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Morning Dish

May 17, 2003 Conference Notes No Comments



The Morning Dish – Saturday, May 17th:

Pinckney Back in Philly: Villanova University announced that former Wildcat Ed Pinckney was hired to join head coach Jay Wright’s staff as an assistant. Pinckney replaces Joe Jones on the staff, who is now head coach at Columbia. Pinckney worked with the Wildcats as a mentor to younger players in the last few years, following a successful 12-year career in the NBA, and a stint as a broadcaster for the Miami Heat (both radio and television). As outstanding player of the 1985 Final Four, Pinckney notched 16 points and six boards in the Wildcats’ National Championship.

Hokies Go Home: The ACC has lined up its expansion invitations, and Virginia Tech is on the outside looking in, as Miami (Florida), Syracuse, and Boston College have made the guest list. The Commonwealth of Virginia legislature, who was keen on having both UVA and Virginia Tech in the same conference, were pushing for Tech’s inclusion in the ACC expansion, but it fell short of the required 7 votes in ACC discussions. This announcement comes on the eve of the Big East Conference meetings in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida. Big East commissioner Mike Tranghese needs to make a slam dunk this weekend to keep his conference together. The proposed expansion would be the third in the 50-year history of the ACC, having added Georgia Tech in 1978, and Florida State in 1991.

Oh, no, UNO: The University of New Orleans has lost a scholarship for next season due to NCAA rules violations. The penalty, self-imposed by the school and approved by the NCAA yesterday, is partially the result of not counting an injured player, Kyle Smith (knee ligament injury), as part of their scholarship player tally, thus having one over the limit for the 2001-02 season. An additional infraction was allowing the NBA Phoenix Suns’ scout Phil Weber provide instruction during an informal offseason scrimmage. Weber is friends with Privateer coach Monte Towe, and was in town to speak at the coach’s summer camp. Meanwhile, the school declared Smith’s injury “career-ending” (without a school medical official reviewing the case) and removed him from the roster, but Smith has filed a lawsuit due to the fact that he’s healthy and wants to continue his basketball career, with his scholarship.

Bobcat Moving On: Montana State has announced that returning starting forward Shea Washington has transferred to Southern Oregon, an NAIA school in Ashland, Oregon. Washington, who averaged 7.6 points and 4.6 boards per game, was the leading shot blocker this season and was expected to be a major contributor next season. “It’s mind-boggling to me when a player would leave a Division I program to play NAIA; I’m puzzled by this decision. But his best friend is playing point guard (at SOU) and he was homesick. He wanted to be closer to home,” head coach Mick Durham said yesterday in a press conference.

Cole Trial Pushed Back: Tony Cole, who you’ll remember as the whistle-blower that led to the downfall of the Harrick regime at Georgia, got a bit of a reprieve yesterday, as the woman who accused him of misdemeanor assault did not show up for the trial in Baton Rouge. Cole is accused of coming to his former girlfriend’s apartment late on January 14th with an Uzi and threatening to shoot the house up. The gun was not fired and no one was injured in the incident. Back in February, Cole told an Atlanta paper that Georgia assistant Jim Harrick, Jr. had payed Cole’s bills, performed schoolwork, and was teaching a bogus coaching class. Harrick, Jr. was subsequently fired, and the senior Harrick retired at the end of the season. School officials then held Georgia out of the SEC Championship, as well as any post-season tournaments. Georgia was ranked in the Top 25 at the time.

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