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Tuesday, September 18, 2018

College Basketball

Governor of Kentucky hammers Rick Pitino over book claims

Rick Pitino

Disgraced Louisville coach Rick Pitino is out with a new book that seems to blame everyone but himself for his ouster at Louisville — including the Governor of Kentucky.

In “Pitino: My Story,” which the ex-coach is promoting, Pitino claims that Gov. Matt Bevin was at odds with former Louisville athletics director Tom Jurich, claiming that Bevin did not see eye-to-eye with the AD over issues relating to both the arena and the school’s Adidas contract. Pitino argues that Bevin wanted Jurich out of his role — and Pitino as well by extension, as the coach was an ally of the athletic director.

Bevin responded Wednesday in no uncertain terms.

“Here’s a guy who also excelled at many levels, both at UK and at U of L — not so much, a little bit of a sad chapter there with the Celtics — but in general a guy who has been up and down and mostly up,” Bevin told NewsRadio 840 WHAS, via Jared Peck of the Lexington Herald-Leader. “And now, he just sounds like a desperate, angry, bitter person, who wants to lay blame everywhere but at his own feet, which is where, frankly, so much of it belongs.”

Pitino was brought down by allegations of illegal payments to players, which he has denied knowing about. In general, he has cast blame elsewhere for the scandal and fallout, even though the federal indictments in the case tell a very different story than what Pitino has sold.

Wake Forest basketball coach charged in death of tourist

Wake Forest

A Wake Forest Demon Deacons basketball assistant coach has been charged with assault in the death of a tourist in Queens.

According to a story from the New York Post, a Boca Raton man was in Long Island City for his stepsister’s wedding. The man, Sabor Szabo, allegedly was drunk and banging on cars outside the hotel where his brother was staying as he was looking for a ride he had called early Sunday morning.

The Post says a local resident came out to see what was going on and was punched in the face by Szabo. Jamill Jones, who is an assistant coach for the Wake Forest basketball team, allegedly punched Szabo in the head, causing him to hit his head on the ground. Szabo later died from his injuries.

The Post says that Jones turned himself in to authorities on Thursday.

Report: USA Basketball, NBA ‘blindsided’ by new NCAA agent rule

Adam Silver

The NCAA attracted a lot of attention Wednesday by announcing that they would permit a pool of “elite” high school and college talent to hire agents. It appears, however, that the new policy may be emptier than it initially looked.

According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, the NCAA’s announcement doesn’t appear to hold a lot of water. The announcement that USA Basketball would determine which players would be permitted to hire agents apparently “blindsided” both that organization, who are not viewed as prepared to handle such a responsibility. There is some dissatisfaction with the announcement both from USA Basketball and the NBA.

Jonathan Givony of DraftExpress further notes that high schoolers won’t even be permitted agents until the NBA changes its age limit, which looks to be at least three years away from happening.

The NCAA policy attracted a lot of attention on Twitter, but ultimately it appears to be questionably implemented and very unclear to certain parties involved.

Twitter reacts to NCAA allowing basketball players to have agents


The NCAA announced on Wednesday some significant policy changes that will alter the landscape of college basketball, and they should be a step in the right direction for the future of collegiate athletics.

The most notable change is that “elite” high school and college players will now be able to have agent representation. It’s not exactly clear what criteria will be used to determine if a player has “elite” status, but Jeff Goodman reports that the initial proposal was that USA Basketball would make the determination.

In addition to players now being permitted to hire agents, said players will also be allowed to declare for the NBA Draft and return to school if they are not selected. The NCAA has also expanded the number of visits high schoolers can take to college campuses and will allow agents to cover certain expenses. You can read more about the significant changes here, but Twitter has already been set ablaze with reactions:

Of course, everything the NCAA does is going to be met with a great deal of skepticism. It seems strange that the new rules regarding agents and draft status only apply to basketball, and that is likely something that is going to need to be addressed down the road. The FBI is still investigating widespread fraud involving payments to top college and high school basketball players, so this is likely an attempt to combat some of that.

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Twitter reacts to Zion Williamson’s unreal measurements

Zion Williamson

Zion Williamson will probably be a slightly intimidating sight rumbling down the lane for Duke next season.

On Tuesday, news spread that the freshman star was being listed at a ridiculous 6-foot-7 and 285 pounds on the Blue Devils’ official website.

Those Herculean measurements, especially for an 18-year-old kid, elicited a lot of dumbfounded reactions from Twitter. Here were some of the best ones:


Watch: Indiana’s Justin Smith sets record with 48-inch vertical

Indiana forward Justin Smith is proving that gravity is for losers.

The 6-foot-7 sophomore broke an all-time school record with an unreal 48-inch max vertical this week. Smith’s jump easily shattered Victor Oladipo’s old record of 42 inches and tied the NBA Combine record as well. Have a look:

The 19-year-old Smith averaged 6.5 points and 3.2 rebounds in 14.9 minutes per game for the Hoosiers last season as a freshman. He could be in line for an increased role next season now that senior forwards Freddie McSwain and Collin Hartman have graduated.

Between Smith and another flashy attraction, head coach Archie Miller should have a deep and entertaining team to compete in the Big Ten this coming year.

Oregon State athletics suspend partnership with Papa John’s

Papa John

The hits keep on coming for Papa John’s Pizza.

Oregon State Athletics announced on Monday that they have suspended their relationship with sponsor Papa John’s. Their decision is due to what they called “derogatory and insensitive comments” made by the pizza chain’s founder, John Schnatter.

News emerged last week that Schnatter used the N-word during a conference call earlier in the year. The fallout from the report included Schnatter resigning as board chairman and having his name removed from Louisville’s football stadium.

In the past year, the NFL and Papa John’s ended a sponsorship deal, while MLB suspended a promotion with the company. The pizza company can still have deals with individual teams and schools, but some are choosing to make changes to that.

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