1. The NCAA is waiting for the Big East to decide if it will hire former UConn AD Jeff Hathaway either to its staff or as a paid consultant so that he can continue as chair of the men’s basketball selection committee. Two weeks ago, the NCAA’s administrative cabinet denied a request from outgoing chair Gene Smith to let Hathaway serve out his term. The league -- preoccupied as it is with expansion dealings -- hasn’t moved on the matter. NCAA executive vice president Greg Shaheen said he is hopeful the Big East will alert the committee as to its decision by the end of the week.
2. No one is trying to save former Big 12 commissioner Dan Beebe’s spot on the 10-member selection committee. His replacement has to be from the Midwest or South as well as from a FBS conference (the Big Ten, Big 12, MAC and Sun Belt, specifically -- the SEC and ACC already have members on the committee). Oklahoma AD Joe Castiglione is a candidate to replace Beebe for a full term. The committee should also consider Michigan State AD Mark Hollis; he’s exceedingly well-respected and created the Carrier Classic game on 11-11-11. The Big Ten should nominate him.
3. Indiana coach Tom Crean needed to catch a break in his tireless efforts to resuscitate the Hoosier program. He didn’t get one with the news that Maurice Creek is likely out for the season after undergoing surgery to repair a torn Achilles tendon. Crean has improved the talent level at Indiana and finally brought in a top in-state player in Cody Zeller, but he needs a veteran presence to take pressure off the newcomers. College basketball needs this historic program to be relevant. Let’s see how much the Hoosiers will matter this season.