Local college hoops 2016-17 preview: Loyola

Local college hoops 2016-17 preview: Loyola

2015-16 results: The Ramblers struggled to a 15-17 finish and 7-11 Missouri Valley Conference mark last season after starting conference play 0-5. Junior guard Milton Doyle had injuries and inconsistent play, and the team never got rolling.

Players to watch: Doyle is back for his senior year, healthy and motivated to produce. The 6-foot-4 wing and former Marshall star had his worst offensive season as a junior, and he's hoping to raise his shooting percentages and be a team leader this season. Junior forward Donte Ingram, a Simeon product, is also back. He put up 7.4 points and 4.1 rebounds per game last season.

Key storylines: One of the nice things about Loyola's offseason was its exhibition trip to Spain. The trip gave the Ramblers some exhibition games against European competition, time to bond overseas and 10 additional summer practices. The team is hoping the trip can help a team full of new players jel quickly and get off to a hot start.

Newcomers to track: The Loyola roster has some intriguing newcomers this season. Iowa State transfer Clayton Custer is eligible and should give the Ramblers another ball handler. Junior college transfer forward Aundre Jackson should earn minutes as well. Freshman Matt Chastain was a hot spring recruit from LeRoy, Ill., who provides additional athleticism.

Season outlook: The Ramblers have an intriguing future. They're built to win right now but only have one senior on the roster. If Doyle can return to form, he should have some new pieces to work with this season. As for the future, Loyola has a great 2017 recruiting class headlined by local stars Cameron Krutwig (Jacobs) and Christian Negron (Larkin), making next year look even better.

NCAA is taking steps to allow student-athletes to make money off their likeness


NCAA is taking steps to allow student-athletes to make money off their likeness

Bulls rookie guard Coby White has talent, an infectious smile and an afro that makes him stand out on the court. It’s a fair bet he could have made some money off his likeness while he played at North Carolina if the rules allowed it.

The NCAA is taking steps towards allowing its athletes to do so, but there’s still a long way to go in the process. The organization’s Board of Governors unanimously voted to start the process. That vote moves things to the NCAA’s three divisions “to consider updates to relevant bylaws and policies,” as it was worded in the NCAA's press release.

“We must embrace change to provide the best possible experience for college athletes,” said Michael V. Drake, the chair of the board and president of Ohio State. “Additional flexibility in this area can and must continue to support college sports as a part of higher education. This modernization for the future is a natural extension of the numerous steps NCAA members have taken in recent years to improve support for student-athletes, including full cost of attendance and guaranteed scholarships.”

The board asked each division (Division I, Division II, Division III) to make any new rules immediately and no later than January 2021.

It’s important to note that none of the changes are final, or even imminent. It’s still relevant that the NCAA is going through the process at all, after being so strongly in favor of amateurism across the board for its student-athletes.

The potential changes would not allow for compensation based on performance or participation in a sport. Of course, the natural grey area is that higher performing athletes will be more marketable so they would be compensated on performance indirectly.

This comes after California passed legislation to allow college athletes to receive endorsement/sponsorship money and other states are pursuing similar.

This is still far from being official or finalized, but it will continue to be a major story in college sports over the next couple years.

Dave Leitao suspended 3 games, DePaul put on 3-year probation


Dave Leitao suspended 3 games, DePaul put on 3-year probation

The DePaul men's basketball team has been placed on three-year probation and head coach Dave Leitao has been suspended three games for the 2019-20 season, the NCAA announced on Tuesday.

The program was found guilty of "failing to promote an atmosphere of compliance while Leitao did not "prevent violations from occurring in his program."

A Division I Committee on Infractions panel concluded that a "former DePaul associate head coach violated NCAA ethical conduct rules when he knowingly directed the former assistant director of basketball operations to provide impermissible recruiting benefits to a recruit."

The NCAA found that three coaches knew about the situation but failed to report the infractions. DePaul will vacate all wins earned while the ineligible player competed and suffer recruiting restrictions. They were also fined $5,000 plus 1% of the men's basketball program budget.

In 2019, DePaul had their first winning season since 2007 by going 19-17.