Wednesday's Headlines: Pitino Taking Heat; Selby Visiting UConn; Tyler to Israel; Journal News Cutting Jobs | Zagsblog
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Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
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Monday / December 11.
  • Wednesday's Headlines: Pitino Taking Heat; Selby Visiting UConn; Tyler to Israel; Journal News Cutting Jobs

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    Here’s a quick rundown on what’s going on in the sports world this Wednesday…

    **First off, for those keeping track at home, my Black summer league Ultimate team in the Westchester Summer League (WSL) came back from a 7-4 deficit to Gold to win 10-7 in an exciting, rain-shortened affair at SUNY Purchase. We scored six unanswered goals to win the game and garner the No. 4 seed in Saturday’s playoffs…Wish us luck.


    **Louisville coach Rick Pitino apologize for his behavior and was effectively backed by Louisville president James Ramsey.

    “I let them down with my indiscretion and I’m sorry,” Pitino said.

    Pitino is taking a lot of heat for his actions, and this episode will no doubt be used against him on the recruiting trail.

    Tim Dahlberg of the AP came out with a really strong column and some harsh words for Pitino and his employers.

    Vinnie Tatum was such a good soldier that he kept guard over Pitino in the back of a restaurant even as the coach was having drunken sex with a woman he had met just hours earlier. Tim Sypher valued his job so much that he gave Pitino the keys to his condominium, then kept watch as the coach gave the same woman $3,000 so she could go across state lines and get an abortion.

    Meantime, Shawn Teague, the father of 2011 Louisville target Marquis Teague, told Jody Demling the Pitino situation will have no impact on his son’s decision.

    “It hasn’t changed a thing for us,” Shawn Teague said. “Of course, I want to see some things fall out a little bit more. Things happen and things can change – even with this situation – and we still have to look to see if anything is going to happen as a result of what did happen. But in terms of who Rick Pitino is and how I feel about him and how my family and Marquis feel about him, there’s no change in that whatsoever.”

    He added that “didn’t know the extent of what happened,” but added that he doesn’t have “any qualms with Pitino.”

    Rod Odom Sr. echoed similar sentiments to Jeff Goodman of

    “It doesn’t change anything with us,” the father said “We sat down as a family last night and analyzed it and spoke to Rod about it.”


    **Josh Selby, the point guard out of Baltimore (Md.) Lake Clifton High, who decommitted from Tennessee, will visit UConn Thursday, as will Long Island forward Rod Odom.

    “Everybody is coming after him [Selby[,” Lake Clifton coach Herman Harried told the Hartford Courant. “It’s just going to be a matter of what he and his family thinks is best for him. If UConn doesn’t get him, that doesn’t mean there’s anything wrong with UConn or that UConn did anything. I want to say strongly that the UConn coaches have done a fine job recruiting him.”


    **Jeremy Tyler signed a one-year deal Wednesday with Maccabi Haifa of the Israeli Premier League for $140,000.

    The 6-11 Tyler initially committed to Louisville but then announced  he would skip his senior year at San Diego High and spend two years abroad and return to the U.S. for the 2011 NBA Draft.

    He becomes the second American player to skip college in as many years. Brandon Jennings signed a $1.2 million deal to play a year of pro ball in Italy last season before becoming the No. 10 pick in the NBA Draft. While Jennings struggled for playing time, Tyler wants to play right away.

    “It’s really important,” he told The New York Times. “If you have playing time, people are going to see you. Brandon didn’t play much over there. In order to get better, I need to play. I’ll be playing against grown men that have kids and have been playing for years.”

    Sonny Vaccaro, who wants to stick it to the NCAA by showing that American talent can play abroad instead of here, brokered both the Jennings deal and the Tyler one.

    “[Tyler] had his ups and downs during the workouts,” he told the Times. “He’s not as far along as Brandon Jennings was. He only played one year of high school basketball and the team wasn’t very competitive.

    “I wanted to allow him the comfort level that he doesn’t have to win the Euro Cup next year.”


    **Rutgers guard Mike Rosario will return to Puerto Rico to train with the SEnior National Team and potentially compete in the Tutu Marchand Cup and the FIBA Tournament of the Americas later this month.  Fordham guard Jio Fontan was also invited, but is committed to his college team.

    “We reached out and got coach [Fred] Hill’s blessing,” said Todd Washington of the Puerto Rico Basketball Association.  “Mike understands that there are no guarantees and has to show the coaches that he can do more than just fill it up.”


    **The Journal News of Westchester County is the latest area paper to have mass lay-offs. The paper held a big meeting of its 228 employees today to announce that 50 jobs would be lost in news and sports. Everyone has to reapply for their jobs and corporate will decide who is re-hired. Those who aren’t don’t get severance.

    “We’ve been working on a restructuring plan for the Journal News for a while,” Michael J. Fisch, publisher and president of the newspaper, told The New York Times.  “That’s partly the reason for the move today, but the other part of the reason for having employees reapply for newly defined jobs is to recognize that our business has changed.”


    **Rafael Nadal returned to the tour in Montreal and won by walkover over fellow Spaniard David Ferrer. It is good for tennis to have Nadal back and hopefully he can round into form by the U.S. Open, which begins Aug. 31. Always one of my favorite events to cover.

    Follow Adam Zagoria on Twitter.

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    Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle. A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013. He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.

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