The Morning Dish – Thursday, October 9th
NIT Payback: The National Invitation Tournament is working to get back cash given to teams that used ineligible players. Minnesota is close to an agreement on compensation for using ineligible players in their 1996 and 1998 NIT appearances. The Minnesota academic scandal also resulted in the school’s NCAA appearances being erased from 1994, 1995, and 1997. Minnesota is expected to pay back between $100,000 and $200,000. Next up for the NIT is Michigan, who won the 1997 NIT during the Ed Martin booster payment scandal, using three ineligible players. Michigan has already forfeited the five NIT wins from that season.
Slashing Prices: Hoping to bring fans back to games, Vanderbilt has announced that season ticket prices have been slashed as much as 75 percent. While the prime seat prices remain unchanged, the move is designed to bring in more fans to memorial Gymnasium. Some tickets were slashed from $290 to $75 annually, with no plans to raise them again. Student prices remain the same: Free. The 14,000-seat gymnasium averages just over 9,000 fans for Vandy home games. The last sellout was against Kentucky last season, and there were only two in 2001-02 (Kentucky and Tennessee).
Former Husky Arrested: Former Connecticut forward Johnnie Selvie was charged with a DUI offense and four other related counts after being spotted driving through a UConn campus apartment complex parking lot with an open container of beer. UConn police tried to pull him over, eventually stopping the pursuit when Selvie ran into a patrol car. Selvie, a Flint, Michigan, native who played two seasons for the Huskies, has had run-ins with the law before, having been charged with assault on a female in a parked car last January. Selvie averaged 11.2 points per game for the 1999-2000, and 2000-01 seasons.
Now With Reebok: Last month we mentioned that legendary shoe salesman Sonny Vaccaro left Adidas, and was rumored to be joining Reebok. As of yesterday, it’s official. Vaccaro will create a “comprehensive grassroots basketball platform” aimed at the youth market. Vaccaro, who first came up with advanced marketing tactics such as Air Jordans for Nike in the 80′s, elevated his stature, and his ABCD camp, for Adidas in the 90s. Reebok will now sponsor the ABCD camp, as well as the Big Time Tournament and the EA Sports Roundball Classic. Reebok already sponsors the Entertainers Basketball Classic at Rucker Park in Harlem.