Tuesday, March 19, 2013
3-point shot: Coaches under tighter scrutiny
By Andy Katz
1. Jaren Sina, a top recruit out of New Jersey for Northwestern, was granted a release by NU AD Jim Phillips Monday, according to the Chicago Tribune. Sina may still go to Northwestern, his father was quoted by the Trib. But the actions of Phillips should be applauded. He took the time to fly out to New Jersey Monday upon making the decision of firing Bill Carmody. He wanted to talk to the prospective recruit and make an attempt to keep him but at the same time honor the family's request. There is no reason to turn this into some protracted fight when a player may not want to attend the school. The genuine gesture by Phillips would likely be respected by the Sina family if they connect with the new hire. Northwestern could easily play hard ball and not release Sina. But what would that prove? Phillips is being a hands-on athletic director, trying to get this hire right with the correct fit and at the same time ensuring there is a comfort level with the incoming players. More ADs should take note.
2. Arizona coach Sean Miller was fined $25,000 by the Pac-12 for his postgame behavior during the conference tournament in questioning the officiating. Rutgers fined Mike Rice $50,000 during the season and suspended him for three games for his behavior in practice in the previous year. The NCAA committee on infractions suspended Saint Mary's coach Randy Bennett for the first five games of the WCC season in 2013-14 for a failure to monitor violations. This is no longer a trend. This is the new normal for coaches. They are being singled out and, in some cases, being held accountable and, in other cases, being held responsible for the actions of their subordinates. This is a new era and coaches now have to be on guard and on edge for the way they are being watched -- and ultimately punished -- for actions by schools, conferences and the NCAA.
3. I'd love to say more players will stay but the draft may be the weakest in years, which means spots are available. That's why it should come as no surprise that Tony Mitchell of North Texas will declare for the draft Wednesday, as first reported by CBSSports.com. North Texas coach Tony Benford said Monday night Mitchell still has to make it official but this is not a shock. UNT struggled through an injury-riddled season and went 12-20. Mitchell is still a potential lottery pick, assuming he comes out, according to Benford due to his skill set. Mitchell will be one of the first to declare but he likely will lead another exodus.