Big 12/College News
A fundraising position at UNC-Chapel Hill filled by Tami Hansbrough was the result of direct efforts by Matt Kupec, the university’s chief fundraiser who was also in a relationship with her, a top university administrator acknowledged in an interview Tuesday.
The $95,000-a-year job for Hansbrough was also funded by Kupec’s office, said Winston Crisp, the university’s vice chancellor for student affairs.
The job for Hansbrough, who is the mother of former UNC basketball star Tyler Hansbrough, is listed on organizational charts as being part of Crisp’s office – an arrangement approved by Crisp and UNC-CH Chancellor Holden Thorp that allowed the university to bypass concerns about the relationship and move Hansbrough into the job.
…Four weeks ago, The News & Observer began seeking records related to the travel, but the university has not yet provided the records.
Kupec’s resignation has added to the string of embarrassing revelations at UNC-CH, which include a yearlong investigation into academic fraud involving athletes in the school’s Department of African and Afro-American Studies. Thorp recently turned to former Gov. Jim Martin to lead an independent probe, and the State Bureau of Investigation is also on the case.
Kupec’s relationship with Hansbrough raises questions about the mother of a basketball star getting two jobs at the university, and it has brought to light Tami Hansbrough’s past activities in Mississippi, where another of her sons was playing basketball in 2007.
…Tami Hansbrough, who was divorced, had moved from Missouri to live near Mississippi State University, where her son Ben played basketball in 2007.
Lisa Fritz alleged in court documents that beginning in 2007, Hansbrough had seduced Fritz’s husband, leading to his separation from her in early 2008 and then divorce. Fritz, who could not be reached Tuesday, alleged emotional distress and sought damages.
By the middle of 2008, Ben Hansbrough transferred to Notre Dame, and Tami Hansbrough has said she started looking to be closer to Tyler in Chapel Hill as he began his senior season with the Tar Heels.
The ongoing saga of Texas Tech basketball coach Billy Gillispie has taken a new level of twists and turns.
Gillispie on Tuesday afternoon checked himself into the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., where he is being treated for stress and high blood pressure, “amongst other things,” he told the Avalanche-Journal in a text message.
Back in Lubbock, assistant coach Chris Walker has temporarily been put in charge of the day-to-day operations of the program, Athletic Director Kirby Hocutt said in a statement late Tuesday. Walker is not receiving an “interim” tag, but he has been placed in charge until Gillispie’s status is determined.
“We hope Billy Gillispie has a full recovery,” Hocutt said in the statement, “but we cannot wait forever as we have a basketball team that starts practice soon. In the meantime, Associate Head Coach Chris Walker will assume the responsibility for day-to-day operations of our men’s basketball program. Coach Walker will help ensure that leadership and accountability will be in place for our student-athletes, assistant coaches and staff.”
If the NCAA intends to investigate whether or not Lance Thomas received any extra benefits that allowed him to purchase nearly $100,000 in jewelry, the organization better start soon.
Duke must receive a notice of allegations from the NCAA with the charges and what bylaws the enforcement staff feels were broken before the organization’s four-year statute of limitations expires. There are exceptions, including cases involving current student-athletes, a lack of institutional control or a pattern of violations that predates the statute of limitations, but it does not appear that any of those will apply, according to NCAA compliance expert John Infante.
“It doesn’t look like any of those are present, at least based on the facts right now,” said Infante, a former assistant director of compliance at Colorado State who now writes a blog on compliance issues. “So the NCAA would need to do this within the coming year or so.”
…In addition to the truncated timeline, the NCAA faces other hurdles in gathering information, Infante said. Since Thomas is no longer under the NCAA’s purview, he is not required to talk to the organization and also cannot be forced to talk. And since the NCAA does not have subpoena power, Rafaello & Co. or any other involved party cannot be made to talk either.
When asked, Rafaello & Co. declined to speak with the NCAA since the matter is the subject of ongoing litigation, said Mike Bowers, the jewelers’ lawyer.
“If everybody keeps their mouth shut and everybody refuses to talk to the NCAA, and by everybody I mean Thomas and the jeweler and whoever might have provided him this $30,000 if it did come from someone else, then there’s not much the NCAA can do if they don’t get information,” Infante said.
Thomas, then in the middle of his senior year, signed a purchase agreement stating that he would pay the remaining $67,300 balance on the jewelry in 15 days. He did not have a co-signer on the purchase agreement, Bowers said.
Sonny Vaccaro, one of college sports' most influential and polarizing figures of the past 30 years, said the NCAA faces a seminal test in how it chooses to handle cases of alleged wrongdoing that potentially threaten two of the nation's preeminent men's basketball programs: North Carolina and Duke.
"Pull back the curtain and the wizard is not there," Vaccaro said of the schools over lunch Monday. "They are all the same . . . The NCAA does not have the guts to do the right thing for everyone. They do it for a chosen few. The rules are made according to them, for them."
Said the NCAA's Stacey Osburn in an email Monday to USA TODAY Sports: "Sonny is wrong. Member institutions make the rules and expect that all schools abide by them. When they don't, there are consequences, regardless of who is involved."
K.T. Turner grew up watching Allen Iverson and Anfernee Hardaway wow college recruiters. He grew up watching his father coach with Dana Altman at Kansas State and if those experiences don’t set a path, then nothing will.
“I knew I wanted to coach when I was 10 years old,” Turner said. “Some guys want to be NBA players. I wanted to be a college coach.”
Turner, hired in June, is the newest addition to Wichita State’s men’s basketball coaching staff. Previously an assistant coach at Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, he jumped at the chance to return to Kansas. Ken Turner, his father, coached at Kansas State under Altman from 1990-94. K.T. played (for Tim Jankovich) and coached (for Steve Eck) at Hutchinson Community College. Wichita State coach Gregg Marshall doesn’t hire people he doesn’t know. Turner caught his attention when the Shockers recruited Hutchinson players. None came to WSU, but Marshall noticed the professional, personable way Turner dealt with himself and his coaches.
“I was looking for someone who was going to put down some roots,” Marshall said. “I really was looking for some stability, a young guy who would be excited to be here and not use it as a stepping stone at the first opportunity.”
Kansas State will play Lamar in the opening round of the NIT Season Tip-Off on Nov. 12 in Manhattan, Kan. The NIT announced the tournament pairings on Tuesday.
Alabama-Huntsville and North Texas are the other teams in the Manhattan regional, and will play at Bramlage Coliseum following the K-State-Lamar game. The winners will meet on Nov. 13 at Bramlage for a spot in the NIT semifinals Nov. 21 in New York. The NIT final is Nov. 23.
Lamar is the reigning Southland Conference champion. North Texas lost in last season’s Sun Belt championship game, and Alabama-Huntsville is an NCAA Division II school that has reached the Division II Elite Eight the last two season.
The NCAA is reviewing the initial eligibility of freshman Maryland basketball guard Sam Cassell Jr., according to a source familiar with the situation.
The timetable for a decision is uncertain.
Losing Cassell would be a blow to Maryland, which had counted him among a handful of players who comprise one of its best basketball recruiting classes in years. The class has the chance to make a swift impact on a Terps team that was depth-challenged and faded last season, finishing 17-15.
ESPN Tip-Off Marathon schedule
2012-13 Early Season Events List
9/11/12 12:32 PM
Coach Bill Self just left Melrose high school and he stayed for 2hrs talking basketball helping me improve as a coach! Great guy!!!
Anthony “Cat” Barber will likely choose from among three schools, legendary AAU coach Boo Williams told SNY.tv Tuesday night.
“He’s going to probably decide between Kansas and Alabama and N.C. State,” Williams said.
Dave Telep of ESPN.com reported earlier that Louisville was no longer recruiting Barber, a top point guard out of Hampton (Va.) High.
“I don’t know what happened,” Williams said in confirming the news.
Barber visited Louisville last weekend, has N.C. State (Sept. 14-16) and Alabama (Sept. 21-23). He visited Kansas Aug. 31.
Barber and AAU teammate Troy Williams have talked about possibly playing together at Alabama or Louisville, but now Louisville appears to be out of the mix.
Kansas is not actively recruiting Williams, so that would leave Alabama. Head coach Anthony Grant is due to meet with Williams Friday at Oak Hill.
Marcus Lee, the highly sought after forward from Antioch (Calif.) Deer Valley, has cut his list to three schools, Kentucky, Louisville and Cal, his brother, Brian, confirmed to SNY.tv Tuesday night.
“Yes, so he can focus on school and being in the gym,” Brian said of the cut.
The news was first reported by Jason McCleary on Twitter.
The 6-foot-9 Lee had previously considered Indiana, Duke, UCLA and Kansas. He will not take any of his planned visits to those schools.
Kentucky coach John Calipari brought the "wow" factor on the first day of Prestonwood Christian (Plano, Texas) forward Julius Randle's in-home visits, whipping out his 2012 national championship ring.
Well, after our report of Randle and his mother Carolyn Kyles being wildly impressed with Calipari's bling, North Carolina coach Roy Williams came prepared to one-up Calipari.
"More like 31-up," Randle said.
During his presentation Tuesday night, Williams opened a case of 30 rings -- everything from conference titles to Final Four berths to national titles -- that he'd collected over the years.
"When coach Williams opened the case you almost couldn't look directly in it for fear of going blind," Randle joked. "It was crazy."
Added Kyles: "Yeah, coach Williams was ready for coach Cal with those rings. He got him there."
Once he'd achieved the wide-eyed reaction he hoped for, Williams added the exclamation point, reaching into his pocket and pulling out Michael Jordan's 1992 NBA championship ring he won with the Chicago Bulls.
"He said Jordan gave it to him to show his players what they could achieve with hard work and determination," Randle said. "I was just shocked. I couldn't believe I was holding Jordan's ring."
When asked if Jordan's ring was better than Calipari's, Randle frowned up, did a double-take and said, "Come on now. It's Jordan. No comparison."
Five-star Michigan wing player James Young has narrowed his list of potential colleges to five, is set to begin in-home visits with college recruiters and is in the process of determining dates to make campus visits, his godfather said last week.
Young, a 6-foot-6 player who is considered a consensus top-10 senior, is now focused on, in alphabetical order, Arizona, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan State and Syracuse, his godfather, Sean Mahone, said an in interview last Tuesday.
At that time Mahone was unsure of the exact schedule of in-home visits but expected them to start today and extend for several days.
My 2012 KU Alumni games, 2011-12 Border War, Legends of the Phog, KC Prep Invitational, & Jayhawk Invitational Videos and more now on YouTube