Scan­dal leads to for­ma­tion of com­mis­sion

Houston Chronicle - - HIGH SCHOOLS | COLLEGES -

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.

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