NCAA calls foul on UConn hoops
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Connecticut coach Jim Calhoun and the men's basketball program he took from obscurity to national titles have been accused of eight major NCAA infractions, with investigators citing hundreds of improper calls and texts from UConn staff to recruits.
The school released a notice from the NCAA yesterday that lays out the allegations against the Hall-of-Fame coach, his staff and the school. Besides the calls and texts, the accusations include giving recruits improper benefits and improperly distributing free tickets to high school coaches and others. Calhoun is cited for failing to promote an atmosphere of compliance.
"It's not exactly, certainly anywhere near the high point of my career, as a matter of fact it's certainly one of the lowest points at any time that you are accused of doing something," said Calhoun, who has led the Huskies since 1986 and taken them to the Final Four three times. "It's a very serious matter."
The allegations come at the end of a 15-month investigation into the recruiting of former player Nate Miles, who was expelled from UConn in October 2008 without ever playing a game for the Huskies. He was charged with violating a restraining order in a case involving a woman who claimed he assaulted her.
The NCAA alleges 160 impermissible telephone calls and at least 191 impermissible text messages between recruits and coaches, including assistants Beau Archibald, Patrick Sellers, Andre LeFler, associate head coach George Blaney, and then-assistant Tom Moore, who is now the head coach at Quinnipiac. Moore did not immediately return messages seeking comment.
UConn is to appear before the governing body on Oct. 15 to respond.
SEATTLE WAIVES WHITE
The uncle for running back LenDale White says his nephew is "confused" and not doing well with the Seahawks' decision to unexpectedly waive the running back just weeks after a draft-day trade that brought him to Seattle from Tennessee.
Herman White told The Associated Press in a phone interview last night that he's been speaking with the former USC star throughout the day and that "he wasn't doing good."
The uncle says he knows nothing about the NFL Network reporting that White was likely facing a four-game suspension for violating the league's drug policy.
Herman White says the running back told him two days ago how great his second NFL chance was going with his former college coach Pete Carroll.
"He was surprised," Herman White said. "I'm pretty shocked, based on what he's been telling me. His emotions and all ... he wasn't doing good."
Seahawks general manager John Schneider announced the surprise move just over a month after he traded a couple of lower-round draft picks for White and defensive tackle Kevin Vickerson.
"It became apparent at this time that LenDale was not ready to be a member of the Seattle Seahawks," Schneider said.
He did not elaborate.
HIT STREAK AT 52
Florida International's Garrett Wittels doubled up on history yesterday.
Wittels now has a 52-game hitting streak, six shy of the NCAA Division I record, after getting hits in both of FIU's games at the Sun Belt Conference tournament in Murfreesboro, Tenn.
The sophomore shortstop singled in the first inning off South Alabama's Garrett Harris in FIU's first-game 10-9 victory, then hit a first-inning, first-pitch double off Florida Atlantic's R.J. Alvarez in the nightcap. The only streak ahead of Wittels on the Division I list is Robin Ventura's 58-game stretch in 1987.
FIU defeated top-seeded Florida Atlantic, 18-16, in 11 innings to advance to today's championship round of the tournament. The Golden Panthers will play either Arkansas State or Troy.
WOMEN'S FINAL SET
Northwestern avenged its only loss of the season by defeating North Carolina, 15-10, last night to advance to the finals of the NCAA women's lacrosse championships at Towson, Md.
The second-seeded Wildcats (20-1), seeking their sixth consecutive NCAA title, will face top-seed Maryland (21-1) for the national championship tomorrow.
The Terrapins, who advanced with a 14-5 win over Syracuse earlier last night, will be seeking their 10th NCAA title and first since 2001.