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November 14, 2003 Conference Notes No Comments

The Morning Dish – Friday, November 14th

Coaches vs. Cancer Classic: After an eight month wait, the college basketball season has resumed. Wake Forest’s Taron Downey, just eight days after receiving an emergency appendectomy, scored a career-high 20 points in an 85-76 win over Memphis. Downey was not scheduled to play in tonight’s contest, but he did suit up for the Demon Deacons. Rodney Carney knocked down 19 points in the loss for the Tigers. In the other game of the night, Final Four participant last season Marquette got 18 points from Travis Diener in a defensive battle. The Golden Eagles narrowly escaped with a 52-45 win over St. John’s in what, in 2005-06, will be a conference game following Marquette’s move to the Big East.

Keep shuffling: Just last week, the Big East conference announced the additions of five schools from the Conference USA, including Cincinnati, DePaul, Louisville, Marquette, and South Florida starting in 2005. Now, the conference may lose one of its storied programs, Notre Dame. The rumor winds are swirling with the possible move by Notre Dame to the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) in all sports as early as 2005, which was first speculated on two months ago. The ACC is not the only team interested in the Fighting Irish. The more geographically friendly Big Ten has an open invitation for the Irish. A jump to either the ACC or the Big Ten would be huge not only for basketball but for football as well. Notre Dame has been an Independent for more than a century. If the Irish decide to leave for the ACC they would have to pay an exit fee of $5 million and give 27 months notice of their departure. Previously, the ACC denied interest in Notre Dame because they insisted that all member institutions would have to participate in all sports, and at the time, Notre Dame desired to remain an Independent. However, with the BCS agreement ending after 2005, Notre Dame will be hedging its bets.

Illini to stay for now: University of Illinois has decided to delay a vote that would eliminate the Chief Illiniwek mascot. Trustee Frances G. Carroll decided to not vote on the proposal until July when most of the students are home for the summer break. The argument came up because oppossers feel that the 75-year-old mascot is degrading to American Indians. During each meeting of the Board of Trustees has heard students and faculty voice their opinion in trying to preserve the mascot. The logo was named the official symbol of the university in 1990. Similar to Central Michigan, no plans are in store to change the team nickname from “Fighting Illini.”

USC Center denies drinking role: University of South Carolina center Rolando Howell said Wednesday that he regretted the negative publicity the school was receiving due to his criminal domestic violence arrest. Howell insists that his arrest had nothing to do with alcohol consumption. Howell was accused of assaulting his live-in girlfriend at the time and mother of his two-year old son Mary A. Jones on Aug. 9. On October 9, Howell pleaded no contest to domestic abuse, received a $50 fine and a 30-day jail sentence. In addition, he must also complete 26 weeks of domestic abuse counseling to avoid jail time. As punishment from the team, the center was suspended for the first 10 regular season games by the university. The first game that Howell can return to the line-up is on Dec. 20 against North Carolina State. An incident report by Richland County officer K.L. Pate stated that Howell had been drinking the night of the night of the offense.

Syracuse one man down: Syracuse University junior forward Hakim Warrick rested yesterday to heal an injury he suffered in Syracuse’s 83-70 exhibition loss to the Harlem Globetrotters on Wednesday. The Orangemen had yesterday off from practice, giving one more day for Warrick to heal his injured right ankle. He will be re-evaluated by doctors today. Warrick was unavailable for comment per NCAA and school rules. Warrick is last year’s second-leading scorer and rebounder. As we reported earlier, the junior complained that he heard a pop in the ankle when he landed on it odd in he first half.

Lawsuit filed: Father of the Washington Wizards guard Jarvis Hayes and Georgia forward Jonas Hayes filed a lawsuit against CBS and former commentator Eddie Fogler because of Fogler’s comments during a Georgia game over a year ago. James Hayes’ attorneys filed a suit seeking unspecified damages after the former CBS commentator wrote a profanity with a telestrator below the circled face of James. The event occurred during Georgia’s loss to Southern Illinois in the second round of the 2002 NCAA tournament. According to Fogler, he did not know what he was writing was being broadcast on monitors throughout the United Center. According to the lawsuit filed. The on-air discussion between the CBS broadcast commentators coupled with Fogler’s act of circling Mr. Hayes’ face and writing the expletive words stated that Mr. Hayes was a key figure in his sons transfer to Georgia from South Carolina. The U.S. District Court Judge Duross Fitzpatrick dismissed Hayes’ claims of defamation of character, negligence and invasion of privacy. However, Fitzpatrick did not toss the claim of intentional infliction of emotional distress. Hayes’ attorney is scheduled to meet with a CBS producer next week.

Tonight’s Menu

• No. 22 Pittsburgh will play their first game with new coach Jamie Dixon, but are 63-12 in the last two-plus seasons. Meanwhile the Alabama Crimson Tide will be making their second appearance in the classic, as they beat Oklahoma in last year’s edition.

• No. 12 Gonzaga vs. No. 16 St. Joseph’s: This one is the cream of the crop, without a doubt! The Zags have reached the Big Dance five straight years and are looking for respect from their foes in the East. St. Joseph’s will expose flashy point guard Jameer Nelson after a great 23-7 record last season.

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