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Morning Dish

May 27, 2003 Conference Notes No Comments



The Morning Dish – Tuesday, May 27th:

We’re back, and hope everyone had a good holiday extended three-day avoid-work o’rama. Back to business.

Trojans Jump to the Sun Belt: The theme of May seems to be schools jumping conferences, and today’s no different. Friday Troy State announced that they have accepted an invitation to join the Sun Belt Conference for all sports, effective after the 2004-05 school year. Due to A-Sun guidelines, a departing school has to give two-year’s notice by June 1st of the preceding year. The Trojans will become full members in the Sun Belt in the fall of 2005, while the football program will compete in the Sun Belt in the 2004 season.

NCAA Stays Out of It: Speaking of conference jumping, the NCAA has announced that they will stay out of the Big East-ACC tussle. Myles Brand, president of the NCAA, indicated Friday that he hasn’t spoken to ACC commissioner John Swofford or his Big East counterpart Mike Tranghese, and intends to let them make their own decisions. In a statement, Brand said “The role of the NCAA is to support our member institutions. However they align is up to them.”

UAB Settles with Victim: The University of Alabama-Birmingham settled a lawsuit Thursday brought by a teenager that implicated numerous student-athletes. The plaintiff, Brittany Benefield, now 18, sued the school in 2001, stating that she had become sexually exploited by more than two dozen UAB football and basketball players in her UAB dormitory, and that administrators, coaches, and campus police knew of the activity and failed to stop it. Before you do the math, Benefield received a high school diploma at age 13, and subsequently left UAB in the fall of 2000.

No Bobble: How do National Champion Syracuse, the Philadelphia Phillies’ farm team, and a fad gift item fit together into one story? Here you go: Syracuse’s other freshman phenom this season, Gerry McNamara, hails from Scranton (Bishop Hannan High School). The local Triple-A farm team of the Phillies, the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Red Barons, wanted to honor their hometown hero. So, being a baseball squad, they figured the best way to do it would be via a commemorative bobblehead doll. Not so fast, said Syracuse, who stated that the promotion would violate NCAA rules, and endanger McNamara’s eligibility. NCAA rules forbid student-athletes from taking part in promotions for commercial enterprises. The Red Barons are still working on a way to honor McNamara.

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