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Williams’ decision comes a month after announcing his intentions to enter the NBA Draft, which left the possibility of him deciding to return without breaking NCAA rules. But once an agent is hired, the player’s college eligibility is forfeited.
Aaron Turner will represent Williams, who’s also the agent of former Baylor forward Taurean Prince. One of Turner’s five clients according to realgm.com is guard Terry Rozier, a member of the Boston Celtics.
An attorney representing two ex-North Carolina athletes says the school and NCAA are both responsible for UNC's long-running academic fraud scandal that he says denied athletes a quality education.
Michael Hausfeld said Tuesday in a hearing in federal court that athletes who took even one of the irregular courses had been defrauded. Hausfeld is one of the attorneys representing ex-women's basketball player Rashanda McCants and ex-football player Devon Ramsay, who filed a lawsuit alleging neither defendant did enough to ensure athletes received a quality education.
"The essence of this lawsuit is not about easy classes or friendly professors," Hausfeld said. "It's about academic fraud as opposed to academic integrity."
The school and NCAA are seeking to have the case dismissed, while UNC is also seeking the dismissal of a related lawsuit filed by two other ex-athletes: football player Michael McAdoo and women's basketball player Kenya McBee. District Court Judge Loretta C. Biggs heard arguments in both cases that seek class-action status during an all-day court session Tuesday, asked questions of the attorneys but didn't immediately issue a ruling.
Fox is close to signing a deal that gives it half of the Big Ten’s available media rights package, according to several sources. Deal terms still are flexible – both in terms of money and rights. However, the two sides have agreed on basic terms that will give Fox the rights to around 25 football games and 50 basketball games that it will carry on both the broadcast channel and FS1 starting in the fall of '17. The deal runs six years and could cost Fox as much as $250M per year, depending on the amount of rights the Big Ten conference puts in its second package.
The Fox deal essentially is half of the package of games that had been with ESPN (as part of a 10-year, $1B deal that expires next spring) and CBS (as part of a 6-year, $72M basketball-only deal that also expires next spring). The Big Ten will return to the market to solicit bids on the second half of the package. The conference has the flexibility to allow for another network or two to pick up that half. ESPN will be one of several TV networks engaged for the second half of the Big Ten’s package, along with the usual suspects of CBS, NBC and Turner.
The second package also is expected to include around 25 football and 50 basketball games. The package also could include rights to the football championship games every other year, though sources caution that the rights in the second package are flexible and could include more – or less – games.
This past weekend, the University of North Carolina’s business school hosted a Basketball Analytics Summit, aptly named the “SPEIA Basketball Analytics Summit.” Featured speakers included Ken Pomeroy and Dr. Patrick Lucey of STATS. Here are a few takeaways from the summit relating specifically to college basketball and technological advances that make scouting easier.
— I went to a talk by Martin Matak, the founder of VERT. VERT is an advanced wearable jump technology that provides coaches and players with real-time data for injury prevention, motivation and performance. One of the main selling points of the talk was injury prevention for athletes, but wearables like VERT will also have an impact in scouting.
Matak shared an anecdote about Peyton Silva at last year’s combine. While doing the vertical jump, Silva was wearing a VERT device. His numbers were lower on the official combine recordings than the VERT device showed because he mis-hit the thing at the top of his jump that told combine officials how high he jumped. He wanted to use the VERT data, but he couldn’t because the company wasn’t combine approved last year. Wearables will be approved soon at combines and could change how scouts look at college players. There will be a lot more data and more accurate data on jump height and even on more advanced things like jump load and G-Force. Look for wearables to be more present within the next few years.
— Dr. Patrick Lucey of STATS made a lot of interesting points over the weekend. At one point on Saturday, he entertained the discussion of all college teams getting SportVU cameras like all 30 NBA teams do. Now, there are a lot of logistical and expensive challenges with that, and I think it’s a ways away. Also, there’s the question of whether college teams even want the SportVU data — some NBA teams don’t use it. But if colleges did get SportVU data, that would be really helpful for pro scouts trying to look at how college players’ games would transition to the NBA. Again, this is a few years away, but it could change the scouting process, making it more quantitative for NBA front office types.
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Romeo Langford picked up an offer from Kansas on Monday morning. On Monday evening, Duke offered the New Albany sophomore star.
The 6-4 Langford is one of the nation's top prospects, coming off a season in which he led New Albany to a Class 4A state championship last month as a sophomore. He was the top vote-getter for the Associated Press all-state team as he averaged 29.3 points, 9.3 rebounds and 3.0 assists per game.
Langford is ranked No. 4 nationally in the recently-revised Scout.com national rankings for the 2018 class. He had previously picked up offers from Indiana, IUPUI, Louisville, Purdue, UCLA and Vanderbilt.
Kansas University basketball coach Bill Self has offered a scholarship to Bishop Miege freshman Jeremiah Robinson-Earl, the son of former KU player Lester Earl, Rivals.com’s Eric Bossi reported Tuesday.
…Miege’s Bol Bol, the son of the late Manute Bol, also has received a scholarship offer from KU. The 6-foot-11 sophomore scored 14 points in the state-title game.
“Robinson has a chance to be a nationally elite prospect and reminds me a lot of Perry Ellis at the same age,” Bossi writes, noting Creighton has offered and Kentucky, North Carolina and Iowa “have all reached out.”
…Self reportedly visited with Jarrett Allen, a 6-10 senior forward from St. Stephens Episcopal School in Austin, Texas, on Tuesday night. KU, Texas and Houston have been mentioned the most in the recruitment of Allen, ranked No. 20 nationally in the Class of 2016 by Rivals.com. Today, Rivals.com’s Bossi says Self will visit Chuma Okeke, a 6-7 junior forward from Westlake High in Atlanta who is ranked No. 62 in the Class of 2017 by Rivals.com.
Miami is not the only team after Derryck Thornton, but it appears the Hurricanes are one of them.
Jim Larranaga, who is looking for help at point guard, reportedly made a trip to Durham, N.C. on Tuesday to meet with Thornton, a former five-star recruit who is transferring from Duke. Larranaga said in his season-ending press conference he would spend this month recruiting. Among his needs: point guards and big men.
Thornton (6-2, 175), rated 17th nationally and third among point guards in the 2015 class by ESPN, is hearing from heavy hitters. Kansas’ Bill Self and USC’s Andy Enfield were there yesterday, according to reports.
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