Tag:Matt Norlander
Posted on: July 28, 2011 2:21 pm
Edited on: July 28, 2011 2:36 pm

Oklahoma offers up more punishments for itself

By Matt Norlander

Think Lon Kruger knew this was part of the deal when he came to Oklahoma?

Think he would have left UNLV a few months ago anyway if he did?

I have to believe he knew what was coming, that officials with the university laid out the forthcoming scenario to him when he was getting ready to ink a contract. Still, Kruger's not going to have a lot to work with in the coming years, as he'll sift through the mess, the erosion, that was left by the Kelvin Sampson and Jeff Capel eras. Both saw major infractions levied against the basketball program.

The latest came Thursday, as the Sooners, according to the Associated Press, asked the NCAA to give it two more years worth of probation, and not only that. The school offered up a docked scholarship, two offiicial visits taken away and 10 in-person recruiting days to be eliminated for 2011-12. There's also a vacation of the 2009-10 season, when OU went 13-18, the year after Blake Griffin left the team. A vapid, meaningless-yet-mandatory action every school has as its go-to now.

Why so much, though? It's because Oklahoma acted badly under Capel -- while it was already on probation the first time, in the aftermath of the Sampson violations.

This peace offering from OU to the NCAA stems from major violations by Oronde Taliaferro, a former assistant under Jeff Capel, who is now an assistant coach with Duke. Taliaferro was forced out in 2010, when Oklahoma began its investigation into the wrongdoings, specifically, illegal phone calls.

"The university and NCAA investigators released a summary report Thursday proposing penalties for the infractions committee to consider. Athletic department spokesman Kenny Mossman said that process should take several weeks and Oklahoma will not comment until the process is resolved," according to the AP's report.

Oklahoma committed major violations while it was on probation. That's huge, folks, even if you don't consider the phone-call rules to be contemporary. And the NCAA, and its president, Mark Emmert, have stated they're going to go hard after the rule-breakers. Harder than in most cases before. Oklahoma's giving up a lot here. The case may not be sexy or get much attention, but since -- as of now -- there's no apparent lying or veiling of facts, this could be a barometer for how serious the NCAA wants to be.

Since those affiliated with the Capel years are now gone (like Pearl and Tennessee's case), if not much else is thrown at Oklahoma, then we'll know what kind of regime Emmert is running. If schools eliminate all vested parties and attached coaches to staffs that commit major violations, will schools largely be off the hook afterward? Oklahoma's verdict will be one of the few in the early going that clues us in.

Photo: AP

Category: NCAAB
Posted on: July 28, 2011 11:30 am

Pac-12 continues to expand its reach and power

By Matt Norlander

On Wednesday, the Pac-12 made an announcement, its latest, that will change the way we see the conference.

For so long, the previously labeled Pac-10 was an odd entity to itself. A West Coast black sheep. In a way, its fans embraced that label; consider it the goth chick from high school who didn't give a damn. Its basketball was considered inferior and largely discounted -- dumb as that was -- because so many people rarely saw most, if any, of the league's games.

Soft hoop in a conference that was bereft of pros (Ben Howland's teams excluded). Again, to a definable extent, misguided and wrong, but the perception, nonetheless. Perceptions and reputations, mainly because they're earned in an honest way, are hard to overcome.

Going forward, the former excuse and train of thought won't be viable. The Pac-12 isn't going to be a ship in the night you can't see, a group of teams you only hear about up until March. The league is setting up a Pac-12 Network that will be national, and in addition to that -- this is where you really realize it's serious, and that the league is banking on ridiculously high revenue streams -- there will be six regional networks airing league games. This goes well beyond football and basketball. But we're a basketball blog, so we'll concentrate on that. The tentacles for these regional networks will only reach across the West Coast and Mountain time zones.

(As an aside, the Northeast, as much as it may not care, needs to have access to all games; it's almost as though, without Boston, New York and D.C. having the ability to see these games, then what's the point? These are major media markets and they must be catered to if the Pac-12 wants to bolster its reputation.)

The vision and ability to create such a network is going to be huge for the league. With the addition of Colorado and Utah, the conference also has the benefit of literal expansion. They've moved into the mountains and added a time zone. With more exposure for the teams, you don't think this will drive public opinion?

Go knock on the Big East's door and asks how it feels about having 16 teams and getting more airtime than any other conference. Then check the league's NCAA tournament appearance the past five years. The Pac-12 can't and won't become the Big East, but it can remove itself from what the Pac-10 was. I've already written about the upside Larry Scott and the conference has with the potential digital media integration. But nothing -- nothing, nothing, nothing -- is as powerful for a college program or a league as television exposure. The Pac-12 now not only has that, it has control of it, too. Any game that doesn't receive broadcast from a national network will be put on the Pac-12's signal.

Here's some more information on what's in store:
[The Pac-12 will work] in conjunction with the nation's largest cable operators: Comcast, Time Warner Cable, Cox Communications and Bright House Networks.

In addition to broadly distributing the Pac-12 Networks, the four cable operators are utilizing iN DEMAND to provide certain production and operations services to the Pac-12 Networks, which will continue to be wholly owned by the Pac-12 Conference.

This transformative arrangement, set to begin in August 2012, marks the first time a U.S. collegiate conference or any other programmer has launched a collection of networks across a variety of platforms rather than a sole network. And it includes "TV everywhere" rights, permitting the networks to be viewed outside customers' homes on any digital device, such as smartphones and tablet computers, creating a virtual "Pac-12 Everywhere."

That's big. There are other facets to this, like broadcast of Olympic sports (which will be cool), but the league is doing this to generate football money, naturally. Basketball's there to reap the rewards, hopefully, and expand the conference's reach and reputation. The whole undertaking is big, innovative and seems fairly gamble-free.

The teams are getting the stage and light to show themselves. When the time comes in 2012, it will be on them to make us want to watch. And if the league's good, we will. Sports fans almost never turn down competitive, high-level athletic television product.
Category: NCAAB
Posted on: July 27, 2011 6:08 pm

UCLA suspends Jerime Anderson

By Matt Norlander

The UCLA Bruins have indefinitely suspended senior guard Jerime Anderson.

The announcment was made Wednesday afternoon on the heels of Anderson's arrest Tuesday night. What's certain is Anderson will be out for the team's opener, on Nov. 11, a home game against Loyola Marymount.

Here's the entirety of the school's statement, which details Anderson getting cuffed Tuesday night on campus:
UCLA men's basketball player Jerime Anderson has been suspended indefinitely from all team activities and at least the 2011-12 season-opener against Loyola Marymount (Nov. 11) following his arrest Tuesday (July 26) evening. Anderson, a senior point guard, was arrested on campus by University Police and was charged with suspicion of grand theft in connection with the theft of a laptop.

"This is a disappointing and unfortunate situation for Jerime," said head coach Ben Howland. "We have a high standard and code of conduct that our student-athletes are expected to follow. He knows that he has made a huge mistake and that he has not represented himself, our program or UCLA in a manner that is required." Anderson's status with the team will be re-evaluated as the legal process continues.
Another stolen-laptop case. What is it with college athletes and this affliction? Anderson, who averaged 5.1 points per game last season, is one of the most reliable 3-point shooters Howland has.

What's interesting to point out in this case is Howland's immediate reaction to the arrest. Unlike, say, Jim Boeheim, who has chosen to lay low while Fab Melo's legal battle drifts out over a domestic disturbance case. Some coaches choose to make decisions immediately. I give credit to Howland for going with this choice first and leaving almost every possibility for further punishment open. Not an easy -- or even necessary -- call to make right now. But Howland, who is on the recruiting trail as we speak, made the decision immediately.

Consider it a message from afar that was heard loud and clear by all of his players.

Photo: AP
Category: NCAAB
Posted on: July 27, 2011 12:58 pm

Was Desmond Allison killed over a hat?

By Matt Norlander

Senseless doesn't even cover it.
A story in today's Columbus Dispatch details that the shooting and death of former Kentucky forward Desmond Allison was over ... a hat. Death over dumb, pointless stuff. Frustrating. Here's the scene:

Desmond "Dez" Allison, 31, was outside with friends, talking on his cellphone at the Nelson Park Apartments on the Near East Side, when an ex-girlfriend took a cap off his head, said Malcolm Goff, 36, who also was shot in the same incident.

Allison barely noticed and kept talking, his friend Goff said.

But his current girlfriend had given him the hat, said Tina Underwood, 31, a witness and longtime friend of Allison's. The current girlfriend saw the ex-girlfriend with the hat and the two women began arguing, Goff and Underwood said.

Allison apparently remained on the phone -- who was he talking to? There's a story -- and an argument began between Allison and a man in a posse of three, who began accusing Allison of "messing with his cousin."

"It was a hat he didn't care about," Goff said to the Dispatch. "He was just wearing it to wear it."

As of now, police are still trying to connect all the dots with this strange, stupid, unnecessary killing in the middle of the afternoon. The story also brings to light a sad state of affairs: Allison left behind five children.

Photo: AP
Category: NCAAB
Posted on: July 27, 2011 12:00 pm
Edited on: July 27, 2011 12:02 pm

Michigan State's Delvon Roe to be in movie

By Matt Norlander

Is eating free food from the rider list on a movie set an NCAA violation?

Hope not, because Delvon Roe's gone straight Hollywood, kids. Well, maybe not that big.

The oft-injured Michigan State forward landed a part in an upcoming movie entitled, "AWOL," and he's spent part of his summer filming in Ann Arbor, Mich. The movie stars Aimee Teegarden (of Friday Night Lights), Austin Stowell (I have no idea who that is) and Liam Hemsworth (ditto). If you want more information on the movie and the sizzling young actors who are sure to make this a box office smash, read this article.

As for Roe, he's already is so comfortable in his alternative lifestyle that he's even tweeting complaints about the long hours and high temperatures. C'mon, man. Have you already forgotten about your roots?

Seems Michigan State has gotten pretty highfalutin these days, what with Tom Izzo bouncing around the country on a private jet.

The movie is filming now; we don't know when it will be released. If CBSSports.com can get a copy of the screener down the road, we'll do our best to give you a review of Roe's performance. But here's to hoping that he's more convincing on the floor in his senior year than on the screen. State needs him more than the movie industry does.

(H/T, CBB Nation)

Photo: AP
Posted on: July 26, 2011 7:30 pm
Edited on: July 26, 2011 7:40 pm

More names tied to Salinas uncovered

By Matt Norlander

You tired of the David Salinas story? If so, that's unfortunate, because there are more layers to it, still, and just because it's lost a little momentum doesn't mean it's lost relevance. Coaches affected by Salinas' death met with lawyers in Las Vegas over the weekend.

There's still a lot of panic over this. A lot of uncertainty. A lot of coaches stand to forever lose a lot of money because they weren't smart with their investments.

Sports Illustrated's Pablo Torre has been doing work on the ground in Houston -- where Salinas lived -- for the past week, and in advance of a profile of Salinas' final days and/or months, Torre retrieved more names and money amounts that were lost in the Ponzi scheme. That update was released Tuesday. Most of the names and numbers listed below were released last week, but there are still figures inside and outside of college basketball who dealt with Salinas, and whose names haven't been revealed.

It's important to note that the exclusion of those names doesn't infer dubious behavior; this saga is sad for those who knew Salinas, and it's embarrassing all the while as well. And some of the people who invested with Salinas weren't involved in this specific Ponzi scheme -- they didn't necessarily lose any money, in fact.

SI updated its list of the names attached to the Ponzi scheme, from highest to lowest amounts lost in at-risk bonds. I've attached them here.

-- Texas Tech head coach Billy Gillispie ($2.3 million)
-- Gonzaga assistant Ray Giacoletti ($1.2 million)
-- Former Arizona coach Lute Olson ($1.17 million)
-- Baylor football head coach Art Briles ($780,000)
-- Texas A&M-Corpus Christi head coach Willis Wilson ($642,000)
-- Baylor head coach Scott Drew ($621,000)
-- Augustana head basketball coach Grey Giovanine ($533,000)
-- Former Washington Wizards guard Cartier Martin ($374,000)
-- Gonzaga head coach Mark Few ($353,000)
-- Golden State Warriors forward Ekpe Udoh ($350,000)
-- Adidas staffer and Houston Select staffer Martin Fox ($249,000)
-- Illinois State head coach Tim Jankovich ($184,000)
-- Former Oklahoma State and Rice player Jason Skaer ($129,500)
-- Former New Mexico AD Rudy Davalos ($83,000)
-- Former Rice, Wichita State, Cornell head coach Scott Thompson ($65,000)
-- Nebraska head coach Doc Sadler ($38,000)
-- Arizona State associate athletics director Mike Chismar ($30,000)
-- Evansville assistant James Elgas ($24,000)
-- United States Merchant Marine Academy head coach Danny Nee ($23,000)
-- Creighton assistant Steve Lutz ($9,000)
-- Former Houston head football coach Bill Yeoman (unknown)
Category: NCAAB
Posted on: July 26, 2011 4:55 pm
Edited on: July 26, 2011 5:01 pm

Final Four runs earn Butler $500 million

By Matt Norlander

Nearly as mind-blowing a fact as Butler making back-to-back Final Fours is the number affiliated with the accomplishment: $500 million.

That's how much the school says it's reaped in regard to publicity due to unprecedented title-game runs in 2010 and 2011. It's also the amount of money most schools are willing to pay to hire Brad Stevens. (Kidding. Only kind of.)
The study, done by Borshoff, monitored and evaluated media coverage of the Butler University men’s basketball team from mid-March to mid-June, 2011.  During that period, Butler garnered an estimated publicity value of $512,382,703 through television, print and on-line news coverage.  When factoring in social media, the audience reach surpassed 69 billion.
That's 69 billion people, not dollars. Had to clean that dangled sentence.

And, holy wow, 69 billion? No, really -- sixty freaking nine freaking billion. That's an unbelievable number, considering you're accounting for page views, viewers on television, Twitter followers, etc. Who knows the math behind it all, really.

Wait, Butler claims it does. This isn't the same type of ambigious, nebulous number you hear about each March, when studies claim America loses $385 billion on lost work and the like. No, they've got this all down to a science, people.
The study found that the performance of the Butler men’s basketball team generated $60,378,084.41 in television publicity value, $2,792,954.18 in print publicity value and $449,211,664.31 in on-line publicity value.  The study did not consider the publicity value of radio broadcasts or talk shows.

Television coverage during the final two weeks of the NCAA Tournament provided more than 7,600 mentions of the Butler men’s basketball team, with an estimated publicity value of more than $42.5 million.  The championship game’s publicity value was estimated at more than $2.2 million.  Overall, Butler basketball received nearly 10,000 mentions and reached an estimated audience of 1.4 billion.
And the chorus sings, "Why aren't we paying the players?"

There's more, though. You don't reach such a high number over the course of two years unless the Internet plays a huge role. And it does now more than ever. The study monitored any type of mentions for Butler on every social media platform, as well as YouTube, and discovered another audience that produced more than $12 million hits.

What's undeniable: Butler basketball is a household brand now, thanks to Brad Stevens. But even if this team du jour is such a draw, what are the numbers for schools like Duke, Kentucky and North Carolina? At least double, you'd have to imagine. And then consider college football programs, which are gaining steam each year. What does Florida or USC or Notre Dame earn in publicity? You'd need a golden calculator to divide the time it takes to realize that real programs like that are earning money that's beyond countable.

Photo: AP
Category: NCAAB
Posted on: July 26, 2011 2:46 pm
Edited on: July 26, 2011 2:47 pm

Former Kentucky player Desmond Allison killed

By Matt Norlander

No matter the circumstances that lead to it, there's always a certain tone of sadness and regret that comes with the news of a former college athlete's death. It's different from a regular-person death, if you get what I mean -- especially if it happens at a young age.

Fair or not, right or wrong, doesn't it always feel like there was a helplessness attached to it? Maybe it's because so many of these players escape from an environment thanks to their abilities, and seeing them tumble back toward that later in life is saddening. I barely remember watching Desmond Allison play for Kentucky, yet today I'm hamstrung over the fact he was killed in Columbus, Ohio, Monday, the victim of a gunshot wound to the chest.

Police say he was shot in the chest along with another man at an apartment complex in Columbus. Allison was pronounced dead at the hospital. The other man was injured, but no word on his condition.
Who is this other man? We still don't know. The scenario that led to this shooting is still unknown, too. What a sad picture, though. An argument in the afternoon between who knows how many people led to the discharge of bullets.

The 31-year-old Allison was a two-year member of the UK team, from 1998-2000. He was kicked off the squad after an arrest for a DUI and having an open container of alcohol in his vehicle. He averaged 8.9 points and 4.4 rebounds per game his sophomore year.

His public, athletic life, for all intents and purposes, ended then. Tampa Bay Online spoke with Allison's high school coach, Scott Wagers, Monday night.

"It’s another tragedy from Robinson," he said. "It’s unbelievable. ... Desmond was the ultimate competitor," Wagers said. "He competed at everything. If we did a drill, he tried to beat your butt at it. I remember a game when he had a 102 temperature. He would wink at me when he wanted to come out of the game. I had a trash can where he could throw up. Then he’d take some Gatorade and get back out there. He had a basketball I.Q. off the charts."

Allison graduated from Robinson in 1998 as the school’s all-time leading scorer with 2,280 career points, the fourth most in Hillsborough County history.

Tracy McGrady gave Allison high praise on Twitter Monday night, upon hearing the news.

He'd faced four arrests in the years after leaving Kentucky, but this story, from the St. Petersburg Times in 2005, showed the life Allison came to embrace. He was playing low-end professional football in Vermillion, S.D., five years removed from Kentucky hoops. Allison was recruited in hoops and football out of high school. He was an incredible athlete. But he could never find his way. The story linked above includes a coach asking this of Allison: "Desmond, am I going to your funeral next?"

Chilling, foreshadowing, foreboding and must-read material today.

Additionally, former colleague here at the blog, Matt Jones, has a good perspective post at Kentucky Sports Radio on who Allison was and what his time at Kentucky meant. Also: how he threw it away. An athlete gone too soon, and in such a sad, wasteful way. Gunfire on a Columbus afternoon. Thoughts and prayers to those who knew Allison well.

Photo: AP
Category: NCAAB
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com