- Andy Katz, ESPN Senior Writer
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1. The National Association of Basketball Coaches board of directors met with NCAA president Mark Emmert on Thursday in Indianapolis and, according to at least one source in the room, there is support to close up a few transfer loopholes. The coaches and Emmert discussed making any player who wants to transfer sit out a year, even if he or she has graduated and is seeking a waiver to play immediately at a school that has a graduate program that isn’t available at the current school. The discussion also turned to the waiver that allows a player to play immediately if a relative is ill. That, too, could be closed. The consensus among the coaches is that if anyone transfers, he should sit out a year, even if that means a sixth year in college. The coaches also wanted some sort of universal language on transfer restrictions, maybe even an NCAA rule that forbids transferring within a league. Conferences and schools create their own policies on restricting transfers. According to the NCAA spokesperson, Emmert is going to put together a process to review and make recommendations that includes coaches' input.
2. North Texas athletic director Rick Villarreal said Thursday night that he has a policy that he doesn’t release players who have signed with North Texas or leave the program during their career. Conversely, he won’t allow his coaches, even new ones like men’s basketball coach Tony Benford, to cut a player based on ability. He said the only way a player will be released is if there is an academic or behavior issue. This is relevant because signee John Odoh may want to follow former coach Johnny Jones to LSU. Villarreal said Odoh hasn’t asked for a release yet. If he does, don’t expect a release -- or at least not one to LSU. Villarreal was adamant that Odoh was recruited by Jones with Mean Green funds. Players may leave, but without a release, meaning they would then have to pay their own scholarships.
3. Incoming NCAA tournament selection committee chair Mike Bobinski said that 2013 East Regional sites were discussed Thursday in Indianapolis, and that a decision is due in two weeks. Syracuse and Brooklyn, N.Y., appear to be the favorites. The initial four candidates also included New York City (Madison Square Garden) and Newark, N.J. MSG is booked. Newark hasn’t been eliminated yet.