Trevor Knight -- yep, the ruling was intentional grounding:
Though his focus tonight is on West Virginia’s marquee matchup with No. 16 Oklahoma, Mountaineers associate head coach/special teams coordinator Joe DeForest has found himself in hot water.
An upcoming investigative project by Sports Illustrated will reportedly accuse DeForest of running a bonus program -- paying players for making specific plays -- during his 11-year tenure as assistant coach at Oklahoma State.
DeForest, now in his second season with the Mountaineers, was an assistant head coach at Oklahoma State from 2001 to 2011.
"West Virginia University is aware of an upcoming investigative reporting series in Sports Illustrated which — while focused on another institution — includes allegations against one of our current assistant football coaches regarding his time of employment at his previous institution," West Virginia athletic director Oliver Luck said in a release. "Upon learning of the pending investigative report, WVU launched an internal review to ensure the coach's full compliance to NCAA rules while at West Virginia.”
Though DeForest has denied the claims, according to Luck, West Virginia has contacted the NCAA and has launched an internal investigation.
“It is the right thing to do to look into the matter and review practices here,” Luck said.
The report, first unveiled by NewsOK on Saturday, includes a number of various other improprieties at Oklahoma State: paying players for jobs not performed, fostering an environment of academic impropriety, campus hostesses providing sex to recruits, and rampant drug abuse not slowed by a weak drug-testing policy.
Eighty-five percent of the allegations address events that occurred between 2001 and 2007, which falls outside the four-year statute of limitations on NCAA Violations.
“Oklahoma State University is deeply troubled by these claims,” Oklahoma State president Burns Hargis said in a press release. “We will investigate the accuracy of the allegations and take all appropriate action. We do not condone or tolerate improper conduct in our athletic programs. OSU requires everyone affiliated with the university to follow the rules and adhere to the highest ethical standards.”
Join the conversation:
Join the conversation:
-Happy 35th birthday to former Penguins forward Matt Cooke (right). A free agent signing in the 2008 offseason, Cooke has spent the past three seasons with the Penguins. In 2008-09, Cooke appeared in 76 games, scored 31 points and recorded 101 penalty minutes, second-most on the team. During the postseason, Cooke appeared in all 24 of the Penguins' games, netted seven points and helped the franchise claim its third Stanley Cup title. Cooke played in 79 games in 2009-10, scored 30 points and was once again second with 106 penalty minutes. In the playoffs, Cooke saw action in 13 games and contributed six points. Cooke was limited to 67 games in 2010-11 due largely to suspensions and scored 30 points while leading the team with 129 penalty minutes. During 2011-12, Cooke set career highs in games (82), goals (19) and points (38) while limited his penalty mintes to 44. He appeared in six postseason games this past spring and contributed four assists. Last season, Cooke appeared in all 48 games and contributed 21 points. In this past spring's postseason, Cooke appeared in 15 games and recorded four assists. Earlier this offseason, he joined the Wild as a free agent. In 352 regular season games with the Penguins, Cooke has scored 150 points, 55th-most in franchise history. In 58 postseason games with the franchise, Cooke has scored 21 points.
-Happy 58th birthday to former Penguins defenseman Bryan Maxwell. Claimed off waivers from the Winnipeg Jets early in the 1983-84 season, Maxwell spent parts of two seasons with the Penguins. In 45 games for the Penguins in 1983-84, Maxwell recorded 15 points and led the team with a plus-3 rating. In 1984-85, Maxwell appeared in 44 games and netted eight assists. He retired following the season. In 89 games for the Penguins, Maxwell scored 23 points.
-Happy 53rd birthday to former Penguins forward Paul Marshall. A second-round pick in 1979, Marshall spent parts of two seasons with the Penguins. As a rookie in 1979-80, Marshall appeared in 46 games and contributed 21 points while leading the team with five game-winning goals. He appeared in one playoff game that spring and failed to record a point. After 13 games and three goals in 1980-81, Marshall was traded to the Maple Leafs along with Kim Davis in exchange for Dave Burrows and Paul Gardner. In 59 games with the Penguins, Marshall scored 24 points.
-Happy 50th birthday to former Penguins forward Tony Tanti (right). Acquired midway through the 1989-90 season along with Rod Buskas and Barry Pederson in a deal which sent Dave Capuano, Andrew McBain and Dan Quinn to the Canucks, Tanti spent parts of two seasons with the Penguins. He finished 1989-90 by appearing in 37 games for the Penguins and scoring 32 points. After 46 points and 18 points in 1990-91, Tanti was traded to the Sabres in exchange for Ken Priestlay. In 83 games for the Penguins, Tanti recorded 50 points. He currently operates a flooring contractor in Vancouver.
Join the conversation:
In an offseason in which Robert Morris' roster has resembled a game of musical chairs, forward Lijah Thompson has left the program, coach Andy Toole confirmed last night.
Thompson will transfer to Lincoln University, a Division II school in his native Philadelphia, where he will attempt to finish out the remainder of his college career.
Andrew Chiappazzi over at Colonials Corner was the first one to report the move.
After missing all of the 2012-13 season recovering from a torn ACL, Thompson was expected to be a fairly large part of the Colonials frontcourt this season. In his last full season of action, he averaged 7.3 points and 4.9 rebounds per game in 2011-12.
With the season about two months away, Thompson's decision is an equally surprising and sudden one. Toole said the move has been about a month in the making, spurred by a visit Thompson made back home over the summer.
Thompson's departure depletes what already looked to be a pretty thin frontcourt. As I detailed in late June, he was the most efficient rebounder of any of the returning big men, although he was coming back from a major knee injury, so it's difficult to know if he would return to that same kind of productivity.
The loss of Thompson means a few things. One is that, like the backcourt, the Colonials' success this season will depend a lot upon how the team's newcomers (freshmen and transfers) perform. Jeremiah Worthem is not a traditional low post player (he's more of an inside-outside guy, kind of in the mold of Russell Johnson), but he will be getting some more minutes now. Junior-college transfer Aaron Tate is a little undersized at 6-5, but early reports indicate that he's an excellent rebounder. There is not a dearth of options, but rather, they're just unknown commodities.
Since Thompson was widely-expected to be the team's starting center, questions surrounding the team's lineup naturally arise. As far as I see it, there are a couple of routes Toole can go.
One's a more traditional decision -- simply plugging Stephan Hawkins into the spot vacated by Thompson. The 6-9 Hawkins showed some flashes of potential last season and given his height, he can at the very least alter the shot of any opposing player that drives the lane. Toole also noted that Hawkins has bulked up a lot in the offseason, adding the kind of muscle and girth needed to be physically-viable down low over the course of a season.
The other option is to go with a smaller lineup, inserting Worthem, who was impressive all summer in the Greentree Pro-Am League, at the power forward position and having Mike McFadden play the pseudo-center spot he did last season. These projections are coming under the assumption that the other three starters will be Ant Myers-Pate, Karvel Anderson and Lucky Jones.
There will be more time, particularly in the weeks leading up to the season, to break this move down a little bit more. But, for now, Thompson's move makes an uncertain roster in an uncertain league even more...well, uncertain.