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March 4, 2003 Conference Notes No Comments

The Morning Dish – Tuesday, March 4, 2003

by Adam Shandler

Today, the Hoopville Morning Dish becomes the Hoopville Enquirer, and what would normally be the stuff of side dishes is now the main course. Sorry, the kitchen is closed. Dont like the meal, you cant send it back.

We at the Ville usually dont like writing about stories like this, but in a season filled with transgressions, and ultimately retribution (like, oh, say the Michigan Booster Gambit, the Harrick-Cole Affair and, of course, Lebron James JerseyGate), stories like these are simply par for the course for the 2003 college basketball season.

There were games last night, good ones, too, but lets get these few bits out of our system so we can focus on the on-court goings-on as opposed to the off-the-court follies.

Randall Brown, a 45-year-old assistant coach at Iowa State, resigned yesterday after being charged with possession of child pornography and obstruction of justice. Browns proclivities were discovered on both his home and office computers when U.S. Postal Service Inspectors began an investigation on January 24. When investigators informed him that they would be by to search for material, Brown destroyed about 30 floppy disks in an effort to hide evidence, even though he was instructed not to.

The Cyclone assistant is a free man until March 11, when an initial court appearance will decide bond and the date of a preliminary hearing. If convicted to the fullest extent of the law, Brown could receive up to five years in prison for child pornography charges and up to ten years for the obstruction of justice crime.

We dont report stories like this to crack wise. They arent lighthearted by any means. But when scandals like these break and when they involve the leaders of our community they force us to take a step back in our roles as fans and force us to focus more on our roles as parents, guardians and teachers. Stories like this make us nervous, and that could be a good thing, because it puts us more on guard.

We at Hoopville are not passing judgment on Randall Brown; the courts will take care of that. He could be a good man who just has some problems. He many not have even wanted to hurt anyone, just look at some undignified pictures in the privacy of his own home or office. Hopefully, this case will work itself out for the best Brown getting the punishment thats warranted and the psychological help he needs and no innocent child getting mentally or physically injured.

Elsewhere in the gossip section St. Bonaventure made a boo-boo, and its going to cost them.

When a question arose over the eligibility of JuCo transfer Jamil Terrell, St. Bonaventure simply fell on its sword, agreeing to forfeit five Atlantic 10 games. But the A-10 governing committee said that’s not good enough and enforced a harsher decree: banishment from the A-10 tournament.

Thats caused a bit of a tizzy in the A-10 tournament bracketing. With the Bonnies absence, five teams will receive opening round byes with only three opening round games to be played. Dayton, St. Joes, Xavier, and now Richmond have clinched byes. Temple would have clinched a bye but Rhode Island picked up a forfeited win at St. Bonaventures expense. Richmond also benefited from the Bonnie mishap. The Spiders would have been a third seed in the West.

Fresno State also joins the lineup on this juicy Tuesday.

The Bulldogs may have put together a 20-6 season, but it may as well be 6-20. The school has imposed a post-season ban on the mens basketball team for committing academic fraud. The squad will not be eligible for the NCAA touney nor the NIT and WAC officials are pondering removing FSU from the conference tournament.

The issue of fraud centers around team statistician Stephen Mintz, who participated in a papers-for-cash scheme for three players in the 1999-2000 season. Mintz told the Fresno Bee that he wrote roughly 17 assignments for players totaling $1500.

And now, some basketball news.

Side Dishes

Kansas Topples T-Tech: Bobby Knights second straight bid to the Dance as Red Raider coach is not looking good. Kansas, No. 7 in last weeks poll, got win number 23 and at least a share of the Big 12 title with a 65-56 victory over Texas Tech. Keith Langford scored 20 points for the Jayhawks, who could win their second-straight conference championship outright with a win over Missouri on Sunday.

Jays Not Shocked Again: In the final regular season night of MVC play, No. 17 Creighton got two moral victories and real one. The Bluejays thumped Wichita State, 86-60, meaning Dana Altmans club avoided being swept by the Shockers this season and they bounced back from a tough loss to conference rival Southern Illinois this past weekend. Larry House took over this game with a 28-point night in 22 minutes of action a great way to finish on senior night.

Also in the MVC:

Southern Illinois defeated Illinois State, 78-62. The Salukis are the top seed in next weeks MVC tournament. Southwest Missouri State edged out Northern Iowa, 52-51, on Merrill Andrews two free-throws with two seconds left. Evansville bopped Indiana State, 77-69, and Bradley thwarted Drake 77-67.

WAC Pack: Utah is struggling to stay in the Hoopville Top 25 and Wyoming has been trying to penetrate it all season. Both clubs helped their causes last night. Rick Majeruss Utes tallied a 57-52 victory over Air Force. Nick Jacobson was 10-for-10 from the line and (shhhdont jinx him) has hit 28 straight FTs. Wyoming upended UNLV, 69-66, as Donta Richardson and Uche Nsonwu-Amadi combined for 42 points.

Also in the WAC:

BYU cruised by New Mexico, 91-81 and Colorado State rolled over San Diego State, 102-89.

Okay, Just One More Harrick Story: Rhode Island is now getting into the Harrick act. URI is conducting an investigation into allegations that Jim Harricks staff and boosters gave players money and had their grades changed while Harrick was head coach of the program. The allegations stem from a lawsuit filed by a former Rhode Island athletic department employee. Harrick left Kingston to coach Georgia in 1999.

Tonight’s Menu:

• No. 4 Florida and 22nd ranked Georgia square off what should be an exciting climax to a great SEC season. Yes, Jim Harrick will be parading the sidelines as he leads the Bulldogs in their final home game. The best the Bulldogs can do is finish third in the SEC. Florida is looking to pad its win total and boost its NCAA tournament regional seeding.

• No. 5 Texas (20-5) looks make it a perfect season at home when it faces Big 12 rival Kansas State at the Erwin Center tonight. Oh, a share of the Big 12 title may be nice too.

• Red-hot Oklahoma, No. 3 in our Hoopville poll, look to avoid a letdown when it hosts (11-16, 3-11) Nebraska.

• Its a showdown of two ranked Big East teams: 11th ranked Notre Dame and No. 14 Syracuse. Notre Dame has been kicked in the teeth of late with losses to Rutgers and Connecticut. The Orangemen are on a five-game tear.

That’s your Tuesday Dish. Eat up!

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