Archive for the ‘NCAA’ Category

The National Basketball Players Association denounced an NCAA proposal that would require agents to follow a formal certification process in order to work with underclassmen who declare for the NBA draft.

“Competent, established, and experienced agents have no incentive to subject themselves to this legislation, and its overly burdensome procedures and oversight,” the NBPA wrote on behalf of certified player representatives, according to a letter obtained by ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

However, agents are willing to submit to an online seminar focused on NCAA eligibility every two years.

The letter states that agents share the NCAA’s goal of providing solid counsel and feedback to players exploring the decision to forgo their remaining college eligibility in an attempt to turn pro. However, the NBPA believes the proposed certification process is at odds with the NCAA’s commitment to its athletes’ welfare.

“The NCAA has no knowledge or expertise over the subject matter of representing professional athletes and should defer on everything in that realm to the NBPA,” the letter states. “If an agent is certified by the NBPA, then the NCAA should have no jurisdiction whatsoever in judging his or her professional competency.”

Presently, athletes are able to declare for the draft and obtain the services of an agent through the pre-draft process. If they then withdraw from draft consideration by a certain date, the athlete is able to maintain college eligibility. The proposed process would require agents to officially register with the NCAA – a step too far in the eyes of agents who already operate under the oversight of the NBPA.

Rich Paul has broken his silence on the NCAA’s new controversial criteria for agents.

In an op-ed piece published Monday on The Athletic, the Klutch Sports Group founder specifically criticized the governing body’s demand that agents must now possess a four-year degree to be eligible to represent student-athletes who want to test NBA waters before fully turning professional.

“NCAA executives are once again preventing young people from less prestigious backgrounds, and often people of color, from working in the system they continue to control,” Paul wrote. “In this case, the people being locked out are kids who aspire to be an agent and work in the NBA and do not have the resources, opportunity, or desire to get a four-year degree.”

A number of NBA stars publicly chastised the NCAA after it announced the change earlier this month, colloquially dubbing it “The Rich Paul Rule,” as Paul doesn’t have a four-year college degree.

“I actually support requiring three years of experience before representing a kid testing the market. I can even get behind passing a test,” Paul wrote regarding some of the other new criteria. “However, requiring a four-year degree accomplishes only one thing – systematically excluding those who come from a world where college is unrealistic.

“Does anyone really believe a four-year degree is what separates an ethical person from a con artist?”

Though Paul admits he’s not sure of the reasoning behind the changes, the 37-year-old cited outside speculation that they’re due to his work with now-Oklahoma City Thunder forward Darius Bazley; under Paul’s representation, the 2018 McDonald’s All-American elected to skip college entirely and sign a $1-million internship with New Balance late last year.

The NCAA defended its new requirements in a statement last week, saying it “values a college education and continues to emphasize the importance of earning a degree.”

Paul’s agency represents a number of notable NBA stars, including James’ Los Angeles Lakers teammate Anthony Davis. He’s also the agent of Philadelphia 76ers guard Ben Simmons and Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green and helped the pair secure big-money extensions this summer.

A year after one of the most embarrassing losses in NCAA Tournament history, Virginiahas been crowned the 2019 national champions following a thrilling 85-77 overtime victory Monday over Texas Tech.

The Cavaliers were the first No. 1 seed to fall in Round 1 after losing to 16-seed UMBC in 2018. They managed to right their wrong this season with wins over Gardner-Webb, Oklahoma, Oregon, Purdue, and Auburn before clinching the title against Texas Tech.

De’Andre Hunter came up clutch down the stretch, drilling the game-tying 3-pointer with 12 seconds remaining in regulation, along with a triple to put Virginia up two with 2:10 left in OT. The sophomore forward finished with 27 points and seven rebounds in the win.

Junior guard Kyle Guy was named Most Outstanding Player for the Final Four, finishing with 24 points and three rebounds against the Red Raiders. 

Guy hit the game-winning free throws on Saturday to beat Auburn 63-62, sending Virginia to the program’s first-ever national championship game.

This marks the third consecutive comeback for the Cavaliers when they trailed with under 12 seconds left in regulation.

Texas Tech star Jarrett Culver finished with an inefficient 15 points on 5-of-22 shooting. He added nine rebounds and six assists in the loss.

Virginia’s 85-point effort is the most points the Red Raiders have given up this season. The previous high was 80 points in a February overtime win against Oklahoma State.


Kyler Murray is making the rounds on Radio Row during Super Bowl week, informing members of the NFL media that he’ll be making a decision on whether to pursue a career in professional football or baseball in the near future.

“Soon. Very soon,” Murray said to NFL Network’s Andrew Siciliano on Thursday, per’s Nick Shook.

Murray was the ninth overall pick by the Oakland Athletics‘ in the 2018 MLB Draft. However, he was allowed to continue his collegiate football career and wound up winning the Heisman Trophy in December as the quarterback for the Oklahoma Sooners.

If it were up to Murray, he wouldn’t limit himself to one sport.

“I wish I could play both,” Murray said to Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk. “I know it’s highly, highly, highly unlikely, but it’s not an easy decision.”

Murray has declared for the 2019 NFL Draft and is projected to go as early as the first round.

Rick Pitino, a Hall of Fame basketball coach who’s best known for leading collegiate powerhouses Kentucky and Louisville to NCAA tournament championships, has his eyes set on making the jump back to the professional ranks.

“I just want to be a part of an organization,” Pitino told ESPN’s Adrian Wojanarowski. “I want to develop young players. I want to be part of a team. I miss it terribly. I’m using this time to really study the NBA. If something opens up with a young basketball team, I’d have deep interest in it.

“I think the league is going to get younger and player development will become even more important to every organization,” he continued. “That’s my forte. I believe I can help an organization find a pathway to success.”

The 66-year-old was ousted from Louisville in the midst of a sport-wide corruption scandal last year, though an FBI probe appeared to back up Pitino’s claim of ignorance about payments made from the program and its stakeholders to potential recruits.

Pitino has a 192-220 regular-season record as an NBA head coach, which was accrued during stops with the New York Knicks (1987-89) and Boston Celtics(1997-01). With the Celtics, Pitino served as both head coach and team president – the sort of arrangement that’s fallen out of fashion in recent years as the scope of each role has expanded.

“I’m not looking for any of that (power/control) at this stage of my life,” Pitino said. “I want to develop teams and develop players and build a winner. I value analytics. I want to fit into an organization. At this stage, that’s all I’m interested in.”

Michael Jordan or LeBron James? It’s a debate that will rage on forever, but according to a recent survey, an overwhelming majority of college basketball coaches believe the title of GOAT belongs to Jordan.

CBS Sports college basketball writers Gary Parrish and Matt Norlander anonymously polled more than 100 coaches for their annual Candid Coaches series, asking them, among other things, to choose between Jordan and LeBron. Jordan easily won, receiving 82 percent of the votes.

“Not to take anything away from LeBron, but the game is so different now from when Jordan played,” one coach who picked Jordan said. “If Mike played in in this day and age, with freedom of movement, he’d average 40 points a game.

“LeBron’s done so many great things on and off the court. But if somebody put a gun to your head, and you had to go win a game, who are you going to go with? Michael Jordan or LeBron James? My money and my life is going to be with Jordan. He played both sides of the ball as good as anybody. He was the best offensive player and defensive player in the league every night.”

Another coach said they voted for LeBron primarily because of his off-court contributions.

“If we are going off the man as a whole, I’m taking LeBron. Basketball-wise he is not far off from Jordan – and the numbers he has put up year in and year out are absurd. Where I think LeBron has separated himself from Jordan is with his stances on what he believes in,” the coach explained. “The school he just opened is awesome and will change lives. And what he has stood for, and stood against, throughout his career is what puts him on my Mount Rushmore of Athletes.”

Quinn Hughes won’t be turning pro just yet.

The Vancouver Canucks‘ first-round pick in this year’s draft has announced he will return to the University of Michigan next season.

“My heart’s obviously still at Michigan,” Hughes told Steve Kornacki of “I was heartbroken when we lost to Notre Dame in the Frozen Four last year. I’ve never really been on a team that cares so much about each other, and I think that’s a big reason why I’m coming back, because I love my teammates.

“I think we have a good team this upcoming year, and I believe in the group. So, for me, I have a lot of goals in my mind. I want to be the best player in college hockey, and I want to win the national championship. I think we can do it with the group and the coaching staff we have, and we believe in each other.”

Canucks management backed Hughes’ decision to return to the Wolverines.

“We are in full support of Quinn’s decision to continue his university career as he further develops as a hockey player and student,” Canucks general manager Jim Benning said in a statement. “He now has an opportunity to be a leader at the University of Michigan and represent Team USA at the 2019 World Junior Championship in Vancouver.

“These are once-in-a-lifetime experiences that will only benefit Quinn’s future career.”

After collecting 29 points in 37 games in his first season with Michigan, the budding blue-liner also impressed against savvy veterans as part of the World Championship.

With Michigan, there is also the possibility that Quinn could play alongside his brother, Jack, a dominant center and the projected top pick in the 2019 NHL draft.