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North Carolina basketball coach Roy Williams played in the Wyndham Championship golf pro-am Wednesday in Greensboro and later addressed questions about the academic scandal that has rocked the university.
The NCAA has penalized the football program with a one-year bowl ban and 15 scholarship reductions over three years following an investigation into improper benefits and academic misconduct. A school investigation has found fraud and poor oversight in 54 classes within the Department of African and Afro-American Studies from 2007 to 2011, with student-athletes making up 58 percent of the overall enrollments in those classes.
Williams told Charlotte radio station WFNZ on Wednesday that his track record is "pretty doggone good" from the 15 years he was at Kansas and the nine years he's spent at UNC.
"We know how much we emphasize the academic side in the basketball office," Williams said. "We know what our guys are majoring in. Every day we're in touch with those kids. It's something, again, I'm very proud of. Am I going to sit here and say there is absolutely no way nothing will ever happen, nothing will ever show up? We don't know what's going on every day. I've got 13 to 17 kids, counting walk-ons and things like that, but I feel really, really good about what's happened academically in the basketball program since we came back."
…In the interview with WFNZ, Williams defended the basketball program's academic approach by saying he believes every one of his UNC seniors has received a degree. Recent graduate Tyler Zeller was named the 2012 Capital One Academic All-America of the Year for men's basketball.
"We still emphasize the academic side of it a great deal, and it will always be that way," Williams told WFNZ. "You're talking to a guy who absolutely loves the University of North Carolina, and it's been that way since the fall of 1968 when I stepped on the campus. There have been some mistakes made. I don't think you can put your head in the sand and, 'Oh, we're all right, it's just people making things up.' I'm not saying that. There's been some mistakes made, and there's been some serious mistakes, but I do think some of it has been a little sensationalized."
Williams said he's bothered by what he perceives as "some sensationalism" in the media coverage as well as the problems UNC is facing and the mistakes it has made.
"I am bothered by it, I am worried about it, (I am) a little discouraged about it, to say the least, but the bottom line is there's nothing I can do about it," Williams told WFNZ. "I have some very strong opinions, but as soon as I make some strong opinions, everybody decides to take their bow and arrow, their shotgun, machine gun, the bazooka and everything out. For me, I'm going to wait and see what happens at the end and let those people that are supposed to be taking care of it take care of it. It's not something I'm enjoying, I can tell you that."
When the Pac-12 Network debuted in San Diego on Wednesday, there were more subscribers in that market to the Big Ten Network.
Don't ever underestimate the Buckeye surfer demographic.
This is not to disparage the Pac-12 Network or elevate the Big Ten Network. It is a call for calm. The Pac-12's network launched Wednesday like a digital hydra. There are seven of them bound for glory and riches, the Pac-12 believes. The media, for the most part, concurs. This space merely questions.
To this point the P12N has had their new product sufficiently promoted. Commissioner Larry Scott is brilliant and articulate. His expertise has made sure the conference will have the rights to technology that has not been invented yet.
But to date, the Big Ten Network has been the one/1/uno college-centric network that has made it.
Meanwhile, the Pac-12 Network is less than a day old. While its success has been trumpeted, like any start-up it comes with a disclaimer: long-term profitability is not assured. As of now the Big Ten Network remains the standard. It turns five this month having made a profit in its first year. It proudly attracted 30 million subscribers within 30 days of it launch. It currently has 51 million subscribers and is truly a national network
Simply put, the Big Ten Network has blood under its fingernails having hammered out cable system deals literally door-to-door in the early days.
“I do admire what the Big Ten has done …,” Pac-12 Enterprises head Gary Stevenson told the Los Angeles Daily News. “but I do think there are advantages to doing something like this from scratch.”
From scratch? Check that blood under the Big Ten fingernails. The Pac-12 Network's biggest initial advantage was knowing a conference network could be launched.
The Pac-12's national network -- there are also six regionals -- wasn't available in Orange County, Calif. on Cox Cable, one of the network's four founding partners. The OC is arguably the heart and soul of the conference's television footprint. (To be fair, the national net is available on other cable carriers and Cox is taking the Pac-12 Southern California regional network. That's their prerogative in the P12N's ala carte-type set up.)
I'm confused, and I'm not the only one. That's not necessarily bad things for the new network. It's just how you view them. And how you view them is what this college networking thing has been about. With that one major exception, they have been big on promise and short on delivery.
An NCAA investigation of Shabazz Muhammad will not be completed in time for the UCLA freshman to travel with the team for a series of exhibition games in China next week.
The university confirmed Wednesday that he will remain behind.
The 6-foot-6 swingman is the jewel of UCLA's highly touted freshman class.
The NCAA is trying to determine whether Muhammad received improper benefits from the brother of an assistant coach at his high school or from a financial planner who helped fund a summer team on which he played.
Stacey King, Harvey Grant, Mookie Blaylock and other members of Oklahoma's 1988 Final Four men's basketball team plan to gather in Norman this month for a reunion.
The second annual Sooner Basketball Family Weekend will feature a golf classic and a scholarship fund dinner on Friday, Aug. 24, to be followed by a legends alumni game on Saturday, Aug. 25.
The golf tournament at the Jimmie Austin OU Course in Norman is open to the public, although a $200 per person entry fee is required. The 1988 basketball team, which lost in the national championship game to Kansas, will be honored at the Wayman Tisdale Scholarship Fund Dinner at Lloyd Noble Center. The dinner is $50 per person.
The legends basketball game Saturday will be open free to the public.
Ten players from the Final Four team, plus coach Billy Tubbs and his assistants, are expected to attend the events.
Tad Boyle and the Buffs toured the Louvre in Paris.
Their game wasn't a work of art.
Colorado opened its five-game exhibition tour of Europe with an 86-73 loss to the AMW France Elite "Pro A" All-Stars on Tuesday night at the Stade Pierre de Coubertin.
The same two teams play again Thursday at 12:30 p.m.
According to CU's statistician, sophomores Spencer Dinwiddie and Askia Booker each scored 13 points to lead the Buffs.
The Pac-12's reigning rebounding king, junior forward Andre Roberson, picked up where he left off in March with 11 points and 20 rebounds.
AMW's Kevin Sepharin led all scorers with 24 points. Michel Toti and Ada Sane chipped-in with 16 and 14 points, respectively for the home team, which is coming off a two-game sweep of Kansas.
The Kansas State basketball team didn’t play its final scheduled exhibition game of a week-long trip through Brazil on Wednesday. The game was canceled because of scheduling conflicts, according to a news release issued by K-State.
The Wildcats will fill the remainder of their time in Brazil with additional team and cultural activities.
“Obviously, we’re disappointed with not being able to play a fifth game,” coach Bruce Weber said. “It’s just part of being on an international trip. There are a lot of things that are just out of your control.”
ESPN Tip-Off Marathon schedule
2012-13 Early Season Events List
Quotes that stuck:
“If 60 percent of AAU coaches are tied into agents, the other 40 are trying to get tied in.”
“Tell me, at this point, what's the difference between what Nike/Adidas/Under Armour's [people are] doing and whatever an agent can do.”
“All AAU teams should be non-profit organizations that have to file. Where they get money from should be publicly available.”
“Some have been around for so long and are really great programs. But others have come up in the past 10 years, and I don't know how viable they are. Take a look. There's gotta be a reason why all these people do this, and it's not to spend their own money.”
“I'll say 100 percent. No, that's not fair. It might not be 100 percent. Put me down for 99 percent.”
“Most sponsored AAU programs have some relationship with an agent or representative from an agency. It gets tricky with family advisors and people on the periphery.”
CBS series Critical Coaches
Indiana recruit Ron Patterson, one of five members of the program's highly touted 2012-13 recruiting class, will not attend the school this fall.
The recruit will transfer after failing to meet the school's academic requirements. Coach Tom Crean issued a statement wishing Patterson well and promised to be "supportive" of whatever he chooses to do.
Patterson will seek a spot at another four-year college or prep school, where he could enroll in a postgraduate year.
The loss alleviates Indiana's scholarship crunch, which until Wednesday included nine returning scholarship players and five incoming recruits, one more than the NCAA maximum of 13. Patterson's departure brings Indiana to 13 total scholarships for the 2012-13 season.
SLAM Big Strick Classic Recap
Karviar Shepherd, 6-9, C, Grace Prep (Texas)
It was a case of out of sight, out of mind for Shepherd (pictured), as he sat out his junior season of high school following a transfer to Grace Prep. There weren’t any signs of rust in Shepherd’s playing during the spring and summer, as he showed himself to be a highly-skilled, true post player worthy of recruitment at the high-major level. A double bonus for college coaches is that his teammate at Grace Prep, power forward Jordan Mickey, is also a high-major prospect. There are only a handful of centers in the 2013 class who can step in and play heavy minutes as freshmen, and Shepherd appears to be one.
Aaron Gordon told SNY.tv at the Peach Jam — won by the Soldiers over CIA Bounce — that Washington was his leader, ahead of Arizona and Kentucky.
So, could Gordon and Bird end up together playing for head coach Lorenzo Romar?
“Yeah, we definitely mentioned it to each other all the time,” Bird said. “We hopefully plan on going to the same school on the college level, which is one of the reasons why Washington is one of my favorites.”
At the Peach Jam, the 6-9 Gordon told SNY.tv:
“Washington’s a really good school. I love Romar. I also like [Kentucky coach John] Calipari a lot. I like [Arizona coach] Sean Miller. I like all those guys. There’s no really No. 1. Those are very close to my top three.”
Mayes had another reason to return to New Haven: his stepson, Xavier Rathan-Mayes, attended and played at Cheshire Academy in 2008-09.
Xavier, who grew up in Toronto with his mom, Marilyn, is now at Huntington Prep in West Virginia, where he’s emerged as one of the top Class of 2013 shooting guards in the country. Numerous programs (including UConn) are recruiting the 6-foot-3 sharpshooter, and he’s planning on committing early in November.
It’s a process his stepdad , who was recruiting by many top programs (UConn, Syracuse, Providence, among others), is familiar with — though once again, Mayes believes it’s even more difficult nowadays.
“It’s tough,” Mayes said. “He’s getting calls from everywhere. I think he’s finally got it down to five or six schools he’s interested in.”
Those schools are Florida State, UConn, Memphis, Baylor, Alabama and UCLA. He’s already taken an unofficial to UConn and may take an official trip this fall, though Mayes is wary of whether Jim Calhoun will still be there next season.
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