Category archive: Binghamton Bearcats

Job to get tougher for future Binghamton coaches

October, 14, 2009
Quick hitters for Wednesday:

• America East coaches privately doubted that Binghamton coach Kevin Broadus would even make it to Friday for the opening of practice. Clearly, they were correct in their prediction.

Wednesday's announcement that Broadus has been put on an indefinite paid leave of absence shouldn't be a shock. Assistant coach Mark Macon, a former NBA player and Temple great, is getting his chance to be a head coach. Broadus will likely search for a settlement at this juncture, since his contract was extended to 2013-14. The odds of Broadus' returning to Binghamton are practically nil, especially after he last week admitted to violating NCAA regulations by contacting two recruits during an evaluation period.

The consensus is that whoever fills the Binghamton slot on a full-time basis in 2010-11 will likely find the standards even more stringent, making it a tougher job than it already was in the America East.

• Buffalo coach Reggie Witherspoon is wondering why the Bulls didn't push harder to get a return game from Purdue. The Bulls have been extremely successful in playing hardball in scheduling the past four seasons, getting a Big East team to come to Buffalo after holding out a game to the last minute.

Buffalo helped Purdue fill a spot in its schedule after the Boilermakers moved their game against Ball State from Dec. 5 at Mackey Arena to Dec. 19 at Conseco Fieldhouse for the Wooden Tradition. Buffalo took $80,000 for the date but didn't get a return game in 2010-11. There's no guarantee Purdue would have agreed, but there is a chance, considering it's October and the Boilermakers are still looking for a game.

• Marquette coach Buzz Williams said former Kentucky coach Billy Gillispie is expected to come up to observe the Golden Eagles practice in the coming weeks. Williams worked for Gillispie at Texas A&M. Williams said he's glad Gillispie's lawsuit with Kentucky is over so that Gillispie can move toward finding a full-time head coaching job.

Gillispie wanted $6 million from Kentucky but got a shade under $3 million. There's no way Kentucky fired him in the spring thinking they had to pay him the full $6 million. Gillispie's settlement means Kentucky basketball is paying out more than $6 million in coaching salaries when combined with John Calipari and his staff. If Gillispie can get his life in order after a DUI arrest and reported rehab stint, the settlement should help him land at least an assistant job in the coming years. Athletic directors would likely run away from a coach who is involved in litigation against his former employer.

• Dino Gaudio's contract extension with Wake Forest through 2013-14, announced Wednesday, is much deserved. Gaudio guided the Demon Deacons through their most difficult period after the tragic death of former coach Skip Prosser. Gaudio has had a bit of a staff shakeup, but not for anything but personal advancement and proximity for those who have departed. Gaudio is well respected in the ACC, and there is no reason to believe the Demon Deacons won't continue to be a player in the conference.

• Florida's Billy Donovan received the John Wooden Legends of Coaching honor Wednesday, joining quite an impressive list of names. The previous winners are: Rick Barnes (Texas), Pat Summitt (Tennessee), Gene Keady (Purdue), Jim Boeheim (Syracuse), Jim Calhoun (Connecticut), Mike Montgomery (Stanford), Roy Williams (Kansas), Denny Crum (Louisville), Lute Olson (Arizona), Mike Krzyzewski (Duke) and Dean Smith (North Carolina). Donovan's two consecutive national titles could prove to be a tough feat for other coaches to match. On this list, only Summitt, Calhoun, Crum, Williams, Krzyzewski and Smith have even won multiple national titles.

The one obvious name not on this list who should be next year's honoree is Tom Izzo of Michigan State. Izzo has been to five Final Fours and won one national title.

• If Dallas Lauderdale (broken bone in right hand) is out for Ohio State when the Buckeyes play North Carolina at Madison Square Garden on Nov. 19, the Buckeyes will be at a decided disadvantage against the Tar Heels' towering front line. Ohio State would likely have to go small with the inability to match Ed Davis, Deon Thompson, John Henson and friends in the post.

• Georgia Tech coach Paul Hewitt can't catch a break with injuries lately. Point guard Moe Miller is still recovering from a concussion after a car accident. Miller is expected to be with Iman Shumpert in the backcourt, helping feed a loaded frontcourt of Gani Lawal, Derrick Favors and Zach Peacock. The Yellow Jackets, when healthy, are deeper, more talented and experienced from the two-win ACC team last season.

Hewitt told the Associated Press that Miller needs time to rest and heal after his head hit the car window during the accident. Miller had two concussions last year and missed seven games after suffering a broken nose in one of the incidents.

EDITOR'S NOTE: Due to the recent dismissal of six Binghamton players, we will not be posting the now-outdated Blue Ribbon preview of the Bearcats. Below you will find Andy Katz's Oct. 12 update on the situation and click on this link for the latest information on the school's coaching situation.

America East teams have won a total of six NCAA tournament games since 1980, the last one being Vermont's thrilling first-round upset of Syracuse in 2005.

This is not a league that commands a lot of attention. Yet, for weeks now, all the outside focus on the America East has been centered on the chaos at Binghamton, a fledgling Division I member that won the conference title last season and was awarded the league's automatic bid to the NCAA tournament.

D.J. Rivera -- the Bearcats' leading scorer last season and a large part of their success -- was granted a waiver to play immediately after transferring from Saint Joseph's without sitting out a year.

Many coaches around the league questioned that decision last year. The issue has come to the forefront again this offeason after the news that Rivera -- along with five others -- was dismissed from the America East favorites last month. Binghamton, which lost to Duke in the first round of the NCAA tournament in March, is a shell of its former self and will slide down the America East standings this season.

Also gone from the roster are Malik Alvin, Paul Crosby, David Fine, recent transfer from Rutgers Corey Chandler (who had a shorter tenure after transferring than even Nate Miles did at Connecticut last year) and Emanuel "Tiki" Mayben, who recently was arraigned on and pleaded not guilty to cocaine possession and distribution charges.

Within the past week, reported that Binghamton coach Kevin Broadus talked to Notre Dame Prep (Mass.) guards Michael Glenn and Antoine Myers on the first day of the evaluation period. Coaches cannot speak to recruits during an evaluation period. Broadus denied talking to the recruits, but according to, the players said they did speak with Broadus.

Binghamton later self-reported the secondary violation. Then, on Monday morning, interim athletic director James Norris said Broadus and his staff won't be allowed to go off campus to recruit until November.

Coaches in the America East have been silent. They won't go on the record about Binghamton. And yet, privately, there is a growing disgust for the perception the league is getting nationally.

America East commissioner Patrick Nero won't comment on what this has done to perception of his league, either. Instead, Nero said in an e-mail that "it's not appropriate for me to speak about Binghamton until the SUNY system finishes their report and I have a chance to read it." Nero said he has no inside knowledge of what is going on at the school.

Boston University, Vermont, New Hampshire, Albany, Stony Brook, Maryland-Baltimore County, Hartford and Maine all are lost amid the mess that is Binghamton.

Sure, BU and Vermont are the new favorites, and one of them likely will represent the conference well in March. But the stain on the conference is already there and might get worse as coaches wonder whether Broadus will be coaching the Bearcats when practice opens Friday or when Binghamton gets a nationally televised game on ESPN2 on Nov. 17 at Pitt in the College Basketball Experience Classic.

"In the short term, everybody gets dragged into it a little bit, and I think it's unfortunate because the majority of other schools are handling their business the way they should,'' former Boston University coach Dennis Wolff said. Wolff said he was outspoken in league meetings when Rivera was granted the waiver to play immediately last year. Another coach, who wouldn't go on the record, said he spoke out about putting in rules that forbid schools from taking one-year transfers.

Wolff said there is residual fallout from the constant negative news.

"It doesn't stop, and the only publicity the league is getting is from Binghamton,'' Wolff said. "I don't think this should be any great surprise to anybody. There were a lot of compromises made and there were always great risks to those compromises. Whatever the worse-case scenario might have been, the worst-case scenario came true.''

The New York Times has covered the story well from its inception, starting with Broadus trying to do a quick fix by taking second- or third-chance players. The problem with taking so many high-risk players is that it could blow up all at once, as has been the case this fall.

Broadus once told that he wanted to get the program turned around quickly and get to the NCAA tournament. He did that, and he got a contract extension through 2013-14 two seasons after arriving on campus following a 23-9 season. But an America East program isn't going to compete for a national title. There are those rare instances when it will win an NCAA tournament game, but that's probably it. So why take so many risks?

"It's a mid-major league that gets one bid,'' Wolff said. "I was in it for 15 years. I don't remember anything like this in any of the previous 14 years. I'm of the opinion that it has drawn so much attention to the league -- negatively -- that it's going to be a while for it to settle down and focus on the good stuff going on in the league.''

• Louisville won't say what internal discipline Rick Pitino will dole out to basketball players Jerry Smith and Terrence Jennings, who were arrested on misdemeanor charges of resisting law enforcement Saturday. No one will say whether this will affect their status for the start of practice Friday or for any games next month.

But this clearly was serious. Jennings was arrested and hit with a police Taser, according to the Louisville Courier-Journal. Smith is a co-captain. He showed no leadership by allegedly getting into a fracas at an alumni homecoming party in nearby Jeffersonville, Ind.

Pitino has had his most tumultuous offseason in his career after admitting to an extramarital affair, allegedly being extorted for that affair for $10 million and awaiting the trial date of the woman accused of that extortion. The last thing Pitino needed was for his players to misbehave and get involved in this kind of activity.

How Pitino handles the arrests of two key players should say a lot about what to expect the rest of this season. The tolerance level at Louisville can't be too high at this juncture for any more "poor choices" of behavior.