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WKU

WKU and EKU have agreed to a four-year men’s basketball series beginning this December.

The teams will alternate home games over the four years, with the first game next season at E.A. Diddle Arena in Bowling Green.

The Hilltoppers and Colonels have played 154 times, dating back to the 1914-15 season.

The schools were Ohio Valley Conference rivals for 34 years, starting in 1948.

WKU has announced head baseball coach Matt Myers will not return for another season.

WKU Athletics Director Todd Stewart says a national search for the next Hilltopper coach will begin immediately.

The team just wrapped upped its fourth season under Myers with a 24-28 record overall and a 10-19 record in Conference USA. They missed qualifying for the conference tournament for the first time since 1998.

In announcing Myers' termination, Stewart wrote in a news release that the team's record over the past four years didn't meet his expectations. He added, "We must have more success in conference play and the postseason."

Myers became head coach in 2012 after being on the staff since 2008. The team went 106-118 overall during his tenure, 54-65 in conference games and just 1-6 in conference tournament games.

WKU is reaching out to team members and recruits following this week's announcement that the school is suspending its men's and women's swimming and diving teams for five years due to hazing violations.

The Bowling Green Daily News is reporting that president Gary Ransdell and athletic director Todd Stewart have sent personalized letters to swim team alumni saying WKU is “directly assisting” recruits who have committed to the team for the upcoming season.

Part of the letter also states “our athletic academic advising staff will continue to work with team members who choose to stay at WKU and support their progression toward their degree.”

Some recruits were set to sign with WKU as soon as Wednesday.

WKU Athletics

Bill Powell retired in 2005 after 36 years at the helm of the WKU men's swimming and diving program. During that time period, his teams won 15 conference titles and the Natatorium at WKU is named after him.

Powell posted a response on his Facebook page this week after Tuesday's announcement that WKU is suspending the men's and women's swimming and diving programs following an investigation that uncovered underage drinking, hazing, and other abuses within the program.

Here is his response in full from his Facebook page:

Dear WKU Swimmers, Divers, Friends, and Supporters,

I am devastated at the loss of WKU Swimming and Diving—an athletic program that has graduated virtually all of its team members over a 45-year period. As Dr. Ransdell himself admits, the team has collected too many academic honors to list and its student-athletes have “represented WKU with distinction in the classroom and in competition.” I am certainly proud of what you all have accomplished.

I have been retired from the WKU swim program for a while, so my knowledge of the alleged incidents is no more than what everyone else has seen in the papers. It appears that the transgressions were perpetrated primarily by one or two team members, and no criminal charges have been filed.

WKU

WKU is suspending its Swimming and Diving program for five years, effective immediately. The university informed the team members and coaching staff of the decision Tuesday morning.

The move comes after investigations by the Bowling Green Police Department and university uncovered evidence of violations of WKU’s Student Code of Conduct, Discrimination and Harassment Policy, and Title IX Sexual Misconduct/Assault Policy.

In an email sent to school faculty and staff Tuesday, President Ransdell said those violations included hazing and underage alcohol consumption involving team members and recruits. Ransdell said coaches were aware of the “pervasive culture” of abuse with the program and failed to prevent it.

"This University simply will not tolerate indecent, immoral, physical, or mental acts of disrespect or abuse among our students. We must all embrace a culture where every student is as important as any student," Dr. Ransdell said in his email. "When this culture is not embraced, we will act swiftly and firmly to ensure that the dignity and integrity of the institution is sustained. It is our hope that over the next five years, the pervasive culture of misconduct and lack of sufficient oversight in this program will be flushed from our campus life."

The investigations into the Swimming and Diving programs at WKU began when a former swim team member filed a report with city police claiming he was assaulted by teammates and forced to drink alcohol during several hazing incidents.

Current swimming and diving team members will be able to transfer immediately to other schools. Those choosing to remain at WKU will have their scholarships honored through their senior years.

The positions currently held by Head Swimming Coach Bruce Marchionda, Associate Head Coach Brian Thomas, and Head Diving Coach Chelsea Ale will be eliminated June 30.

UK Athletics

A record seven members of the University of Kentucky men’s basketball team announced they will enter the NBA draft.

The seven were UK’s top scorers during their 38-1 season that ended last weekend with a loss to Wisconsin in the Final Four.

At a press conference Thursday in Lexington, Junior Willie Cauley-Stein, sophomores Dakari Johnson and Andrew and Aaron Harrison and freshmen Karl-Anthony Towns, Trey Lyles and Devin Booker all said they’ve decided to turn pro.

“I mean, of course it was a tough decision for all of us,” Guard Aaron Harrison said. “But I think this is all of our dreams so we just want to chase our dreams, really.”

Coach John Calipari said he did not to try to convince anyone to stay or leave, but arranged meetings with the players, their families and NBA team officials early this week to discuss their pro prospects.

“I’m not convincing anyone to stay and I’m not pushing anybody out the door,” Calipari said. “This is their choice with their family.”

Karl-Anthony Towns could be the first player chosen overall on June 28. Cauley-Stein and Lyles could soon follow, with both projected as possible lottery selections. Booker is also a potential first-rounder, with the rest projected to go in the second.

Churchill Downs

The Run for the Roses is a few weeks away yet, but the solid gold trophy already awaits the owner of the horse that wins the 141st running of the Kentucky Derby on May 2 at Churchill Downs.

The trophy is made of 14-karat gold and was crafted by New England Sterling in North Attleboro, Massachusetts, for the 40th consecutive year.

The trophy arrived at Churchill Downs about 10 days ago aboard a Brinks truck. Three smaller sterling silver replica trophies will be presented to the Derby's winning trainer, jockey and breeder.

Not counting the jade base, the owner's trophy is 22 inches tall and weighs approximately 65 ounces. It is topped by a 14-karat gold horse and rider and has horseshoe-shaped wreath handles attached to its sides.

WKU Athletics

WKU softball pitcher Miranda Kramer made program history this week when she became the first Lady Topper ever drafted by a National Pro fastpitch team.

Kramer was taken 6th overall in the draft by the Pennsylvania Rebellion.

She leads the country with 13-point-8 strikeouts per seven innings and is tied for first with seven shutouts.

She’s third nationally in total strikeouts, fourth in hits allowed and tenth in Earned Run Average.

WKU has one former player in its history to play on a NPF team. Olivia Watkins, the NCAA stolen base leader last year, signed a contract with the Akron Racers in 2014.

KFC Yum! Center

Because melting snow and heavy rain have caused flooding around the Louisville waterfront, city officials are urging fans heading to the KFC Yum Center for NCAA Tournament games this week to arrive early.

“There are still a number of parking spaces that are flooded. A number of roadways that are blocked or closed and construction as well,” said Sandra Moran, Yum Center marketing director.

The parking garages underneath the arena and at the Galt House are open for business, she said. And if fans aren’t parking in either of those lots they should try to avoid west Interstate 64’s Third Street ramp, which reopened Tuesday after flooding, because traffic congestion is expected in that area, said Moran.

“Have a plan and look at a couple of different garages that you might try to park at because there will be limited space during the day with the business traffic that’s going to be downtown as well,” she said.

KFC Yum! Center

Fans heading to the KFC Yum Center in Louisville for NCAA basketball games are being urged to get their early.

Melting snow and heavy rain has caused flooding in areas around the Waterfront.

Yum Center director of marketing Sandra Moran says the parking garages under the arena and at the Galt House are open for business.

She says if fans aren’t parking there they should try to avoid I-64’s Third Street ramp because of congestion.

“Have a plan and look at a couple of different garages that you might try to park at because there will be limited space during the day with the business traffic that’s going to be downtown as well," urged Moran.

Four games are scheduled for Thursday, including the University of Kentucky’s opener against Hampton.

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