Originally published on Thu March 13, 2014 8:22 am
In just a few days, college basketball fans will celebrate the sport's biggest day: Selection Sunday. As soon as the bracket unveiling ends, the speculation will begin over who will be this year's Cinderella.
With the largest collegiate athletic conferences pushing to allow extra financial benefits for players, smaller schools like WKU are wondering how such changes would impact their bottom lines.
The issue of increasing compensation for college athletes is being discussed this week at an NCAA summit in San Diego. A group of high-profile conferences wants the ability to grant stipends that would pay for costs not covered by athletic scholarships.
NCAA President Mark Emmert recently said he believes such a stipend plan will soon become a reality.
WKU athletic director Todd Stewart says nothing is set in stone yet about how such stipends would be used.
A former marine hoping to play college football this season at a Tennessee school is celebrating after receiving good news from the NCAA.
The collegiate sports governing body had initially said Steven Rhodes would have to sit out the upcoming season at MTSU. But the NCAA came under heavy criticism after it said the 24-year-old Rhodes would be penalized because he played in a military recreational football league during his time serving in the U.S. Marines.
Rhodes described the league as similar to an intramural activity, but the NCAA said it counted as an organized league since scores were kept, players wore uniforms, and officials refereed the games.
Upon further review, the NCAA now says it’s decided Rhodes can play this upcoming season at MTSU.
A former marine hoping to play college football in Tennessee is being told by the NCAA he’ll have to sit out a year. The collegiate sports governing body says the 24-year-old freshman can’t play this upcoming season because of his participation in a military-only recreational football league in 2012.
Steven Rhodes entered the U.S. Marine Corp after graduating from Antioch High School in Nashville. After serving five years of active duty with the Marines, Rhodes contacted Middle Tennessee State coaches and asked about walking-on to the football ball team as a non-scholarship player.
That’s when the NCAA told Rhodes that his participation in a military-only football league would prevent him from playing immediately. Instead, he was told he would have to sit out the upcoming season.
Kevin's interview with WKU Athletic Director Todd Stewart
WKU’s athletic director is predicting there will be changes coming to the organization that governs collegiate athletics. But Todd Stewart doesn’t think the country’s most powerful conferences will break away from the NCAA and form their own organization, as some have suggested.
Stewart will attend a summit in January called by NCAA President Mark Emmert in response to pressure by big-revenue generating schools who want more say in how the NCAA is run. Some large schools want to increase compensation for collegiate athletes beyond what is currently allowed—something opposed by many smaller schools who say they couldn’t afford it.
Stewart came to the WKU Public Radio studio Wednesday to discuss the upcoming NCAA football summit, the future of college football, and his approach to putting together future WKU football schedules.
WKU Public Radio: WKU has been invited along with all the other Division I football schools to attend a Jan. 16-17 summit in San Diego that coincides with the NCAA’s annual convention. From what you understand so far, what’s going to be discussed?
Todd Stewart: A lot of things are being discussed right now, and I think what President Emmert wanted to do was get everybody in the room and hopefully come out with some form of solidarity. Because you have what people refer to as the “power five” conferences—the SEC, ACC, the Big 10, the PAC 12, and the Big 12—and there are some reforms they would really want to see.
WKU has received word from the NCAA that an assistant men’s basketball coach could be sanctioned for alleged violations at his former employer. WKU's Jake Morton was previously an assistant basketball coach at the University of Miami.
None of the allegations against Morton relate to his time at WKU, but the NCAA letter says any subsequent actions taken against Morton could impact his “athletically related duties” at WKU.
Morton came to Bowling Green in 2011 as an assistant coach and was later named director of basketball operations. The NCAA investigation of the Miami Hurricanes' athletic department from 2007 to 2009 involves a former booster who was later convicted of running a Ponzi scheme. The NCAA has accused Morton of accepting $6,000 from the booster, and providing transportation for the AAU coach of a top high school prospect Miami was recruiting at the time.
All around the country, college football teams are holding their first summer practices for players this week--and WKU is no different. The Hilltoppers open their season September 1st against Austin Peay, but there are several questions to answer before the games begin.
WKU graduate Claire Donahue won't be the only Olympic swimmer with ties to the Bluegrass State. Louisville native Clark Burckle has qualified for the London games by finishing second in the 200-meter breaststroke at the U.S. Olympic swimming trials.
WKU forward Michael Bradley has been denied a hardship waiver by the NCAA that would have made him eligible to play this fall for the Hilltopper basketball team. Bradley is a 6'10'', 225 pound native of Chattanooga, Tenn., who transferred earlier this year from Connecticut.
Freshman guard Marquis Teague led the Kentucky Wildcats with 24 points and 7 assists, as UK advanced to the Sweet 16 with a 87-71 win over Iowa State Saturday. The victory at the KFC YUM! Center in Louisville gives the Wildcats a chance to avenge their only regular-season loss against Indiana.