The Southeastern Conference announced that Tennessee head coach Bruce Pearl will be suspended for the team’s first eight league games because of admitted NCAA recruiting violations.
“I have been a very public advocate for playing by the rules,” Pearl said Friday. “When you don’t play by the rules, these are the things that can happen. So while these penalties that we’ve self-imposed and now the commissioner’s imposing are unprecedentedly strong, it sets a very high standard and a high standard that I agreed to.”
In September, Tennessee cut Pearl’s salary by $1.5 million over five years and told him he couldn’t recruit off campus for a year.
Pearl must sit beginning with the Jan. 11 game at Arkansas through the Feb. 5 home game with Alabama.
NEW YORK — When Ro Russell says Tristan Thompson has the potential to be the best forward ever to come out of Canada, he should know.
Russell is the longtime coach of the powerhouse Grassroots Canada AAU program that has produced numerous Division 1 players, including the immensely talented 6-foot-8 Texas freshman out of Brampton, Ontario.
“He could be the best forward [out of Canada],” Russell said. “Steve Nash is the best ever.”
NEW YORK — Sterling Gibbs remained firmly on the fence Friday night at Madison Square Garden.
With his older brother playing against his future college basketball team in the Coaches vs. Cancer event, the younger Gibbs chose the high road.
“I’m rooting for Ashton Gibbs,” he said at halftime of Pitt’s 79-70 win over Maryland. Ashton scored 13 points on 3 of 8 shooting and grabbed seven rebounds.
“I’m not officially at the University of Maryland yet, but I definitely like both teams,” added Sterling, who attended the game with his parents, Temple and Jacqueline. “But I’m really pulling for Ashton Gibbs.”
Sterling, who starred at Seton Hall Prep just like his brother, was recruited by numerous schools, including Pitt, before signing with Maryland last week.
NEW YORK – Talib Zanna was born
Seton Hall announced the signing of a three-man class that includes Aaron Cosby ( Louisville, Ky.), Haralds Karlis (Riga, Latvia), and Freddie Wilson (New Haven, Conn.).
Seton Hall, which missed out Wednesday on Point Pleasant Beach wing Jarelle Reischel when he chose Rice, has three scholarships left to use during the spring signing period.
“I’m really excited about all three,” head coach Kevin Willard said. “Each of them brings something different to our team, but they are all great students-athletes and they can really shoot the basketball.”
NEW YORK — The way Bob Hurley sees it, Mike Rice is on the right track at Rutgers and could be primed for big things down the road.
Still, Hurley said, it may take until the 2012-13 season before fans really see the fruits of Rice’s seven-man recruiting class that includes St. Anthony senior point guard Myles Mack.
“Even though freshmen have a lot of impact, I’m not so sure they can move right up in that league [Big East],” Hurley said Thursday. “But I think by the time those kids are sophomores followed by some more kids they’ll have the nucleus.
NEW YORK — Over the past several years, St. Anthony coach Bob Hurley has produced a number of high-major guards, from Dominic Cheek (Villanova) to Mike Rosario (Florida) to Tyshawn Taylor (Kansas).
Now comes 6-foot-8 junior Kyle Anderson, the Paterson Catholic transfer who is ranked No. 1 among point guards in the Class of 2012 by Rivals.com.
“Everybody’s kind of peaking around,” Hurley said Thursday as he was awarded the Joe Lapchick Character Award at Madison Square Garden. “He’s got a very long list of schools.”