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Tag:Gary Parrish
Posted on: September 9, 2011 10:00 am
Edited on: September 9, 2011 10:04 am

Archie Goodwin hates green and gold

By Gary Parrish

Archie Goodwin is one of the top prospects in the Class of 2012 (and, you might remember, the player former Arkansas coach John Pelphrey was once photographed with in violation of NCAA rules). The 6-foot-4 wing from Arkansas has narrowed his list of potential schools to Arkansas, Connecticut, Kansas, Kentucky and Memphis. But what I found most interesting is why Goodwin said he eliminated certain schools.

He talked to Evan Demirel about it recently.

I can appreciate Goodwin's candor.

Why not Texas?
“I did away with Texas simply because I didn’t feel like my relationship was strong enough with Coach [Rick] Barnes. I can see myself playing for Texas but I didn’t feel comfortable with him as my coach.”
And Missouri?
“I talked to the assistant coaches all the time. Coach Tim Fuller is one of the coolest assistant coaches I’ve ever known, but as far as the head coach, I really didn’t know his name. I couldn’t tell you the head coach’s name. He talked to me on the phone, but Tim was the one that mostly called.”
And Baylor?
“Coach Scott Drew is a great guy. I love Coach Drew. They were one of the first schools that were recruiting me. But I didn’t like that they were an adidas team, but that’s not to say I wouldn’t go to Kansas because Kansas is a great team. I can look over the adidas thing – I own some adidas stuff. I didn’t like their colors, either. I don’t like green and gold. That’s ugly …. When you got ugly colors like that, you gotta be Nike. …. Baylor has some ugly shoes, too."
(Note to Archie: Missouri's coach is Frank Haith. He used to be at Miami and worked for -- guess who? -- Rick Barnes at Texas before that.)
Posted on: September 8, 2011 12:29 pm
Edited on: September 8, 2011 12:34 pm

Random act of kindness from IU's Crean

By Gary Parrish

Tom Crean has struggled to rebuild Indiana while rival programs flourish all around him.

That's a tough, tough deal.

John Calipari has Kentucky operating at a different level than almost everybody, Brad Stevens has turned Butler into a national brand, and Matt Painter has established himself as one of the nation's premier coaches at Purdue. Meantime, Crean has gone 8-46 in the Big Ten through his first three years at IU. But fans still remain hopeful because recruiting is now going very well.

And stories like this don't hurt either ...
[There is student] at Indiana [who] was finding his adjustment to college a difficult one. Crean saw the young man sitting in the lobby of the basketball practice facility recently and noticed him a couple of times as he went in and out of the basketball offices. He also noticed that the young man appeared to be very upset. Crean invited the student into his office and proceeded to hear his story and counseled the young man on how difficult the transition to college can be and encouraged him to stick with it. He also introduced the student to the rest of his staff and he got him an opportunity to work around the basketball program as a member of the athletic department.
That's a story from David Kaplan at that I stumbled upon thanks to's Eamonn Brennan.

A reader apparently called Kaplan and relayed the tale.

Kaplan called Crean for comment.

Crean declined.

But here's the rest of Kaplan's post.
The young man had turned off his cell phone after telling his parents that he needed to take a walk and think and his parents were very worried when they were unable to reach him. When Crean inquired as to whether the young man had spoken with his parents recently the young man said no. Crean called the parents, gave them his personal contact information and told them he would look out for their son. After arranging for a job in the athletic department the young man is reported to be doing very well and has adjusted to life away from home.
Will stories like this help Crean challenge Tom Izzo, Thad Matta and Bo Ryan in the Big Ten?

Of course not.

But it sure is a helluva nice story.

And my guess is that even the IU fans who are tired of losing smiled a bit when they read it.

Category: NCAAB
Posted on: September 7, 2011 9:46 am

Baylor is desperate and right at the same time

By Gary Parrish

Texas A&M's move from the Big 12 to the SEC is on hold until the SEC gets assurances that no Big 12 school will sue because, suddenly, at least one Big 12 school -- specifically Baylor -- is threatening to do exactly that. My question: Why would Baylor give such an assurance?

Baylor seems, at this moment, to have one foot in Conference USA and the other on something slippery as the college landscape shifts, and if that's the case isn't it only responsible for Baylor to try to scare the Big 12 into staying together by any means necessary? I have no idea if Baylor could win such a lawsuit against the SEC, commissioner Mike Slive and/or Texas A&M because I'm not a lawyer. But what I do know is that, in this country, you can threaten to sue pretty much anybody for pretty much anything, and if the SEC and A&M want that possibility off the table before moving forward then Baylor ought to make the SEC and A&M give something in return.

What something?

Could be anything, including straight-cash homey.

But it would be foolish to take the threat of a lawsuit off the table just because the SEC asks.

So good for Baylor for standing up.

Ultimately, the school's actions will probably only stall the inevitable.

But desperate shots are worth taking when you find yourself in desperate times.
Posted on: September 5, 2011 5:36 pm
Edited on: September 5, 2011 5:39 pm

First in line at UT > Next in line at Bama

By Gary Parrish

Dave Hart was in line to be Alabama's next athletic director.

But that line isn't like a line at a grocery store.

You can't look at the amount of stuff in people's baskets, then try to gauge when you'll be at the front and plan accordingly. There's just no way to know for sure. It's what Will Muschamp endured at Texas while waiting on Mack Brown to retire. It's what Mike Hopkins is dealing with at Syracuse while he waits for Jim Boeheim to walk away. Knowing where you're going is comforting, but having no idea when you'll get there must be tough on some level. So I'm not surprised that Hart, an Alabama graduate, accepted an offer to become Tennessee's next athletic director on Monday. It's not his dream job, obviously. But it's a great job -- and a great job he can have right now.

Which is not to suggest this'll be easy.

Hart is taking over at a school with two high-profile sports on probation.

He has two coaches -- Derek Dooley in football, Cuonzo Martin in men's basketball -- with promising characteristics, but the truth is that both are unproven at the high-major level, and what the next five years will bring to Neyland Stadium and Thompson-Boling Arena is anybody's guess. So Hart will have to monitor things closely and be smart about handing out contract extensions and pink slips. It's unclear whether he's got the right guys in place, but most agree he's the right guy for this job.

Dave Hart was gonna be Alabama's athletic director someday.

But he gave that up to be Alabama's rival's athletic director today.

That seems like a good thing for Tennessee and a bad thing for Alabama.

It's nothing Nick Saban can't overshadow Oct. 22, of course. But it's still a big deal in Knoxville.
Posted on: September 3, 2011 10:49 am
Edited on: September 3, 2011 11:19 am

Friends shed light on Calipari's Memphis years

By Gary Parrish

Aaron Smith is the guy from the student newspaper at Kentucky who was "punished" this week by UK's sports information department for doing great reporting that, in UK's mind, doubled as a violation of the school's media policy. But that's neither here nor there. It's really just an introduction to my main point -- that Smith now has a nice article in the Kentucky Kernel detailing two relationships John Calipari developed during his nine years at Memphis.

You can read the article here.

The most interesting quotes came from Don DeWeese -- one of Calipari's close friends and the owner of Gibson's Donuts, a popular spot near where Calipari used to live in Memphis. Among the highlights are DeWeese's thoughts on Memphis being forced to vacate the 2007-08 season after Derrick Rose's SAT score was invalidated:
“I think it’s a travesty and everybody else does, too. Because we know we won all those games. Did Derrick Rose take that test? I don’t know. I doubt it. I don’t think John Calipari had anything to do with the arranging of the test. Did he have knowledge of it? Maybe. But they’ve never proved he had anything to do with it.”
Another nice quote features DeWeese talking about Calipari's reluctance to recruit Memphians to play for Memphis.
“He didn’t take a lot of Memphis players, because they’re harder to coach, because at every game, they got their whole posse there.”
That's a sentiment I know to be true, and it's hard to argue Calipari wasn't correct considering he had off-the-court problems with several Memphians during his tenure at Memphis -- from Antonio Burks to Billy Richmond to Andre Allen. It's something worth remembering considering Josh Pastner now has a Memphis team that'll be ranked in the top 15 of most preseason polls. The number of Memphians on the current Memphis roster? Eight.
Posted on: September 1, 2011 10:59 am
Edited on: September 1, 2011 11:02 am

Simpson arrives on Memphis campus

By Gary Parrish

Junior college big Stan Simpson has arrived on the Memphis campus and will be cleared to practice as soon as he passes a physical, a source has told

An official announcement from the school is expected soon.

The 6-foot-10 forward was supposed to be on campus last week but his arrival was delayed because of unpaid fees at his junior college that prevented the school from releasing his official transcript to Memphis. Those fees are in the process of being handled, according to a source. Simpson took a train from Chicago late Wednesday and arrived in Memphis early this morning.

Simpson chose Memphis over Kansas and Connecticut last Spring.

He's expected to be a key reserve for the Tigers.
Category: NCAAB
Posted on: August 31, 2011 2:40 pm

Simpson still not on Memphis campus

By Gary Parrish

Stan Simpson is the junior college big who signed with Memphis late over Kansas and Connecticut.

He was supposed to arrive on campus last week.

The Fall semester has begun.

But Simpson remains away from his teammates and the city in general, which has led many to speculate about what's going on. According to a source, here's the deal: Simpson had to finish some academic work at a junior college this summer. His grades are in. They are fine. He has been admitted to Memphis and there are no eligibility or amateurism issues. The problem is that Simpson accumulated a balance at the junior college that his family is, at this point, unprepared to pay, and the junior college will not release Simpson's official transcript until that balance is paid. Meantime, the NCAA prohibits Memphis from giving Simpson any financial aid (i.e., an athletic scholarship) until the school receives Simpson's official transcript. So everything is on hold until Simpson's balance at the junior college is paid and Memphis receives that official transcript.

A source believes this could all be resolved soon -- in a matter of days, not weeks.

But the point is that the problem isn't an amateurism problem.

And it isn't an academic problem, either.

It is, quite simply, a money problem.
Category: NCAAB
Posted on: August 29, 2011 3:06 pm

Van Gundy's NCAA plan: Eliminate the rules

By Gary Parrish

My colleague Matt Moore has an interesting post in our NBA blog about some interesting comments from Stan Van Gundy in relation to the scandal at Miami that has some believing the football program should get the so-called death penalty. Basically, the Orlando Magic coach blamed the NCAA's system for the problems that plague college athletics, then suggested the only way to fix the system is to eliminate the entire rule book.
“[We should] let the schools decide whom they enroll and how — no entrance or eligibility requirements, how much the boosters want to pay them and whether or not they go to class. There are two rules. You play only four seasons, and the upper age limit is 25. No other rules. Players who are paid must declare their income and pay taxes on it. If they don’t and get caught, then they have to deal with the IRS and instead of giving back the Heisman they risk going to jail. This drops the myth about amateurism and education. It allows players to get paid but puts it out in the open. Now people can stop hiding behind their idealism about the purity of college athletics and let you know what the school and alumni truly value. NCAA enforcement is the drug war. We’ve lost. Let’s find a different, more realistic approach.”
The reason I love that quote is because it touches on something I've spent a lot of time talking to coaches about recently -- that the only way to really "clean up" college athletics is to eliminate the rules because amateurism as defined by the NCAA has never worked and will never work. There's just no reason to believe we will ever stop agents and boosters and coaches and shoe companies from buying prospects for schools. Van Gundy's solution to this problem is to strip away all the BS and make college athletics a legalized free-for-all, and that's an idea I could get behind because it would bring everything above board.

Even better?

It probably wouldn't change much in regards to which teams win and which teams lose.

I genuinely believe that if we told all football programs and all basketball programs that they could, for the next 15 years, do whatever they want to do to field whatever kind of team they want to field, that our next 15 national champions in both sports would look a lot like our last 15 national champions in both sports. They'd be the same lists, give or take a school or two, because the schools that care the most and spend the most would win the most, and that's pretty much the way it is right now anyway. The only difference would be that nobody would call that system "hypocritical," and nobody would whisper about cheating when a school wins a title because everybody would know exactly what everybody did to get everybody on campus.

No more lies.

No more secrets.

Is it a far-fetched idea?

Of course.

But it's much more honest than the system we've got now.
Category: NCAAB
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