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  • Clemson coach Brownell lands six-year, $15 million deal
    By Field Level Media / Thursday, July 19, 2018

    Clemson coach Brad Brownell received a new six-year, $15 million contract on Thursday after guiding the Tigers to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA tournament last season.

    • Brownell will make $2.5 million in base salary in each year of the deal, which was approved by the Clemson University Board of Trustees Compensation Committee.

      The contract replaces a deal that was set to conclude in 2021. It comes after Brownell's Tigers matched the school record of 25 wins last season.

      "We have a tremendous amount of momentum and excitement in our basketball program and that is a testament to Brad's leadership," athletic director Dan Radakovich said in a statement. "This new agreement demonstrates to Brad our continued strong commitment and support to him, his assistant coaches and to our basketball program."

      Brownell, 49, is 149-113 in eight seasons with the Tigers and ranks as the third-winningest coach in school history.

      Still, Clemson was forecast to finish 13th in the Atlantic Coach Conference last season before compiling a 25-10 mark and reaching the Sweet 16 for just the fourth time in school history. The Tigers defeated New Mexico State and Auburn in the NCAA tourney before falling to top-seeded Kansas in the Sweet 16.

      Brownell is happy to have the opportunity to remain Clemson deep into the next decade.

      "I'm extremely thankful and blessed to have the opportunity to coach at this great university," Brownell said in a statement. "I'm also grateful for the outstanding young men I've coached and for the dedicated assistant coaches and staff who've worked alongside me the past eight years.

      "I'm proud of what we've been able to accomplish, both on and off the court, and look forward to building upon the success of last season."

      --Field Level Media

  • Report: Coroner rules Honeycutt death a suicide
    By Field Level Media / Thursday, July 19, 2018

    The Los Angeles County coroner's office officially declared the death of former UCLA and Sacramento Kings forward Tyler Honeycutt a suicide following an investigation, USA Today reported Thursday.

    • Honeycutt died at the scene of a nine-hour standoff and shootout with Los Angeles police in the early morning of July 7, eight days before he would have turned 28. Per the report, the coroner's office completed its autopsy and closed the case, calling his death a suicide because of a gunshot wound to the head.

      The shootout happened at Honeycutt's home in Sherman Oaks.

      It was initially unclear whether police shot Honeycutt or he shot himself, but the LAPD tweeted on July 7 that "it appears as if the suspect was not struck by any officer's gunfire. The suspect appears to have sustained injuries consistent with a self-inflicted gunshot wound."

      According to the LAPD's Twitter feed, police had responded to a call of a man in his 20s with a gun. The suspect barricaded himself, according to the LAPD, and "as [police] were communicating with the suspect an [officer-involved shooting] occurred."

      The LAPD later tweeted "We can confirm that during the initial encounter the suspect fired a shot out of the residence and officers returned fire." He was pronounced dead at the scene.

      After playing two seasons at UCLA, from 2009-11, Honeycutt was drafted by the Kings in the second round of the 2011 NBA Draft. He played in 24 games over two seasons in the NBA, averaging 1.2 points and 1.0 rebounds per game. His last NBA season was 2012-13.

      He played overseas beginning in 2013, playing as recently as last season for BC Khimki in Moscow.

      --Field Level Media

  • Michigan, Beilein agree to 5-year extension
    By Field Level Media / Thursday, July 19, 2018

    Michigan and men's basketball coach John Beilein reached agreement on a contract extension through the 2022-23 season, the school announced Wednesday.

    • According to the school's release, the five-year rollover deal automatically extends one additional year and repeats each year until either Beilein or Michigan decide not to renew it. Financial terms of the contract were not disclosed.

      "I am thrilled to ensure John's leadership of our basketball program today and into the future," said athletic director Warde Manuel in a statement. "I am very pleased with our shared dialog throughout the process, and I am extremely happy that one of the game's great coaches is representing the University of Michigan."

      Beilein, 65, is entering his 12th season at Michigan. Last season he led the Wolverines to a program-record 33 wins and a runner-up finish in the NCAA Tournament, as they lost to Villanova in the title game.

      Beilein also led Michigan to the 2013 national title game, which it lost to Louisville.

      "I am grateful for the opportunity the University of Michigan has given to me over the past 11 years," stated Beilein. "Kathleen and I love Ann Arbor, our University, our fans and the state of Michigan. We will continue to work very hard in the future to have our basketball team reflect the greatness of this University.

      "I thank Mark Schlissel and Warde Manuel for their faith and commitment to our coaching staff and basketball program. The future of men's basketball is bright and I am excited to be a part of it."

      Beilein has a school-record 248 wins in his time at Michigan and has a career record of 799-461 (.628) during his 41 years as a collegiate head coach.

      Beilein interviewed for the Detroit Pistons' coaching vacancy before the job went to Dwane Casey in June. He was considered among the frontrunners for the position before pulling his name out of the mix.

      --Field Level Media

  • NCAA announces upcoming Final Four sites
    By Field Level Media / Monday, July 16, 2018

    The NCAA announced Monday that it has selected Houston, Phoenix, San Antonio and Indianapolis to host the Final Four from 2023 through 2026, respectively.

    • All four cities have hosted the event in the past. The three finalist venues that were not selected included Detroit, Los Angeles and Arlington, Texas.

      Members of the NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Committee toured all seven finalist cities during a yearlong selection process. Representatives from each city gave an in-person presentation last week in Boston at the committee's annual summer meeting.

      Houston has hosted the Final Four in 1971, 2011 and 2016. Phoenix has hosted once (2017), San Antonio has hosted four times (1998, 2004, 2008, 2018) and Indianapolis has hosted seven times (1980, 1991, 1997, 2000, 2006, 2010, 2015). The NCAA is based in downtown Indianapolis, with its headquarters located a short walk from Lucas Oil Stadium.

      The next eight sites for the Final Four now are set:

      2019: Minneapolis

      2020: Atlanta

      2021: Indianapolis

      2022: New Orleans

      2023: Houston

      2024: Phoenix

      2025: San Antonio

      2026: Indianapolis

      --Field Level Media

  • Ohio State lands five-star recruit Carton
    By Field Level Media / Saturday, July 14, 2018

    Five-star recruit DJ Carton announced Saturday that he intends to play for Ohio State in 2019.

    • Carton, a coveted point guard from Bettendorf, Iowa, selected the Buckeyes over fellow finalists Michigan and Indiana. His commitment represents a victory for Ohio State coach Chris Holtmann, who replaced Thad Matta last offseason after a successful run with Butler.

      According to, Carton is the No. 2 point guard in his class and the No. 21 prospect in the nation. He revealed his commitment on Instagram after visiting Ohio State's campus earlier this week.

      "I got that gut feeling," Carton said to 247Sports. "That's what it came down to.

      "It actually hit me on my way home. It hit me just being there. The team, I felt like a part of the family. I just came so close with those guys in a short amount of time. I was close with the coaching staff, they have a big future. I feel like overall the relationship was there. I just got that gut feeling in my stomach that it was the place for me."

      Ohio State also has landed a Class of 2019 four-star recruit, forward Alonzo Gaffney, who figures to play alongside Carton. The Buckeyes have the top 2019 recruiting class in the Big Ten and the No. 4 class in the nation so far, according to 247Sports.

      "What I plan to bring to the table is a form of leadership," Carton said. "I'm a high-energy guy that others would like to play with. I can keep the energy of the team positive. I can bring some excitement to Columbus. I want to start a winning culture there with the coaches and hopefully bring us a national championship."

      --Field Level Media

  • Ex-Louisville players sue NCAA over stripped 2013 title
    By Field Level Media / Wednesday, July 11, 2018

    The NCAA is being sued by a group of former Louisville basketball players over its decision to vacate the national championship won by the Cardinals in 2013.

    • Former Louisville captain Luke Hancock and four men who played with him on the 2012-13 team are seeking to have the championship and associated wins and other accolades restored. The NCAA stripped Louisville of the title and more than 100 wins in the wake of the investigation into the school's scandal regarding paid escorts and basketball recruits.

      The five men also want a court to, in effect, restore their reputations. The plaintiffs - Hancock, Stephan Van Treese, Tim Henderson, Gorgui Dieng and Michael Marra - are seeking "a declaration that they are completely innocent of any wrongdoing as implied by the NCAA," according to the lawsuit.

      The lawsuit was filed Wednesday in Jefferson (Ky.) Circuit Court.

      "We are used to fighting Goliath every single day," the plaintiffs' attorney, John Morgan told reporters Wednesday. "In the sports world I don't think there is any Goliath that exists like the NCAA."

      Morgan said the former players want the court to order the NCAA to reinstate the 2013 national championship to make a public declaration that the players "did not engage in striptease dances, prostitution and tipping of strippers as implied by the Defendant (NCAA)."

      Hancock, who won the Final Four Most Outstanding Player in 2013, told reporters he is constantly asked about the incidents involving strippers in the campus dorm, although he took no part in it.

      The university and ousted basketball coach Rick Pitino are not participants in the lawsuit.

      "We understand the frustrations and empathize with our former student-athletes," Louisville athletic director Vince Tyra told the Courier Journal in an email. "These young men expended a great deal of effort and came together as a group to accomplish something very rare and special. Our university invested significant resources to oppose the vacation of records penalty and engaged the nation's top appeals attorney in our defense. While we were unsuccessful and emphatically do not agree with the decision, we are obligated at this time as a member of the NCAA to abide by the ruling and have complied accordingly."

      --Field Level Media

  • Former UCLA guard Knight found dead at 39
    By Field Level Media / Tuesday, July 10, 2018

    Former UCLA guard Billy Knight was found dead in Phoenix early Sunday morning, according to the Maricopa County Medical Examiner. He was 39.

    • Knight was pronounced dead around 3 a.m. on Sunday after he was found in a downtown roadway. Phoenix police said there was no evidence of foul play.

      Knight, who played for the Bruins from 1997 to 2002, posted a cryptic YouTube video early Sunday, saying in it, "This is probably my last message on earth."

      He went on to add: "I just want to say that I lived a life of sin. I lied, I cheated and I stole from many people. I was a taker. That's why my life ended up where it is now. Life is not a game. You can't play around with life. It's serious. I wasn't honest with a lot of people. Even my mom and my brother and my family members. I isolated myself from my family members. I isolated myself from my friends. That's not something you should do. If this happens, you probably have a mental illness.

      "Mental illness is serious. I hear voices in my head constantly and I don't know where they come from. I just ask God for forgiveness for all the wrong I've done."

      The UCLA basketball team released a statement on Twitter on Tuesday.

      "Our hearts are heavy after learning Billy Knight has passed away," it reads. "We ask that the Bruin family keep Billy's loved ones in their thoughts during this difficult time."

      Knight averaged 14.1 points, 3.5 rebounds and 1.2 steals per game as a senior at UCLA in 2001-02. He went undrafted and played in the NBA's developmental league and overseas before becoming a basketball trainer.

      Another former UCLA player, Tyler Honeycutt, died following a shootout and standoff with Los Angeles police on Friday night. The LAPD said Honeycutt did not appear to be struck by any officer's gunfire and appeared to have sustained a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

      Honeycutt, 27, played at UCLA from 2009-11 before being drafted by the Sacramento Kings.

      --Field Level Media

  • Former UCLA F Honeycutt reportedly killed in police shootout
    By Field Level Media / Saturday, July 7, 2018

    Former UCLA and Sacramento Kings forward Tyler Honeycutt reportedly died following a standoff and shootout with Los Angeles police Friday night. He was 27 years old.

    • It was unclear whether police shot Honeycutt or he shot himself, but the LAPD tweeted Saturday that "it appears as if the suspect was not struck by any officer's gunfire. The suspect appears to have sustained injuries consistent with a self-inflicted gunshot wound."

      The LAPD has not yet identified the decedent.

      TMZ reported that police found the body inside a home in Sherman Oaks, a Los Angeles suburb little more than 20 miles northwest of downtown L.A., early Saturday morning. TMZ also reported that a gun was found at the scene.

      According to the LAPD's Twitter feed, police responded to a call of a man in his 20s with a gun. The suspect barricaded himself, according to the LAPD, and "as [police] were communicating with the suspect an [officer-involved shooting] occurred."

      The LAPD later tweeted "We can confirm that during the initial encounter the suspect fired a shot out of the residence and officers returned fire." He was pronounced dead at the scene.

      ABC7 in Los Angeles reported that family members confirmed the man killed in the incident was Honeycutt.

      After playing two seasons at UCLA, from 2009-11, Honeycutt was drafted by the Kings in the second round of the 2011 NBA Draft. He played in 24 games over two seasons in the NBA, averaging 1.2 points and 1.0 rebounds per game. His last NBA season was 2012-13.

      He played overseas beginning in 2013, playing as recently as last season for BC Khimki in Moscow.

      --Field Level Media

  • Ex-Louisville star Rozier dies at age 45
    By Field Level Media / Friday, July 6, 2018

    Clifford Rozier, an All-American at Louisville and former first-round pick with the Golden State Warriors, died Friday at 45, two days after suffering a heart attack in his hometown of Bradenton, Fla.

    • Rozier's brother, Kobie, confirmed his death to multiple outlets, saying that the former Cardinals star was on life support after his heart attack Wednesday.

      "When they went in to put stents in to work on his heart, he didn't have heart damage," Rozier told the Bradenton Herald. "He didn't have any major heart damage, but all his organs shut down. It could have gone either way. It could have gone into cardiac arrest to cause the organs to shut down or the organs could have shut down and caused the blood to not flow in the heart to go into cardiac arrest."

      "He came in with cardiac arrest," Rozier said. "... They put him in a coma and he never came out. And he passed [Friday] morning."

      After starring at Southeast High in Bradenton, where he was named Mr. Basketball in Florida and a McDonald's All-American in 1990, the 6-foot-11 Rozier spent one season at North Carolina before transferring to Louisville. He helped lead coach Denny Crum's Cardinals to the Sweet 16 appearances in 1993 and '94, averaging 18.1 points and 11.1 rebounds per game to earn All-American honors as a senior.

      Rozier was drafted by Golden State in the first round (No. 16 overall) in the 1994 draft and played parts of four seasons in the NBA with the Warriors, Toronto Raptors and Minnesota Timberwolves. In 173 career games, he averaged 4.8 points and 5.2 rebounds.

      According to his brother, Rozier focused on his family during his retirement, including his four children, one brother and three half-sisters.

      "He's the biggest, strongest guy in the family," Kobie said, per the Bradenton Herald. "And somebody my entire life I looked up to him. ... It's a shock. You can't be prepared for something like that. You talk to somebody one day, and you sit down and have a conversation and have fun. And you leave, and then two days later they have cardiac arrest, a heart attack, and they never recover."

      --Field Level Media

  • Maryland says it's cooperating with federal probe
    By Field Level Media / Friday, July 6, 2018

    Maryland revealed Friday it has received grand jury subpoenas related to a federal probe into college basketball corruption.

    • The school released documents related to the subpoenas to Yahoo Sports on Friday, following a Freedom of Information Act request from the outlet.

      "On March 15, 2018, and June 29, 2018, the University received grand jury subpoenas for documents related to the ongoing federal investigation of college basketball," the school said in a statement. "The University complied with the subpoenas by providing responsive records. None of the responsive records shows evidence of any violations of applicable laws or NCAA bylaws by University coaches, staff or players. The University has cooperated and will continue to cooperate fully with the ongoing federal investigation."

      Yahoo reports that its requests were delayed until after the school's requested grand jury appearance on July 3.

      The original subpoena focuses on Maryland assistant Orlando Ranson, agent runner Christian Dawkins and an unnamed player. Additional documents released named former recruiting target Sylvia De Sousa (who wound up playing at Kansas) and former Adidas executive Merl Code.

      De Sousa had been heavily linked to Maryland, which has an apparel deal with Under Armour, before making a surprise commitment to Kansas, an Adidas school, in 2017.

      --Field Level Media

  • Jeff Long named AD at Kansas
    By Field Level Media / Thursday, July 5, 2018

    Kansas named Jeff Long athletic director on Thursday, and he will be formally introduced July 11 in a press conference at KU.

    • Long was previously the athletic director at Arkansas and oversaw a department comprising 19 sports and 460 student-athletes from 2008 through 2017.

      Long's contract begins Aug. 1 and will pay him $1.5 million annually for five years. According to USA Today Sports, it includes a provision automatically extending the deal by the length of any probationary period for KU basketball. The program has been under investigation as part of the federal probe into alleged impermissible benefits and payments provided to recruits by Adidas.

      "Jeff Long has tremendous leadership and administrative experience in major college athletics, and he is a terrific fit for Kansas Athletics as we work to ensure our student-athletes succeed on the field and in the classroom," KU chancellor Douglas A. Girod said in a statement. "Those who know him describe him as a man of character who cares deeply about higher education and the student-athletes he serves. For all these reasons, we are thrilled to welcome him to the University of Kansas."

      Kansas fired Sheahon Zenger, who was hired in 2011, in May. After a seven-week search -- led by Girod and KU alumnus Drue Jennings -- the school made the move to hand Long the reins. Jennings served as interim AD in 2003.

      "My family and I are thrilled to join Chancellor Girod's leadership team at the University of Kansas," Long said. "It was clear from the moment I met with the chancellor and his search committee members, they have a deep love for the university and understand and appreciate the positive role intercollegiate athletics plays in the university community. Through our conversations, it became evident we share a common belief that the student-athlete experience prepares young people for the challenges they will face throughout life. I am excited to work with the student-athletes, coaches, staff, the community of Lawrence and the incredible fan base to build on past success and create a shared vision for the future of Kansas Athletics."

      --Field Level Media

  • Zags add North Dakota grad transfer Crandall
    By Field Level Media / Thursday, July 5, 2018

    Former North Dakota guard Geno Crandall will join Gonzaga as a graduate transfer.

    • Crandall announced his decision in a tweet on Thursday, prior to which he released a statement reflecting on his time with the Fighting Hawks.

      "Taking a look back at the past four years I'd say that I accomplished what I set out to do from the moment I committed to UND," Crandall's statement reads, in part. "... With that being said I want to give a sincere thank you to Coach (Brian) Jones for giving me the chance not many others were willing to. ... It was a heck of a run, THANK YOU UND."

      Crandall picked Gonzaga over Minnesota and Xavier. He is expected to be immediately eligible for the 2018-19 season after graduating this summer.

      Crandall averaged 16.6 points, 4.3 rebounds and 3.6 assists per game in 32 games with North Dakota last season. He earned second-team All-Big Sky accolades for the second straight season.

      For his collegiate career, Crandall has averaged 14.3 points, 4.2 rebounds and 4.0 assists across three seasons.

      --Field Level Media

  • Drake announcer dies in flash flood
    By Field Level Media / Sunday, July 1, 2018

    Longtime Drake basketball radio announcer Larry Cotlar died Saturday night during flash flooding, Des Moines, Iowa, police announced.

    • Cotlar's van reportedly stalled on a flooded street, and a call was made to the police. According to the Des Moines Register, police were headed to the scene when another report arrived that the occupants had left the vehicle, with one person swept away by floodwaters.

      After a search, the Des Moines Fire Department found Cotlar's body a few blocks away from where his van stalled.

      Cotlar, 66, worked for a number of Iowa radio stations as a sports-talk host and a game broadcaster. He received the 2007 Iowa Sportscaster of the Year award.

      He had called Drake basketball games since 2005.

      "There just wasn't anybody who didn't like Larry Cotlar," Andy Garman, his former radio co-host, told CNN. "He touched people at all the schools. ...

      "The guy was overwhelmingly positive. He'd had some setbacks, dealt with cancer and any number of things, but always had a smile on his face and always was ready to attack the day."

      1350 ESPN tweeted a statement that read, "All of us at 1350 ESPN and the Des Moines Radio Group are devastated by the loss of our voice, our colleague, and our friend, Larry Cotlar. ... Larry was the voice of sports in Central Iowa. A long-time broadcaster, he was the play-by-play announcer for Drake Men's Basketball and also worked with the Iowa Barnstormers (indoor football team). Larry hosted his own weekly show on 1350 ESPN, featuring sports figures from Iowa and across the country.

      "Today, our thoughts are with his wife, Deb and their son, Zach. There is absolutely no replacing Larry. He will be thought of fondly and missed greatly by family, friends, and his extended families in the sports and broadcasting communities."

      --Field Level Media

  • Undrafted Vick returns to Kansas for senior season
    By Field Level Media / Saturday, June 30, 2018

    Almost three months after declaring for the NBA draft intending to tip off his professional career, shooting guard Lagerald Vick will instead return for his senior season at Kansas after going undrafted.

    • Vick and Jayhawks head coach Bill Self announced the news Friday night in a statement, meaning the 6-foot-5 Vick will be one of two returning starters to a Kansas team that reached the Final Four.

      "I honestly thought I played my last game at Kansas after the Final Four because, with my situation and my family's situation (he has a daughter in Memphis, his hometown), I felt I needed to turn pro," Vick said. "After seeing where I stand and meeting with Coach Self, I feel it is best to return to Kansas for my senior year. Coach tells me the team is working hard and looking good. I can't wait to get back to Lawrence and join them."

      The Jayhawks had moved on from Vick in the recruiting season, with Self not expecting his starting guard back in the fray for the 2018-19 campaign. But while Vick had declared for the NBA draft, he never hired an agent. After not being selected, Vick decided not to pursue overseas opportunities -- instead reportedly having a heart-to-heart meeting with Self, who later quizzed his team to gauge how they would feel about Vick's return.

      "He realized going through the process he has to do more things to get better," Self told the Kansas City Star on Friday night. "The thing that kind of sold me ... he said he needed to do the things to help us get better, too."

      Vick averaged 12.1 points and 4.8 rebounds last season in starting 35 out of 39 games for the 31-8 Jayhawks. But Self told The Star that Vick will not be guaranteed a starting spot in a crowded roster on a team hoping to compete for a national title.

      "The minutes will work themselves out," Self told The Star. "That's not a big concern. Nobody's been promised minutes. It's the guys that play the best will play. Lagerald will not be starting ahead of anybody nor will anybody else (start ahead of Vick). Whoever plays the best will play."

      --Field Level Media

  • Ex-coach Ollie threatens to sue UConn
    By Field Level Media / Thursday, June 28, 2018

    A week after the University of Connecticut justified its decision to fire Kevin Ollie in March for "just cause," the former men's basketball coach threatened to sue to the school for defamation and invasion of privacy.

    • Ollie's lawyers sent a letter to UConn President Susan Herbst on Tuesday, seeking a retraction from the school related to documents released in connection with an NCAA investigation, the Hartford Courant and ESPN reported Wednesday.

      UConn's investigation into Ollie's program concluded that he violated NCAA rules, giving the school the right to terminate his contract with "just cause," overriding a buyout clause of almost $10 million.

      Per the Courant, the school released 1,355 pages of documents in response to a Freedom of Information Act request. Within that paperwork were quotes from an interview that saw ex-associate head coach Glen Miller say Ollie arranged for $30,000 for a player's mother to help her move to Connecticut.

      "(UConn) widely published defamatory information concerning coach Kevin Ollie," Ollie's lawyers wrote in the letter to Herbst, per the Courant and ESPN, "when it provided un-redacted copies of confidential NCAA interview transcripts to news reporters pursuant to a Freedom of Information Act request. One of the ... transcripts contained (Miller's) false claim. ... The false and defamatory claim was released without prior notice to coach Ollie and no attempt was made by the University of Connecticut to protect Coach Ollie from this false and defamatory claim, or to disavow it."

      The school responded in a statement to the two news outlets, "UConn released the documents in direct response to a Freedom of Information request by Mr. Ollie's own attorneys. Other parties, including the media, also requested and received these same documents as required by Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) in Connecticut. The FOIA, which governs public agencies such as the University, does not permit the selective release of public records to certain parties while denying those same records to others."

      Ollie's contract had been extended to run through 2021 before he was fired.

      Ollie replaced Jim Calhoun in 2012 and two years later led the Huskies to the national championship. However, UConn went 14-18 last season, winding up below .500 for the second year in a row. The Huskies' hadn't endured consecutive losing seasons since they slumped from 1982-83 to 1986-87.

      --Field Level Media

  • Herren Jr. headed to Boston College
    By Field Level Media / Tuesday, June 26, 2018

    Chris Herren Jr. will follow in his father and uncle's footsteps and join the Boston College Eagles.

    • Herren will enroll in classes this week after two years at Massachusetts' Tabor Academy. He averaged 23.0 points, 6.0 rebounds, and 4.0 assists as a senior.

      "We are excited to add Chris to our program. He is a dynamic scorer who possesses a high basketball IQ. His ability to shoot from long-range and his playmaking ability will fit our playing style well," head coach Jim Christian said in a news release from the team.

      His father, Chris Herren Sr., played one game at Boston College in 1994 before failed drug tests derailed his season, leading to a transfer to Fresno State.

      He spent three productive seasons there before embarking on a pro career that spanned two NBA teams and six countries.

      Herren Sr.'s drug problems followed him from Boston College until his recovery in 2008. He now works as a motivational speaker.

      Mike Herren, Herren Sr's brother, played one season at Boston College in 1989-90.

      --Field Level Media

  • Report: UConn investigation alleges Ollie violated NCAA rules
    By Field Level Media / Thursday, June 21, 2018

    An investigation by the University of Connecticut into former basketball coach Kevin Ollie alleges several NCAA rule violations, justifying the team's decision to fire Ollie with "just cause" and terminate the remaining money on his deal, according to a report from the Hartford Courant.

    • Under the Freedom of Information Act, the Courant obtained documents on the alleged NCAA violations, which include Ollie setting up a call between a recruit and former UConn player Ray Allen, shooting baskets with a recruit during an official visit and being aware that several of his players were working with an outside trainer, a personal friend of Ollie's, on campus.

      By firing Ollie with "just cause" in March, UConn eliminated a buyout of almost $10 million per his contract, which was extended to run through 2021.

      Ollie, with the assistance of his union, contested the decision and is currently in arbitration with the school after president Susan Herbst upheld the "just cause" firing on Tuesday, according to the Courant.

      Obtained by the Courant is a letter to Ollie from Huskies athletic director David Benedict days before an administrative hearing. It reads, "At the time of your hire, the importance of absolute compliance in running our men's basketball program was stressed to you by President Herbst and then-athletic director Warde Manuel. That makes the violations I ... describe all the more troubling."

      Ollie replaced Jim Calhoun in 2012 and led the Huskies to the 2014 national championship, but the Huskies completed last season below .500 for the second consecutive year. The last time they had losing marks more than one year in a row was from 1982-83 to 1986-87.

      --Field Level Media

  • Former Stanford star Travis transferring to Kentucky
    By Field Level Media / Wednesday, June 20, 2018

    Kentucky basketball picked up yet another piece on Wednesday as Stanford's Reid Travis announced he would be joining the Wildcats as a graduate transfer.

    • Travis announced his intentions in a video tweet.

      "I'm looking forward to a fresh start and continuing to pursue my dreams. Looking for a school, the biggest thing that I wanted was to align both my academic and my athletic interests," he said.

      "After getting to know the staff and the players on my visit, it became very clear to me that there was no better place to continue this next step in the journey. I'm excited to work hard every day and give everything of myself to this program so that we can compete for a national championship. Big Blue Nation? Are we ready?"

      Travis, who graduated on Sunday, spent Monday and Tuesday visiting with the Kentucky program before making his decision.

      A 6-foot-8 forward, Travis started all 35 games for the Cardinal as a redshirt junior last season and averaged 19.5 points and 8.7 rebounds per game, both tops on the team.

      He'll likely form a frontcourt duo with the returning P.J. Washington, who tested the NBA draft, and join the latest incoming recruiting class of potential one-and-done stars.

      --Field Level Media

  • Michigan's Beilein back for more banners, success
    By Field Level Media / Tuesday, June 12, 2018

    John Beilein interviewed with the Detroit Pistons but decided his heart was at the University of Michigan.

    • In a podcast session with's Andy Katz, Beilein said, "The best thing for me right now is to stay put, and just continue to grow the Michigan program so that we can have more success in the future."

      Before the Pistons hired Dwane Casey on Monday, Beilein was considered the top candidate for the opening created when Stan Van Gundy was fired as coach and vice president of basketball operations.

      Beilein said in announcing he was staying at Michigan, "Let's go hang some more banners."

      But Beilein pulled back after what he described as five days of drama that followed the initial ESPN's report from Adrian Wojnarowski that there was mutual interest.

      "I didn't want this be one of these things: 'Hey, the NBA called me.' I didn't want it to be that way," Beilein told The Athletic. "I wanted it to be, 'Hey, let's talk, let's listen. If it's a good match, great. If it's not, it's not.' But then I hated the drama. I hated the attention on myself."

      This spring, Beilein guided Michigan to the national championship game, where his club lost 79-62 to Villanova.

      Beilein is under contract with Michigan through the 2020-21 season at $3.37 million annually. He also said recently that he and the university were working on a contract extension.

      The Wolverines set a school record for victories while going 33-8 last season. Beilein is 248-143 in 11 seasons at Michigan, twice losing in the title game.

      The 248 victories are a school record.

      --Field Level Media

  • UMBC coach Odom nearly doubles salary with new deal
    By Field Level Media / Saturday, June 9, 2018

    One historic victory during March Madness has allowed UMBC coach Ryan Odom to nearly double his base salary.

    • UMBC -- which stands for University of Maryland-Baltimore County -- recently announced a deal through the 2022-23 season for Odom, and he will make $425,000 annually in base salary, according to a public-records request made by the Baltimore Sun.

      Odom was making $225,000 prior to the Retrievers becoming the first No. 16 seed to defeat a No. 1 in the NCAA Tournament with the stunning 74-54 rout of Virginia.

      The victory made UMBC a national sensation and also represented a school-record 25th win.

      Odom, 43, had five seasons remaining on a seven-year contract and the university reworked it to keep him aboard. He reportedly discussed a job opening with Middle Tennessee in the aftermath before reconfirming his commitment to UMBC.

      According to the Baltimore Sun, Odom will also make additional income such as $75,000 annually for school alumni, fundraising and media appearances. He will receive $25,000 for an NCAA Tournament appearance, $22,000 for an NIT appearance and $20,500 for participation in a lower-tier postseason tournament.

      Odom's buyout also increased from $168,750 to $225,000.

      Odom, the son of former Wake Forest coach Dave Odom, has a 46-24 record in two seasons at UMBC.

      The Retreivers' magical season ended with a second-round loss to Kansas State.

      --Field Level Media

  • Volunteers land F Burns
    By Field Level Media / Wednesday, June 6, 2018

    The Tennessee men's basketball team, coming off a successful season, added a late addition to its recruiting class Wednesday.

    • D.J. Burns, a 6-foot-8, 250-pound forward who recently graduated from high school a year early, signed with the Volunteers, the school announced. He will be eligible to play this fall.

      "We targeted D.J. three years ago because he fits our culture on and off the court," Tennessee coach Rick Barnes said in a statement. "His mom and dad have prepared him well, and we believe he's got a really bright future. ...

      "D.J. allows us to play through the high or low post. He's a good passer, he can make perimeter shots and he's got excellent footwork. With his attitude and approach, he'll grow quickly and tremendously within our player development program.

      "We're excited about D.J. He's a great addition for us."

      Last season at York Preparatory Academy in Rock Hill, S.C., Burns averaged 14.2 points and 10.3 rebounds per game.

      According to, Burns' other offers included Virginia, Auburn, Georgia, LSU, Georgia Tech and Virginia Tech.

      The Volunteers finished 26-9 last season, including 13-5 in the Southeastern Conference, good for a share of the league's regular-season championship. They lost to Kentucky in the SEC tournament final, and they were upset by Loyola-Chicago in the second round of the NCAA Tournament.

      --Field Level Media

  • Beilein announces he'll coach Michigan next season
    By Field Level Media / Wednesday, June 6, 2018

    The field for the Detroit Pistons coaching search got smaller on Wednesday as leading candidate John Beilein announced he was committed to coaching the Michigan Wolverines during the upcoming season.

    • "I love the University of Michigan and I am excited about coaching our Men's Basketball Team next season and in the years to come ! Let's go hang some more banners at "THE GREATEST UNIVERSITY IN THE WORLD," Beilein tweeted just after noon on Wednesday.

      Beilein, along with former Toronto Raptors coach Dwane Casey, was thought to be a finalist for the Pistons job, which came open when the team fired Stan Van Gundy.

      This spring, Beilein guided Michigan to the national championship game, where his club lost 79-62 to Villanova.

      Beilein is under contract with Michigan through the 2020-21 season at $3.37 million annually. He also said recently that he and the university were working on a contract extension.

      The Wolverines set a school record for victories while going 33-8 last season. Beilein is 248-143 in 11 seasons at Michigan, twice losing in the title game.

      The 248 victories are a school record.

      --Field Level Media

  • Report: Davis leaving Texas Southern for Detroit Mercy
    By Field Level Media / Wednesday, June 6, 2018

    Former Indiana coach Mike Davis is about to become the new coach at Detroit Mercy, according to multiple reports.

    • Davis has informed his current bosses at Texas Southern that he is departing. Vice president of intercollegiate athletics Dr. Charles McClelland told Fox 26 in Houston that Davis told him he was going to accept the Detroit Mercy job.

      "We owe him a great debt of gratitude for all that he's done," McClelland told the TV station. "I know he's going to do well there. It's going to be a huge loss for Texas Southern.

      "From our perspective, it's a sad day but also a happy day for Coach Davis and his family."

      Detroit Mercy hasn't formally announced the hiring of Davis, who has a 352-241 record in 18 seasons as a college head coach.

      Davis, 57, is best known for being the coach hired after Indiana fired legendary but volatile Bobby Knight in 2000.

      He went 115-79 in six seasons with the Hoosiers and made the NCAA Tournament on four occasions. His 2001-02 team reached the national championship game before losing to Maryland.

      His next gig was at Alabama-Birmingham (122-73 and one NCAA Tournament appearances in six seasons). His last six seasons have been spent at Texas Southern and he was 115-89 with four NCAA Tournament appearances with the Tigers.

      Detroit Mercy went 8-24 last season under Bacari Alexander, who was dismissed after going 16-47 in two campaigns at the school.

      --Field Level Media

  • Hall of Fame coach, administrator Newton dies at 88
    By Field Level Media / Tuesday, June 5, 2018

    C.M. Newton, a Basketball Hall of Famer who spent time as a player, head coach, athletic director and executive, died Monday at age 88.

    • Newton's passing was announced by officials at both Kentucky and Alabama, universities where Newton made his biggest impact in the sport.

      A member of the 1951 NCAA championship team at Kentucky as a basketball player -- and a baseball player who appeared briefly in the New York Yankees' farm system -- Newton had a post-playing career that lasted half a century, including 20 total seasons as a head coach at Alabama and Vanderbilt.

      His biggest imprint off the court was at Kentucky, where in 1989 upon being hired as athletic director, Newton took charge of a once-proud Wildcats basketball program reeling from NCAA violations and probation under Eddie Sutton. Newton's first hire was Rick Pitino, who four seasons later led Kentucky to the Final Four and won a national title in 1996. His second men's hoops coaching hire, Tubby Smith, led the Wildcats to an NCAA championship in his first season in 1998.

      While at Kentucky, Newton also hired the university's first women's assistant coach for a Division I men's team, Bernadette Mattox, who later became the first African-American coach of the Wildcats' women's program.

      "We lost a wonderful person today in C.M. Newton," Smith said in a statement. "I want to first send out our dearest condolences to his wife, Nancy, his three children and all of their relatives. Coach Newton has been a mentor for me for a number of years and has guided my career from the first time I met him. He has always encouraged me and other coaches to be involved with the National Association of Basketball Coaches and help influence the game of basketball. He was a pioneer in a lot of areas, including having the courage to hire an African-American as coach at Kentucky and to recruit African-American players at Alabama. He was a man that didn't see color and was a genuine, caring man that we'll miss dearly and that we loved dearly."

      Current Kentucky men's coach John Calipari expressed condolences Monday night.

      "An hour or so ago, C.M. Newton passed away," Calipari tweeted. "Please keep him and his family in your prayers. During one of the most trying times of our athletic department, he came to the rescue and put us on the path we are (on) today. May you rest in peace, my friend."

      Kentucky athletics director Mitch Barnhart in a statement, "C.M. Newton is a giant in the history of the University of Kentucky, the Southeastern Conference and in the sport of basketball. As a student-athlete, he was a national champion basketball player and star baseball pitcher. He returned to his alma mater when he was needed most and provided stability, leadership and growth for UK Athletics for more than a decade. His coaching accomplishments and honors at Transylvania, Alabama and Vanderbilt speak for themselves."

      Aside from his success as a Division I head coach, where he was a six-time SEC Coach of the Year with seven 20-win seasons, and his experience leading Kentucky basketball back to prominence, Newton was also the president of USA Basketball from 1992-96. During his tenure, his decision to allow professional basketball players to represent the United States in the Olympics set the stage for the iconic "Dream Team" in 1992.

      In addition to being elected to the Naismith Hall of Fame in 2000, he was named to the College Basketball Hall of Fame in 2006 for his legacy not only in coaching and administration, but also for his influential role on several committees that led to major rule changes such as the addition of the shot clock and 3-point arc in college basketball. He later was chairman of the NIT selection committee.

      Newton's first head coaching job was in 1956 with NAIA school Transylvania University, then known as Transylvania College, in Lexington, Ky. Both there and at his first Division I position at Alabama in 1968, Newton recruited the schools' first-ever black players.

      "C.M. was present at my first press conference when I arrived at Alabama back in April of 2015 and was always very supportive," Alabama coach Avery Johnson said in a statement Monday. "He welcomed me with open arms and was so instrumental in my transition to The University of Alabama. C.M. impacted so many people in the world of basketball on the collegiate and professional levels and with USA basketball. His spirit will continue to live on, and we will strive to make him proud of us each and every day."

      Newton's son, Martin, is currently the athletic director at Samford. Newton's first wife, Evelyn, died in 2000. He is survived by three children, along with his second wife, Nancy, whom he married in 2002.

      --Field Level Media

  • Report: Investigation calls sexual assault claims against Pastner 'concocted'
    By Field Level Media / Monday, June 4, 2018

    An independent investigation into sexual misconduct allegations against Georgia Tech coach Josh Pastner found the claims to be "concocted" as part of an extortion scheme, USA Today's A.J. Perez reported Monday.

    • According to the 29-page report by law firm Fisher & Phillips, which was obtained by USA Today, former Pastner friend Ronald Bell attempted to blackmail the coach numerous times, including making a false allegation that Pastner sexually assaulted Bell's girlfriend, Jennifer Pendley.

      "Bell turned his access in Josh Pastner's world into a potential money-making opportunity," Scott Schneider, a partner at Fisher & Phillips, wrote in the report, according to Perez. "Unfortunately for Bell, all of his requests to 'settle this amicably' were rebuffed which, in turn, only led him to escalate his allegations. Bell and Pendley's allegations that Pastner sexually assaulted Pendley are baseless."

      Pastner sued Bell and Pendley in an Arizona court in January, claiming defamation of character and extortion, as well as numerous other claims. Pendley and Bell filed a countersuit against Pastner the following month, alleging misconduct by Pastner toward Pendley numerous times in 2016, including sexual assault.

      "In sum, Pendley's claims are facially implausible, contradicted by verifiable facts, and undermined by a string of contemporaneous communications with the Pastners which belie any claim that Pastner mistreated Pendley in any way," Schneider wrote in the report, per Perez.

      Bell originally claimed in November he provided benefits to two Georgia Tech players in an effort to prevent them from transferring. Those benefits were a violation of NCAA rules, but Pastner claims he had no knowledge of them at the time.

      Pastner has claimed that Bell repeatedly demanded money from Pastner and his wife in exchange for not going public with the disclosure of the NCAA violations.

      --Field Level Media