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Morning Dish

May 21, 2003 Conference Notes No Comments



The Morning Dish – Wednesday, May 21st:

Buckeye Splits: Ohio State announced yesterday that junior forward Zach Williams, a three-year starter, has left the Buckeye program to transfer to another school. Williams made highlight reels in March for a sideline argument with the Ohio State coaching staff during the Big Ten tournament championship game. He then left the bench to presumably go to the locker room for a few minutes before returning to the bench. He did not return to the court. This isn’t the first problem with Williams on the squad, as he was removed as team captain during his sophomore season following a locker room outburst. To pile more onto this story, the Big Ten has reprimanded Williams for nudging Wisconsin’s Alando Tucker on the chin during a timeout in the Big Ten Quarterfinals. Coach Jim O’Brien suspended Williams for the Buckeyes’ NIT loss to Georgia Tech for the incident. Over his career, Williams averaged 8.5 points and 4.9 boards per game.

Bearcat Freshman Fracas: Yesterday we reported on the star-cross’d career of Cincinnati freshman Eric Hicks. Now we know why he was suspended indefinitely from the team. At an arraignment yesterday, Hicks pleaded innocent to assault charges. He is being accused of throwing a beer bottle that hit a woman in the forehead and required stitches.

Finger-pointing in Athens: In today’s Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the University of Georgia points the finger of blame at Jim Harrick, Jr., former assistant coach under his father for the Bulldogs. Apparently Georgia compliance director Amy Chisholm told the NCAA that Harrick, Jr. “lied about his teaching credentials before he was hired to teach a physical education course in 2001, misled bosses about the structure of the class and asked players Chris Daniels and Rashad Wright to lie about their
participation in the class.” The two players were declared ineligible in March, and were reinstated last week. A third student in the “Coaching Principles and
Strategies of Basketball” class was Tony Cole, whose accusations to the Journal-Constitution led to the firing of Harrick, Jr., and the resignation of head coach Jim Harrick, Sr. The school is awaiting possible punishment from the NCAA on the case.

Primary Wildcat: Former Kentucky Wildcat Richie Farmer won the Republican primary with 71 percent of the vote for Kentucky State Agriculture Commissioner yesterday. Farmer (with that name, how can he not be Agriculture Commish?) played on Rick Pitino’s squad that lost 104-103 to Duke on Christian Laettner’s miracle shot, and later graduated with a degree in agriculture economics and agribusiness management. Farmer will face Democratic nominee Alice Baesler, who happens to be the wife of former Lexington mayor Scotty Baesler, who played for the Wildcats under Adolph Rupp in the 1960s.

Ole Miss [insert mascot here]: New: Mississippi is considering changing their Rebel mascot. “Ole”: There’s considerable pushback from Alumni and fans. Ole Miss AD Pete Boone stated that the Southern gentleman Rebel mascot should no longer represent sports teams at the school. Though the Rebel mascot has deep roots, especially in the south, it’s becoming tougher for Mississippi to recruit more enlightened students and student-athletes. The bigger problem is coming up with an alternative that everyone can agree on. This move, however, is a logical step in the reduction of symbolism that has been known to offend quite a few folks. In the 80s, the school eliminated the use of the Confederate flag, and the alumni association followed suit in the early 90s.

Studies have been conducted on suggestions from updating the current mascot to changing the team name, colors, and logo. The final say will have to come from students, faculty, and alumni, and contests are slated for the start of the school year this fall. Some polls are showing that 65 percent of fans are against any change, and local columnists are suggesting everything from Ocelots to just putting “662” on the jerseys, a la American Idol’s Ruben Studdard and his “205” Birmingham area code jerseys. 662 is the Oxford, Mississippi area code.

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