Scandal leads to formation of commission
The NCAA said it will form a commission to study the inner workings of college basketball in response a federal investigation into bribery and fraud that rocked the sport and implicated several assistant coaches.
The NCAA announced the commission Wednesday and said former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice will lead the committee.
“We need to do right by student-athletes,” NCAA president Mark Emmert said in a statement. “I believe we can — and we must — find a way to protect the integrity of college sports by addressing both sides of the coin: fairness and opportunity for college athletes, coupled with the enforcement capability to hold accountable those who undermine the standards of our community.”
Emmert said the NCAA needs to quickly make “substantive changes” in the way it operates. He said the changes will focus on the relationships between the NCAA, schools, athletes and coaches with outside entities like shoe companies and agents. He said the committee also will examine the effects of the so-called “one and done” rule that prompts players on a pro track to play in college for one season, as well as college basketball’s broad relationship with the NBA.
The commission will begin its work in November and deliver its recommendations on legislative, policy and structural changes by April. Other members of the commission include Association of American Universities president Mary Sue Coleman, Florida athletic director emeritus Jeremy Foley, Hofstra athletic director Jeffrey Hathaway, Atlanta Hawks owner/ vice chairman Grant Hill, USA Basketball chairman Gen. Martin Dempsey, Notre Dame president Rev. John Jenkins, retired basketball coach Mike Montgomery, Georgia Tech president Bud Peterson, former basketball star David Robinson, former White House counsel Kathryn Ruemmler, Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith and National Association of Basketball Coaches board member John Thompson III.
TSU picked to sweep SWAC
Perhaps it’s a testament to Texas Southern having won the SWAC regularseason basketball title the past three years or how accomplished Tigers coach Mike Davis is as a recruiter that TSU is picked to repeat as league champion.
The Tigers, who also won the conference tournament a year ago, are still talented. But they had three seniors transfer, including SWAC Player of the Year Zach Lofton to New Mexico State.
“It’s going to be a big adjustment for us this year. I’m still trying to figure why they put us number one,” said Davis, whose Tigers were 23-12 last seaosn, including and 16-2 in the SWAC. “We’re not sure what we’re going to be.”
TSU is the preseason choice to win the SWAC in a poll of the league’s coaches and sports information directors announced Wednesday.
Named to the preseason first team from TSU is guard Demontrae Jefferson and forward Kevin Scott. Forward Lamont Walker is second team. Newcomers to the Tigers include 6-4 Donte Clark, a graduate transfer from Massachusetts, and 7-2 Auburn transfer Trayvon Reed.
Alcorn State forward Reginal Johnson is the preseason Player of the Year.
TSU is also the choice to win the women’s title. Last year the Lady Tigers (23-10, 14-4) qualified for the NCAA Tournament for the first time.
Returning for the Tigers is Joyce Kennerson, who led the league in scoring (18.3). TSU forward Artavia Ford is also a first-team pick. Grambling guard Shakyla Hill is the preseason Player of the Year.