“It went very well,” KU associate athletic director Jim Marchiony said of Tuesday’s return. “Everybody’s a little tired, but it was a great trip.”
Chicago freshmen Milt Doyle and Jamari Traylor remained in the Windy City to spend a few days with relatives before start of first-semester classes Monday. Senior Elijah Johnson and sophomore Naadir Tharpe caught flights in Chicago to Las Vegas and Boston, respectively.
…“Basketball-wise it meant a lot,” said freshman forward Perry Ellis, who averaged 10.3 points and 5.5 rebounds in 14.5 minutes per game over four games. “For a lot of us it was our first time coming overseas. Getting together and bonding ... it was a good experience for us. We always want to win, but still it was a good experience for us.”
“In the locker room, the players all talked about how this is a learning experience,” noted frosh forward Zach Peters, who averaged 5.0 points and 6.3 boards in 14.5 minutes a game. “We have a lot of guys rotating in and everybody is going to learn. What we talked about is how we are working toward March. It’s not about right now. We’ve still got to stay positive and play harder. We’re going to stay positive on it,” Peters added.
Noted senior center Jeff Withey, who averaged 10 points and 8 rebounds while logging 22 minutes a game in three games, said: “We’re going to build off this. It’s only going to get better. It’s going to be a long time before we are all playing great together. It’s going to happen.”
The Jayhawks’ next formal team activity will be Boot Camp conditioning near the end of September. Late Night in the Phog will be the official start of practice on Oct. 12 in Allen Fieldhouse.
The best student-athlete performances of the 2011-12 school year – on and off the field of play – will be celebrated by Kansas Athletics at the Rock Chalk Choice Awards, an Academy Awards-like celebration, set for Sept. 9 at the Lied Center of Kansas.
Plans call for a red-carpet entrance followed by a reception before the night’s featured awards ceremony in the Auditorium. Accolades in seven different categories will be unveiled and special student-athlete academic achievements will be recognized throughout the evening. Due to space limitations at the Lied Center the event is by invitation only and limited to athletic department staff, student-athletes, KU faculty and selected dignitaries.
The full-scale production will feature numerous video features and highlights and theatrical opening and closing numbers.
“We’re looking forward to highlighting our academic success as well as introducing new awards that showcase the achievements of our student-athletes in the classroom, in the community and in their respective sports,” Associate Athletics Director for Student-Athlete Development Jane Widger Fulton said.
Kansas student-athletes and teams have been nominated by coaches and their peers for the Jayhawker Award, Best Jayhawk in a Supporting Role, The Crimson Climb Award, True Blue Award and the Rock Chalk Moment Award. Furthermore, a Kansas Male and Female Athlete of the Year will be awarded. Presenters and award nominees will be announced over the next four weeks.
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Kansas 2012-13 Schedule
Big 12/College News
Think about that. UNC football -- and probably basketball -- is going down, and it'll go down in part because a member of the PackPride message board found a damaging transcript belonging to a former UNC athlete. Humiliating, and not just because the whistle was blown by a fan of N.C. State, a school many UNC graduates look down upon.
Humiliating also because it underscores just how ignorant North Carolina wanted to be. UNC officials didn't want to know what was happening, so they stuck their heads in the dirt -- and it just got worse. How bad?
Maybe the ugliest academic scandal in NCAA history.
This one is worse than what happened in 2007 at Florida State. I mean, it's not even close. Florida State had some numbers that looked bad -- 61 athletes from 10 different teams -- but this UNC scandal dwarfs it.
FSU had 61 tainted players, almost all from the same class.
North Carolina has at least 54 tainted classes.
How many athletes were given free grades from the Department of African and Afro-American Studies? We don't know. UNC never wanted to find out, but the school has no choice now. The school mustered a halfhearted search for the truth earlier this year when it found those 54 tainted classes, but its search went back only to 2007. Despite efforts from the Raleigh News & Observer that suggested otherwise, the school held firm that the academic fraud started in 2007.
Enter the N.C. State fan and the found transcript. It belonged to former UNC two-sport star Julius Peppers.
It was from 2001.
See what we have here? We have evidence not only of grades being given to athletes for at least a decade -- but also that UNC academic support staff steered athletes to those classes. This can't be dismissed as the rogue actions of a man named Julius Nyang'oro, the embattled former head of the Department of African and Afro-American Studies. If it was just him, well, that could be explained away to a certain extent. The school would be vulnerable to NCAA sanctions, but one man running amok? That's not horrible.
What actually happened at North Carolina?
This is horrible.
Academic advisers steering athletes to Nyang'oro's department. Athletes staying eligible by getting grades in some classes that didn't even exist. Athletes who played football and men's basketball.
Did the coaches know? Well, ask yourself this: Are we to believe that academic advisers were steering famous athletes to bogus classes behind the backs of the millionaire coaches who recruited, coached and needed those athletes to remain eligible?
Answers are coming, but already we know this: The scandal spanned the decade from 2001-11. Know what happened that decade? The UNC men's basketball team played in three Final Fours. It won national titles in 2005 and '09.
Did any players on those NCAA championship teams attend bogus classes? According to the News & Observer, almost 67 percent of the students in those 54 classes were athletes. Most played football, but the newspaper reported that UNC records showed "basketball players had also enrolled. In two of the classes, the sole enrollee was a basketball player."
See, this is so much worse than what happened at Florida State -- and Florida State vacated two seasons of saintly Bobby Bowden's victories, suffered scholarship restrictions and received four years of probation.
Shabazz Muhammad, the high-rated freshman on UCLA's basketball team, is expected to stay behind when the Bruins travel to China for an exhibition tour next week, according to a person with knowledge of the situation.
The NCAA is investigating the circumstances of Muhammad's recruitment and that process is unlikely to be finished before the team leaves Los Angeles for Beijing on Aug. 22, said the person, who was not authorized to discuss the matter because of the inquiry. Muhammad would remain behind and attend classes, the person said.
UCLA officials had no immediate comment Tuesday night, and Coach Ben Howland did not return a text message seeking comment.
NCAA officials have spoken with Muhammad but have yet to speak with his family, the person said.
Canadian Joel Anthony developed at UNLV before reaching the NBA with the Miami Heat and winning a championship. The Rebels have a pair of high-profile Canadians on the roster in Pittsburgh transfer Khem Birch and McDonald’s All-American Anthony Bennett.
So, yes, the pipeline from Canada to UNLV is already strong. Rice plans on further spreading the UNLV brand during the tour.
“We are going to an area where we certainly had success recruiting with Khem Birch and Anthony Bennett,” Rice said. “I’ve always believed UNLV is a global name. To be able to take our Runnin’ Rebel basketball program, and to represent a great university and great community, to do that in a foreign country is an exciting time for us.”
Neither Bennett nor Birch will play in Canada — Birch isn’t eligible until after the first semester following his transfer; Bennett was not cleared in time.
Las Vegas Sun
There has been excitement around the Tulsa basketball team since Danny Manning was hired as head coach in the offseason and now there is even more reason to look forward to the season with the release of a stout 2012-13 schedule.
The Golden Hurricane schedule features 10 teams that posted at least 20 victories last season and a total of 10 schools who participated in postseason tournaments.
The Hurricane will play five schools who went to the NCAA Tournament – Wichita State, Creighton, Florida State, Memphis and Southern Mississippi. Tulsa will take on three schools from last season's NIT in Oral Roberts, Marshall and Central Florida. Tulsa will also play TCU, which played in the College Basketball Invitational Tournament, and Rice, which played in the CollegeInsider.com tournament.
"We are very pleased with the schedule we have put together in our first year," Manning said in a press release. "With 10 post-season teams and five NCAA Tournament opponents, this young team will be tested every night on the court. They'll have to grow up quickly, but that is why we worked hard during July and August, and will play the four Canadian exhibition games this week. I believe our non-conference schedule, especially with road contests at Creighton and Wichita State and a neutral site game against Florida State, will challenge and prepare our team for Conference USA play."
As the Big East prepares to negotiate a television contract that could make or break the conference, it has chosen a man who has been part of some of the biggest media rights deals in college sports to be its new commissioner.
The Big East on Tuesday hired CBS executive vice president Mike Aresco as it continues to rebuild from a tumultuous year of defections.
"I'm not daunted by it all. I embrace the challenge," Aresco told the AP in a telephone interview. "I would not be on the sidelines. I believe the reconstituted conference really has vast potential."
Aresco has been a vice president in charge of programming for CBS since 1996. He's handled the network's contract negotiations with the NCAA for the rights to the men's basketball tournament, and negotiated CBS's 15-year deal with the Southeastern Conference.
A Connecticut native who resides in Southport, Conn., Aresco worked for ESPN for 12 years before his long run at CBS. He has never worked for a conference or university, but his experience lies in the field where the Big East needs the most help.
ESPN Tip-Off Marathon schedule
2012-13 Early Season Events List
…Marcus Lee, a 6-10 senior forward from Antioch (Calif.) Deer Valley High, will visit UCLA this weekend and Cal-Berkeley on Sept. 1, SNY.tv reports. The country’s No. 33-rated player also has KU, Duke, Kentucky, Louisville and Indiana on his list.
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