rumors

Baylor also has a non-Dunn mess to clean up

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Reuters

Baylor’s would-be dream season is turning sour.

Less than a week after star guard LaceDarius Dunn was charged with aggravated assault and suspended indefinitely for an incident involving his girlfriend, FOXSports.com’s Jeff Goodman broke news that the program is being investigated by the NCAA for its involvement in the recruitment of a Colombia high school player.

The NCAA will be in Waco, Texas, later this month to interview coach Scott Drew and his coaching staff, Goodman reported. The school has already self-reported the violations.

Complicating matters is that Baylor just came off probation on June 22 stemming from the Dave Bliss debacle back in 2003. The new violation occurred in late July. Hard to imagine the NCAA’s happy about that.

The new problems stem from the recruitment of Hanner Perea, a junior from Colombia who transferred to an Indiana high school. Baylor assistant Mark Morefield reportedly sent dozen of texts to Perea’s AAU and high school coaches in July while they were coaching events, which is against NCAA rules.

More damming? There was at least one threat involved. From Goodman’s story.

Morefield also sent a text to LaLumiere coach Alan Huss, which was obtained by FOXSports.com, saying that if Perea didn’t go to Baylor, he wouldn’t be back in the United States.

“I guarantee u if he does [commit to another school] he will be in Colombia for the spring and summer and next year. Don’t forget it,” the text said.

Note to Baylor: I wouldn’t rule on Dunn’s suspension until AFTER the NCAA comes to town. Best to take these things one at a time.

Mike Miller’s also on Twitter @BeyndArcMMiller, usually talkin’ hoops. Click here for more.

Report: Two Michigan St. players accused of sexual assault

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Two Michigan State basketball players are accused of committing sexual assault on an unidentified woman for nearly an hour in their dorm room, according to a report in The Michigan Messenger.

Prosecutors have declined to pursue charges, though the paper reports that the victim disputes the reason for not doing so. The players’ names have not been released because there haven’t been charges.

From the paper:

The police report indicates that one of the two players corroborated the victim’s story in his statement to police. Although the MSU Police Department forwarded the report to the prosecutor’s office with a recommendation that the men be charged with Criminal Sexual Conduct 1 — the most serious level of sexual assault under state law — Dunnings has declined to prosecute the case.

In a statement dated Sept. 14 and released on Friday, Dunnings says charging a criminal sexual conduct case “requires the element of force and/or coercion.” He said numerous prosecutors of both genders reviewed the case report and “none could find any of these necessary elements.” The police report and statements by the victim suggest otherwise.

The Messenger’s lengthy story has numerous details on the event, including events that led to, occurred during and after the alleged assault. Most interesting is the back-forth between the alleged victim and the investigating officers and how they decided to not pursue the case.

The school hasn’t released a statement.

Mike Miller’s also on Twitter @BeyndArcMMiller, usually talkin’ hoops. Click here for more.

Nevada officials probing Jordan's $56K night

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Marcus Jordan’s tweets from a Las Vegas trip drew plenty of attention last week. When a 19-year-old reportedly drops $56,000 in a day, people notice — including the Nevada Gaming Control Board.

According to the Las Vegas Review Journal, the board is investigating if the Central Florida guard drank or gambled.

Gaming Control board member Randall Sayre said MGM Resorts International is in the early stages of an inquiry to see “where the system broke down.”

Neither the MGM or UCF commented. The report is expected in about two weeks.

Mike Miller’s also on Twitter @BeyndArcMMiller, usually talkin’ hoops. Click here for more.

BYU reportedly will stay in Mountain West

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BYU’s down to less than a week to decide its athletic future: Stay with the Mountain West or go the independent route in football and join the WAC for everything else, including college hoops.

If a report in the Denver Post is right, the Cougars are staying in the MWC – and they could announce that decision soon.

One of the issues is BYU’s desire to broadcast its games on BYU-TV. If those problems get resolved, the school may stay. Here’s an explanation from Natalie Meisler of the Post:

Currently The Mtn. and affiliates Versus and CBS-Sports hold exclusive rights to MWC football programming. The kickoffs are staggered throughout each Saturday. Some might recall one of the reasons for the MWC’s break from ESPN several years ago was that school presidents around the conference did not want mid-week football games scheduled, as happens with WAC and Conference-USA teams.

If any BYU football inventory moves over to BYU-TV, the next headache would be informing fans of opposing teams where to find the network. That might be a small inconvenience compared to completely losing the Salt Lake City market or BYU’s Top 25 finishes counting towards BCS automatic qualifying membership.

Then again, at least one Mountain West writer isn’t buying it. My guess it goes down to the last minute and we find out BYU’s decision next Tuesday night.

Mike Miller’s also on Twitter @BeyndArcMMiller, usually talkin’ hoops. Click here for more.

Marcus Jordan dropped $56K in Las Vegas?

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Michael Jordan didn’t mind trying his luck in Las Vegas. Apparently his sons, Jeff and Marcus, are the same way. But didn’t anybody tell Marcus that what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas?

Central Florida coach Donnie Jones probably will soon.

An Orlando Sentinel story detailed the brothers’ recent trip to Vegas with their dad and UCF teammate A.J. Rompza. Marcus was happy to tweet Thursday what they did (though he’s since deleted it from his Twitter account).

“Spent $21k at Liquid (the pool)… Tonight should be worse!!”

And from Friday morning:

“Last night was stupid… 35k at Haze… Totals 50k something the whole day.. Damn!! Going to the pool again today.. Gotta relax!”

Haze is the nightclub at Aria Resort & Casino, which is probably where I’d be if my dad was Michael Jordan and he took me to Vegas. Still, Marcus probably should’ve thought this through considering he’s not yet 21 – and it’s doubtful he dropped $21,000 to swim or $35,000 at a club to dance.

And to think UCF’s website just posted this story about how the basketball team “rarely took a day off this summer.” Hey, when these guys relax, they relax.

(Thanks to Jeff Eisenberg and Eammon Brennan)

Mike Miller’s also on Twitter @BeyndArcMMiller, usually talkin’ hoops. Click here for more.

Is there a reason rumors are flying around?

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The combination of Kentucky basketball and John Calipari can make a seemingly never-ending news cycle in Lexington. This week could be the latest example.

Potential Wildcats recruit Anthony Davis will reportedly file suit against the Chicago Sun-Times this week regarding a story that alleged the his family received $200,000 to attend Kentucky.

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Perhaps the suit will never be filed (Gary Parrish makes a compelling case for why it won’t), but it’s not preventing Big Blue Nation from getting more than a little fed up with what’s been a summer of rumors and innuendo surrounding Calipari and UK.

So what’s with all the allegations? A column by John Clay of the Lexington Herald-Leader makes the case that more people are simply willing to talk about this stuff.

“I think people are kind of tired of sitting around and watching some of these abuses, and so I think you’re starting to see that there’s more and more people that are willing to talk. I do think we have been able in the last couple years to develop much stronger information related to potential violations. … People understand that something will be done with that information, and they feel comfortable sharing it,” said Rachel Newman-Baker, Director of Agent, Gambling and Amateurism Activities for the NCAA.

Newman-Baker has a point. There’s more than just Kentucky rumors out there.
Alabama, Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina and Clemson have NCAA investigators poking around. Kansas’ new star recruit, Josh Selby, has eligibility issues. Same with Memphis’ Will Barton.

And why? Clay has an explanation:

The NCAA has to be getting some help. People are opening up.

The continuing monetary escalation in college athletics has meant more pressure to perform. It also means more accusations concerning what the other guy is doing.

The explosion of media outlets, thanks to the Internet, means there are that many more opportunities for those accusations to turn from a whisper into a scream.

If anyone’s sick of the screaming, take heart. Maybe the Internet as we know it won’t be around much longer.

Mike Miller’s also on Twitter @BeyndArcMMiller, usually talkin’ hoops. Click here for more.