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Cuonzo Marting Leaving Tennessee For Cal

Tennessee is looking for a new basketball coach.  Cuonzo Martin is leaving the Vols to replace Mike Montgomery as the head coach at California.

Martin has coached Tennessee the past three seasons. After leading the Vols to the regional finals of the NCAA Tournament, Martin was rumored to in the running for the job at Marquette.   When that failed to materialize, it appeared Martin would stay but that all changed this morning when he told A.D. Dave Hart he was involved in the Cal search. Hart says Tennessee offered Martin”close to a half-million dollar raise.”

An official announcement is expected later today at Cal.  Cal A.D. Sandy Barbour posted this picture taken with Martin to her Twitter account.


Martin complied a 63-41 record in three seasons at Tennessee.

Pat Forde: Absolutely nothing is rock solid on Rocky Top these days. It is high time for a reality check.

Dana O’Neil:  Cuonzo Martin, the man they treated like a bad case of the flu for three years, essentially put his thumb to his nose, wiggled his fingers and said, “Stuff it.”

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SEC Headlines 3/24/2014

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1. For the first time since 2010, there’s a competition for the starting quarterback at Georgia.

2. Even though the number of competitors has dropped from five  to three - a quarterback race is on at LSU as well.

3. One week into spring practice, Florida’s offense remains a work in progress.

4. Former Alabama offensive guard Chad Lindsey could be headed to Michigan where he would be reunited with offensive coordinator Doug Nussmeier.

5. Of the 40 best players in the SEC during the BCS era, was Tim Tebow No. 1?

6. Is Auburn’s Nick Marshall talented enough to play quarterback in the NFL? Offensive coordinator Rhett Lashlee:  ”Oh, I think without question.”

7. Auburn defensive end Carl Lawson on his freshman season: “It’s a big spring for me because last year, I was a little bit disappointed with my performance and I can’t wait to get better.”

8. Should coaches bonuses be tied to academic performance?  Education Secretary Arne Duncan makes the case.

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9. Georgia freshman basketball player J.J. Frazier was arrested late Sunday night on a charge of driving without a license

10. Florida will meet UCLA Thursday night . Fourth time since 2006 these two teams have met in March.

11. “With his 3-0 run this March, (Tennessee coach Cuonzo) Martin has equaled Jerry Green’s victory total in four NCAA appearances. Only Bruce Pearl (eight) and Don DeVoe (five) have more.”

12. Kevin Scarbinsky: “Who knew that Bruce Pearl and Cuonzo Martin both would be big winners this month?”

13. LSU plays SMU tonight in the NIT.  ”Simply put, there might not be two more talented teams remaining in the NIT field.”

14. Arkansas gets a rematch with Cal tonight in the NIT.  The Golden Bears beat the Razorbacks in the Maui Invitational in November.

15. Texas A&M at Illinois State tonight in the CBI.  Aggies just 1-8 in road games this season (but that one win was over a Sweet 16 Tennessee team).

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16. Sweet 16 rundown – TV, tip times, and announcers.

17. Former Alabama quarterback Greg McElroy will join the SEC Network as an analyst.

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Tennessee Coach Cuonzo Martin Previews Iowa

Tennessee basketball coach Cuonzo Martin meets the media ahead of Wednesday night’s game play-in game against Iowa.

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UT Fires Administrator; Report Connects Administrator To Ex-Hoopster Golden

dirty-laundryTrae Golden’s decision to transfer from the University of Tennessee basketball team has taken another bizarre turn.  It was announced early last week that the senior-to-be would transfer from Cuonzo Martin’s program to another school, leaving the Vols without a proven point guard for 2013-14.

Reports at the time cited academic issues — namely repeated acts of plagiarism — as the reason for Golden’s departure.  UT’s associate AD for compliance, Todd Dooley, then revealed on radio that Golden did not have the hours necessary to graduate at Tennessee, meaning he will have a hard time finding a new home as well.

By midweek, Golden’s father called such reports “totally inaccurate.”

Now to the present.  Yesterday the University of Tennessee fired the director of its Office of Student Judicial Affairs.  The school has launched an investigation into whether or not Jenny Wright had improper relationships with student-athletes at UT.

A graduate of Tennessee, Wright has hired an attorney who said that she tried to resign rather than cooperate with the investigation.  “She didn’t think the climate at UT was such that her reputation would be preserved,” Robert Kurtz said.  “UT didn’t have any interest in protecting that.  Even if everything is proved to be completely false, the damage to your reputation can’t be undone, and you can’t un-ring that bell.  That’s why these allegations are so powerful.”

Meanwhile, Jimmy Hyams of WNML-AM/FM in Knoxville reported yesterday afternoon that — according to sources — one of the athletes Wright is alleged to have an improper relationship with is Golden.

As Wright’s attorney has stated, it’s unfortunate that this situation has come to light before anyone has found her guilty of having inappropriate relationships.  As a result, Wright will have to rehab a tarnished reputation while any male athletes involved will, most likely, get a pass in the court of public opinion.  If a man has sex, he’s a stud.  If a woman has sex, she’s easy.  That’s not fair, but it is how our society tends to view these things.

Obviously, no one employed as the director of a school’s Office of Student Judicial Affairs can go around having sex with athletes.  That kind of behavior is unacceptable.  And if it’s found that Wright did have a relationship with Golden, it will raise questions regarding his alleged repeated acts of plagiarism while still on the UT basketball team.

But this is a story of sex.  And though that’s an act that everyone takes part in, it’s still a topic that drives ratings, sells papers, and ups pageviews.  The presence of dirty laundry will ensure that this story won’t go away quickly, at least not for Wright.

Whether UT investigators find proof of wrongdoing or not.

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SEC Recruiting Headlines 4/17/2013

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1. The spring signing period is underway.  The nation’s No. 1 prospect has yet to make a decision.  Huntington Prep’s Andrew Wiggins is said to be choosing from four schools - Florida State, Kansas, North Carolina and Kentucky.  Both of Wiggins’ parents attended Florida State. Here’s how Wiggins would fit in next year’s lineup at each of the four schools.

2. Kentucky is expecting  three signed letter of intents within the next week.  Even without Wiggins, that means Kentucky will have eight signees in its 2013 class.

3. Rutgers loss is Auburns’ gain.  JUCO forward Chris Griffin was set to sign with Rutgers but when the Mike Rice scandal hit, he decommitted and signed a letter of intent with Auburn today.  He’s one of three players the Tigers are expected to sign in the spring signing period.

4. Kenny Paul Geno, a 6-foot-6, 195-pound small forward from Booneville, Miss., sent his letter of intent to Georgia today. He’s planning on holding a news conference Thursday morning.  ”By the time that he leaves, they’re gonna be very proud that they gave him an opportunity to play at Georgia,” Bonneville head coach Michael Smith said. “He’s gonna play and contribute. He’s gonna play (next year).”

5. Murfreesboro, Tennessee native Darius Thompson signed with Tennessee today, becoming coach Cuonzo Martin’s fourth member of the class of 2013. “At 6-4, he’s got good size for a point guard. He’s a proven scorer who can shoot it with range, and I’m confident that he’s going to be able to help us in a number of areas.”

6. Alabama coach Anthony Grant has two experienced guards coming in next year.  Tulane transfer Ricky Tarrant and JUCO guard Algie Key signed with the Crimson Tide today.  Tarrant will have to sit out a year. He was the Conference USA Freshman of the Year for Tulane two seasons ago.

7. Tuesday night, Brian Bridgewater of Scotlandville High School (LA) said “it’s not LSU.”  Wednesday, the forward committed to the Tigers. He chose LSU over Wichita State and TCU.

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8. Jacksonville, Florida prospect Tyreke Johnson  is projected as a cornerback/wide receiver.  He’s also just 13 years old and is reportedly on the verge of getting some big-time college offers.  Here’s how his coach described him. ”He’s built and put together like a Greek God as a seventh grader.” Johnson’s brother De’Andre is a Florida State 2015 commitment.

9. Alabama picked up its fourth commitment of the 2014 class with the news that linebacker Shaun Dion Hamilton picked the Crimson Tide.  The four-star linebacker chose Alabama over Auburn and Tennessee. He’s planning to graduate in December and enroll at Alabama in January.

10. Auburn’s first defensive commitment in the class of 2014 is linebacker Deshaun Davis. He chose Auburn over 10 other schools, including LSU, Florida State and Tennessee.

11. Thaddeus Snodgrass is the highest ranked wide receiver recruit ever to commit to Kentucky. The Ohio receiver says he’s working on bringing additional recruits to the Wildcats.  ”There will be a couple more commitments in a couple of days or maybe a week.”

12. Four-star running back Mike Horton from Ohio is on Kentucky’s radar.  He’s expected to make his college choice this weekend.

13. Arkansas running backs coach Joel Thomas will have recruiting responsibilities in the Dallas, Texas area. ”I’ll also have Arlington, Mansfield, Irving and I’ll work my way out to east Texas to Tyler and Longview,”

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WOW Headlines – 3/27/13

Alabama fell 58-57 to Maryland last night in the NIT third round
Of the six SEC teams invited to take part in postseason basketball, only Florida remains alive
Florida will play Florida Gulf Coast Friday in the Sweet Sixteen round of the NCAA Tournament
Ole Miss F Murphy Holloway has been named’s “Most Productive Player of the Year” in the SEC
Arkansas F Marshawn Powell has announced that he will turn pro rather than return for his senior season
Kentucky C Nerlens Noel missed the last part of the season with an ACL injury but he’s still #1 on several NBA mock draft boards
Tennessee basketball coach Cuonzo Martin is expected to pursue a contract extension and renegotation this offseason
Texas A&M QB Johnny Manziel has decided to ban himself from Twitter because it had become a “distraction”
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WOW Headlines – 3/19/13

The NCAA has decided not to implement controversial changes to its recruiting rulebook
The changes would have allowed schools to hire extra recruiters and to mail an unlimited amount of correspondence to prospects
Florida’s Billy Donovan has been named the AP’s SEC Basketball Coach of the Year
Georgia F Kentavious Caldwell-Pope has been named the SEC Basketball Player of the Year
Ole Miss coach Andy Kennedy on his brash star guard: “The Marshall Henderson Show is like the traveling circus”
Tennessee coach Cuonzo Martin says the NCAA’s decision to invite just three SEC teams to this year’s tournament shows a “lack of respect”
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Wow Headlines 2/15/2013

Thursday’s SEC hoops action: LSU 64 – South Carolina 46
After starting SEC play at 6-0, Ole Miss has lost of four of five
South Carolina DE Jadeveon Clowney is considering a $5 million insurance policy to protect against serious injury
LSU will make the hiring of offensive coordinator Cam Cameron official Friday
One NBA draft analyst says Kentucky F Nerlens Noel will still be a top-five pick even with a torn ACL
Riding a two-game win streak, Tennessee coach Cuonzo Martin says: “I think we can beat any team in this league now.”
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Report: Vol Hoopster Hall Arrested For Driving On Suspended License — the site covering Tennessee athletics — is reporting that Vol forward Kenny Hall was arrested at some point this week for driving with a suspended license.  No disciplinary response has been announced by UT, but Hall was suspended from Tennessee’s final 11 games last season due to an unspecified rules violation.

Has has started all 19 games for Cuonzo Martin’s side this season and is averaging 4.4 points and 3.5 rebounds per game.  He scored a season-high 14 points last weekend in Tennessee’s loss at Arkansas.

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