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Morning Rumble 5/3: rules, laws, and suggestions edition

The politics of the business.

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Brian Spurlock-US PRESSWIRE


The NCAA Division I Board of Directors met on Thursday; the resulting dark-paneled-wall meeting and coffee session resulted in the new Big East being officially recognized as a multisport conference. Our friends at VU Hoops add a good summary if you're not into wading through the NCAA's press release.

But that wasn't all! The Board also went back on the proposed changes to allow more deregulated contact in Football (basketball rules are not affected) AND decided not to make proposed changes to the sliding scale for eligibility. So - well, I'll let John Infante explain.

The 2.3 GPA minimum and core course progression requiring 10 courses before the start of a prospect’s senior year in high school remain. It also appears that the new partial qualifier status, known as an "academic redshirt" will remain as well.

This means that instead of requiring a 1080 SAT or 93 ACT with a 2.300 GPA as the minimum to play, the NCAA will now require a 900 SAT or 75 ACT with the minimum 2.300 to play. Athletes with a 2.000-2.299 GPA who still meet the current sliding scale will be academic redshirts. Same for athletes who have less than 10 core courses prior to senior year or less than seven English, math, or natural science courses prior to the same point.

All of which is to say that just because a proposal is publicly floated or recommended, there is a long process to getting it past the Board of Directors and enacting it into college sports "law".

Rumble_icon_x-small_copy_mediumSpeaking of "law", remember how Lance Thomas of Duke ended up with $10,000 worth of jewelry while still in college, and with no NBA first round prospects to speak of? Eamonn Brennan of ESPN gives a fast and succint recap:

In September of 2012, New York-based jeweler Rafaello & Co.... sued Thomas, a forward on Duke's 2010 national title team, for failing to repay a 2009 purchase of $67,800 in high-end jewelry, which he was loaned when Thomas made a $30,000 cash down payment at the store, according to the court complaint discovered by the Associated Press.

Much speculation abounded: Did Thomas get a considerable amount of credit from a jeweler-to-the-stars because he played for Duke? And how did drop off $30,000 in cash, exactly?

Well, he was cleared of wrongdoing. Thomas and the jeweler stayed on message, and the NCAA had no case. Andy Glockner gets in some strong words about the NCAA's enforcement system:

So basically, the NCAA looked at a case where a college athlete was, based on the claim from a high-profile Manhattan jeweler, assumed to be able to pay a large amount of money within a 15-day window. And the NCAA can only shrug its shoulders because no one wanted to talk to them....

The whole enforcement model is like a series of increasingly bad jokes stacked on top of each other. The NCAA has shown repeatedly that it is incapable of consistent (or legal) enforcement of its rules. It has given reason to believe that standards applied in some cases don’t apply in others. The NCAA operates like this in an attempt to enforce a rulebook that’s too complicated and outdated to try to perpetuate the invented myth of amateurism. Meanwhile, as media companies, coaches and athletic directors rake in millions, we’re supposed to be outraged because a guy who’s now in the NBA bought some jewelry a little early.

Big East

Rumble_icon_x-small_copy_medium Speaking of biz (and h/t to Raphielle Johnson at NBC Sports for finding this article on news I'd meant to link to here!), the Big East has a director of officials, veteran official Jim Cahill.

After working the Division I NCAA Tournament championship game Monday, April 8, in Atlanta, Cahill decided to hang up his whistle and has accepted a position as supervisor of officials for the new Big East Conference....

The new role involves training, development and assigning of officials, conducting a rules clinic at each of the member schools, and traveling to game sites to evaluate crews and stay in contact with coaches and athletic directors.

The league is still deciding on a Commissioner, but the head of officials will decide on matters like the physicality of the play, which could affect which teams emerge in the new league.

Rumble_icon_x-small_copy_mediumMeanwhile, Marquette's Buzz Williams is a little surprised about Vander Blue's departure.

Not long after the Golden Eagles' tournament run, leading scorer Vander Blue, who would have been a senior next season, shocked pretty much everyone by declaring himself for the NBA draft.

Williams met with Blue and his mother the night after Marquette lost to Syracuse in the Final Four qualifying game and then put the matter out of his mind. The next thing Williams knew, nearly 15 points a game were blown out of his rotation....

"Obviously, Vander leaving was unexpected," Williams said after the Brewers honored the 2012-'13 team before their game against the Pirates. "We didn't plan for that. Apparently, Blue lost interest in going to class and decided to get a job. Simple as that. If he makes several hundred-thousand next season in Europe, in the D-League or on an NBA bench, good for him.

That's the way Williams has to see it without losing his mind in an unstable business. "I think that's the way you've got to look at it," Williams said. "I want what's best for our kids. I love our kids. I don't mean that in any other way except I genuinely care about them. I didn't expect Juan (Anderson) to leave. It's all just so volatile."

Rumble_icon_x-small_copy_medium And in Providence, LaDontae Henton has found himself a domestic dispute charge. So was the other person.

LaDontae Henton, 21, was charged with domestic simple assault and vandalism, after [ex-girlfriend] Kristin Smith, 20, told Providence police that he threw her on the floor and smashed her cell phone. Smith is accused of smashing Henton's TV; she is charged with domestic vandalism.

Rumble_icon_x-small_copy_medium If you missed it (like I did), read about the worry that Butler could lose its "way". Related: schools with "ways" are pretty obnoxious. Duke kinda has a way... Gonzaga has a way... is a "way" coded language? Did John Thompson Sr.'s Hoyas have a "way"?

I'm going to have a way. With this video - Everlast on Prince Paul's "Prince Among Thieves" album.