Tuesday, August 27, 2013
3-point shot: Memphis hopeful on Dixon
By Andy Katz
1. Memphis is hopeful that in the next two to three weeks it will know if Missouri transfer Michael Dixon is eligible to play for Memphis this season. Dixon was dismissed from Missouri last November before the season started and was not in school in the second semester. He was accused of sexual assault but no charges were filed, the second such instance where no charges were brought against him for a similar offense. Dixon didn't play last season, so he has a strong case to play this season based on the basics of sitting out and playing somewhere new. Technically, Dixon didn't sit out at Memphis for the year in residence, but he didn't play basketball at all last season. The NCAA has been loose with granting waivers and using a number of different scenarios to justify allowing players immediate eligibility. This will be an interesting test case if Dixon isn't allowed to play this season after not playing last season but also not sitting out at his new school. If Dixon is eligible at Memphis, he will enhance one of the deeper and most experienced backcourts in the country. The Tigers would have four high-level senior guards in Dixon, Joe Jackson, Geron Johnson and Chris Crawford. The only thing those four guards haven't done is advanced deep in the NCAA tournament.
2. Missouri coach Frank Haith was looking for some team-bonding, eye-opening experiences that would propel the Tigers into a new season. So Missouri headed to Camp Crowder, roughly 15 miles south of Joplin, Mo., to be with the Missouri National Guard. The team was split into three groups, led by Jabari Brown, Jordan Clarkson and Earnest Ross. The players and soldiers, in full gear, secured a compound with paint ball ammunition. The team then went on a 4.5-mile endurance hike while carrying 50-pound packs. Throughout the hike, they had to pick up extra gear and move it with them. The post-hike activities included shooting M16s from a foxhole. Haith participated with the players as well. These can be called gimmicks, but they do have a point. Missouri's players got to think of something greater than themselves and engaged with the National Guard, many of whom were Mizzou fans. Seeing Haith participate as well proves a point that he's in this with them and isn't shying away from the physical challenges. Coaches are always looking for motivational tools while also establishing connections with fans. These type of actions with fans who are also in the National Guard can be highly productive.
3. The committee on infractions still hasn't released its Miami report after hearing the largely football case in June. Haith, the former hoops coach at Miami, and two former assistant coaches did have to go in front of the committee as well on basketball matters. But a lawyer who represents coaches in NCAA cases on a regular basis said the NCAA's latest policy is to notify those who are involved in the case no earlier than 24 hours before the release of the report. Another source said that it would only be an hour or so prior to the release. The NCAA is not naive enough to think that the report won't get out once it releases the findings. So holding onto the final piece until the last possible minute makes sense for them. The NCAA is no rush, and while it could still happen later this week, the attorney didn't think it would be finished/released prior to Labor Day.