Infractions committed by Southeast women's basketball program don't seem significant -- yet
Sunday, July 2, 2006
I left town Thursday for a vacation in California, so I'm not totally in the loop regarding what's going on with the recent announcements regarding NCAA violation within the Southeast Missouri State basketball programs.
But here are a few comments -- all the way from Cali -- on the situation:
First of all, I agree with some of the responses to Mike Mitchell's blog at semissourian.com about how the women's basketball violations don't appear to be very significant in nature.
But it's important to remember that even minor infractions can be deemed fairly substantial by the NCAA if there are enough of them. And there were apparently quite a few, with perhaps more to be revealed by the NCAA in the coming weeks.
I don't think Southeast coaches knowingly broke the rules to gain a competitive advantage, although that is no excuse for not knowing the rules. (On fairness, the NCAA manual is so big, it's probably difficult to be aware of everything in it).
I've also got to believe that people who conducted the preliminary investigation feel this is either fairly serious or there is more to it, because the self-imposed penalty of losing three scholarships is significant.
As for the violation that surfaced in the men's program about allowing ineligible players to travel with the team -- although they weren't named, everybody knows the report referred to Brandon Foust and Mike Rembert in the 2005-06 season and Roy Booker in 2004-05 -- that was definitely a case of coaches simply not knowing the rule.
Former coach Gary Garner never attempted to hide the fact these players -- who were sitting out the aforementioned seasons under NCAA transfer rules -- went on road trips. He simply wanted to make them feel as much a part of the squad as possible.
What's surprising -- and not to excuse Garner and his assistants, because you would think one of that group would have known the rule -- is that nobody else in the athletic department also was aware that a violation had occurred for the past two years, since it was common knowledge that the players were going on road trips.
This, however, is definitely not a major violation, so new coach Scott Edgar and his program should be able to overcome it with no problem.
Now, since I don't feel like doing any more work on my vacation, here are several thoughts on sports happenings that I threw together before I left town:
According to the so-called experts, there doesn't appear to be a can't-miss prospect from Wednesday's NBA draft that featured Italy's Andrea Bargnani as the No. 1 selection.
But that doesn't mean a few players won't eventually emerge at least as All-Stars if not superstars.
The intriguing aspect about any sports draft is that you just never know how the ultimate report card will be tabulated.
Remember, a lot of people were torn over what kind of NBA player Dwyane Wade would be. The No. 5 pick in the 2003 draft was not considered a sure thing.
But one spectacular playoff performance later -- capped by an MVP award in the recent NBA finals -- and there is no longer any debate about Wade's future.
It's probably too much to ask for a LeBron James-type phenom to emerge from Wednesday's draft, because those kinds of players don't come along very often. But how about a Dwyane Wade?
Only time will tell, but if you're a basketball fan, it'll be fun finding out.
Connecticut hit it big in the two-round draft with five selections, including a record-tying four in the first round.
Headlining the former Huskies taken were first-round picks Rudy Gay (No. 8), Hilton Armstrong (No. 12), Marcus Williams (No. 22) and Josh Boone (No. 23).
Bradley center Patrick O'Bryant -- who was one of the main reasons Rembert transferred to Southeast Missouri State to get playing time -- was the No. 9 overall selection after coming out following his sophomore season.
This should come as no surprise, but Southeast senior David Simonhoff was recently ranked as the nation's top Division I-AA punter by The Sports Network, which covers Division I-AA football extensively.
Simonhoff has been an All-American the past two seasons and in 2004 he set an OVC record by averaging 46 yards per punt. He figures to be listed on just about every preseason All-American team in the next several weeks.
For Southeast football fans who can't wait for the season to get here, the start of practice is less than one month away.
The Redhawks will report to camp Aug. 6, with workouts beginning the following day. The first game is Sept. 2 at Austin Peay.
Congratulations to Cape Girardeau native Don Maurer on being inducted Friday into the Missouri Basketball Coaches Hall of Fame.
Maurer has had a long and distinguished coaching career, including several strong seasons at Notre Dame High School -- his alma mater -- in the 1980s.
And besides Maurer's stellar credentials -- he led Mary Institute/Country Day School of suburban St. Louis to a state title in 2001-02 -- he is simply a great guy who I have long considered a friend.
Maurer recently retired as the MICDS coach following five seasons, although he will remain at the school as associate athletic director.
I'm sure I echo the thoughts of everybody who knows her, but I couldn't have been happier upon learning that Mary Bolen was recently released from a St. Louis-area hospital after a two-week stay that stemmed from her undergoing emergency surgery for a blood clot.
The wife of longtime Capahas manager Jess Bolen has been battling serious health problems for a while now and she's certainly due for some good news and good breaks.
Hopefully this is the start of just that.
I wrote recently about two Southeast baseball recruits who helped lead Vianney High School to another Class 4 state title this year after they also played major roles when the Griffins captured the championship in 2004.
One of those players, third baseman/pitcher Jim Klocke, has been named the player of the year by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
And the other, pitcher Josh Syberg, joined Klocke on the newspaper's All-Metro first team.
Those honors are no guarantee of college success, but it should at least be an indication that Klocke and Syberg have considerable potential.
If you're looking for a neat sports story, how about the Oregon State baseball team that recently won its first national championship.
Oregon State, not exactly known as a college baseball powerhouse, bounced off the mat twice to emerge No. 1.
The Beavers were routed by Miami 11-1 in their College World Series opener, then won four straight elimination games to reach the championship series.
North Carolina captured Game 1 of the best-of-three title series to again put the Beavers on the brink of elimination.
But again Oregon State responded, beating the Tar Heels two straight.
Now that is quite a story.
Although I enjoy watching soccer, I don't consider myself a huge fan. But I've got to admit, I really enjoy following the World Cup. It's amazing how passionate people are about soccer.
Don't, however, ask me for a prediction on who's going to win.
Marty Mishow is a sports writer for the Southeast Missourian.