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Former Western Kentucky University men's basketball coach Ray Harper has been hired in the same position at Jacksonville State University in Jacksonville, Alabama. He'll be formally introduced at a news conference in Jacksonville Thursday morning.

Harper resigned from WKU last month following the suspension of three players for undisclosed reasons. It was announced this week those players are no longer enrolled at WKU. School President Gary Ransdell has said those suspensions were the "primary reason" behind Harper's resignation March 17th.

WKU hired former Mississippi State head coach and Texas A & M assistant Rick Stansbury as head coach March 28th.

Harper coached for five seasons at WKU after becoming interim coach in the 2011-12 school year. He compiled an 89-64 record. He led the Hilltoppers to the NCAA Tournament in each of his first two seasons but failed to reach any post-season tournaments in his last three years.

Harper's taking over a program at Jacksonville State that went 8-23 last season, including a 4-12 record in the Ohio Valley Conference.

After being suspended from the Western Kentucky University men's basketball team last month for undisclosed reasons, three former players have now officially left the school.

In a statement released late Tuesday afternoon, WKU Athletics Director Todd Stewart said "Fredrick Edmond, Marlon Hunter and Chris McNeal are no longer enrolled at Western Kentucky University. They have been released from their scholarship and are able to pursue other opportunities."

The three were dismissed from the team for undisclosed reasons after a ruling by the University Disciplinary Committee. The Committee and the athletics department cited federal privacy laws in declining to release any details of the case.

Former coach Ray Harper resigned immediately following the players' suspensions. He's reportedly being considered for the head coaching position at Jacksonville State University in Alabama. New coach Rick Stansbury made it clear during his introductory news conference last week that the three would not be on the team next season.

Fredrick Edmond has signed with an agent and will forego his senior year of college eligibility to play professionally overseas. Both McNeal and Hunter are freshmen.

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Hall of Fame jockey Calvin Borel is retiring.

That’s according to Borel’s agent,  Larry Melancon, who tells the Daily Racing Form that Borel informed him of his decision.

The publication says Borel is currently based at Oaklawn Park in Arkansas and has not commented publicly.

The 49-year-old Borel has won more than 5,100 races, including three Kentucky Derbys. In 2009, he became the first jockey to win the first two legs of racing’s Triple Crown aboard different mounts.

He rode Mine That Bird to victory in the Derby and finished first aboard the filly Rachel Alexandra in the Preakness Stakes.

Borel was inducted into the racing Hall of Fame in 2013.

Clinton Lewis

Rick Stansbury is returning to Kentucky to coach basketball.  The Meade County native was introduced Monday afternoon as the next men’s basketball coach at Western Kentucky University. 

During a news conference, Stansbury said he did not have to be sold on WKU.

"There's so much tradition.  I understood that.  I know what this place about," remarked Stansbury.  "I know not where it's at, but where we're going to go with it.  It's not about me.  It's about all of us, and that first game we show up to this year, we want that arena packed, and we're going to put a team on that floor that you will be proud of."

Stansbury comes from Texas A&M where he served as an assistant coach.   Before that, he spent 14 seasons as Mississippi State’s head coach.  Under a four-year contract, Stansbury will be paid a base salary of $500,000 annually. 

He takes over for Ray Harper who resigned this month following the suspension of three players.  Stansbury said the three would not be returning to the team. 

Stansbury said he has a lot of respect for Harper and hopes he will continue to be a part of the basketball program at WKU.

WKU Athletics

WKU has introduced Kentucky native Rick Stansbury as the school's new men's head basketball coach.

Stansbury played his high school basketball at Meade County, and comes to WKU after two seasons as an assistant coach at Texas A&M. He previously was head coach at Mississippi St. for 14 seasons.

Stansbury takes over the WKU job following the resignation of Ray Harper almost two weeks ago.

Stansbury has 293 career wins and 11 postseason trips as a head coach.

During his final ten seasons with Mississippi St., only Kentucky won more SEC championships than the eight won by the Bulldogs. He took the team to the postseason 11 times, with six NCAA appearances, and became the school's all-time wins leader.

The Western Kentucky University women's basketball season came to a close Sunday night as the Lady Hilltoppers lost to South Dakota 68 - 54 in the quarterfinals of the Women's National Invitational Tournament.

The Lady Tops finish the season with a 27 - 7 record, they're 103 - 32 overall under the first four years of head coach Michelle Clark Heard's leadership.

Kendall Noble led Western with 21 points, 8 rebounds, 3 assists and 2 steals. Tashia Brown added 12 points.

Trailing by nine points going into the fourth quarter, Brown's jumper got her team within seven points but with 8:55 to play but WKU was unable to get any closer.

Ivy Brown fell just short of her second consecutive double - double with 8 points and 10 rebounds.

WKU Athletics

Western Kentucky University  beat UT-Martin in the second round of the Women's National Invitation Tournament 64 - 57 at E. A. Diddle Arena Monday night. The Lady Tops go on to the Tournament's "Sweet 16" round taking on St. Louis on their home court Friday at 7:00 p.m.

WKU's Tashia Brown had a game high 32 points while playing the game's entire 40 minutes. Kendall Noble, the only Division I player with two triple-doubles this season, nearly added a third finishing with 15 points, 12  assists and 8 rebounds.

WKU trailed by as many as 12 points in the first half before coming back for the win.

WKU Athletics

The WKU womens' basketball team beat Dayton 89- 72 at E. A. Diddle Arena in their opening round game of the Women's National Invitational Tournament. WKU was led by Conference USA Player of the Year Kendall Noble's 27 points.

They'll stay home to play their second round game Monday night at 7:00 pm central time against UT-Martin. It will be the first meeting between the teams since 1981.

During Thursday night's game, Noble got most of her points at the free throw line hitting, 17 out of 18 attempts. That's the fourth most free throws in a single game in WKU history. They were the most in a game for the Lady Toppers since 2008.

Kevin Willis, WKU Public Radio

Western Kentucky University men's head basketball coach Ray Harper has resigned.

The school announced Thursday night that Harper informed Athletics Director Todd Stewart that he was stepping down.

The announcement came following news that three WKU basketball players had been suspended from the team following the outcome of a hearing by the University Disciplinary Committee.

No further information was released regarding the suspensions of Frederick Edmond, Marlon Hunter, and Chris McNeal.

Harper just completed his fifth full season as WKU head coach.

WKU's Lady Hilltopper basketball team received an at-large bid into the Women's National Invitation Tournament Monday night. They'll host the Dayton Flyers Thursday at E.A. Diddle Arena.

In ten previous WNIT appearances, the Lady Toppers stand at 13-12. They reached the tournament semifinals in 2006 and 2007. Their last WNIT appearance was in coach Michelle Clark Heard's first season in 2012-13.

WKU enters the postseason with a 24-6 overall record and are tied with Long Beach State and Wright State for the most wins among teams that accepted an at-large bid for the tournament.

WKU Athletics

One Western Kentucky University basketball team is still in the hunt for its conference championship, while the other is coming home earlier than expected.

The WKU men’s team takes on Old Dominion Friday afternoon in the semifinals of the Conference USA tournament. Five Hilltoppers scored in double figures Thursday to propel WKU to an upset win over the top-seeded UAB Blazers.

The WKU-Old Dominion game tips off at 3 pm central, and is being televised on the CBS Sports Network. The winner will play in the C-USA championship Saturday, with an automatic bid to the NCAA tournament on the line.

The WKU women’s team had their conference tournament run ended Thursday night at the hands of Marshall. The Thundering Herd knocked off the Lady Hilltoppers 66-63.

WKU’s Kendall Noble recorded her second triple-double of the season—and the first triple-double in C-USA Tournament history—with 17 points, 11 rebounds, and 10 assists.

The WKU women’s team will now likely receive a bid to the Women’s National Invitational Tournament.

WKU Athletics

Western Kentucky coach Jeff Brohm has agreed to a four-year contract extension through 2019 that boosts his base annual salary from $600,000 to $800,000.

Brohm is 20-7 in two years at WKU after last fall's 12-2 finish that included a Conference USA championship, second straight bowl win and No. 24 ranking. He's the only Hilltoppers coach to win 20 games his first two seasons and one of just four with double-digit victories.

Brohm's success led to him being mentioned as a possible candidate for other coaching vacancies, but he reiterated his desire to stay at WKU. Athletic director Todd Stewart said it was "imperative that we reward that loyalty" in Wednesday's statement announcing the deal.

The coach added that he believes, "We can do special things on The Hill."

WKU Athletics

The Western Kentucky University football team is in Miami ahead of their Monday bowl game. 6th year senior quarterback Brandon Doughty leads the 11 - 2 and Conference USA champs into the Miami Beach Bowl against South Florida.

Doughty led the nation both this year and last in passing yards and touchdowns, He was rated the nation's muber one passer by the NCAA.

WKU athletic director Todd Stewart says if they ever make another "Back To The Future" movie sequel and he's in it, he's want to come back to December 5th  and 6th of 2015.

Saturday the Hilltoppers wrapped up an 11-2 season and a Conference USA championship by beating Southern Mississippi. Sunday the team accepted an invitation to play South Florida in the Miami Beach Bowl on December 21st against a team coached by former WKU head coach and quarterback Willie Taggert.  They then learned they cracked the Associated Press top 25 poll for the first time in school history, finishing the regular season ranked #25. Stewart called the weekend "a remarkable time for us."

Stewart and head coach Jeff Brohm are especially excited about playing in the Miami Beach Bowl on the 21st. It's one of the first bowl games of the season and the only college football game that'll be played that day. They say the ESPN national telecast will give Western great national exposure to alumni and possible future recruits.

The location of the game in Miami Beach will also make it attractive for family and fans to attend, a welcome relief after playing bowl games in the Bahamas and in Detroit the last two years.

Bowling Green's little league team may not still be alive in the Little League World Series for this weekend's championship games, but Joe Corcoran reports they couldn't hold the tournament without a big Bowling Green presence.

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