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July 2, 2003 Conference Notes No Comments



The Morning Dish – Wednesday, July 2nd

Dennehy Update: No arrests have been made as of yet. No body (living or otherwise) has been found. Carlton Dotson, who was named by an informant as the killer of Dennehy, remains one of several “persons of interest” but has not been named a suspect. Dotson had told the Dallas Morning News that he found out Dennehy was missing from Dennehy’s girlfriend. A roommate of the two, Chris Turk, said he saw Dennehy on June 11th before Turk left for a trip to Tennessee. When he returned five days later, there was no sign of Dennehy, and his two dogs had not been fed.

Meanwhile, a search of the farm in which Dennehy and Dotson had allegedly been sport shooting turned up shotgun and handgun shell casings. The owner of the farm claimed he saw the two June 10th together on the property, which was not unusual, as they had a standing arrangement to use the property for sport fishing and shooting. Dennehy was last heard from the evening of June 11th in a telephone conversation to his girlfriend in New Mexico. McLennan County Sheriff’s department will begin surveying the area by helicopter today, with focus on lakes and gravel pits. Most recent reports indicate that Dennehy had been scared of the area near his apartment, as his SUV had been broken into and he had had money stolen from him. Other friends have stated that they encouraged Dennehy to move to Fort Worth where it would be safer.

ACC/Big East Fallout: Here’s the abridged update of the situation: Big East commissioner Mike Tranghese defers blame from Virginia Tech and Miami (after all, they could jump back) and instead scorns the ACC for blindsiding his conference. Meanwhile, after Miami jumped to the ACC, Connecticut AG Richard Blumenthal indicated that the Big East lawsuit would be expanded to seek damages from diminished recruiting power and alumni donations, in addition to ticket sales and broadcasting fees. If successful, the Big East could reap $100 million from the ACC, though part of their argument is that the ACC and Miami conspired to weaken the Big East. An attorney for the ACC indicated that the Big East’s estimates are speculation and conjecture, and won’t hold up in court.

Additional bluster came from Arkansas AD Frank Broyles, who chimed that he wouldn’t be surprised if the ACC raided the SEC next. This coming from the man who led the Razorbacks out of the old Southwest Conference in the early 90’s, triggering the raid by the then Big 8 to take Texas, Texas A&M, Baylor and Texas Tech. Meanwhile, the ACC welcomed Miami and Virginia tech yesterday, and there was much rejoicing. Lastly, now that Miami’s in, Florida AG Charlie Crist said he’s be seeking a dismissal of the Big East lawsuit against Miami and the ACC. The Big East is facing courtroom challenges, as its motions to speed up the case, and motions for key lawsuit figures, such as Miami president Donna Shalala, to give depositions by yesterday were denied. In response, Judge Samuel J. Sferrazza began a two-week vacation yesterday, and no depositions are scheduled.

Evidence: Handwritten notes from booster Ed Martin are the smoking gun in the federal case against former Michigan and current Sacramento King Chris Webber. Martin, who passed away in February, had sworn testimony that he had given over $600,000 in cash to four Michigan players – Robert Traylor, Maurice Taylor, Louis Bullock, and Chris Webber. Martin had claimed that he had paid Webber over $280,000 from high school through his two years at Michigan – two years in which Michigan was the national runner-up. Individual notes indicate a $20,000 Ford Bronco was given to Webber, and that payments were made during NCAA Final Four tournaments.

Future Sites: The NCAA selected four cities for future Final Fours. San Antonio’s Alamodome will host the finals in 2008, followed by Detroit’s Ford Field in 2009, Indianapolis’ RCA Dome in 2010, and Houston’s Reliant Stadium in 2011. Both Detroit and Houston are home to the NFL’s newest stadiums. The 2004 Final Four will also be in San Antonio, followed by St. Louis (Edward Jones Dome), Indianapolis, and then the Georgia Dome in Atlanta in 2007.

Transferring: TCU head coach Neil Dougherty has announced that former Temple guard Nile Murry has transferred to the Horned Frog program. Murry, who played for Temple the previous two seasons, was not a starter but played in every game last season, averaging 2.9 points and 10 minutes per game. As a freshman, Murry started 18 games and averaged 5.3 points and 3 boards, and set a Temple freshman scoring record with 33 points against Fordham. A Houston native, Murry will sit out the 2003-04 season under NCAA transfer rules.

Wing Clipped: Marquette senior Scott Merritt underwent arthroscopic surgery on his injured left shoulder yesterday. Merritt, a starter who averaged 10 points and 6.5 boards per game last season, should be ready for full-contact drills in time for practice starting in October.

Rockin’: The University of Arkansas-Little Rock has announced the building of an on-campus basketball and volleyball arena, courtesy of a $20 million donation from Little Rock philanthropist Jackson T. Stephens. The new arena will seat 5,600, and will have a weight training room and plush locker rooms. Construction is slated to start later this year, and will likely be complete in two years. The Trojans currently play in 18,000 seat Alltel Arena, in North Little Rock, a facility the school has used since 1999, when they left Barton Coliseum at the Arkansas State Fairgrounds.

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