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October 1, 2003 Conference Notes No Comments

The Morning Dish – Wednesday, October 1st

Bulldog Down: Gonzaga junior forward Ronny Turiaf will be out three weeks after suffering a stress fracture in his right ankle during a workout yesterday. Turiaf, who was fifth in the West Coast Conference in scoring with 15.6 points per game, along with 7 boards, may miss the official start of practice, which starts October 18th. Last season Turiaf came off the bench until the final ten games, when he started for the Bulldogs. He’ll be wearing a walking cast for three weeks, and Gonzaga trainers have stated that the injury is unrelated to last season’s ankle sprain that required surgery.

McNeese Trouble: The NCAA and the Southland Conference jointly announced that they are investigating possible rules violations in the McNeese State men’s basketball and track programs. A spokesperson for the school indicated that no details would be released at this time. What is known is that allegations about the basketball program were already being addressed when new allegations about the track team were revealed this past weekend.

Replacements Found: Georgetown College (Georgetown, Kentucky) has been named as the replacement for Eastern Michigan in the Pittsburgh Holiday basketball tournament. The perennial NAIA power agreed to join the tournament when Eastern Michigan backed out for unspecified reasons yesterday. However, a spokesperson for Pittsburgh stated that the entire format of the tournament will be re-shuffled before matchups and times are announced. Hat tip to Georgetown assistant coach Jason Mays for the scoop.

African Crusader: Valparaiso forward Joaquim Gomes has been named to the Olympic team – for his native Angola. Gomes, who was named to the Angolan team for the 2000 Olympics but chose to come to Valparaiso, averaged 9.2 points and 5.6 boards for the Crusaders as a junior last season. He averaged 10 points and 4 boards in Angola’s win in the African championship, giving the team an automatic berth for the games in Athens.

ACC Meetings: An ACC business meeting was held yesterday in Charlottesville, Virginia, but the news is what they didn’t discuss. Expansion, for example. A spokesperson for the conference stated that no expansion talks were held, and denied any rumors that Notre Dame or Boston College were being targeted as a potential 12th team. What was discussed is how to keep traditional rivalries in scheduling with an 11-team league, and whether to split the conference into two divisions.

Baylor Booster: William Stevens, a member of Baylor’s Sixth Man booster group, has asked to be removed from the lawsuit filed by Patrick Dennehy, Sr. The lawsuit, which was filed by Dennehy, Sr. in late August, claims the University, former head coach Dave Bliss, athletic director Tom Stanton, school president Robert Sloan, and the Sixth Man booster group are guilty of wrongful death, fraud, and breach of contract in the murder of his son, Patrick Dennehy, a former Baylor player allegedly murdered by teammate Carlton Dotson. Stevens’ attorney claims the suit fails to connect his client to any of the allegations. An internal investigation at Baylor last month cleared the Sixth Man club of wrongdoing. Stevens, a booster at SMU when Bliss coached there in the late 80s, was officially banned from SMU athletics when their football team went under the “death penalty” in 1987.

Low-Key Georgia: Georgia head coach Dennis Felton has announced that the Bulldogs will not host a gala event for Midnight Madness. As part of Felton’s all-business approach, the team will conduct workouts, but will treat practice like a class, with a minimum of distractions. Last season under former coach Jim Harrick, Midnight Madness included givaways, interactive events and fan contests. Last season the 23rd-ranked Bulldogs banned themselves from the postseason when allegations of academic fraud and payments to players under Harrick became public.

Louisville Reserve: Louisville’s In Town Winery introduces a new specialty today – the Pitino Grigio. The white wine, named after Louisville head coach Rick Pitino, is a reproduction of one of Pitino’s favorites that he’s lending his name to. All proceeds will be given to the Daniel Pitino Shelter in Owensboro, Kentucky, where up to 100 underprivileged people are fed daily and over 75 are housed in the shelter. The shelter and its foundation are named after Pitino’s infant son that died in 1987.

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