- Andy Katz, ESPN Senior Writer
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1. Commissioner Mike Aresco pulled off a shrewd but intelligent move when he made sure the new American Athletic Conference offices stayed in Providence, R.I. -- where the Big East staff has been based. The majority of the staffers are family people and didn't want to leave Providence. If the league office were to move, the staff might be more apt to look elsewhere or be plucked away by the new Big East. That hasn't happened, and the new Big East is still without a commissioner or staff. Meanwhile, the American has the same people running its operation. The American released its logo Thursday and it has a chance to catch on. The league is taking care of its business. Its basketball tournament sites should be announced in the next few weeks and the favorites are Memphis, Tenn., for the men and either Hartford, Conn., or Uncasville, Conn. (at the Mohegan Sun Arena), for the women.
2. Two Wisconsin-Green Bay players released statements through the school Thursday after spending the past month wondering if head coach Brian Wardle would be dismissed due to verbal-abuse allegations. Keifer Sykes and Alec Brown said: “We are really happy that the investigation is over, and we are excited about playing together next season for Coach Wardle and our other coaches. This has not been an easy couple of months for our team and coaches to go through and we are ready to move forward. The character and communication in our locker room is really good right now, and we are focused on getting better this offseason and contending for a championship next year.” Lost amid these investigations are the players who were held hostage by uncertainty. Wardle was cleared of mostly everything, though he must have an adviser with the team next season to watch what occurs. UWGB has a legit shot to win the Horizon League.
3. New Mexico State will be the last team standing from the traditional WAC in 2014. The Aggies aren't 100 percent certain where they will be in basketball in two years. New Mexico State can't get in the Mountain West, and needs to find a way to get into Conference USA. That's the perfect fit for the Aggies, who have a historical rivalry with UTEP. If they can't move, coach Marvin Menzies' squad should get an NCAA bid or compete for a berth every season. There really is no excuse in such a weakened WAC.