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October 16, 2003 Conference Notes No Comments

The Morning Dish – Thursday, October 16th

Conference Madness: You can now add Marshall to the conference fray. Thundering Herd Athletic Director Bob Marcum has announced that he has been contacted regarding a possible Conference USA expansion slot. A Tampa paper reported yesterday that Marshall, along with SMU, Rice, Tulsa (all WAC schools) as well as Central Florida, are being considered as expansion targets by Conference USA. Of course, this is an expected domino effect of losing Marquette, Louisville, DePaul and Cincinnati to the Big East. Marshall turned down a football-only C-USA invite two years ago. Both Marshall and Central Florida are in the Mid-American Conference, with UCF being a football-only member, but full membership was extended to the Golden Knights two weeks ago by MAC officials. Marshall has won 5 of the 6 MAC football championship games, and has a 48-8 conference record.

Michigan Payback: Michigan agreed yesterday to return prize money to the NIT for winning the 1997 NIT Championship with three ineligible players. Maurice Taylor, Robert Traylor, and Louis Bullock, all of whom have been said to have received money from Michigan booster Ed Martin, all were starters for that season’s Wolverines squad. Last year, Michigan returned over $450,000 to the NCAA for being the NCAA runner up in 1992 and 1993 with Chris Webber, now of the Sacramento Kings, who also received cash from Martin. Michigan officials would not disclose the amount of the money returned.

More Pettis: Fresno State player Terry Pettis is in more hot water. According to Fresno Police, Pettis was involved in multiple domestic disturbances less than a week after pleading no contest to misdemeanor assault and vandalism against his former girlfriend. The incidents are believed to have occurred on October 5th, 7th, and 8th, after a judge issued a restraining order against Pettis. Pettis was already suspended indefinitely from the Bulldog team from the first incident.

Back for Moore: Cincinnati sophomore point guard Chadd Moore says he’ll be ready for the season. However, his back may have something else in mind. Moore has been suffering recurring back spasms that have limited his conditioning and workout times, a condition that he experienced on occasion last season. Moore, who scored 2.6 points and 1.6 rebounds per game last season, was expected to compete for the starting point guard spot, but might not even be able to participate in this weekend’s Midnight Madness.

Hog Heaven: Arkansas’ Walton Arena will have some new eye candy during Razorbacks games. The school is in the process of installing a new Daktronics scoreboard that will be capable of showing video replays, and of course, video montages of the Hogs’ 1994 NCAA championship ten years ago. The new scoreboard, which weighs almost 12 tons, is 22 feet by 23 feet on each side, and will be ready in time for Arkansas’ Midnight Madness this weekend. The school would not comment on the cost of the new scoreboard, which is the tenth in the SEC. Only Florida and Mississippi State do not have video replay scoreboards. The old scoreboard, original to the arena opening in 1993, will be placed into storage.

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