2015-16 results: The season started on a high note when Western Illinois went into Wisconsin and beat the Badgers, the Leathernecks starting the season 7-2. But from there, the team struggled to a 10-17 finish and a 3-13 conference mark in the Summit League.
Players to watch: Garrett Covington returns for his senior season, and the former Summit Player of the Year has been a consistent performer for the Leathernecks. Covington averaged 17.9 points, 4.1 rebounds and 2.0 assists per game as a junior, shooting 42 percent from 3-point range. Joining Covington in the backcourt is another senior in point guard Jabari Sandifer.
Key storylines: Making a move up the conference standings is going to be important for Western Illinois. Last season's 3-13 mark put the Leathernecks in last place.
Newcomers to track: Junior college big man Chris Snyder gives Western Illinois another interior player, while freshmen Jeremiah Usiosefe and C.J. Duff, a Carmel product, could earn early minutes.
Season outlook: Western Illinois has the talent and backcourt experience to move up the standings a few spots, but it doesn't look like they're going to be in position to make a postseason bid or a run at the conference tournament title. Covington and Sandifer could be poised for a big year, but the Leathernecks need more front-court help.
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.
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.