Monday, July 25, 2005

Odds and Ends

Quick post today but good links nonetheless.

First, check out this article from today's Indy Star about Indiana high school standout Eric Gordon.

Also, although this is a little dated, check out this Pat Forde story from (Make sure to scroll down to "No Juice for Bruce" to get the Weber news.)


Monday, July 18, 2005

Special Prosecutor Needed in Kansas

Kansas is turning into a hotbed of activity when it comes to hoops this offseason.

Greg Doyel filed this story today detailing Kansas coach Bill Self's hiring of Ronnie Chalmers. Ronnie is the father of a McDonald's All-American Mario Chalmers who signed with Kansas.

Doyel points out that Chalmers the elder doesn't exactly have the resume that would make him qualified to be director of basketball operations, the position for which Self hired him. Combine that with the fact that the hiring was announced under the radar when attention was laser-focused on the NBA draft and you have the makings of something that's starting to smell kind of rotten.

In the article, Self claims the topic of Ronnie Chalmers never came up until after Mario signed with Kansas. Interesting. But Doyel goes on to ask a very good question: what happened to Danny Manning--KU's "director of basketball operations?"

Illinitalk has a suggestion. There is a fella by the name of Patrick Fitzgerald. He's investigating everything from the CIA leak in Washington, DC to Chicago's City Hall as well as prosecuting former Illinois Governor George Ryan.

Perhaps Mr. Fitzgerald would be a good one to go find out, on behalf of the NCAA, what Bill Self and Ronnie Chalmers knew and when they knew it. And while he's at it, he can find out what Roy Williams promised those KU basketball players and when he promised it (see post below).


KU, Roy, Violations...

I ran across this article over the weekend on and found it to be quite interesting for a number of reasons.

It basically outlines the NCAA rules the Kansas men's basketball team violated while Roy Williams was coaching at the school. Other programs at KU violating NCAA rules are the women's basketball program and the football program, by the way (keep this in mind for later).

An internal review by Kansas found that Roy "approved payments to graduating players and other Jayhawk players who had exhausted their eligibility."

While it doesn't sound too serious, it would still give me cause for concern if I was in charge of enforcing the NCAA rules and arrived at the same conclusions as Kansas' stellar internal investigation. (The ESPN story says that the NCAA expects to have it's investigation completed by the fall. KU releases on violations here.)

Anyway, check out the university's self-imposed punishment:

"The university, which put its athletic department on probation for two years, said
the violations wouldn't carry any television or postseason sanctions, but would result in a
reduction of scholarships in the football and women's basketball programs."

I'm assuming they didn't leave anything off there and that punishment is supposed to be for the rules that Roy violated when he was coaching there as well. (Sarcasm alert) Wow! Punishment with teeth! That's what I like to see!

Two things I'd like to point out while we wait for the NCAA to finish its investigation:

1. The NCAA could send a strong signal to athletic departments across the country when they hand down their punishment by not paying too much attention to the lesson Kansas U is trying to teach itself.

I don't believe KU's violation is that huge. However, as Good Hope Orange points out: "If you consider these minor gifts to be okay once students have graduated, then why not promise any recruit that comes to KU a $100,000 (for example) once they have graduated? I know that isn’t what happened here but you can’t say the rule applies in one instance but isn’t a big deal in another. The rules are in place for a reason, regardless of the gift amount."

So hopefully any average moron will see it does require a stiffer penalty than what KU athletic department is getting from the university.

2. Talk about a hit and run. Roy screws up/semi-cheats and then leaves for UNC. Nice work, Roy.


Thursday, July 14, 2005


Today, the University of Illinois Board of Trustees approved a two year contract extension and a raise for head basketball coach, Bruce Weber. After leading our beloved Illini to back to back outright conference championships, a Big 10 Tournament Championship, a Sweet 16, and the NCAA National Title Game this year, the extension and raise are well deserved. There will also be some other investments made in the basketball program. Check out the link for more details and quotes from Coach Weber and Athletic Director Ron Guenther.



I had a great post all ready to go and when I tried to publish it, Blogger was having problems and I lost it with no hope of recovery. Therefore, here is the 30 second version without a lot of the links I had originally planned. Sometimes technology just plain stinks.

--Deron Williams and Luther Head went to the Utah Jazz and Houston Rockets, respectively. I believe these are both great fits for each of them. Deron gets to play for Jerry Sloan, one of the NBA's best coaches, in a pick and roll system that should fit his game nicely. Utah also has some young talent that he can grow with. Luther gets to play with Tracy McGrady and Yao Ming, which should give him a lot of open 3 pt. looks. He also brings tough defense to that team. It was great to see Deron on stage at the draft as the 3rd overall pick and first point guard drafted. It was even better to see Luther's reaction at home with his family when he learned he was the 24th pick. Good luck to both of them.

--Roger Powell is playing for the Dallas Mavericks on their summer league team and is hoping to make the team as a free agent. Not sure if Jack Ingram has caught on with anybody yet but we hope that they both get an opportunity to stick with an NBA team.

--Illinois Quarterback Brad Bower is transferring to Ohio University. Not sure exactly why he decided to leave the University but I am guessing he didn't feel that the new system being installed by Coach Zook was a good fit for him.

--Illinois is losing two great coaches as Richard "Itch" Jones is retiring as the baseball coach and men's tennis coach, Craig Tiley, is leaving to become Director of Player Development for Tennis Australia. Both had very successful programs and Tiley's men's tennis team won the National Championship in 2003. Illinitalk wishes them both well in their new endeavors and also wishes good luck to their replacements, Dan Hartleb and Brad Dancer, who have big shoes to fill.

--Finally, I don't know if anyone else has the same impression, but it seems to me that their is a much greater sense of anticipation for the upcoming football season than we have seen in a long time. Coach Zook seems to really have people getting excited about the future of the program. Check out the Fighting Illini homepage here and see the countdown to the season opener in the corner. I love it. Also, while you are there, be sure to check out the new 2004-05 Fighting Illini Basketball DVD - 'A Season to Remember,' that is available in the online store. We don't typically promote products on Illinitalk but as we did for the Basketball Centennial DVD, we will make an exception for this one. If you are going through basketball withdrawal, this should get you through until the new season begins.

Until later, GO ILLINI!!!


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