NCAA

NCAA finds no evidence of rule violations in Mo Bamba case

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NCAA finds no evidence of rule violations in Mo Bamba case

AUSTIN, Texas -- The NCAA announced Tuesday that Texas basketball recruit, and Westtown School product, Mo Bamba remains eligible after reviewing the assistance the incoming freshman received from a Detroit financial adviser.

Bamba's older brother, Ibrahim Johnson, released a Facebook video last month in which he said that Greer Love gave Bamba money and gifts. Love previously worked in New York and was involved in youth sports in Harlem, where he got to know Bamba's family.

"After evaluating all available information, the NCAA determined the assistance Greer Love provides to Mohamed Bamba does not violate rules," NCAA officials said. "Bamba remains certified by the NCAA Eligibility Center."

Bamba, a 6-foot-11 forward, is rated as the nation's No. 2 overall prospect in the incoming freshman class according to composite rankings of recruiting sites compiled by 247Sports .

Johnson claimed that Love gave his brother $200 a week, paid credit card bills and paid for a trip to California. Johnson, a former Division II player at the University of Montevallo in Alabama, also complained of a falling out with his brother and said Bamba wouldn't help him get into graduate school at Texas.

NCAA officials said Bamba was in fourth grade when he developed a relationship with Love through an after-school mentoring program.

"Although the mentoring program had both an academic and athletics purpose, their relationship was not established based on (Bamba's) ability or reputation as an athlete," NCAA officials said. "Further, the pattern of communication between (Bamba) and Mr. Love has been continuous and the benefits provided to (Bamba) have been consistent since the establishment of their relationship."

NCAA officials also noted that Love had a pattern of offering comparable benefits to other people in the mentoring program, including students who weren't pursuing athletic careers or opportunities.

The NCAA also found no evidence that Love met its definition of an agent.

Knicks will reportedly reach out to Jay Wright about coaching job

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Knicks will reportedly reach out to Jay Wright about coaching job

Fresh off a second national championship in three years, this was bound to happen. Jay Wright is a hot name. 

And according to the New York Daily News, the Knicks plan on reaching out to Wright about their vacant head coaching job. 

Just don’t expect Wright to be interested. 

The 56-year-old coach has been determined to build Villanova into a powerhouse since he took the head coaching gig way back in 2001 and he’s finally done that. On the surface, maybe some think that would be enough to make him want to take his coaching to the top league in the world. Not so fast. 

In a recent interview with The Athletic, Wright said pretty flatly that he’s staying at Villanova because he loves it there. 

“The NBA does intrigue me,” Wright said. “That challenge is appealing but it’s not worth giving up working with these guys. The whole thing is, to take a new challenge you have to give up what you have. I don’t want to give up what I have. Would I like to coach in the NBA? Yes. But I have to give this up in order to do that, and I don’t see that happening.”

In that interview, Wright talked about his time at Hofstra and quoted Jim Valvano, who once said, ‘Don’t mess with happy.’ That was true at Hofstra until the Villanova job came around, so maybe there’s a chance the Knicks could blow him away. It just doesn’t seem likely. 

The Knicks just fired head coach Jeff Hornacek after a 29-53 record in 2017. The Knicks haven’t had a winning record since 2012-13. 

The New York Daily News cites a source, who said the Knicks believe Wright would be a “perfect candidate for a rebuilding club.” The Knicks might be right, but don’t bet on them getting Wright. 

Jalen Brunson hires agent, declares for NBA draft

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Jalen Brunson hires agent, declares for NBA draft

Villanova is losing its second star player in two days. 

Guard Jalen Brunson has decided to hire an agent and enter the 2018 NBA Draft, he wrote in a letter to Nova Nation on ESPN. He will forego his senior season at Villanova after an incredible college career. 

This news comes a day after his teammate Mikal Bridges announced he will also head to the NBA draft.

“It is with great honor and privilege that I have called Villanova University my home for the past three years,” Brunson wrote in ESPN. “When I decided to commit to Coach Jay Wright and the basketball program, I was driven by three goals: getting my education, competing at the highest level and winning a national championship. While I pride myself on remaining disciplined and focused to achieve these goals, I have grown as a man and have established lifelong relationships with my teammates, classmates, members of the basketball staff, fellow student-athletes and the wonderful educators and administrators of this prestigious university.”

Brunson leaves Villanova as one of the greatest players in Wildcats history, helping lead Villanova to its second national championship in three years. 

The 6-foot-3 guard averaged 18.9 points, 4.6 assists and 3.1 rebounds per game this season. Brunson was named the Big East Player of the Year and was the Wooden Award and Naismith Award winner this season.