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September 25, 2003 Conference Notes No Comments

The Morning Dish – Thursday, September 25th

Warrant Signed: Maryland Governor Robert Ehrlich yesterday signed a warrant for the extradition of Carlton Dotson, accused of the murder of Baylor teammate Patrick Dennehy, from his Maryland jail cell to Texas. Texas authorities have a month to pick up Dotson and return him to McLennan County to face murder charges. One more formality exists – Maryland prosecutors must present the warrant to Dotson in court, where Dotson and his attorneys can argue the validity of the warrant. The court date was originally scheduled for October 14th, but will likely be moved up now that Ehrlich has signed off.

Ban Lifted: Good news for Tommy Amaker. According to the Detroit Free Press, the University of Michigan has won its appeal of the NCAA’s postseason ban, and thus will be eligible for the 2004 NCAA Tournament. The school had filed an appeal to the NCAA’s infractions committee, which overturned the postseason ban part of Michigan’s punishment. Michigan did not appeal any other aspect of the Ed Martin scandal, including four years of probation and the loss of a scholarship over that time. This marks the end of the Ed Martin scandal, as far as the NCAA is concerned. Former player Chris Webber plead guilty to contempt charges when he lied to a grand jury that he didn’t receive $616,000 from Martin. He is under a deferred sentence for two years, and the university has sued Webber for losses and court costs.

Under Investigation: The NCAA has notified Missouri that the school is officially under investigation, focusing on former guard Ricky Clemons. Clemons’ ex-girlfriend has levied allegations against the university regarding Clemons’, claiming he cheated on schoolwork and tests, was given cash by the basketball program, and may have cheated prior to transferring to Missouri. The school had already launched its own internal investigation, and has suspended head coach Quin Snyder for three weeks and assistant coach Lane Odom for five weeks. Odom allegedly arranged for Clemons to get 24 credit hours in two months, by enrolling him in 5 physical education courses at a community college, plus correspondence courses from both Adams College in Colorado and Brigham Young. BYU has announced an investigation into their correspondence program because of the scandal. Clemons averaged 14.2 points per game for the Tigers last season.

Bliss Denial: Former Baylor coach Dave Bliss denies allegations that he ignored reports of threats against former players Patrick Dennehy and Carlton Dotson. The threats led to the pair purchasing weapons for their protection, and allegedly led to Dotson murdering Dennehy. The allegations were levied in a wrongful death suit brought by Patrick Dennehy, Sr. last month against Baylor University, Bliss, and former Athletic Director Robert Sloan. Bliss’ attorneys have joined with Baylor counsel to move the venue of the case from Waco to Houston. The suit alleges that the school’s cover-up of the threats contributed to Dennehy’s death.

Not Guilty Plea: Kansas State senior guard Jarrett Hart has entered a plea of not guilty to four DUI-related counts, stemming from a September 7th arrest. The four counts – DUI, speeding, possession of an open container, and failure to yield the right of way to an emergency vehicle – will be heard at Hart’s next court date of October 14th. K-State head coach Jim Wooldridge won’t comment until the legal proceedings have concluded. Hart, who started 14 games last season, averaged 7.5 points and 3.4 rebounds per contest.

Busted: Two Mountain State University (Beckley, West Virginia) players have been indicted on federal drug charges. Mountain State was the NAIA national runner-up last season. Senior forward Rodney Bass, senior guard Raynardo Curry, and another Mountain State student are facing multiple federal counts of marijuana distribution. For the federal distribution charge, a defendant must be charged with distributing over 2,000 pounds of marijuana. Curry averaged 13 points per game last season, and scored 21 in the Cougars’ loss to Concordia (California) in the NAIA title game. Bass averaged 5 points and 2 rebounds per game last season.

Conference Shuffle: The NCAA’s management council has informally rejected the ACC’s appeal to stage a football championship game. Apparently, the council was “overwhelmingly against” an 11-member institution conference holding a championship game. The formal rejection, er, vote, should come in April. Meanwhile, Notre Dame is now in play, with the ACC and the Big Ten lining up as suitors – both promising big cash and lots of prizes to their potential 12th member. And now one of the most stable conferences is getting into the action. The Pac-10 is in talks to expand to 12 teams, adding San Diego State and Fresno State to the conference. The move would help bolster what is an admittedly weak bowl package, as three of the conference’s six bowl ties are financially troubled (Las Vegas, Insight, and Silicon Valley). The Pac-10 flirted with Colorado and Texas in the early 90s, but have been all status quo since.

SEC Consulting: No it’s not the Securities and Exchange Commission. The Southeastern Conference has appointed C.M. Newton as a consultant to the commissioner of basketball for the upcoming season. Newton was a coach at both Alabama (1969-80) and Vanderbilt (1981-89), and was AD at Kentucky (1989-2000). He also was president of USA Basketball in the mid-90s and was the CEO of the World Basketball Championships in Indianapolis in 2002.

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