Posted on: June 8, 2009 9:39 am
Edited on: June 8, 2009 9:41 am
Shawn Taggart told his "friends" last month on Facebook that he was leaving school. He subsequently said it meant nothing, of course. But telling "white chocolate" that "its ova wit" always seemed like a good sign that the Memphis forward would remain in the NBA Draft, for better or worse. And so it should come as no surprise -- it didn't surprise first-year coach Josh Pastner, at least -- that Taggart has hired an agent.
"We would've loved to have Shawn back, but I think we still have a good core group," Pastner told CBSSports.com by phone. "Now we're just going to have to fight and claw and scrap and just be a tough team, and we're going to have to coach them up. There's no question. We're going to have to coach them up. But this is a great opportunity for a lot of guys who were role players last year. Now they have to really step up."
On the surface, Taggart's departure makes little sense because he has no chance of being selected in the first round, and it's doubtful that he'll be picked at all. But it's important to note that the 6-foot-10 forward has already graduated, and that he's 24 years-old. So leaving now is a reasonable decision if the goal is to simply earn a paycheck somewhere, ASAP.
Taggart's departure means the top four scorers from last season's team are gone.
Pastner will only have five returning scholarship players.
In other draft news, LSU's Tasmin Mitchell, Arizona's Nic Wise and Miami's Dwayne Collins have all announced that they will withdraw from the NBA Draft and return to school. The deadline to withdraw is next Monday.
Posted on: June 6, 2009 1:46 pm
Edited on: June 6, 2009 1:47 pm
Memphis' appearance before the NCAA Committee on Infractions lasted less than four hours Saturday.
The school has released a statement from President Dr. Shirley Raines.
The following is the text of that statement:
"Today, the University of Memphis responded to the NCAA allegations concerning our men’s basketball and women’s golf teams. Although we cannot comment on the specifics of what occurred during the hearing, I can say that, as President, I reiterated the University’s commitment to NCAA rules compliance. As a member institution with several of our staff participating in NCAA leadership positions, I expect the University to live up to its commitment. We believe we were able to fully answer the Committee’s questions and present the actions that we have already taken based upon our internal investigations. Throughout this process, we have had a cooperative relationship with the NCAA Enforcement Staff, and we want to thank the NCAA for that. We are hopeful that we will receive a favorable decision on behalf of the University in this matter. We appreciate your interest and we look forward to having more to say after the committee has released its decision."
The Committee of Infractions is expected to rule in about six weeks.
Posted on: June 5, 2009 11:11 pm
Memphis has endured a lot of negative headlines over the past week.
But now it's time for a positive one.
Because the Tigers just committed a consensus top 10 prospect.
"Me and my brother are ecstatic," Will Barton told CBSSports.com by phone on Friday night, not long after he and his brother, Antonio Barton, committed to first-year coach Josh Pastner during an unofficial visit for an Elite Camp. "We have a strong relationship with Coach Pastner and Coach Cyp (assistant Glynn Cyprien). It just feels like a family atmosphere down here."
Will Barton is a 6-foot-6 shooting guard from Baltimore.
Scout.com ranks him as the No. 1 shooting guard in the Class of 2010.
Antonio Barton is a 6-2 combo guard from Baltimore.
He is unranked on the national level but considered a solid mid-major prospect.
At least a dozen other schools were pursuing Will Barton -- among them Syracuse, Maryland and Kentucky.
"I think it came down to Memphis working the angle of taking both brothers," said Scout.com's Evan Daniels. "Kentucky was probably second (in the race), but I think they only wanted to take Will and Memphis wanted to take them both."
Posted on: June 4, 2009 11:33 pm
Edited on: June 4, 2009 11:37 pm
There have been lots of funny lines over the past week about the NCAA troubles that are plaguing Memphis.
But I'm not sure I've seen anything better than the unintentional comedy on the Memphis website.
Click this link and check out the status of the school's "Athletic Compliance" page.
Seriously, what's better than that?
Posted on: June 4, 2009 6:24 pm
Edited on: June 4, 2009 6:27 pm
One of the stranger subplots of the NCAA allegations facing Memphis is how athletic director R.C. Johnson and first-year coach Josh Pastner continue to deliver different answers when asked about who knew what when. Pastner has said many times that he didn't learn that the program he inherited in April from John Calipari had been charged with major violations until last week, right before The Commercial Appeal received a copy of the allegations in response to a Freedom of Information Act request. But Johnson has rejected that notion and stated publicly that Pastner knew about the allegations, although Johnson offers little in the way of details.
So who's telling the truth?
But it's worth noting that all the evidence seems to back Pastner, because CBSSports.com has learned that Johnson did not disclose that his men's basketball program had been charged with major violations with any of the candidates he seriously considered before settling on Pastner. According to multiple sources, Baylor coach Scott Drew, Missouri coach Mike Anderson, Southern California coach Tim Floyd and Florida State coach Leonard Hamilton -- all of whom were pursued by Memphis to varying degrees -- were unaware that Memphis had been accused of major violations until the news broke last week, this despite the fact that the NCAA charged Memphis more than two months before the school went looking for Calipari's replacement, more than two months before each man entertained the idea of leaving their jobs for a program that is spending this offseason enduring one negative headline after another.
"It's unbelievable," one source told CBSSports.com. "How could they pursue so many different candidates and not be up front about where the program was at or what the program was facing? It seems to me that they should've been up front and let [the serious candidates know] that [they] might be inheriting some NCAA problems if [they] changed jobs. But [the Memphis officials] didn't do that. They never even hinted at it."
Memphis is scheduled to appear before the NCAA Committee on Infractions on Saturday.
Posted on: June 2, 2009 5:11 pm
On the same day that the University of Memphis released its response to NCAA allegations that Derrick Rose had someone take his SAT for him, sources told CBSSports.com that Rose's former teammate, Robert Dozier, only played for the Tigers because the University of Georgia declined to enroll the in-state product over concerns that he might've similarly had someone take his SAT.
According to a source, Dozier took the SAT once before trying to enroll at Georgia, but that score was flagged after the school received a tip that the score might be "fishy." At the time, Georgia was still dealing with charges of academic fraud under Jim Harrick and determined to be extra careful with everything. So the school asked Dozier to take the SAT again, and a source with knowledge of the situation told CBSSports.com that the second score was "not enough to resolve the issue." Put another way, Georgia officials were not properly convinced the first test and second test were taken by the same person, which led to the end of Dozier's time as a Georgia recruit in August 2004.
Dozier subsequently enrolled at Laurinburg Prep along with four other future Tigers (namely Antonio Anderson, Shawne Williams, Kareem Cooper and Roburt Sallie). About a month later, he committed to Memphis for a second time -- Dozier was actually committed to Memphis before he ever signed with Georgia -- and eventually helped the Tigers make the 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2009 NCAA tournaments under John Calipari while becoming the winningest Division I men's basketball player in history (along with Anderson and Chance McGrady).
Posted on: June 1, 2009 6:19 pm
Edited on: June 1, 2009 6:37 pm
The University of Memphis will release its response to the NCAA's notice of allegations on Tuesday, a source has told CBSSports.com.
According to the source, the response is 63 pages long with another approximately 480 pages of exhibits. It is designed, in part, to refute the NCAA's claim that former Tiger Derrick Rose "failed to deport himself in accordance with the generally recognized high standards of honesty and sportsmanship normally associated with the conduct and administration of intercollegiate athletics" by allowing someone else to take his SAT. The other serious charge facing Memphis is that Rose's older brother, Reggie Rose, flew on team charters for road trips and stayed at the team hotel without paying.
Memphis will appear before the NCAA committee on infractions in Indianapolis on Saturday.
Posted on: May 29, 2009 7:02 pm
Mexwayne Williams' cell phone has been busy this week.
It's been wild at work, too.
All because of speculation -- speculation among both fans and industry sources -- that his son, Elliot Williams, is considering transferring from Duke back home to the University of Memphis due to circumstances, multiple sources have told CBSSports.com, that could allow the former McDonald's All-American to change schools without penalty and play immediately at Memphis, if he chose to go that route.
Reached by phone Friday afternoon, Mexwayne Williams addressed the issue with CBSSports.com. Asked whether his son is considering transferring from Duke to Memphis, he said: "As of right now, to my knowledge, Elliot will be attending Duke University as a sophomore and playing basketball. You can quote that."
Consider it quoted.
Elliot Williams started Duke's final 12 games last season.
He chose Duke out of high school over Tennessee and Memphis.