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August 29, 2003 Conference Notes No Comments

The Morning Dish – Friday, August 29th

Lobo Suicide: New Mexico sophomore forward Patrick William “Billy” Feeney was discovered yesterday morning hanging in downtown Albuquerque, having apparently committed suicide. Feeney, a transfer from Portland State, had told head coach Ritchie McKay that he was going home to Boulder, Colorado, to deal with some personal issues. “Had we thought he wouldn’t have made it home, we wouldn’t have ended the conversation,” McKay said during a news conference with police. Friends and family were shocked, as all described Feeney as a vibrant, outgoing person. Feeney, who sat out last season because of NCAA transfer rules, averaged 8.5 points and 3.6 rebounds per game as a freshman at Portland State. It’s been a rough time in Albuquerque, with former Lobo Patrick Dennehy’s slaying earlier this summer, recruit Sean Phaler suffering a back injury in a car accident, and former guard Senque Carey suffering a career-ending neck injury that left him paralyzed for weeks.

Paying Tribute: Baylor students and faculty said their final farewell to slain basketball player Patrick Dennehy last night on the Baylor Campus. A crowd of 300 filled the Powell Chapel for the service led by Baylor dean of ministries Todd Lake, including new head coach Scott Drew and what’s left of the Baylor basketball team. Former athletics director Tom Stanton, who was cleared by an internal investigation for having no knowledge of the basketball scandal, but resigned anyway, was in attendance. Former head coach Dave Bliss was not present.

Rouse Gone: Baylor assistant coach Abar Rouse will not retain his job, head coach Scott Drew announced yesterday. Rouse, who was hired by former head coach Dave Bliss on June 1st, was the coach that secretly taped Bliss plotting to cover up NCAA violations by blaming the recently deceased Patrick Dennehy. The tapes fueled the Baylor scandal, but were released after the resignation of Bliss and AD Stanton. Drew had announced that he would not be retaining any of Bliss’ staff. It’s tough for Rouse, who at age 28, will have a difficult time getting another coaching gig (what coach would hire someone who might be taping him?), even if he was honest and did the right thing.

Cosby at Baylor: Legendary comedian Bill Cosby will give the grieving students at Baylor a free concert next Wednesday at the 50,000-seat Floyd Casey Stadium in Waco. The performance is intended to lift the spirits of the students and faculty after an offseason of turmoil involving the men’s basketball program. “It’s not to say, ‘Forget what happened,’ but to say, ‘As a student, as a professor, I am going to be the best that I can be, and I am not going to let something that has happened make me think of something down.’ ” Cosby said. Cosby has no formal connection to the university, but has performed there in 1990 and 2002.

Not Dunn Yet?: Former Arizona forward Chris Dunn, who had left the Wildcats last week for academic reasons, might be back in Tucson sooner than expected. The Hobbs, New Mexico, native had originally announced that he would attend Cochise College and play for the Apaches, and then would return to Arizona after completing his two-year degree a year from now. After speaking with Arizona academic advisors, Dunn will now attend Pima College as a student only. The move allows Dunn to restore his eligibility, assuming his grades are in order, for this season, making Dunn eligible for the Arizona team in December or January. The maneuver is called a “4-2-4” scenario, where a player enrolls in a four-year institution, transfers to a two-year, and then transfers again to a four-year school, and be eligible after one semester of successful work. UCLA’s Andre Patterson did this last season with a semester at Santa Monica College.

Going for the Record: The Harlem Globetrotters are trying to dash the record-breaking aspirations of Michigan State. The Spartans, who are hosting Kentucky in the Detroit Lions’ Ford Field, are hoping to get more than 76,000 in attendance to break the all-time basketball game attendance record. However, the previous record of 75,000 from an August, 1951 Globetrotter game at Olympic Stadium in Berlin might not be accurate. According to Globetrotters officials, the game in Berlin may have had a higher attendance, as stadium officials allowed over 5,000 fans to simply walk in to standing-room only areas. The Michigan State game, which sold out on July 11th, is expected to be heavily in favor of the Spartans, as Kentucky sold only 3,000 tickets.

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