikis would have returned to school with a new coach who hasn’t even been hired yet.

Most mock drafts have Brazdeikis currently in second-round range at this point but he could very easily play himself into a late first-round situation during workouts since 20-through-40 in this draft seems like such a fluid situation.

Iowa State’s Talen Horton-Tucker pleads guilty to misdemeanor theft

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Iowa State freshman forward and NBA Draft hopeful Talen Horton-Tucker pled guilty to charges of misdemeanor theft according to Travis Hines.

A first-round hopeful, the 18-year-old Horton-Tucker was charged with theft in the fifth degree. Horton-Tucker pled guilty, per court records and the Ames Police. The incident occured in February at a Walmart in Ames, as surveillance footage of the store’s self-checkout was reviewed before the charges on Horton-Tucker. The misdemeanor charge is for alleged thefts of under $200, according to Hines.

One of the draft’s youngest prospects, Horton-Tucker was a starter for the Cyclones all season as he showed promise during an up-and-down season. Horton-Tucker is scheduled to appear at the NBA Draft Combine this week in Chicago as he’ll be meeting with NBA teams. It’s hard to say how this will impact Horton-Tucker’s stock, as he’s one of the draft’s youngest players who also carries a lot of upside, but it’s something to monitor going forward.