Friday, May 11, 2012

Another Hokie Jumping Ship

The Richmond Times Dispatch reported Thursday that incoming recruit 6’7” Montrezl Harrell will ask for a release from his letter of intent.

As a result of their departures, Virginia Tech won't have the centerpieces of either of its last two recruiting classes next year, a damaging blow for a Hokies team hoping to bounce back quickly from a difficult 15-16 season. Athletic director Jim Weaver hired former Greenberg assistant James Johnson in hopes his familiarity with the roster would help stave off defections, but that strategy has proven ineffective so far.

With Victor Davila having graduated and Finney-Smith transferring, Harrell had an opportunity to make an instant impact at Virginia Tech.

Instead Virginia Tech appears headed for another rebuilding season and Harrell suddenly becomes one of the most coveted recruits in the nation. 

Kentucky, NC State, Pittsburgh, Cincinnati and Providence were among the schools reportedly interested in Harrell even before he'd decided for sure that he was leaving Virginia Tech.

Pictures Of The Day

Li-Cheng Tseng of Chinese Taipei in action against Kim So-Hee of Korea during day two of the 20th Asian Taekwondo Championships at Phu Tho Stadium on May 10, 2012 in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. (Athit Perawongmetha/Getty Images AsiaPac)
Runners kick up the heavy going at Chester racecourse on May 10, 2012 in Chester, England. (Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images Europe)
Lucky 13...Stephen Strasburg #37 of the Washington Nationals pitches against the Pittsburgh Pirates during the game on May 10, 2012 at PNC Park in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  Strasburg had 13 strikeouts in the Nats 4-2 win. (Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)
China’s field hockey players get ready for a penalty kick during their bronze  medal field hockey match against South Korea at the Riverbank field hockey arena in London. (Sang Tan/AP Photo)
Brandon Snyder (l) and Elvis Andrus of the Texas Rangers collide in pursuit of a pop fly hit by the Orioles’ Robert Andino.  (Patrick Semansky/AP Photo)
Coco Ho (and, no, we aren’t making that up) of Hawaii  negotiates a wave during round 3 of the Women’s Association of Surfing Professionals Billabong Rio Pro Championship at Arpoador Beach in Rio de Janeiro.  (Kristin Scholtz/ASP/Getty Images)
Riders reach out for snacks as they pedal during the fifth stage of the Giro d’Italia Tour from Modena to Fano, Italy.  (Daniele Badolato/AP Photo)

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Hokies Dorian Finney-Smith Seeks Transfer

(Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Forward Dorian Finney-Smith, Virginia Tech's highest-rated recruit in recent program history, will seek a transfer after just one season with the school.

Finney-Smith's mother, Desiree Finney, requested her son's release in a meeting with Tom Gabbard, Virginia Tech associate athletic director in charge of basketball, and coach James Johnson.

Finney-Smith, an ACC all-freshman team member in 2012, averaged 6.3 points and 7.0 rebounds in his freshman season. He started 30 of 33 games, averaging 29.0 minutes per game. ESPNU ranked him No. 18 overall in the class of 2011, and No. 4 at the small forward position.

The decision comes just two weeks after Virginia Tech fired former coach Seth Greenberg and hired former Tech assistant coach Johnson -- who left the program in April to take a similar position at Clemson -- to fill the vacancy. In his May 1 announcement press conference, Hokies athletic director Jim Weaver cited "continuity" as one of the reasons for the hire.

Per the NCAA's transfer rules, Finney-Smith will request permission from the Hokies athletic department to contact a list of interested schools. Gabbard told the Daily Press that Virginia Tech will grant a release to any school "not in direct competition" with the Hokies. 

More Trouble For UNC Football

Football players at North Carolina made up more than a third of enrollments in suspect classes within a department that the school investigated for academic fraud.

According to UNC, football players represented 246 of 686 enrollments (36 percent) in the 54 courses within the Department of African and Afro-AmericanStudies between summer 2007 and summer 2011. Those classes lacked appropriate supervision and were called ''aberrant'' or were ''taught irregularly'' with limited contact between instructors and students, according to a university report released Friday.

Men's basketball players represented 23 enrollments, roughly 3 percent, during that span.

The school's investigation found fraud and poor oversight, including unauthorized grade changes and reports of grade rolls with what appear to be forged faculty signatures. The report found no evidence of favorable treatment for student-athletes or grades awarded without written work.

The News and Observer of Raleigh first reported the athlete enrollment figures Monday.

The probe was a result of an NCAA investigation into the football program. In one of the suspect classes, a former football player wrote a research paper that later led to accusations of plagiarism.
The report directed blame toward the former department chairman and a now-retired administrator.

Pictures Of The Day

Incomplete (l) won the $75,000 Virginia Gold Cup on Saturday. Dr. A.G. Wahoo Griffin's Aero (far right) finished fifth.  (Douglas Lees Photo)
Rafael Nadal of Spain plays a backhand during his 3rd round match against Nikolay Davydenko of Russia during the Mutua Madrilena Madrid Open at the Caja Magica on May 9, 2012 in Madrid, Spain. (Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)
Ekaterina Khomyakova (R) of Russia hits the ball during the women's preliminary match between at the 2012 Swatch Fivb World Tour Beijing Grand Slam in Chaoyang Park on May 8, 2012 in Beijing, China. (Lintao Zhang/Getty Images AsiaPac)
Sprint favorite Mark Cavendish (C, red jersey) and overall leader Taylor Phinney (L, pink jersey) sit on the ground 100 meters from the finish line on May 7, 2012 after falling at the end of the third stage of the Giro d'Italia in Horsens, Denmark. (Luk Beniesluk/AFP/GettyImages)
Carlos Boozer #5 of the Chicago Bulls (by way of Duke) grabs a rebound away from Lavoy Allen #50 of the Philadelphia 76ers on his way to 19 points in Game Five of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals during the 2012 NBA Playoffs at the United Center on May 8, 2012 in Chicago, Illinois. The Bulls defeated the 76ers 77-69.  (Jonathan Daniel/NBAE/Getty Images)

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Really?

Marc Staal #18 of the New York Rangers celebrates with his teammates after scoring the winning goal in overtime as Matt Hendricks #26 of the Caps slides to the ice after Game Five of the Eastern Conference Semifinals during the 2012 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Madison Square Garden on May 7, 2012 in New York City. The Rangers defeated the Caps in overtime 3-2. The Caps had led the game 2-1 with less than 10 seconds remaining. (Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

Monday, May 7, 2012

R.I.P. Adam Yauch 1964-2012

Coldplay covers the Beastie Boys "(You Gotta) Fight For Your Right (To Party)! at the Hollywood Bowl on Friday night as a tribute to the late Adam Yauch (aka MCA) just after it was announced that the rap icon had died of cancer at age 47...

Clemson’s Watkins Arrested For Drugs

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COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) Clemson All-American receiver Sammy Watkins was arrested and charged with possession of marijuana and a controlled substance on Friday.

Watkins and soccer player Amadou-Tidiane Daniel Dia were stopped by university police after an officer saw the car scrape a curb and the temporary license tag was not lit. The police report said an officer smelled marijuana in the car and a subsequent search found two pills for which Watkins did not have a prescription.

Dia was charged with marijuana possession.

Watkins apologized and said he'd accept any penalties from Tigers coach Dabo Swinney or the university.

''I made a mistake last night and I am truly sorry for my actions,'' Watkins said in a statement. ''I let the team down, the coaches down and this university down.''

Swinney learned of the arrest Friday morning. He said he'll gather information before deciding on any punishment. Watkins ''is a good young man who has been a model student, citizen, player and teammate,'' Swinney said. ''This is a reminder that good people make poor decisions. But, there are consequences for your actions and there will be in this case.''

Clemson men's soccer coach Mike Noonan said Dia would face punishment for the arrest, which ''go against the values'' of the program.

Watkins set Clemson records with 82 catches for 1,219 yards and 12 touchdowns. The freshman was a big reason for the Tigers 8-0 start on the way to their first Atlantic Coast Conference title in 20 years.

An officer stopped the white Cadillac that Watkins was driving and, after smelling marijuana, asked the player if there was any reason the car might smell like marijuana. Watkins said, ''No, I just got the car not long ago,'' according to the police report.

Watkins consented to a search of the car and a pat down. Officers found two pills, one for Adderall and the other for Vyvanse, both which Watkins said he did not have a prescription for. The report said officers also turned up a brown medicine bottle and a hand-rolled marijuana blunt beneath the carpet in the trunk. Both Watkins and Dia had plastic bags of ''green plant like material believed to marijuana,'' on their bodies, according to the report.

All Four ACC LAX Squads In NCAA Tournament


All four ACC men’s lacrosse programs were among the 16 selected to compete in the 2012 NCAA Division I Men’s Lacrosse Championship. It marks the sixth-consecutive season in which all of the league’s teams have earned a bid.

Duke (13-4), which has reached the semifinals of the tournament the past five seasons, was selected as the No. 3 seed and will host Syracuse (9-7) at Koskinen Stadium at noon on Saturday, May 12, on ESPN. The game is a rematch from the regular season, with Duke winning 12-10 in East Rutherford, N.J. The Blue Devils will be making their sixth-consecutive and 16th overall appearance in the tournament where the program owns an all-time record of 22-14. Duke, the 2012 ACC Champion, won its only national title two years ago.

Fifth-seeded Virginia (11-3) will start its title defense when it welcomes Princeton (11-4) to Klöckner Stadium on Sunday, May 13, at 1 p.m on ESPN. The Cavaliers will be making their eighth-straight tournament appearance and 35th overall in the tournament. Virginia holds an all-time NCAA Tournament record of 47-29 and has won five championships.

North Carolina (11-5) grabbed the No. 8 seed and will play Denver at Fetzer Field on Saturday, May 12, at 7:30 p.m. on ESPNU. This is the 27th tournament appearance for the Tar Heels and the sixth straight. North Carolina has won four national titles in program history and has compiled a 27-22 mark in the tournament.

Maryland (9-5) will travel to Bethlehem, Pa., to play No. 7 Lehigh (14-2) on Sunday, May 13, at 7:30 p.m. on ESPNU. The Terrapins will be making their 35th appearance in the tournament and 10th straight, where they are 45-32. Maryland will be looking for its third national championship and first since 1975.

ACC teams have won the last two national championships and 12 overall.

The tournament gets underway May 12-13 at campus sites. The quarterfinals, played a week later on May 19-20, will be held in Annapolis, Md., and Philadelphia, Pa. Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass., will host the semifinals on May 26 and the finals on May 28.



For last weekend’s results and more, click here. 

Pictures Of The Day

Welcome? Really? Armed police officers patrol the Olympic Park during day two of the BUCS VISA Athletics Championships 2012 LOCOG Test Event for London 2012 at the Olympic Stadium on May 5, 2012 in London, England. (Michael Steele/Getty Images Europe)
Yesterday, coach Mike Shanahan named Robert Griffin III the starting QB for the Washington Redskins during the team’s rookie minicamp on May 6, 2012 in Ashburn, Virginia. (Patrick McDermott/Getty Images North America)
Rickie Fowler (R) of the United States and Rory McIlroy (L) of Northern Ireland stand on the green of the first playoff hole during the final round of the Wells Fargo Championship at the Quail Hollow Club on May 6, 2012 in Charlotte, North Carolina. Flowler won in a playoff when his outfit temporarily blinded the other golfers.  (Streeter Lecka/Getty Images North America)
Several hundred friends and fans of former San Diego Charger Junior Seau held a paddle-out memorial in front of his home in Oceanside, California.  (Peter Read Miller/SI)
Milwaukee Brewers center fielder Nyjer Morgan (a former Nat) cathces a fly ball hit by San Francisco’s Melky Cabrera.  (Jeff Chiu/AP)
Jayson Werth #28 of the Washington Nationals is helped off the field by manager Davey Johnson and assistant athletic trainer Mike McGowan after breaking his wrist in the sixth inning against the Philadelphia Phillies at Nationals Park on May 6, 2012 in Washington, DC. (Greg Fiume/Getty Images North America)
Camille Juban competes in the Santa Cruz Goya Windsurfing Festival at Waddell Beach on May 4, 2012 in Santa Cruz, California. The Festival is the first stop on the American Windsurfing Tour and it runs from May 3-6. (Ezra Shaw/Getty Images North America)

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Pictures Of The Day

Race fans wearing ponchos with the words "Cinco De Derby" on them, walk through the infield during the 138th running of the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs on May 5, 2012 in Louisville, Kentucky. (Jamie Price/Getty Images)
Mario Gutierrez (L) comes down the final stretch atop I'll Have Another ahead of Bodemeister ridden by Mike Smith during the 138th running of the Kentucky Derby ahead of at Churchill Downs on May 5, 2012 in Louisville, Kentucky. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
Jockey Mario Guitierrez aboard I'll Have Another reacts as an outrider escorts him to the winners circle after winning the 138th running of the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs on May 5, 2012 in Louisville, Kentucky. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

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